It’s time to bury another brotha nobody cry.
The Peacemakers painting depicts the 28 March 1865 meeting between the Union high command. Present were General Sherman, General Grant, President Lincoln and Admiral Porter. The Union leaders met on the steamer River Queen; Grant had invited Lincoln to the Richmond area to discuss the war and Sherman had arrived (from North Carolina) and joined by coincidence. From the time of the meeting, Richmond falls in less than a week, Lee surrenders to Grant in less than two, and Lincoln is dead in less than three.
In the center of the map you’ll see Hill’s name; that’s about where he was killed, as he and another rider ordered two Union soldiers to surrender – the soldiers didn’t surrender. Instead, General A.P. Hill was shot, fell from his horse, and died.
As day broke, Lee ordered a retreat, one that would last a week and lead to the fall of Richmond and the end of 48 months of war.
Hill demanding surrender of the Union soldiers shows his character, and that of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. There were more than just two soldiers Hill ran into that foggy morning: there were hundreds before him and yet the West Pointer demanded their surrender.
He was like that: it’s called an internecine spirit. Internecine doesn’t just mean a struggle within; it really means a struggle until death.
Hill died 150 years ago today yet his spirit, that fighting indomitable spirit, lives on in the US Army. Hill is one of a hand-full of rebel generals to be honored with the name of a 21st century fort. Thousands of US military have trained at Fort A.P. Hill, myself included, since its beginnings in 1941.
To be so honored by the US Army, after fighting it to the death, says something more than one might think. It’s not just a name; there’s something about Hill’s determination against all odds, to the end, that seduces.
Life goes on – yes it does.
Posted by Bryan W. Brickner