Turner Ashby in the Civil War and the Southern Mind
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: Louisiana State University Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
This is a book about the image of a Confederate cavalry leader. Necessarily it contains biography, although it is not wholly or primarily a biography; necessarily it contains military history, but it is not a military study. It approaches its subject as a living symbol, a vivid and powerful representation of what Confederates ...
Prologue: Child of Victory
He lay now as they had known he would lie. Disarmed, the bloodlust in him stilled (yes, the bloodlust they admired now quiet), they moved to him and then past in a long black line. ‘‘You have heard before this of the death of Colonel Ashby,’’ one woman wrote to another in the late spring of 1862, and the truth was not long going South and North. ...
1 Riding a Horse Back Home
There are thousands of rueful ironies in Civil War history, and Turner Ashby claims one of them: the Confederacy’s finest horseman was killed on foot. He should have been shot during a cavalry charge— that would only have been fitting and proper—but sometimes bullets do not let men die in their own way. ...
2 A Day of Long Knives
Tombstones measure life with time, usually locking birth and death in two inseparable dates. A third over Ashby’s stone, carved to show June 26, 1861, would be an equally significant mark of life for his image and maybe even more compelling than the others, since it would not be coupled with the closure of any graveyard ending. ...
3 The Savagery in Romance
Ho! For the tournament!’’ In parts of the Old South, during every spring, summer, and fall of the 1850s, the calls rose and rang with mannish challenge. In Virginia, and in Fauquier especially, latter-day knights answered. The ring tournament, the game that put a man on a stage and tested his horsemanship, ...
4 The Nature of Independence
Of all the distinguishing marks of Turner Ashby’s cavalry, William McDonald, the command’s ordnance officer, thought the manner in which it came into being was unique. ‘‘It was a growth,’’ McDonald said, ‘‘and not an artificial formation.’’ Most Civil War regiments and brigades were arbitrarily pieced together; ...
Epilogue: Days of the Dead
She did not live in the Valley, and she did not know its idol. She knew that like her there were countless others who would not and could not know, many born and yet to be born. She asked the people of the future to remember the people of the past. ‘‘Drop a tear for Turner Ashby,’’ she requested as the June summer approached in 1862, …