Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/191

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


Lieutenant-General A P. Hill.

185

where the fatal ball had entered. We discovered that it had shot off the thumb of his left hand and passed directly through his heart, coming out at the back. We hastily placed the body in the coffin (which was rather small), and putting it in the ambulance, left the city by way of Fourteenth street and Mayo's bridge, slowly and sadly wending our way through Manchester and up the river to my father's refugee home. He had refugeed from Culpeper county.

When our small but sad funeral cortege, consisting of myself, cousin (Henry Hill, Jr.) and the ambulance driver, had reached within a mile of my father's home, I rode ahead to apprise the family of our coming, believing that the General's wife and children had already reached there with the sad news. I found the family at breakfast and totally ignorant of the sad changes that had taken place within the past forty-eight hours. The General's family had not arrived, and the condition of his remains was such as to give us serious doubts as to the practicability or advisability of attempting to convey them so great a distance across the country in an ambu- lance (more than one hundred miles to Culpeper). We decided then and there to give his remains temporary burial, and at some future day remove them to his native county and [place him by the side of his parents. The grave was hastily dug, and, with the assist- ance of my father's butler, I made a rough case to receive the coffin. We buried the body about 2 P. M., April 4, 1865, in the old Win- ston burying-ground, where it remained until removed to Hollywood several years later through the kind efforts of Colonel William H. Palmer and his army associates.

My father (the late Thomas Hill, Jr., of Culpeper) and Colonel Henry Hill were brothers, and were first cousins and brothers-in-law of General Hill, they having married his sisters. Colonel Henry Hill and his wife (the General's sister) were at that time staying at my father's refugee home. Only a few days before the General was killed, he, with his wife and children, had spent several days at my father's to recuperate his health. He returned to his command before his furlough expired. During this visit to my father's home he accompanied Colonel Hill to Richmond, and while seated in our office talking with several prominent citizens who had called to pay their respects, the subiect of the evacuation of the city was touched upon, which seemed to greatly annoy the General, and he remarked that he did not wish to survive the fall of Richmond. That was on Wednesday. Three days later he gave up his life for his country.