Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 29.djvu/153

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Maryland Confederates. 137

"As a partisan officer I never knew his superior. His daring was proverbial, his powers of endurance almost incredible, his tone of character heroic, and his sagacity almost intuitive in divining the pur- poses and movements of the enemy."

Turner Ashby was promoted from Captain to Colonel of the Sev- enth Regiment Virginia cavalry, and was made a brigadier-general just before his death. This regiment, at Ashby's death, was reputed to have twenty-seven companies, formed chiefly in the Valley, but so rapidly did they come and so active were Ashby's movements, that not until his death and the end of Jackson's great Valley cam- paign could they be formed into regiments and brigaded, which was then done, and subsequently Ashby's cavalry became the "laurel brigade" under the dashing Rosser.

Richard Ashby, brother of Turner, was captain of Company "A" in his regiment. " Dick " Ashby had already seen perilous service against the Indians in the West, but Turner Ashby was the more popular officer. Both were conspicuous types of the chivalrous cavalier brave, dashing, and were idolized by their men.

Their regiment, in June, 1861, was at Romney, Va. , operating against the enemy. On or about June 26th, Captain Dick Ashby, with a small detachment, while scouting near New creek, was am- buscaded by Federal infantry. Ashby, having fallen with his horse, and helpless, .was bayoneted repeatedly by coward hands. Being rescued, he was carried back to Romney, where he died, about July 3d. His tragic fate spread gloom through the regiment and among all the troops. The funeral escort consisted of his company and Captain George R. Gaither's Maryland company.

Between the two brothers, Ashby, the close, tender ties existed that are so often found in Southern homes; hence the mortal wound- ing, under harrowing circumstances, of Dick Ashby, was believed by many to have made his brother, Turner, daring to desperation reckless of personal peril, and ever keen for a fight.

Ashby's cavalry and the Ashby brothers will be the theme of story and song for generations through the Valley and the Confed- eracy.

Many Marylanders served under the knightly Ashbys, among them Colonel Harry Gilmor, the famous partisan, who began his service as a private in the Seventh Virginia cavalry.

Memorial day, June 6th, is identical in the Valley of Virginia and Maryland. Two monuments in the Stonewall cemetery in Win-