Saving Turner Ashby’s Skirmish Sites

The D.H. Lee Martz Camp No. 10 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is asking James Madison University to donate land close to the Turner Ashby monument as part of a concerted effort to preserve the general’s battle skirmish sites.  The land in question is a lane which leads to the monument that marks the spot where Ashby was shot on June 6, 1862  The land would be donated to the commonwealth for the proposed Harrisonburg Battlefield State Park, which according to the SCV will enhance Jackson’s Valley Campaign. 

According to this article Harrisonburg officials no nothing about this request for land nor are they aware of any effort to create a state park.  This looks like a case of trying to drum up popular support by potentially making JMU look like the bad guy for failing to immediately hand over land in the name of another "chivalrous" Confederate general.  I think all Confederate generals embody this trait. 

Let’s see, keep the land and use it to help expand a decent university in the Shenandoah Valley or give it to the SCV.  Ahh…tough one.

7 comments… add one

  • Craig A. Warren Mar 9, 2007

    I was a student at JMU for a brief while in the early nineties, then taught there for a couple of semesters about ten years later. In my time there, I never met a soul — student or faculty member — who showed even the slightest interest in the Civil War.

    Of course, I’m sure there must be *some* Civil War specialists on the history faculty at JMU. And if the school really does trot them out to investigate the property in question, I wonder how “independent” their findings will be?

  • Kevin Levin Mar 9, 2007

    Nice to hear from you Craig. I assume this is the same Craig Warren who recently authored an excellent article on the Irish Brigade at Fredericksburg which appeared in the journal Civil War History.

  • Ken Noe Mar 10, 2007

    Hi Guys:

    One of my current Civil War PhD students received her MA from Madison two years ago. She worked with David Dillard, who recently arrived there from Rice. So there’s two.

    Ken

  • Kevin Levin Mar 10, 2007

    Hey Ken, — You are indeed correct, though his name is Philip D. Dillard. Last time I checked he was working on a manuscript on the debate to arm slaves in the Confederacy — not sure whether Bruce Levine has stolen some of his thuder though I assume there is plenty of room. He does have a very interesting article on the subject in the essay collection edited by Gordon and Inscoe book _Inside the Confederate Nation_. Back in 2002 I debated between Dillard and Bob Kenzer at the University of Richmond as potential thesis advisors.

  • Craig A. Warren Mar 10, 2007

    Thanks for recognizing me, Kevin, and for your kind words about the Irish Brigade article. I just discovered the world of Civil War blogging, and am impressed by what you’re doing here — especially with regard to memory studies!

  • Thomas E Utz Aug 2, 2007

    I was a student at JMU 1980-84. I first came across the Ashby monument during an orienteering course for my PE class. I visited it many times afterwords.

  • Douglas Hill Aug 16, 2007

    They are clearing the north (Yankee) side of Chestnut Ridge as I type for more development; I’ve driven by it this week but not to the monument. A friend did today and tells me standing at the monument and looking towards the Federal position you now see cleared land, the woods are gone. Here’s to developers and the power of the mighty dollar, which trumps all.

Leave a Comment