Daniel Harvey Hill (1821-1889)

Daniel Harvey Hill (July 12th, 1821 - September 24th, 1889) was a Confederate general and Southern scholar. He was known as an aggressive leader, and as an austere, deeply religious man, with a dry, sarcastic humor. He was brother-in-law to Stonewall Jackson, a close friend to both James Longstreet and Joseph E. Johnston, but disagreements with both Robert E. Lee and Braxton Bragg cost him favor with President Jefferson Davis. Although his military ability was well respected, he was underutilized by the end of the American Civil War. Daniel Harvey Hill is usually referred to as D. H. Hill in historical writing, in part to distinguish him from A. P. Hill, who served with him in the Army of Northern Virginia.

D. H. Hill was born in York district, South Carolina, in 1821. He graduated at the United States Military Academy in 1842, and appointed to the 1st United States artillery. He distinguished himself in the Mexican War, being brevetted captain for bravery at the Battle of Contreras and Churubusco, and brevetted major for bravery at the Battle of Chapultepec. In February 1849 he resigned his commission and became a professor of mathematics at Washington College (now Washington and Lee University), in Lexington, Virginia. In 1854 he joined the faculty of Davidson College, North Carolina, and was in 1859 made superintendent of the North Carolina Military Institute of Charlotte.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, D. H. Hill was made colonel of a Confederate infantry regiment, at the head of which he won the action of the Battle of Big Bethel, near Fort Monroe, Virginia, on the June 10th, 1861. Shortly after this he was made a brigadier-general. He took part in the Yorktown and Williamsburg operations in the spring of 1862, and as a major-general led a division with great distinction in the Battle of Seven Pines and the Seven Days Battles. He took part in the Second Bull Run campaign in August-September 1862, and in the Antietam campaign the stubborn resistance of D. H. Hill's division in the passes of South Mountain enabled Robert E. Lee to concentrate for battle. D. H. Hill's division saw fierce action in the infamous "sunken road" at Antietam, and he rallied a few detached men from different brigades to hold the line at the critical moment. He had three horses shot out from under him during the battle.

D. H. Hill's division was held in reserve at the slow moving Battle of Fredericksburg. At this point conflicts with Lee began to surface. On the reorganization of the Army of Northern Virginia after Stonewall Jackson's death, D. H. Hill was not appointed to a corps command. He was detached from Lee's Army and sent to his home state to recruit troops. In 1863 he was sent to the newly reorganized Army of Tennessee with a provisional promotion to lieutenant general to commanded one of Braxton Bragg's corps. In the bloody and confused victory at Chickamauga, Hill's forces saw some of the heaviest fighting. Afterwards, Hill joined several other generals openly condemning Bragg's failure to exploit the victory. President Davis came to personally resolve this dispute, all in Bragg's favor. The Army of Tennessee was reorganized again, and Hill was left without a command. Davis then refused to confirm Hill's promotion, effectively demoting him back to major general.

After that, D. H. Hill commanded only as a volunteer in smaller actions away from the major armies. Hill was division commander when he, along with Joseph E. Johnston, surrendered on April 26th, 1865.

In 1866-1869 he edited a magazine, The Land We Love, at Charlotte, NC, which dealt with social and historical subjects and had a great influence in the South. In 1877 he became president of the University of Arkansas, a post which he held until 1884, and in 1885 president of the Military and Agricultural College of Milledgeville, Georgia. General Hill died at Charlotte, NC, in 1889.