By Paul Christopher Anderson

With Blood photo, his compellingly unique biography of accomplice cavalry chief Turner Ashby, Paul Anderson demonstrates that the emblem of a guy should be simply as very important because the guy himself. well known as a born chief, sleek horseman, and violent partisan warrior, Turner Ashby was once the most recognized struggling with males of the Civil struggle. emerging to colonel of the seventh Virginia Cavalry, Ashby fought brilliantly less than Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson in the course of the 1862 Shenandoah Valley crusade till he died in conflict close to Harrisonburg, Virginia.

These naked proof of Ashby's wartime exploits scarcely show the majesty and shaping strength of the legend that grew round him whereas he lived and fought. Anderson explores how and why Ashby's admirers within the Shenandoah Valley made him into their crucial icon of "home." Anderson additionally demonstrates that Ashby's image-a catalytic, captivating, and sometimes contradictory mixture of southern antebellum cultural beliefs and wartime hopes and fears-emerged in the course of his personal lifetime and used to be no longer a later construction of the misplaced reason.

Recognizing the ability of Ashby's popularity as knightly horseman, relations defender, traditional guy and savage, and accomplice warrior, Anderson boldly organizes his research in 4 radical chapters that seize and mirror the round strength of these photographs, every one aspect reinforcing and fresh the others. With amazing scholarship he exhibits that the strength of Ashby's picture was once double-edged: it encouraged admirers within the Shenandoah Valley, however it additionally shielded them from the savagery of a battle that challenged the very beliefs on the middle in their security of domestic.

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Additional resources for Blood Image: Turner Ashby in the Civil War and the Southern Mind

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19. d. d. [pre-1861], Turner Ashby Letters, JMU; Avirett, Memoirs, 15–22 (quote, 19). , Ashby Family Genealogical Notes, LVA; H. C. Groome, ‘‘General 28 Blood Image The Ashbys called their home Rose Bank. Locals called the area the Hollow. Small but purposeful, Goose Creek tumbled past the family doorstep and then streamed north to the Potomac River, thirty crowflight miles away. Behind the house rose Naked Mountain and Bushy Mountain; standing east were the mountains Little Cobbler, Big Cobbler, and Red Oak.

Perhaps only the dreamiest imaginations could have. Souvenir hunters near Harrisonburg were scouring the woods within hours of the hero’s last fight. Little was left of Ashby by then to give or to steal: Ewell immediately sent an officer to pry the general’s belongings off his body, but before an ambulance carried him away, Ashby was spurless and swordless, and when he reached Charlottesville, the proud beard that once draped his chest had been shorn half a foot. ’’ Soon others were scavenging for equine teeth and bones.

Shared intimacy and emotion with a horse—which southerners freely described in private and public— was the definition of mastery, the oneness of spirit and purpose. With riding remaining important over time, from colonial right down to antebellum days, horses came to be tied into the sinews of an idea of home. In Ashby’s Virginia they embodied a social value system that one historian has described as the cult of chivalry: a systematic, preternatural devotion to good manners, hospitality, respect for family lineage, personal integrity and independence, and military prowess.

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