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Daniel Harvey Hill Papers, 1861-1865


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Collection Overview

Daniel Harvey Hill Papers, 1861-1865
Mss. 81s H55
0.1 Cubic Feet
Primary Creator
Hill, Daniel Harvey (1821-1889)
Date Acquired
Forms of Material


Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.
Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Letters, 28 May 1861 and 15 April and 11 May 1862, written by Daniel Harvey Hill to his wife Isabella (Morrison) Hill, describing preparations for battle at Yorktown, Va. and building fortifications over Lord Cornwallis' earthworks; the Peninsular Campaign; morale of his soldiers; and his children. Includes a printed circular, 19 April 1865, to Hill, urging soldiers not to desert during truce negotiations.

Biographical Note

Daniel Harvey Hill (1821-1889) was a Confederate general during the American Civil War and a 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 Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Although his military ability was well respected, he was underutilized by the end of the 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. Further information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki: <a href="http://scrc.swem.wm.edu/wiki/index.php/Daniel Harvey Hill">http://scrc.swem.wm.edu/wiki/index.php/Daniel Harvey Hill</a>.

Subject/Index Terms

Box and Folder Listing

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[Folder 1],

Folder 1

28 May 1861.  D[aniel] H[arvey] Hill, Yorktown, Va., to his wife [Isabella (Morrison) Hill], n.p. His men reacted well to a false alarm (that 5,000 men were within three miles); probably will be no attack on this place; they have opened up the old lines of Lord Cornwallis and have "one of the strongest places in the world.  It would be madness in a force of less than 10,000 men to approach us"; comments on kindness of officers and men. 2 pp.

15 April 1862. [Daniel Harvey Hill], Yorktown, Va., to his wife [Isabella (Morrison) Hill], n.p. Melancholy letter reminiscing about the past year; describes the fighting around Yorktown and the heartlessness of the "Yankees"; mentions his new rank of Major General. 2 pp.

11 May 1862.  [Daniel Harvey Hill], Quartermaster's Office, Chickahominy, Va., to his wife [Isabella (Morrison) Hill], n.p.  Has been waiting for the enemy for two days so that "we may offer him battle"; also comments that the upcoming struggle will "be on the grandest scale and of the most desperate character in the [Civil] War"; details the poor condition of the soldiers after the [Battle of] Yorktown, stating that "thousands fell down exhausted by the wayside and were captured by the enemy," and that many cursed him on the way home from Williamsburg, saying that they did not care if the "Yankees" captured them; the Army has fallen apart, with almost 5,000 soldiers throwing away their guns and fleeing to Richmond to avoid another battle; expresses the wish to retire to "some mountain home where I would see no more mankind in large and vicious collections"; has been ill, and the "rain and mud and hunger at Williamsburg all combined to make me worse"; advises her to buy W[illia]m Park's land, as he wishes the children to be raised in the country, as he would "prefer them to be in the middle walks of life; let there be taught humility ..." and take a great deal of bodily exercise as they will not find a "true friend and a true man" in the upper classes.  4 pp.

19 April [18]65.  Archer Anderson, A[ssistant] A[djutant] Gen[era]l, for General [Joseph E.] Johnston, Head Quarters, Army [of] Tennessee, near Greensboro, N.C., to Maj. Gen. D. H. Hill, Com[mandin]g Div[isio]n.  Circular urging Army soldiers not to desert due to recent truce conference rumors.  1 p.

Administrative Information

Special Collections Research Center
Acquisition Source
Robert Batchelder
Acquisition Method
Purchases in 1981, 1983, and 1987. 4 items.
Related Materials
See also; D. H. Hill Papers, D. H. Hill Diary (#882); Charles W. Dabney Papers (#1412) in the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and the D. H. Hill Papers, Duke University Library.
Preferred Citation
Daniel Harvey Hill Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
Processing Information
Processed by Cynthia B. Brown and Ellen Strong in 1987.