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Turner Ashby Letters

Identifier: SC 0107

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

This collection consists of 28 letters (a few with envelopes), a petition, and two portrait photographs of Turner Ashby. The letters comprise correspondence between relatives of Turner Ashby including his mother, Dorothea F. Ashby; his sisters, Mary and Dora (both later married to Moncures); cousins; and friends of the family. Two letters are penned by Turner Ashby. These two letters plus one from "D.A.M." have been transcribed; transcriptions are available in the folder.


  • 1852-1863


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (

Bio/Historical Note

Turner Ashby was a Confederate cavalry commander during the Civil War. He was born in Fauquier County Virginia. where he became an accomplished horseman. Sometimes called the "Black Knight of the Confederacy" Ashby was responsible for guarding the Potomac River from Harpers Ferry to Maryland. This was in part to help Maryland men with Confederate leanings join the Confederacy. Ashby was to serve with Stonewall Jackson. During the Valley Campaign, Ashby was shot in the Battle of Good's Farm. He had been appointed Brigadier General at this time, but it was never confirmed by the Confederate Senate.


0.16 cubic feet (3 folders)

Language of Materials



The Turner Ashby Letters consist of 28 letters, a petition, and two portrait photographs of Turner Ashby.

Acquisition Information

Placed on deposit by the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society in September 1992.

Other Formats Available

Transcriptions of a selection of letters are included in the collection.


  • Bushong, Millard K. General Turner Ashby and Stonewall's Campaign. Verona, VA: McClure Printing Co. Inc., 1980.
  • Cunningham, Frank. Knight of the Confederacy: General Turner Ashby. San Antonio, TX: Naylor Co., 1960.

Processing Information

In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in the spring of 2017. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 2087.



A Guide to the Turner Ashby Letters, 1852-1863
Barbara Padgett, Cara Lundgren
December 1992, March 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the James Madison University Libraries Special Collections Repository

880 Madison Drive
MSC 1704
Harrisonburg Virginia 22807
(540) 568-3612