Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 21.djvu/121
Life and Character of Lt.-General D. H. Y////. 113
log and covering himself with leaves. When the battle of King's Mountain was fought, Colonel Hill's command had been disbanded, but he went to the field as a volunteer, and was honored by being invited to the council held by Campbell, Sevier, McDowell, and other distinguished regimental commanders, to determine the plan of attack. He made a number of suggestions that were adopted and proved the value of his opinion as a soldier. For twenty years after the war Colonel Hill was the trusted representative of his district in the State Senate of South Carolina, and was the intimate friend of Patrick Calhoun, the father of the great statesman and orator, John C. Cal- houn. General Hill's mother was Nancy Cabeen, the daughter of Thomas Cabeen, a native Scotchman, who was Sumpter's trusted scout and " the bravest man in his command," as the General him- self often declared. Two uncles of General Hill were soldiers in the second war with England, and one of them was the adjutant of Colo- nel Arthur P. Hayne's regiment. Solomon Hill, his father, died when his son Harvey was but four years old, leaving him with four other children to be reared by a mother who was noted for her piety, culture, common sense and devotion to her children. Like all Scotch and Scotch-Irish Presbyterians of the old school, she exacted of her sons the most rigid observance of the Sabbath. Dr. John Hill, a somewhat wayward brother of General Hill, often declared, after he had reached middle age, that during his boyhood he always " took the blues on Thursday morning because Sunday was coming." The boys were required, each in his turn, to select and read a morning prayer when the family assembled for breakfast. Some of General Hill's heartiest laughs were provoked by the recollection of the ludi- crous mistakes made by this little brother in his efforts to find and read the shortest petition in the book without regard to its fitness for the occasion.
Sprung from a race of soldiers by the paternal as well as the ma- ternal line, it is not strange that the earliest ambition of D. H. Hill led him to seek for a place at West Point and to look forward to a military career. Under the rigid physical examination now pre- scribed for an applicant, he would have been rejected without hesita- tion. He entered the institution in 1838, and but for feeble health, would have pressed to the very front of a class of which Generals Longstreet, A. P. Stewart, G. W. Smith, R. H. Anderson and Van