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Gen. Ambrose Powell Hill, CSA

A. P. HillA courier came forward at full speed. Hill’s face brightened. His men were moving into position. The sun was up but the fog was still thick. Information coming with such urgency must mean that the battle lines were drawn. It might bring news of the enemy’s approach. In ten minutes Hill and his men would be ready. He looked at his old friend, Maxcy Gregg, and smiled brightly. “Bring ‘em on,” he said as the courier pulled up with a salute.
“General Hill. A telegram, sir. It’s marked urgent.”
Hill couldn’t wait to read it. He grabbed it from the courier’s hand and tore it open. For only a moment he continued to smile and then, just as though he had been shot in the chest, he doubled over in the saddle.
“Oh, God! Oh, dear God – no.”
Instantly tears began pouring down his face. He looked at Gregg, pleading with him as with God to do something. To make it not so.
He could not speak. His bold, commanding voice was now a choked whisper.
“Netty.”
“Oh, no. Powell…”
Hill tried with all his might to regain his composure, but it was simply not possible. His firstborn child, his beautiful, wonderful, loved and loving two year old baby girl was gone. He wiped his face with his sleeve but it did nothing to stop the flood.
 

The preceding passage is an excerpt from No Greater Courage, and may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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