LOCATION: Laburnum Avenue and Hermitage Road in the center of the intersection.
ARTIST: William Ludwell Sheppard.
DEDICATION: May 30, 1892.
DESCRIPTION: A 9 1/2 foot high standing likeness of General Hill which is mounted on a 24 1/2 foot high pedestal which contains the remains of the General. The monument is on land donated by Major Lewis Ginter and was erected by the efforts of Pegram’s Battalion. Caspar Burberl of New York enlarged in bronze Sheppard’s model.
* * *
The tale of how Hill came to rest in the middle of Laburnum Avenue is a good one, best told by Gary Robertson in the Richmond Times-Dispatch in April, 2005, 140 years after the general’s death:
Confederate Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill was buried standing up. It took three tries before he reached his final resting place.
And if all that wasn’t odd enough, the search to find his first grave — and perhaps correct the historical record — has been led by a group of Civil War devotees whose primary focus is illuminating not the life of Hill, but of another Confederate general, George E. Pickett.
A member of the Pickett Society noted that the nonprofit society was formed in 1999 to honor Pickett but also to correct “many subjective and historically incorrect items and pretensions.”
Hill was shot to death near Petersburg on April 2, 1865, as his battle lines were collapsing during the last days of the war. Then the race was on to bury him appropriately — and before nature took its course and ravaged his body even further.
Research by the Pickett Society indicates that the first burial came not where some Civil War researchers believe it was, at Bellgrade Plantation, near Huguenot and Robious roads in Chesterfield County.
Pickett Society records at the Virginia Historical Society and other research from local historians and authors, instead indicate that Hill was buried in an area south of the James River near Bosher Dam, in what is now the city of Richmond.
Hill lay in that grave for two years before he was unearthed and his remains transferred in the autumn of 1867 to Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, which was where some of his former soldiers wanted him.
In 1891, the remains were moved again and buried under a statue erected in Hill’s honor at the current intersection of Laburnum Avenue and Hermitage Road.