Born in 1825 in Virginia, Ambrose Powell Hill graduated from West Point in 1847 and saw service in the Mexican War and the Third Seminole War. He resigned his commission in the U.S. Army in March 1861 to join the Confederate service. Due to his distinguished service Hill was promoted to Major General in 1862 and then to Lieutenant General in 1863. He participated in the Seven Days battles, Antietam, Chancellorsville, and led the Third Corps at Gettysburg and in most of the Overland Campaign.
His Corps defended Petersburg throughout the siege against three to five corps of the Union army. On April 2, 1865 he returned from sick leave to rally his men in the wake of the Federal breakthrough along the Third Corps' line. While riding to the front he was shot and killed by a Union soldier.
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Richard Eppes, owner of Appomattox Plantation, which is currently part of the Grant's HQ Unit of Petersburg National Battlefield, noted that it took 8,320 pounds of bacon each year to feed his 127 enslaved people in 1860.