HILL, Ambrose Powell (1825-1865) Confederate General. Autograph letter signed ("A. P. Hill") to [Richard C. Morgan], Head Quarters, 3rd Corps, 31 August 1863. 1 page, 4to, framed with portrait of Hill.
"I LOST NONE [OF MY STAFF] IN PENNSYLVANIA": BATTERED BUT UNBEATEN AFTER GETTYSBURG, HILL WRITES TO A REBEL POW
An exceptionally rare, war-date autograph letter from one of the top Confederate commanders. "I hope to be able to get this to you through a flag of truce," Hill writes. "Your Uncle Samuel has written me several times to know whether I could not get gold to you all. I have written him that I did not think you would need it. Dolly and Russy are with me and well. She heard from Tommy who is also well, also from Matty. My staff are well. I lost none in Pennsylvania. I trust that you will soon be exchanged. Love to John [Morgan], Cally and Basil [Duke]." Hill was married to John Hunt Morgan's younger sister, Kitty (brother of the recipient, Richard Morgan); and was related to Basil Duke by marriage. The two Morgan men were held in the Ohio State Penitentiary in Columbus, after John Hunt Morgan's abortive raid into Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.
Hill--whom historian Shelby Foote describes as "the hard-hitting embodiment of his army's offensive spirit"--fought in virtually every major engagement, starting at first Bull Run, followed by Williamsburg, the Seven Days, Second Bull Run, Harper's Ferry, Antietam and Fredericksburg. He was part of the troop of officers accompanying Stonewall Jackson when a panicked group of rebel guard opened fire, filling the road with dead men and horses. "Cease firing! Cease firing!" Hill shouted, but the damage had been done, and Jackson mortally wounded. Hill assumed command until himself wounded. His III Corps opened hostilities at Gettysburg, and he later fought at Wilderness, Cold Harbor and Petersburg, where he was killed on 2 April. When Lee heard the news later that morning his eyes filled with tears: "He is at rest now, and we who are left are the ones to suffer." Hill letters are extremely rare. NO OTHER WAR-DATE A.L.S. HAS APPEARED AT AUCTION IN THE LAST 30 YEARS. Provenance: American Historical Auctions, 24 February 1996, lot 130; by sale to the present owner.