|Brigadier-General Turner Ashby, C. S. A. Such a will-o‘--the-wisp was Turner Ashby, the audacious Confederate cavalryman, that he was looked upon by many officers and men in the Union armies as a purely mythological character. It was widely declared that no such man existed, and that the feats accredited to Ashby's rangers were in reality the work of many different partisan bands. His habit of striking at different and widely divergent points in rapid succession went far toward substantiating this rumor. He would fall upon an isolated wagon-train at dawn, and by twilight of the same day would strike a Federal Camp thirty miles or more away. But Ashby was a real character, a daring soldier, a superb horseman, and the righthand man of “Stonewall” Jackson. Careless of the additional danger, he customarily rode a beautiful white horse. After he was captured by the First Michigan cavalry, it was due to the courage and splendid jumping ability of this animal that he was able to make good his escape. Ashby met his death in a “Valley” cavalry skirmish at Harrisonburg on June 6, 1862, crying to his troopers in his last words: “Charge, men! For God's sake, charge!”|
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