Daniel Harvey Hill’s Division

Daniel Harvey Hill

Daniel Harvey Hill Quotes

Last Updated January 16, 2010

With quotations by Hill first followed by others in alphabetical order of the person making the quote

“In my official reports…I criticized the management of Gen Lee at Malvern and South Mountain.  He was then alive, my commander and in the full tide of success.  He is dead now and failed in his efforts.  What I could and did do, when in the meridian of his power, I cannot do now.”

Hill, DH

1/28/1887

Hill in letter to Editor of Century, Century Collection, New York Public Library

Bridges, Hal.  Lee’s Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill.  Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961 pg2

“Fast riding in the wrong direction is not military, but is sometimes healthy.”

Hill, DH

June 30 1862

DH Hill and Jackson taken under accurate Federal artillery fire during White Oak swamp fighting

Mason, Jack C.  Until Antietam The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army. Carbondale IL:  Southern Illinois Press, 2009 pg161

“Oh History, History what a tissue of lies thou art!”

Hill, DH

Oct 18 1862

Hill in a letter to his wife bemoaning the fact he received limited praise for his actions at Antietam.

Robertson, James I.  Stonewall Jackson The Man, The Soldier, The Legend. New York:  Macmillan Publishing Co, 1997 pg899

“Our regimental chaplains, as a general thing, are as trifling as the Regimental Surgeons, which is the strongest denunciation I can make.”

Hill, DH

Mar 26, 1862

DH Hill responding to a request from Rev Dabney to reenter the Army as a chaplain.  DH Hill to Robert L. Dabney, Mar 26, 1862

Robertson, James I.  Stonewall Jackson The Man, The Soldier, The Legend. New York:  Macmillan Publishing Co, 1997 Pg 352

“I had always a strong perception of right and wrong”…and when corrected from petulance or passion, I brooded over it, did not forget, and I am afraid not forgive it.”

Hill, DH

Wert, Jeffry D.  General James Longstreet. New York:  Touchstone, 1993. pg93

“Had done as much hard fighting as any other general and had also displayed great ability in holding his men to their work by supervision and example”

Alexander, Porter

Porter Alexander’s obserations after the war.  Alexander, E.P., Military Memoirs of a Confederate (1907: reprint, Dayton Ohio, 19777) p.367

Bridges, Hal.  Lee’s Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill.  Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961 pg xiii

“There was an earnestness about…[his] fighting which was like Jackson at his best…had opportunity come to him he must have won greater fame”

Alexander, Porter

Porter Alexander’s obserations after the war.  Alexander, E.P., Military Memoirs of a Confederate (1907: reprint, Dayton Ohio, 19777) p.367

Bridges, Hal.  Lee’s Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill.  Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961 Pg xiii

“Gen, D,H. Hill has been assigned to N Carolina, leaving his division behind much to our delight.”

Blackford, Eugene

Jan 1863

Eugene Blackford of the 5th Alabama to father

Robertson, James I.  Stonewall Jackson The Man, The Soldier, The Legend. New York:  Macmillan Publishing Co, 1997 Pg 679

“he thinks every point where he visits last the most important to be finished without delay, [Hill] interferes as usual and insists on acting as engineer.  I am disgusted and will let him take his own way.”

Boswell, James

Jan 1863

Jackson’s engineer when sent to advise D.H. Hill on engineering matters.

Robertson, James I.  Stonewall Jackson The Man, The Soldier, The Legend. New York:  Macmillan Publishing Co, 1997 pg 678

“a weak self conceited heartless anc cruel ass…as despicable a wretch as ever disgraced any army.”

Cobb, Howell

Cobb describing Hill during the march from Richmond to join Lee during the Second Manassas Campaign

Bridges, Hal.  Lee’s Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill.  Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961 Pg 90

“in action & under fire he commands the admiration & respect of everyone”

Edmondston, James N.

May 1863

Edmondston speaking to relatives

Bridges, Hal.  Lee’s Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill.  Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961 pg xiv

“Hills disposition to find fault with his comrades helps explain the difficulty of using to best advantage his undeniable qualities”

Freeman, Douglas Southall

Douglas Southall Freeman, Lee’s Lieutenants:  A Study in Command

Bridges, Hal.  Lee’s Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill.  Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961 pg xviii

“has the reputation of being cross, impulsive, and often gives offense.”

Gilmer, Jeremy

A fellow Confederate general who liked Hill had this to say about him.

Krick, Robert K. ” It Appeared As Though Mutual Extermination Would Put a Stop to the Awful Carnage Sharpsburg’s Bloody Lane”, Gallagher, Gary W. ed The Antietam Campaign. Chapel Hill:  University of North Carolina Press, 1999. Pg 225

“He can never achieve a success, tho he might, I suppose, blunder upon one, as other short-witted people do”

Gorgas, Josiah

Frank E. Vandiver, ed., The Civil War Diary of General Josiah Gorgas (University, Ala., 1947),p.33

Bridges, Hal.  Lee’s Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill.  Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961 pg xv

“High and well deserved reputation as a hard fighter…seemed to go from choice into the most dangerous place he could find on the field.”

Haskell, John

John Haskell of SC usually critical of many southern officers.  John Haskell, The Haskell Memoirs:  The Personal Narratie of a Confederate Officer, ed. By Gilbert E. Govan and James Livinggood (New York, 1960) p40

Bridges, Hal.  Lee’s Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill.  Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961 pg xiii

“In earnest in his Puritan beliefs as was Stonewall Jackson, who was his brother-in-law…”

Haskell, John

John Haskell of SC usually critical of many southern officers.  John Haskell, The Haskell Memoirs:  The Personal Narratie of a Confederate Officer, ed. By Gilbert E. Govan and James Livinggood (New York, 1960) p40

Bridges, Hal.  Lee’s Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill.  Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961 pg xiii

“was a man of considerable capacity and always seemed to go from choice into the most dangerous place he could find on the field”

Haskell, John

Haskel, Memoirs, p 40

Wert, Jeffry D.  General James Longstreet. New York:  Touchstone, 1993. Pg 117

“harsh, abrupt, often insulting in an effort to be sarcastic”  [he would] offend many and conciliate few”

Kean, Robert Garlick Hill

Kean of the War Dept.  Edward Younger, ed. Inside the Confederate Government:  The Diary of Robert Garlick Kean (New York, 1957),p 81

Bridges, Hal.  Lee’s Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill.  Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961 pg xv

Hill’s snarling “so regularly and acerbically at the world around him” caused Lee-”perhaps the personally least contentious general officer commissioned on either side”-to form a negative opinion of him.

Krick, Robert

June 10 1988

Robert Krick lecture at Mt Alto PA

Bridges, Hal.  Lee’s Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill.  Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961 pg xviii

“D.H. Hill had such a queer temperament he [Lee} could never tell what to expect from him, & that he croaked."

Lee, Robert E.

Feb 15, 1868

Lee to Allen Parker

Bridges, Hal.  Lee's Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill.  Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961 pg xvii

"I fear General Hill is not equal to his present position.  An excellent executive officer, he does not seem to have much administrative ability.  Left to himself, he seems embarrased and backward to act."

Lee, Robert E.

8/17/1862

Letter to Pres Davis by Lee on Aug 17,1862

Bridges, Hal.  Lee's Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill.  Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961 pg 89

“An excellent executive officer.”  Left to himself, he seems embarrassed and backward to act.”

Lee, Robert E.

August 1862

Letter from Lee to Davis

Bridges, Hal.  Lee's Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill.  Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961 pg xvii

"never a more plucky or determined fighter."

Longstreet, James

Longstreet describing DH Hill

Mason, Jack C.  Until Antietam The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army. Carbondale IL:  Southern Illinois Press, 2009 pg 186

“Croaking”  The Oxford English Dictionary offers a nineteenth-century definition of croaking:  to speak in dismal accents, talk despondingly, forebode evil

Oxford Dictionary

Bridges, Hal.  Lee's Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill.  Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961 pg xvii

“Qualities of leadership which inspired the utmost confidence and loyalty in his soldiers and made him the idol of the Carolinas.”

Ratchford, James Wylie

Ratchford, J.W. Some Reminiscences of Persons and Incidents of the Civil War (1909: reprint, Austin Texas, 1971) pp 8-9

Bridges, Hal.  Lee's Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill.  Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961 pg xiii

“Stonewall Jackson” repeatedly declared in my hearing that there was not…a man in the Southern Army, superior in military genius to D.H. Hill…and emphatically expressed his disgust at the policies and bickerings that prevented the repeated gallantry of Hill and the brilliant service rendered by him from being officially recognized and rewarded”

Ratchford, James Wylie

Ratchford, J.W. Some Reminiscences of Persons and Incidents of the Civil War (1909: reprint, Austin Texas, 1971) pp 8-9

Bridges, Hal.  Lee's Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill.  Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961 pg xiii

"he was a skillfull officer, intelligent and keen eyed, stern to rebuke violation of orders and lack of discipline-a determined fighter-as the boys expressed it, "A fighter from way back"

Smith, William Alexander

Smith of 14th NC Inf.  William Alexander Smith, The Anson Guards: Company C… (1914; reprint,Wendell NC, 1978),p. 120

Bridges, Hal.  Lee's Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill.  Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961 pg xiv

"... but with all these qualities was not successful.  His backbone seemed a trifle weak.  He would take his men into battle, fight furiously for some time and then something weakened about him.  Unless there was some strong character near by like Longstreet, for instance, on whom he leaned, his attack would be apt to fail and his first efforts go unrewarded.  His speech was bittter, although a most devout Presbyterian elder."

Sorrel, Moxley

Sorrell, G. Moxley.  Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer. New York:  Bantam edition, 1992. Pg 37

“…was a capable, well read soldier, and positively about the bravest man ever seen.  He seemed not to know peril and was utterly indifferent to bullets and shell,....”

Sorrel, Moxley

Sorrell, G. Moxley.  Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer. New York:  Bantam edition, 1992. Pg 37

“Hill was really a good man but of sharp prejudice and intemperate language”

Sorrel, Moxley

Sorrell, G. Moxley.  Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer. New York:  Bantam edition, 1992. Pg 37

"made a magnificent defense, but [were] terribly mauled and broken up.”

Sorrel, Moxley

Sorrell describing the fighting at South Mountain

Wert, Jeffry D. Cavalryman of the Lost Cause. New York:  Simon and Schuster, 2008. Pg 149

“Like Jackson he was, too, a born fighter – as aggressive, pugnacious and tenacious as as bull-dog, or as any soldier in the service, and he had a sort of monomania on the subject of personal courage”

Stiles, Robert

Stiles, Robert.  Four Years Under Marse Robert (1903 reprint, Dayton Ohio, 1977) pp 65-66

Bridges, Hal.  Lee’s Maverick General Daniel Harvey Hill.  Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1961 pg xiv

“Old Rawhide”

Nickname given to Hill by his men

Robertson, James I.  Stonewall Jackson The Man, The Soldier, The Legend. New York:  Macmillan Publishing Co, 1997 pg 463

3 Responses

  1. I like studying Hill as I think he really was the greatest officer of the war. There is limited information about him and he has always been overshadowed by higher ranking but lesser officers. This is largely due to the fact that many more soldiers got killed because of hills inspirational leadership. These soldiers died but inflicted greater casualties on the enemy. Lee didn’t promote Hill because he didn’t want Hill leading the Virginians. So the ones Hill lead, the North Carolineans especially, always ended up in places like bloody lane. The fact that North Carolina lost twice the soldiers of any other confederate state put a damper on Hill receiving the recognition that he should have. These soldiers were not slaughtered but inflicted casualties of about 2 to 1 due to Hills genius, not Lees. They said they wanted to fight so Hill fought, he was not a politician. Lee mostly wanted to spare his Virginians, that seemed to be his greater objective. So often the one who gets the job done doesn’t get the recognician. So many people try to say that Lee was a great officer but he was the one who ordered Picket to charge at Gettysburg, then later blamed the defeat on Picket. This battle occured soon after Hill left the army. Hill left due to Lee promoting three virginians and did not promote Hill, who was really the greater officer, greater than Lee as well.

    • I enjoy studying Hill as well. An up to date biography on this important officer is long overdue. You make some interesting points, some of which I do not necessarily agree with. North Carolina’s contributions to the Confederate war effort should not be underestimated. However, I recall that Lee took responsibility for the defeat at Gettysburg. Anyway, I appreciate your interest in my blog and hope to see you again here soon. Regards.

    • Oh, if only DH Hill had been sent to Kentucky to take command of Kirby Smith’s troops in Lexington in September 1862.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: