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Henry Marshall Ashby
Born 1836
Died July 10, 1868(1868-07-10) (Aged 31 or 32)
Place of birth Fauquier County, Virginia
Place of death Knoxville, Tennessee
Buried at Knoxville, Tennessee
Allegiance  Confederate States of America
Service/branch Confederate States Army
Years of service 1861–1865
Rank 35px Acting Brigadier General
Battles/wars American Civil War

Henry Marshall Ashby (1836 – July 10, 1868) was a Confederate States Army colonel during the American Civil War (Civil War). Although he commanded a brigade from June 1864 and a division at the Battle of Bentonville and through the surrender of the Confederate force under the command of General Joseph E. Johnston, he was never appointed a brigadier general by Confederate President Jefferson Davis or confirmed as a general officer by the Confederate Senate.

Early life[]

Henry Marshall Ashby was born in Fauquier County, Virginia in 1836.[1][2] His parents were Marshall and Lucinda (Cocke) Ashby.[1] He was the cousin of another Confederate cavalry officer, Colonel Turner Ashby.[3]

Ashby attended The College of William and Mary in 1853 and 1854 but did not graduate.[1][2] He was a trader in Chattanooga, Tennessee when the Civil War began although he was visiting an uncle in Knoxville, Tennessee when the war broke out.[1][4]

American Civil War service[]

Henry Marshall Ashby enlisted in the Confederate States Army on July 6, 1861 at Knoxville, Tennessee, organized a company of cavalry and was elected captain.[1][2][5] This company was assigned to the 4th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion which became part of the 2nd Tennessee Cavalry Regiment.[1][2] Ashby was elected colonel of the regiment on May 24, 1862.[1][5] The 2nd Texas Cavalry operated in east Tennessee in 1862 and 1863, usually in the brigade of Brigadier General John Pegram.[1] Ashby was wounded in the right foot during one of three raids into Kentucky made by his regiment during 1862.[1][2][5]

Pegram's brigade joined the Army of Tennessee and Ashby's regiment helped destroy a Union Army wagon train at the Battle of Stones River (December 31, 1862, January 2, 1863).[6] The brigade then again engaged in independent operations in Kentucky. The brigade again fought with the Army of Tennessee at the Battle of Chickamauga on September 19 and 20, 1863.[6] Pegram transferred to the Army of Northern Virginia after the battle but Ashby and his regiment remained with the Army of Tennessee.[6]

Under the overall command of Major General Joseph Wheeler, Ashby's regiment was heavily engaged in the Battle of Brown's Mill near Newnan, Georgia on July 30, 1864.[7] They helped turn back a raid south of Atlanta by Union Brigadier General Edward M. McCook, who had been sent by Major General William T. Sherman to cut supply and communication lines to Atlanta.[7] In June 1864, Ashby was assigned to command a brigade of four Tennessee cavalry regiments in Brigadier General William Y.C. Humes's division in Major General Wheeler's corps during the Atlanta Campaign.[2][5][6]

Ashby's brigade harassed Sherman's advanced units during the Carolinas Campaign in early 1865.[6] Because Humes was wounded on March 10, 1865 at the Battle of Monroe's Crossroads, Ashby, who was the senior colonel in Humes's division and who had also been briefly disabled by having his horse shot from under him at the same battle, led the division at the Battle of Bentonville and until the end of the war.[6][8][9] Although sometimes referred to as an acting brigadier general, Ashby ended the war as a colonel.[2][6] Major General Wheeler later wrote that he had been told unofficially by Confederate War Department officials that brigadier general commissions had been issued for Ashby, James Hagan and Moses Wright Hannon near the end of the war, no such commissions ever were delivered.[6] Ashby signed a parole on May 3, 1865 as "Colonel, commanding Division."[6]

Aftermath[]

After the war, Ashby visited New York City but soon returned to Knoxville.[6] On May 10, 1868, E.C. Camp, a former Union Army major, local lawyer and future coal industry tycoon, having quarreled with Ashby previously and having accused him of mistreating Union prisoners during the way, shot Ashby to death on Main Street in Knoxville.[2][6][10] Camp said the shooting was in self-defense and he was never prosecuted.[10] Henry Marshall Ashby was buried in Old Gray Cemetery in Knoxville.[2][6]

See also[]

Notes[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Allardice, Bruce S. More Generals in Gray. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1995. ISBN 0-8071-3148-2 (pbk.). p. 22.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher. Civil War High Commands. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3. p. 587.
  3. Although Turner Ashby is sometimes referred to as a general and his name often appears in lists of Confederate generals, his appointment as brigadier general was never confirmed by the Confederate Senate and he received no formal commission before his death. Eicher, 2001, p. 587.
  4. 'Mark Stickels family web site', retrieved July 8, 2012, gives Ashby's wife's maiden name as Laura Purse.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Allardice, Bruce S. Confederate Colonels: A Biographical Register. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-8262-1809-4. p. 46.
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 Allardice, 1995, p. 23.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Evans, David. Sherman's Horsemen: Union Cavalry Operations in the Atlanta Campaign. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996. ISBN 0-253-32963-9. pp. 256–262.
  8. Longacre, Edward G. A Soldier to the Last: Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler in Blue and Gray. Washington, DC: Potomac Books, 2006. ISBN 1-57466-591-X. p. 198.
  9. Longacre, 2006, p. 140 misidentifies Ashby as "George H." Ashby.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Brown, Fred, "Two Knox Combatants Carried Civil War Grudges Back Home," Knoxville News-Sentinel, 31 July 1994.

References[]

  • Allardice, Bruce S. Confederate Colonels: A Biographical Register. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-8262-1809-4.
  • Allardice, Bruce S. More Generals in Gray. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1995. ISBN 0-8071-1967-9.
  • Evans, David. Sherman's Horsemen: Union Cavalry Operations in the Atlanta Campaign. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996. ISBN 0-253-32963-9.
  • Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher. Civil War High Commands. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
  • Longacre, Edward G. A Soldier to the Last: Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler in Blue and Gray. Washington, DC: Potomac Books, 2006. ISBN 1-57466-591-X.

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