Stone Sentinels, battlefield monuments of the American Civil War

Harrisonburg

Chestnut Ridge

A wayside marker on the Battle of Chestnut Ridge (also known as the Battle of Harisonburg) is on Chestnut Ridge south of Harrisonburg, Virginia. It was placed by Virginia Civil War Trails.

 

The marker is very close to the Battle of Harrisonburg marker and the Monument to Confederate General Turner Ashby.

 

Location: 38.423125 N, 78.86478 W; see map

 

Text from the marker

 

Chestnut Ridge

***

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. Although Ashby’s lack of discipline had drawn Jackson’s sharp rebuke two months earlier, he later praised Ashby. “As a partisan officer I never knew his superior,” Jackson wrote. “His daring was proverbial ... his tone of character heroic, and his sagacity almost intuitive in divining the purposes of the enemy.”

 

From the sidebar:


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.


Wayside marker on the Battle of Chestnut Ridge(above) Wayside marker on the Battle of Chestnut Ridge (see enlargement)
General Turner and Colonel Kane, from the marker
(above) General Turner and Colonel Kane, from the marker
(below) Engraving and caption from the marker (see enlargement)
Late evening engagement between Ashby’s troops (right) and the  Pennsylvania Bucktails shortly after Gen. Ashby was killed.
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.






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