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Harrisonburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Chestnut Ridge
Death of Ashby

— 1862 Valley Campaign —
 
Chestnut Ridge CWT Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Linda Walcroft, September 8, 2008
1. Chestnut Ridge CWT Marker
 
Inscription. On June 6, 1862, the vanguard of Union Gen. John C. Frémont’s force, pursuing Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s army south up the Shenandoah Valley, reached this point near Harrisonburg. Jackson’s rear guard, led by Gen. Turner Ashby, engaged Federal cavalry here and captured Col. Sir Percy Wyndham, the English commander of the 1st New Jersey Cavalry who had earlier boasted that he would “bag Ashby.” The 1st Maryland Inf. And 58th Virginia Inf. set an ambush for the Federals. At about 6 p.m., however, Union forces appeared not in the road as expected, but in a concealed position near Ashby’s force. When Ashby’s horse was shot from under him, he rolled off the mount, regained his footing and ordered his men to stop shooting and use the bayonet, shouting, “Charge, men! For God’s sake charge!” Then a Union bullet pierced Ashby’s side and passed through his chest. He fell dead while his men cleared the Federals from the woodline.

The next day, Ashby’s body lay in state in the Frank Kemper house in Port Republic, where a brief funeral service was held. Jackson viewed the body there in private. Although Ashby’s lack of discipline had drawn Jackson’s sharp rebuke two months earlier, he later praised Ashby. “As a partisan officer I never knew his superior,” Jackson wrote. “His
 
Chestnut Ridge Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, August 20, 2012
2. Chestnut Ridge Marker
 
daring was proverbial ... his tone of character heroic, and his sagacity almost intuitive in divining the purposes of the enemy.”

(Sidebar):
On June 6, 1898, the Turner Ashby Monument was dedicated under the auspices of Turner Ashby Chapter 162, United Daughters of the Confederacy. The Chapter continues to maintain the death site.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 25.416′ N, 78° 51.865′ W. Marker is in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Turner Ashby Lane 0.2 miles north of Neff Avenue. Click for map. The old Turner Ashby Lane off of Port Republic Road has been closed. The site can be accessed via a new Turner Ashby Lane off of Neff Avenue. Marker is in this post office area: Harrisonburg VA 22801, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Battle of Harrisonburg (within shouting distance of this marker); Gen. Turner Ashby (within shouting distance of this marker); James Madison University (approx. 0.8 miles away); Where Ashby Fell (approx. 1.2 miles away); General Turner Ashby of Fauquier (approx. 1.2 miles away); End of the Campaign (approx. 1.2 miles away); a different marker also named James Madison University (approx. 1.3 miles away); Rockingham County World War I Memorial (approx. 1.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Harrisonburg.
 
Chestnut Ridge and Battle of Harrisonburg markers Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, November 23, 2006
3. Chestnut Ridge and Battle of Harrisonburg markers
Original position of the markers.
 

 
More about this marker. The marker contains a sketch of the battle with the caption Late evening engagement between Ashby’s troops (right) and the Pennsylvania Bucktails shortly after Gen. Ashby was killed. The wounded Lt. Col. Thomas Kane of the Bucktails is depicted (left of center) shortly before his capture by the Confederates. After his recovery and exchange he was promoted to brigadier general. A map of the battlefield and portraits of Gen. Turner Ashby and Lt. Col. Thomas Kane are also displayed.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Grieving comrades carried Ashby's body the Kemper House in Port Republic.
 
Also see . . .  Civil War Traveler. Harrisonburg and area (Submitted on February 12, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Chestnut Ridge Marker Looking Toward Parking Lot Photo, Click for full size
By Linda Walcroft, September 8, 2008
4. Chestnut Ridge Marker Looking Toward Parking Lot
When the access road was relocated, the markers were moved uphill to be close to the new parking area off Neff Avenue.
 
 
Close-up of Ashby Monument Photo, Click for full size
By Robert H. Moore, II, October 12, 2007
5. Close-up of Ashby Monument
"Gen. Turner Ashby C.S.A. was killed on this spot June 6, 1862, gallantly leading a charge"
 
 
Battle of Harrisonburg Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, November 23, 2006
6. Battle of Harrisonburg
On wooded Chestnut Ridge the evening of Friday, June 6, 1862, Pennsylvania Bucktails under Col. Kane were defeated in a hard fight with the 58th Va. under Col. Letcher and Gen. Turner Ashby and the 1st Md. under Col. Bradley Johnson. Gen. Ashby Killed; Col. Kane captured. Stonewall Jackson said of Gen. Ashby: “I never knew his superior, his daring was proverbial.”
 
 
Turner Ashby Monument Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, December 27, 2008
7. Turner Ashby Monument
 
 
Ashby's Grave Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, September 15, 2007
8. Ashby's Grave
Ashby and his brother, Captain Richard Ashby (died of wounds in July 1861) are buried in the Confederate Cemetery in Winchester, Virginia.
 
 
Chestnut Ridge Seen from 261 University Boulevard Photo, Click for full size
By Linda Walcroft, January 30, 2008
9. Chestnut Ridge Seen from 261 University Boulevard
 
 
Exhibit at Port Republic Museum Photo, Click for full size
By Linda Walcroft, June 2000
10. Exhibit at Port Republic Museum
A room at the museum in Port Republic interprets the story that Ashby's body was brought to that building, the Kemper House.
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on January 9, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,646 times since then. Last updated on February 1, 2009, by Linda Walcroft of Strasburg, Virginia. Photos:   1. submitted on February 1, 2009, by Linda Walcroft of Strasburg, Virginia.   2. submitted on August 20, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   3. submitted on January 9, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   4. submitted on February 1, 2009, by Linda Walcroft of Strasburg, Virginia.   5. submitted on February 26, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia.   6, 7. submitted on January 9, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   8. submitted on January 9, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   9, 10. submitted on February 1, 2009, by Linda Walcroft of Strasburg, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
 
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