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Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., Jackson at Harper's Ferry in 1861. (search)
rs of the inland towns and counties as I could, and request them to be at the hotel by 7 in the evening to confer about a military movement which he deemed important. Not many such officers were in town, but I found Captains Turner Ashby and Richard Ashby of Fauquier county, Oliver R. Funsten of Clarke county, all commanders of volunteer companies of cavalry; also Captain John A. Harman of Staunton-my home-and Alfred M. Barbour, the latter ex-civil superintendent of the Government works at Har collect their cavalry companies, and also the famous Black horse cavalry, a superb body of men and horses, under Captains John Scott and Welby Carter of Fauquier. By marching across the Blue Ridge, they were to rendezvous near Harper's Ferry. Ashby had sent men on the night of the 17th to cut the wires between Manassas Junction and Alexandria, and to keep them cut for several days. Our advent at the Junction astounded the quiet people of the village. General Harman at once impressed th
ies. The old incredulity of Frederick will obtrude itself upon the mind. If Jackson was crazy, it it a pity he did not bite somebody, and inoculate them with a small amount of his insanity as a soldier. Unquestionably the most striking trait of Jackson as a leader was his unerring judgment and accuracy of calculation. The present writer believes himself to be familiar with every detail of his career, and does not recall one blunder. Kernstown was fought upon information furnished by General Ashby, a most accomplished and reliable partisan, which turned out to be inaccurate; but even in defeat Jackson there accomplished the very important object of retaining a large Federal force in the Valley, which McClellan needed on the Chickahominy. For instances of the boldness, fertility, and originality of his conceptions, take the campaigns against General Pope, the surprise of Harper's Ferry, the great flank attack at Chancellorsville, and the marvellous success of every step taken in
ichard's cavalry company, some one said: Well, Ashby, what flag are we going to fight under — the Pr Potomac; and an event occurred which changed Ashby's whole character. His brother Richard, whilghting off the heavy columns of General Banks, Ashby was in the saddle day and night, and his guns to Kernstown. The battle there followed, and Ashby held the turnpike, pressing forward with invinhe Capitol at Richmond. Iii. The work of Ashby then began in earnest. The affair with Genera every hill, in every valley, at every bridge, Ashby thundered and lightened with his cavalry and ahimself suddenly attacked in flank and rear by Ashby in person; and he and his squadron of sixty or arm. I pointed him out to my adjutant-Look at Ashby! see how he is enjoying himself! The momentdid as much. The supremely beautiful trait of Ashby was his modesty, his truth, his pure and knighsperate encounters-is a thing of the past, and Ashby has passed like a dream away. But it is only [39 more...]
e comes the cavalry, going to the reara fight is on hand! They forget, however, one thing — that while the infantry has been resting in camp, with regular rations and sound sleep, the cavalry have been day and night in the saddle, without rations at all, watching and fighting all along the front. Let justice be done to all; and it is not the noble infantry or artillery of the late army of Northern Virginia who will be guilty of injustice to their brethren of the cavalry, who, under Stuart, Ashby, Hampton, and the Lees, did that long, hard work, leaving Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania strewed with their dead bodies. But a comparison of the relative value of the different arms was not the writer's purpose. His aim was to point out the contrast which exists in the mere mode of living. The foot-soldier is confined to his camp for the greater portion of the time, and sameness rather than variety, common-place rather than incident, marks his days. In the cavalry this does not
on so many battle-fields that memory grows weary almost of recalling their achievements. Gathering around Jackson in the old days of 186 , when Patterson confronted Johnston in the Valley of the Shenandoah-when Stuart was a simple Colonel, and Ashby only a Captain — they held in check an enemy twenty times their number, and were moulded by their great commander into that Spartan phalanx which no Federal bayonet could break. They were boys and old men; the heirs of ancient names, who had livay. The sun's bright lances rout the mists Of morning, and, by George, There's Longstreet struggling in the lists, Hemmed in an ugly gorge. Pope and his Yankees whipped before- Bay'net and Grape! hear Stonewall roar, Charge, Stuart! Pay off Ashby's score! That's Stonewall Jackson's way! Lastly, hear how the singer at the camp fire, in sight of the firs of the Blue Ridge and the waters of the Shenandoah, indulges in a wild outburst in honour of his chief: Ah, maiden! wait and wa
ith a loss of one man only, wounded by sharpshooters; the Third having dodged the rest of the enemy's bullets with entire success. They were highly pleased with the result of the combat, and soon afterwards were called to new fields of glory. This time the locality was at Loudoun Heights, opposite Harper's Ferry; and having dragged their gun up the rugged mountain road with great difficulty, they opened from the summit at the moment when the brave Ashby charged. The result was cheering. Ashby sent word that the shells were falling among his own troops, but directed the fire to proceedit was admirable: and thus encouraged, the Third continued at their post until the enemy's batteries on Maryland Heights had gotten our range, and their rifle shell began to tear the ground near by. Concluding that the distance was too great to render a reply necessary, the Third came away soon after this-but the order to retire had been previously given, and the piece did not move off at a faster ga
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 8: winter campaign in the Valley. 1861-62. (search)
important position to the Confederates, he was transferred to the Upper Potomac. There occurred the first of those daring exploits which soon surrounded his name with a halo of romance. A part of his command, under his beloved brother, Captain Richard Ashby, was assailed, in the county of Hampshire, by an overpowering force of Federal cavalry; and, in the retreat which followed, Captain Ashby was overtaken, at an obstruction presented by the railroad track to the career of his horse, and wasCaptain Ashby was overtaken, at an obstruction presented by the railroad track to the career of his horse, and was basely murdered, while prostrate and helpless under his fallen steed. A few moments after, Turner Ashby, attracted by the firing, came up with a handful of fresh horsemen, and the enemy retired. He found his brother mortally wounded and insensible, and, kneeling beside his body, he raised his sword to heaven, and made a sacred vow to consecrate his life afresh to delivering his country from the assassin foe. The assailants had retired to an island in the river, covered with shrubbery and dri
Alexandria, led our men in the latter fight, and is much extolled for his dexterity and bravery. July 1, 1861. A rumour of a skirmish, in which the Messrs. Ashby were engaged, and that Richard Ashby was severely wounded. I trust it may not be true. July 3, 1861. A real fight has occurred near Williamsport, but on theRichard Ashby was severely wounded. I trust it may not be true. July 3, 1861. A real fight has occurred near Williamsport, but on the Virginia side of the Potomac. General Cadwallader crossed the river with, it is said, 14,000 men, to attack our force of 4,000 stationed there under Colonel Jackson. Colonel J. thought it folly to meet such an army with so small a force, and therefore ordered a retreat ; but quite a body of artillery remained to keep the enemy tious, and think it their duty to give their military knowledge to their country, and their presence may do much for the spiritual good of the army. Brave Richard Ashby is dead; how I grieve for his family and for his country, for we cannot afford to lose such men! July 4, 1861. This day General Scott promised himself an
found! Oh, Lord, how long! How long are we to be a prey to the most heartless of foes? Thousands are slain, and yet we seem no nearer the end than when we began! June 7th, 1862. Sad news from the Valley. The brave, gallant, dashing General Ashby has fallen! He was killed yesterday, in a vigorous attack made by the enemy on our rear-guard, at a point between Harrisonburg and Port Republic. The whole country will be shocked by the calamity, for it had a high appreciation of his nobleicers. His daring was wonderful, and wonderfully did he succeed in his dashing and heroic efforts. His sagacity in penetrating into the designs of the enemy seemed almost intuitive. From General Jackson's telegram announcing the death of General Ashby. It is so hard, in our weakness, to give up such men! June 9th, 1862, night. General Jackson is performing prodigies of valor in the Valley; he has met the forces of Fremont and Shields, and whipped them in detail. They fought at Cross
Doc. 68 1/2-the fight at Romney. A rebel account. Baltimore, Tuesday, July 2, 1861. A correspondent in Winchester, Va., has forwarded the following account of the skirmish between the pickets of the Union and rebel forces near Romney It is an extract from a letter addressed to the Hon. J. M. Mason at Winchester, by a gentleman in Col. McDonald's regiment, dated: Headquaters, Romney, June 27-4 A. M. Yesterday (Wednesday) Richard Ashby left, with a portion of his command, twenty-one strong, from Capt. T. Ashby's company, on a scouting expedition to Maryland. Dividing his command into three bodies, he, with six men, met a strong force of United States dragoons, regulars, and made a running fight with them, killing a number of the enemy. Himself and three of his men are missing, but two escaped, and we fear that they have been killed, as their horses were led off by the enemy. Capt. Ashby, who was also scouting with six men, hearing of the fight, immediately st
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