Sunday, December 15, 2013

Leading His Brigade When Killed

Union Colonel Sylvester Gardner Hill was killed in action December 15th 1864 during the Battle of Nashville.

Sylvester Gardner Hill was born June 10th 1820 in North Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island.  He moved to Cincinnati, Ohio in the 1840’s working in the lumber business.  When gold was found in California, Hill caught the fever and traveled there, but finding no profit hunting for gold, he moved back east to Muscatine, Iowa.

When the Civil War started, Hill helped to raise the 35th Iowa Infantry.  He was appointed Colonel of the regiment on September 18th 1862.  They started out doing garrison duty in Illinois and Kentucky before joining the Union Army of the Tennessee at Vicksburg.  As the Union forces put Vicksburg under siege, Hill was placed in command of the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Division in the XVI Corps.  Hill was wounded at the Battles of Pleasant Hill and Yellow Bayou, but was back in command at the Battle of Tupelo.

At the Battle of Nashville on December 15th 1864, Hill was leading his Brigade against Confederates holding Montgomery Hill.  He was shot in the head and died instantly.  His body was taken home to Muscatin, Iowa where he is buried in the Greenwood Cemetery.

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