Hill, Ambrose (Powell)(1825–65) soldier; born in Culpeper, Va. An 1847 West Point graduate, he served in Mexico, on the frontier, and in Washington, D.C., before resigning in March 1861 to enter Confederate service. His Light Division, so-called for its swiftness on the march, participated in most of the major battles in northern Virginia. He intervened decisively at Antietam (1862) when he rushed it to the battlefield in time to prevent a federal breakthrough. As a corps commander, he initiated the battle at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863. Aggressive and unafraid to take risks, "Little Powell" Hill was killed in battle near Petersburg a few days before Lee's surrender.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.