Ambrose Powell Hill began his military career after graduating 15th out of 38 from the United States Military Academy in 1847. After graduation he served with an artillery unit during the Mexican-American War as well as the Seminole War.
On March 1, 1861, Hill resigned from the United States Army. He became the colonel of the 13th Virginia Infantry, commanding a unit at the Battle of First Manassas. On February 26, 1862, Hill received a promotion to brigadier general. Following the promotion, Hill served gallantly at the Battle of Williamsburg and during the Peninsula Campaign. As a result of his leadership, Hill was promoted to major general on May 26, 1862. Hill fought in the Seven Days Battles, becoming a very important component to General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s command, and saw action at the Battle of Cedar Mountain and Second Manassas. He played a critical role at the Battle of Antietam, marching his famous Light Division from Harpers Ferry and arriving on the field at a critical moment to repulse a Union assault. After the Battle of Chancellorsville and Jackson's death, Hill was promoted to Lieutenant General and received command of the newly created Third Corps. Hill turned in a less than stellar performance at the Battle of Gettysburg and was critized for some of his decisions on the first two days of the engagmenent. where he received criticism for some of his command decisions. Although battling illness, Hill remained with the Army of Northern Virginia throughout the Overland Campaign of 1864. On April 2, 1865, Hill was killed during the Breakthrough at Petersburg. He is buried in Richmond, Virginia.