Turner Ashby and slavery

As both a Confederate soldier and a southern aristocrat, Turner Ashby played an active role in the fight to subjugate Black people in America. Here are a few examples.
  • Turner Ashby and his family owned, sold, and rented enslaved people.1,2,3

  • According to his biographer, Turner Ashby believed that statements by northern abolitionists who were critical of Virginia slave owners were, "unjust, false and wicked" and that they "had their origin in fanaticism and intolerance that called for the furthest resistance."3

  • Turner Ashby was the leader of a mob that was tasked with driving the abolitionist politician John Underwood away from Virginia in direct response to an anti-slavery speech he delivered at the 1856 Republican Party Convention.1,4

  • Turner Ashby’s cavalry company, the “Mountain Rangers,” stood guard during the trial and execution by hanging of abolitionist John Brown in December 1859.5,6,7

  • Likely due to Turner Ashby's role in propping up the institution of slavery, the City of Atlanta renamed a city street previously named after him in 2001.8

    Still concerned about changing the name? Visit here.


    1. Anderson, Paul Christopher. Blood Image: Turner Ashby in the Civil War and the Southern Mind. LSU Press, 2006.

    2. Cunningham, Frank. Knight of the Confederacy: Gen. Turner Ashby. Naylor Publishing, 1960.

    3. Ashby, Thomas A. Life of Turner Ashby. St. John’s Press, 2019.

    4. Editorial: Why does Virginia honor Turner Ashby?

    5. Krick, Robert K. Conquering the Valley: Stonewall Jackson at Port Republic. New York, New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1996.

    6. May, George Elliott. Port Republic: The History of a Shenandoah Valley River Town. Staunton, Virginia: Lot’s Wife Publishing, 2002.

    7. Robertson, James I., Jr. Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend. New York, New York: MacMillan Publishing, 1997.

    8. Preliminary Working Draft of Existing and Former City of Atlanta Street Names Associated with the Confederacy. W 2 Nov. 2017. Web 15 June. 2020.