Ashby, Turner Letters, 1852-1863

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Descriptive Summary


Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Title: Turner Ashby Letters, 1852-1863

Collection No.: SC 0107
Creator: Ashby Family

Extent: 3 folders; .16 cubic feet

Language: English

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


Administrative Information

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 (

Preferred Citation: [identification of item], [box #, folder #], Turner Ashby Letters, SC 0107, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg Va.

Acquisition Information: Placed on deposit by the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society in September 1992.
Alternate Formats: Transcriptions of a selection of letters are included in the collection.
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.

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.

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.



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.


Dated Letters, 1852-1863

"D.F.A" to "My dear Child", August 1852

"M Allen" to "My dear Madam", Aug. 9, 1853

"Dora" to "My darling Mother", Oct. 27, 1853

From unsigned to "My dearest Mol-", July 28, 1854

"Turner Ashby" to "Dear Dora", Jan. 14, 1861

"Richard Ashby" to "Dear Mama", March 12, [1861]

"We the undersigned Ladies of Shepherdstown, Jefferson County, Va" to "Lt. Col. Ashby", [After June 16, 1861]

Wednesday morning "Dora" to "My Dear Beck" at Markham, [Before July 3, 1861]

"Mary C. Braxton" to "Mr. Ashby" [Turner], July 15, 1861

"Dora Ashby" to "Dearest Mary", [Before July 22, 1861]

"Dora Moncure" to "My dearest brother" [Turner], July 22, [1861]

"Dora" to "My Dear Mother" at Chelsea [on back: Mrs. D. F. Ashby], [July 1861]

"Fanny Ashby" to "My Dear Mary" [on back: Mrs. Mary Moncure], [July 1861]

"Harriette Caputon"[?] to [on envelope dated Sept. 5 from Union Va: Mrs. Dora A. Moncure], from Elwood., Sept. 4, [1861]

"Turner Ashby" to "Dear Dora" written at Camp Lookout., Sept. 6, 1861

"Harriette Caputon"[?] to [D.F.Ashby] from Elmwoood., Oct. 4, [1861]

Friday Evening "Harriete Caputon"[?] to [on envelope: Mrs. Dora A. Moncure] written from Elmwood., [Oct. 5 1861]

"Dora" to "my sweet sister.", Oct. 21, [1861]

"Dora Moncure" to "My Dear Sister" [on back: Mrs. George W. Moncure Chelsea], [Dec. 25, 1861]

Tuesday "Dora Moncure" to "My Dearest Sister" written from Ravenswood., [Before June 6, 1862]

Monday "Susan Shacklett" to "My dear Dora" written from Richmond, [After June 6, 1862]

"Bettie A.[?] Green" [cousin] to "My dear Dora" written from Mountain View, March 2, [1863?]

Box 1:Folder 1
Undated Letters, Undated

Monday Eve "Dora" to "My Own Dear Sister" [on back:Mrs. George Moncure], Undated

Friday Eve [Dec.] "Dora" to "My Dear Sister" written from Chestnut Hill, Undated

Tuesday night "D.A.M." [Dora A. Moncure] to "My own Dear Sister" [Mary], Undated

Tuesday "Dora Moncure" to "My Dearest Sister" [Mary] witten from Ravenswood, Undated

Saturday, the 10th "Dora" to "My Dear Mother", Undated

[Undated] "Vic"[?] to "Dear Cousin Mary" [on back: Mrs. George V. Moncure Chelsea], Undated

[Undated] "PM" [possibly Powhatan Moncure, Dora's husband] to "My Dearest Bet", Undated

Box 1:Folder 2
Photographs, Undated

Two photos of portraits of Turner Ashby--one with "C.W. Alexander" in lower right corner.

Box 1:Folder 3

Compiled by: Barbara Padgett, December 1992; Cara Lundgren, March 2014