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Thomas A. Ashby (Thomas Almond), 1848-1916
The Valley Campaigns: Being the Reminiscences of a Non-Combatant While Between the Lines in the Shenandoah Valley During the War of the States
New York: Neale Publishing Company, 1914.

Summary

Thomas Almond Ashby was born near Front Royal, Virginia in 1848. He graduated from Washington and Lee University in 1870 and received a medical degree from the University of Maryland three years later. He was a practicing obstetrician in Baltimore until his death in 1916. During his career, he taught at the University of Maryland Medical School and helped establish the Women's Medical College of Baltimore, the first institution for the medical education of women in the South. Ashby also helped to found the Maryland Medical Journal and served as its editor until 1888. In addition, he authored four books: a gynecology textbook (1903), A Hurried Trip through Europe (1911), Life of Turner Ashby (1914), and The Valley Campaigns (1914), which are his memoirs of the Civil War battles fought in the Shenandoah Valley. He married Mary Cunningham in 1877.

In The Valley Campaigns, Ashby ties his experiences in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to significant military events and campaigns in Virginia that he observed and augments these descriptions with more general pieces on slavery in the South and the role of the southern woman. He depicts life for his family when his town was occupied by Federal troops, especially the efforts they made to secure their home from damage. He ends the book with a vivid memory about the destroyed landscape of Virginia at the end of the war. This work also includes a condensed biography of his relative, Turner Ashby, who was chief of the cavalry under General Stonewall Jackson.

Work Consulted: National Cyclopaedia of Biography Vol. 33 (1947) 192-3.

Harris Henderson

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