Lot of 10 letters plus ephemera. Daniel Harvey Hill (1821-1889) was born at Hill's Iron Works, York district, South Carolina, the foundry having been established by his grandfather to make cannon for the Continental Army. Continuing the service to his (then) country, Hill attended the Military Academy, graduating in 1842 with the likes of Longstreet, A.P. Stewart, G.W. Smith, R.H. Anderson and Van Dorn, along with many more future Union officers. Indeed, in a letter from Camp Fayetteville, September 25, 1861, just about the time he was promoted to brigadier general, "Five of my class are Confederate Generals and a number of them Federal Generals. My room-mate from Maryland commanded the Third Infantry (Federal) at Manassas. It is painful to have our best friends opposite to us in this death struggle...."
Hill was assigned to the 1st US Artillery upon graduation from West Point, but when the Mexican War broke out he served in the Infantry, distinguishing himself for bravery and earning brevets to captain (Contreras and Churubusco and major (Chapultepec). He left the military shortly after this war. having just married Isabella Morrison, daughter of Rev. Robert Hall Morrison, the first president of Davidson College. She was the sister of another Presbyterian minister and Mary Anna, a younger sister who would later marry Professor Thomas J. Jackson of VMI, whom Hill had met in Mexico during their service, later to be known as "Stonewall" Jackson. There is a copy of Confederate Veteran, Nov., 1922 (Vol. XXX, No. 11) included in the lot that contains a story about "Mrs. Stonewall Jackson." The Hills would have nine children, many of whom also went on to serve their country. Many of Hill's letters to his wife concern the children, one or more of whom seemed to come down with every circulating pathogen. (Camp near Fredericksburg, Jany. 18th, 1862; Leesburg, Na., Feb. 3d. 1862)
In 1859, Hill was impressed with the preparations for war and volunteered his service. He took a position as commandant of the military institute at Charlotte, NC and prepared his cadets to become drill-masters. He then was given his choice of the best companies of NC Volunteers, which became the 1st regiment and he became its colonel.
In January 29, 1862 he wrote to his wife: "Nothing heard of the Burnside fleet. We have strong hopes that it has been scattered o the winds. The Yankees had a prayer meeting before it sailed on its errand of mercy & love. The British forces speak with great bitterness of Yankees and I have not lost all hope of an interference. but our true hope is in earnest fervent prayer..." the United Kingdom remained neutral in the Civil War, as it had interest in dealings with both North and South. Although they recognized the Confederate States as a legal belligerent agent, they never recognize it as a separate nation. The British did, however, use blockade runners to send luxury goods and weapons to the Confederates in exchange for cotton and tobacco. Again, from Leesburg in Feb. 1862, Hill writes: "We are looking anxiously for news from the coast. lee will give the enemy a hard fight at Newbern & McMillan is a first rate man at Washington. But Wise is in charge of the important part of all, Roanoke Island and he knows nothing whatever of military matters. If that point is lost, the richest part of the state is given up to the enemy. It is fearful to think that so many lives and such vast interests are entrusted to incompetent men." Although Hill was close to Jackson and Joseph Johnston, he had had disagreements with Lee and Braxton Bragg, and so was not given the assignments that he probably should have been given, but rather, they went to those in good favor with the higher powers such as Jefferson Davis.
From a Camp near Richmond, Va., May 27, 1862: "The camp and the city are in a great fluster about Jackson's great victory near Winchester. He has now a reputation higher than that of any officer in the Army & his very name seems to be a talisman of victory. I trust that the effect may be to draw off a part of McClellan's force, otherwise we will have to encounter great odds...The result of the fight here must be hard marching. If we are beaten, we must make forced marches. If the Yankees are beaten, our Army will be thrown upon Washington with all conceivable dispatch. In either case then we must look out for hard work. Would it not be well for you to go to your Father's to stay until the excitement is over. You may feel strongly the impulse of duty to be with me in case of misfortune. But you could do no good and your children aught to be your first care....D. H. Hill."
Shortly after this letter was composed, Hill led his division into battle at Seven Pines. The battle took place over the course of two days (May 31-June 1, 1862) and Hill soundly defeated Brigadier General Keyes' men in a flanking maneuver, although the conclusion of the engagement ended up effectively being a draw. Hill later fought at the Seven Days Battles before his division was left at Richmond while the army headed north in the Northern Virginia Campaign.
June 19, 1862. A depressed Hill writes to his wife about the current state of the Confederate Army. It reads in part: "I feel a great deal depressed this morning...I do not like the aspect of things here. We are idle & the Yankees working at their batteries. We are doing nothing in the way of offensive or defensive movements. The most perfect supineness is prevailing everywhere in our lines. The enemy is working to getting reinforcements. We are waiting like Micarther [ sic] in the novel for something to turn up. May our folly be cured at last. When will we learn a little common sense?...there is some skirmishing & artillery fire every day. My troops are on the second line where we are resting. But whenever anything serious is apprehended we are sent up to sustain the advance troops. The troops now in front are raw & have never been in battle. They therefore make a good many alarms. We have had to march out for the last three days when the Yankees were only shamming. This annoys and wearies our men... Husband."
Hill would soon get his wish of curing the Army's inactivity, as it was engaged at the Seven Days Battles just six days later. "The camp and the city are in a great fluster about Jackson's great victory near Winchester. He has now a reputation higher than that of any officer in the Army & his very name seems to be a talisman of victory. I trust that the effect may be to draw off a part of McClellan's force, otherwise we will have to encounter great odds...The result of the fight here must be hard marching. If we are beaten, we must make forced marches. If the Yankees are beaten, our Army will be thrown upon Washington with all conceivable dispatch. In either case then we must look out for hard work. Would it not be well for you to go to your Father's to stay until the excitement is over. You may feel strongly the impulse of duty to be with me in case of misfortune. But you could do no good and your children aught to be your first care....D. H. Hill."
By the following year, in a letter dated Sept. 20, 1863, Hill complains: "The exempts in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee are taking the oath and going over to the Yankees. The soldiers are deserting in large numbers."
After the war. Hill edited a magazine in Charlotte, NC, The Land We Love. In the mid-1870s he became one of the first presidents of the University of Arkansas where he served until 1884, then president of the Military and Agricultural College of Milledgeville, GA, resigning in 1889 because of failing health. Two letters in the lot, both to T.J. Arnold, are dated Oct. 24, 1880 and July 26, 1884 while he was president of the University of Arkansas. The second letter was written as he was leaving and trying to decide what was next in his live. In September he died in Charlotte and is buried in the Davidson College Cemetery.
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