Civil War

Jul 21 2011

Ashland During the Civil War, 1861-1865

Henry Clay had tried during his lifetime to help the North and the South remain united even with differences between the rural economy based on slavery in the South and the more urban economy based on industrialization in the North. After Mr. Clay's death in 1852, the rift between North and South widened, and positions hardened. When Abraham Lincoln was elected as president of the United States in 1860 and in the following spring called [...]

Feb 28 2011

Civil War Soldiers Buried at Woodland Cemetery

The Library of Virginia holds a copy of a volume titled Burial Book [Woodland Cemetery], Ashland, Hanover County, Virginia, 1862 by Robt. T. James & Bros. The catalog record summary for this 74-page book states "Recorded are 254 entries pertaining to men from Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Texas, and to one "Yankee," who served in the Civil War. The entries include name, unit, hospital, date of death, [...]

Jan 24 2011

A Soldier’s Life at Camp Ashland – May to December 1861

The Camp Ashland opened as a training camp for general soldiers in early May 1861, but by mid-May it was used exclusively for cavalry training. First Col. Richard S. Ewell, Gen. Robert Chilton, and then Col. Charles H Field commanded the camp. It was early in the war and soldiers’s spirits where high. Captain Thomas Rowland was Adjutant of the Cavalry Camp at Ashland, consisting of ten companies. He wrote home: All the officers board [...]

May 27 2010

The Battle of Ashland

Click on the map image for a close-up view. Hint: open in a new window and view the map side-by-side with the article. THE BATTLE OF ASHLAND happened June 1, 1864.  It involved Hanover Courthouse, Ellett’s Bridge over the South Anna River, and the Richmond Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad tracks.  It has largely been ignored by historians until recently, but it was important to those who experienced it.  The larger context of the [...]

May 19 2010

Camp Robinson & Camp Ashland, 1858 – 1861

  The last prewar encampment of the First Regiment of Virginia Volunteers was held May 22 to 25, 1858 at Camp Robinson in newly renamed and incorporated town of Ashland near the Ashland Hotel and Mineral Well Company resort, formerly known as Slash Cottage Hotel.  The encampment was largely a social occasion where men practiced and then demonstrated their marching and maneuvering skills for the crowd and then adjourned to a fancy dress ball held [...]

Apr 7 2010

Ashland’s Railroad Ave. circa 1866

This is a charming picture of Ashland printed in Harpers magazine in 1866 in an article about Ashland during the Civil War. Notice the tree-lined, single track through town. That would have to be the Baptist church on the left, now Hanover Arts and Activities Center. Notice the picket fences along the road and the unpaved streets.