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Met his death in last fight. From the Times-dispatch, July 29, 1906.

John William Ashby is man who fell at Appomattox in Gordon's last assault.

This question now settled once for All—Also the last Federal soldier killed.

The Confederate soldier Ashby, whose gravestone at Appomattox bears the mark of ‘Second Virginia Cavalry,’ was not of that regiment. Inquiry has elicited the well verified statement that he belonged to Company I, of the Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, and that he was killed in action when Gordon advanced on the morning of April 9, 1865.

I enclose two communications on the subject, the one from Bushrod Rust, formerly of Company I, Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, the other from Captain (now General) R. D. Funkhouser, of the Confederate Veterans.

Here let me say that I am trying to get the names of the Confederates who fell in the last days of the Army of Northern Virginia, from April 2d to April 9th. I would thank any comrade to send me the statement of any officer or soldier killed within that period, and I am especially desirous, as chairman of the History Committee of the Grand Camp, Confederate Veterans of Virginia, to get a statement of all Virginia soldiers who were killed and wounded within those dates-April 2d to April 9th, 1865. I have had collected a number of names which might have been forgotten or lost sight of, and hereby ask any one who has knowledge or information to send it to me at Lynchburg, Va.

Very respectfully,


Bushrod Rust writes.

Dear Major Daniel,—In the Confederate column, Sunday, July I, 1906, I noticed your inquiry, ‘To what company and regiment Ashby, who was killed at Appomattox, belonged?’ Buckner Ashby, a wealthy farmer, resided near Stone Bridge, Clark county, Va., before and at the commencement of the ‘war between the States,’ and had three grown sons, James Lewis, John William, and Buckner G. Ashby.

At the commencement of hostilities James Lewis Ashby enlisted in Company D, Clarke Cavalry, Sixth Virginia Regiment, and was killed in action at the battle of Trevillian's, June 12, 1864, Hampton commanding Confederates and Sheridan the Federals.

He was a gallant soldier, a most estimable gentleman, and a true patriot. John William Ashby enlisted in Company I, Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, in April, 1862, and served his country well up to the time of his death, at Appomattox, April 9, 1865.

He had participated in many hard fought engagements before the final campaign from Five Forks to Appomattox.

Directly after the Beverley raid in January, 1865, our regiment the Twelfth, was furloughed home for some weeks on account 0f the scarcity of forage. At the proper time all were ready to meet the foe, and our brigade was placed under the command 0f General James Dearing, a worthy successor of the peerless Turner Ashby and the gallant Rosser.

John Williams Ashby took his place in the ranks and did his whole duty at Five Forks, and in every other action in which his command was engaged, including the hard fight at High Bridge.

At Appomattax, Sunday, April 9, 1865, General Gordon was ordered to force a passage through the Federal lines, and in the midst of the fierce combat which ensued Ashby was mortally wounded by a cannon shot, and left in charge of John Buckner Ashby, a member of the same company. After undergoing the most intense agony for about two hours, Ashby died, and his remains were interred.

He was a noble man, a dauntless soldier, a faithful comrade, an [220] enthusiast in his love for his beloved southland, and one of the dearest friends the writer ever had. Requiescat in pace.

Bushrod Rust. Company I, Twelfth Virginia Calvary.

General Funkhouser's letter.

Dear Sir,—I noticed the article in the Richmond TimesDis-patch of July 4, 1906, in which there is mentioned the name of Ashby, a cavalryman who was killed near Appomattox Court-house and buried there, etc., and I write to inform you that he belonged to the Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, and is the reason you cannot find his name in the roster of the Second Virginia Cavalry. William Ashby was a native of Warren county, Va., which was my native county also, and he joined my infantry, Company D, of the Forty-ninth Infantry (Virginia), ‘Extra Billy’ Smith's Regiment, but went to the cavalry before we left our county seat, Front Royal, Va., in June, 1861, and I always heard that he was killed in the last cavalry charge at Appomattox Courthouse, April 9, 1865.

I was Captain J. B. Updike's first lieutenant, and succeeded him in command of the company after 12th May, 1864, at Spotsylvania, when the Captain was wounded, and was never fit for duty afterwards. You may know him. He lives at Clover Dale, Botetourt county, Va., and was a brave and kind officer, and a jolly good fellow. We were reared in same county, six miles apart, and were militia officers before the war, and well acquainted, and went to work and made up a company, which became distinguished in the First Manassas battle by being in the charge with the Stonewall Brigade that took Ricketts' Battery on the Henry House hill, which ended the fight in the Confederates' favor. And then, too, we were thrown into the balance at Spotsylvania Courthouse, May 12, 1864, after Johnson's division was captured, when all seemed to be lost, and it was our duty to try to retake the works. Then it was General R. E. Lee rode up and offered to lead us, the Forty-ninth [221] Virginia Regiment, Pegram's Brigade, Gordon's Division, and William A. Compton, of Company D, Forty-ninth, led his (General Lee's) horse to the rear; and history knows the rest. And it is a pleasure to me always to assist in having all of the brave Confederates, and more especially the names of those who lost their lives in the struggle of ‘61-65 for constitutional liberty and State's rights, placed upon the Confederate roster, so that the histories may duly record their deeds on the brightest pages of chivalry and heroism in the world's history. This is my reason for giving the foregoing information as regards William Ashby.

Yours truly,

[The following from the Baltimore American of January 6, 1907, gives not only an account of the last man killed on the Federal side in 1865, but includes also some other facts of interest.—Ed.]

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