|Ambrose Powell "Little Powell" Hill was a division commander under Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson during the Sharpsburg Campaign. Hill's original task was to capture the Federal Arsenal at Harper's Ferry, which he did easily. |
On 17 September, Hill's division made a forced march from Harper's Ferry to Sharpsburg, arriving in time to blunt Ambrose Burnside's attack across the Lower Creek Bridge. Burnside's troops initially delayed opening fire on Hill's division because many of the Confederates, needing new uniforms, "requisitioned" them from the Union stores at Harper's Ferry, and this made it difficult to determine whether they were Federals or Confederates. Adding to the confusion, the first national flag of the Confederate States, the "Stars and Bars," from a distance, could easily be mistaken for the Stars and Stripes. Hill's division had no such difficulty, however, and opened fire first, checking Burnside's advance.
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