Born in 1812, Joshua Hill moved to Madison, Georgia, in the 1840s. A lawyer, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1857.
A strong Unionist and an opponent of secession, he resigned from the House when Georgia withdrew from the Union in January 1861.
After burning Atlanta in 1864, General Sherman began his destructive March to the Sea. Madison was directly in the path to Savannah. Because he was a known Unionist and had previously met with Sherman, Hill approached the Union army and asked them to destroy only property of military significance, sparing the residences and businesses.
– Jan Schroder, The Georgia 100