Harrisonburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Death of Ashby
— 1862 Valley Campaign —
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.
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.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Virginia Civil War Trails series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is June 1937.
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. 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. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Harrisonburg VA 22801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
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 AshbyJames Madison University (approx. 0.8 miles away); James Madison (approx. 1.1 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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harrisonburg.
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.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 9, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 9, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 4,806 times since then and 105 times this year. Last updated on February 1, 2009, by Linda Walcroft of Woodstock, Virginia. Photos: 1. submitted on February 1, 2009, by Linda Walcroft of Woodstock, Virginia. 2. submitted on August 20, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. 3. submitted on January 9, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. 4. submitted on February 1, 2009, by Linda Walcroft of Woodstock, Virginia. 5. submitted on February 26, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. 6, 7, 8. submitted on October 8, 2020, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. 9, 10. submitted on January 9, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. 11. submitted on January 9, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 12, 13. submitted on February 1, 2009, by Linda Walcroft of Woodstock, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.