Hill, Ambrose Powell

Hill, Ambrose Powell

Hill, Ambrose Powell, 1825-65, Confederate general in the American Civil War, b. Culpeper, Va. He served briefly in the Mexican War and had a varied army career until he resigned in Mar., 1861, to support the Confederacy. After fighting at Williamsburg in the Peninsular campaign, Hill became (May, 1862) the youngest major general in the Army of Northern Virginia. His division was heavily engaged in the Seven Days battles. He fought under Stonewall Jackson from July, 1862, until Jackson's death. Hill's division, noted for its fast marching, saved the day for Stonewall at Cedar Mt., just before the second battle of Bull Run (Aug., 1862), and its opportune return from Harpers Ferry enabled it to repulse Gen. Ambrose Burnside's attack in the Antietam campaign. When Jackson was mortally wounded in the battle of Chancellorsville, he turned his command over to Hill, but Hill himself was soon wounded, and Jeb Stuart took over. In the reorganization of the Army of Northern Virginia after Jackson's death, Hill was given command of the new 3d Corps. He was thereupon promoted to lieutenant general (May, 1863). His corps brought on the fighting in the Gettysburg campaign, and Hill directed the battle on July 1, 1863. He was at the head of his corps through most of the Wilderness campaign (1864) and in the defense of Petersburg (1864-65). In the assault that finally broke the Confederate lines at Petersburg (Apr. 2, 1865), Hill, with characteristic impulsiveness, went out to rally his troops and was killed.

See D. S. Freeman, Lee's Lieutenants (3 vol., 1942-44); biography by W. W. Hassler (1957, repr. 1962).

Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, is an active duty installation of the United States Army, located near the town of Bowling Green, Virginia.

Named for Confederate Lieutenant General Ambrose Powell Hill, Fort A.P. Hill, known as the place "Where America's Military Sharpens Its Combat Edge" is an all-purpose, year-round, military training center strategically located approximately 90 minutes south of the National Capital Region. With 76,000 acres (310 km²) of land, including a modern 28,000 acre (110 km²), live-fire range complex featuring more than 100 direct and indirect fire ranges, it is one of the largest East Coast military installations. Military units can engage in training ranging from small unit operations to major maneuvers with combined arms, live-fire exercises.


In the spring of 1940, the War Plans Division of the Army General Staff developed a plan to raise a national army of four million men to conduct simultaneous operations in the Pacific and Europe theaters. In July 1940, a movement began to locate an area of approximately 60,000 acres, independent of any post, and lying somewhere between the Potomac River and the upper Chesapeake Bay.

No one seems to know who first suggested Caroline County as a site for heavy weapons and maneuver training facilities. What is known is that Lt. Col. Oliver Marston, an artillery officer stationed in Richmond and acting as an agent of the Third Corps Area commander, made a detailed investigation of the Bowling Green area in September 1940. He enthusiastically recommended that the War Department procure the Caroline site.

Fort A.P. Hill was established as an Army training facility on June 11, 1941, pursuant to War Department General Order No. 5. In its 1st year, the installation was used as a maneuver area for the II Army Corps and for three activated National Guarddivisions from Mid-Atlantic states. In the autumn of 1942, Fort A.P. Hill was the staging area for the headquarters and corps troops of Major General George S. Patton’s Task Force A, which invaded French Morocco in North Africa. During the early years of World War II, the post continued to be a training site for corps and division-sized units. Commencing in 1944, field training for Officer Candidate School and enlisted replacements from nearby Forts Lee, Eustis, and Belvoir was conducted.

During the Korean War, Fort A.P. Hill was a major staging area for units deploying to Europe, including the VII Corps Headquarters and the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment. The fort was the major center for Engineer Officer Candidate School training (students from Fort Belvoir) during the Vietnam War.

Fort A.P. Hill today is a training and maneuver center focused on providing realistic joint and combined arms training. All branches of the Armed Forces train on Fort A.P. Hill and the installation has also hosted training from foreign allies. Whether it's providing support for a mobilization or helping units train for deployment, Fort A.P. Hill's state-of-the-art training facilities and ranges, and professional support staff, continue to ensure America's Armed Forces have the edge needed to win in 21st Century battlespace.

Named for Distinguished Confederate Commander

The installation was named in honor of Lt. Gen. Ambrose Powell Hill, a Virginia native who distinguished himself as a Confederate commander during the Civil War. Rising from colonel to major general in three months, General Hill took command of one of Lee’s three corps in 1863. Two years later, as Grant’s forces laid siege to Petersburg, Virginia, General Hill was mortally wounded as he rode his stallion, Champ, to the front. He had not yet reached his 40th birthday.

One week later, Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox. A fortnight later, John Wilkes Booth was killed at the Garrett farmhouse, which was situated just beyond the present boundaries of the fort.


It is used year-round for military training of both active and reserve troops of the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force, as well as other government agencies. These include the Departments of State and Interior; U.S. Customs Service; and federal, state and local security and law enforcement agencies. The primary mission of Ft. A. P. Hill is as an Aerial Gunnery Range supporting Combat Training for Rotary Wing (Helicopter) Aircraft.

Fort A.P. Hill and the Boy Scouts of America

The installation has also hosted the Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree in 1981, 1985, 1989, 1993, 1997, 2001 and 2005. The number of participants each time included approximately 35,000 Boy Scouts and some 250,000 visitors. See National Jamboree


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