Woodland Cemetery - Ashland
Ashland, Virginia, situated only 15 miles due north of Richmond, enjoyed
a mid-nineteenth century reputation for beauty.  Its pleasant small town
atmosphere attracted summer vacationers  from  the  capital  city.   The
Richmond,  Fredericksburg,  and  Potomac  Railroad conveniently ran (and
still runs, now known as Amtrak) through  the  center  of  the  village.
Those  two  things---, the railroad and the proximity to Richmond---gave
Ashland an unusually prominent role in the Civil War.                   

Ashland immediately became a bustling camp of instruction in  1861.   It
saw  the  presence  of  "Stonewall"  Jackson's hard-marching infantry in
1862, and witnessed two sizeable cavalry battles in 1864.  But the  list
of  Confederate  dead  buried  in  Ashland's  cemetery, published in the
accompanying list, does not include men killed in those episodes.  Their
ultimate disposition is uncertain, although they may be in the cemetery,
too.  Instead this list offers a glimpse  into  the  brief  period  when
Ashland served as a hospital center.                                    

In the spring of 1862, Confederate forces shadowed Fredericksburg to the
north,   keeping  an  eye  on  Federal  forces  there.   Other  Southern
formations guarded Richmond's eastern approaches,  while  others  camped
north  of the city.  During this period the authorities, perhaps tempted
by  Ashland's  central  location,  converted  some  of   the   village's
buildings,  including  its  primary  hotel  and  several  churches, into
hospitals.  Presumably thousands of men  spent  time  in  the  makeshift
hospitals,  because  hundreds  of them died there of various ailments in
April and May 1862.  They were carried outside of town to a  vacant  lot
that  was  "a mass of undergrowth and briars." As more men died, the lot
filled up  and  became  a  regular  cemetery,  now  known  as  Woodland.
Immediately  after  the  war a group of twelve Ashland girls went to the
site "with hoes and rakes...and cleaned away briars and weeds around the
graves."  Their  efforts  became  an  annual  event  and  stimulated the
creation of the Ashland Memorial  Association.   That  group  of  ladies
eventually  raised  a  large obelisk in the late 1880s that commemorates
all  of  the  Confederate  dead  in  the  cemetery.   Unfortunately  the
individual  grave  sites  are  no longer marked, making it impossible to
find the precise location of any soldier.                               

The Library of Virginia in Richmond owns a  manuscript  ledger  of  more
than  250  Confederate  soldiers  who  died between April 10 and May 27,
1862.  The register typically includes a soldier's name, his  unit,  his
exact  place  and date of death, and the number of the grave in which he
was buried.  The commemorative marker states that more than 400 soldiers
are  in  the  cemetery;  if  that  is  so, that leaves approximately 150
Confederate soldiers unaccounted for.                                   

Like  other  similar  registers  of  that  period, this one for Woodland
cemetery is clogged with inaccuracies.  The soldiers'  names  often  are
incomplete  or  incorrectly spelled.  The unit designations, though less
garbled, than the names,  also  contain  mistakes.   Only  about  eighty
percent  of  these men can be reliably identified.  While it undoubtedly
is true that  some  of  the  other  twenty  percent  simply  have  badly
misspelled  names,  it  also is certain that some of the soldiers on the
list on the list were fresh recruits who died almost  immediately  after
joining  the army.  Those men often did not live long enough to build up
official service records, and all too often the record of their death is
the only evidence that they were in the army.  One particularly poignant
story concerns the Carneal brothers of the 55th Virginia Infantry. John,
Richard,  and Thomas, all members of Company K, died in Ashland on three
consecutive days in April.                                              

The list has been checked against published rosters where available, but
without  easy  access  to  service records for men in Alabama, Arkansas,
Mississippi, and South Carolina regiments, it has not been  possible  to
confirm  the  identities  of  a few men from those states.  There is one
"Yankee" and several  black  servants  who  were  connected  withvarious
regiments. The list also includes two men in grave #47 and no one in #46.

(Notes on using the roster.  The names  have  been  revised  from  their
appearance  in  the  original interment book.  William Fetherwood of the
35th Georgia, for instance, has been corrected to  William  Leatherwood.
All  revisions  are  shown  in italics typeface, while all original 'but
inaccurate' information has been retained in parenthesis for comparative
                                Robert E. L. Krick

Woodland Cemetery Roster Page

Robert Krick reviewed the roster from research done by W.   E.   Winfrey
and  Bill  Thames  of  a  copy  of  the  Confederate States Burial Book,
Ashland, April  1862,  located  at  the  Library  of  Virginia  Archives
Division,  No.   21743.   The Page Library of Local History & Genealogy,
Montpelier, VA, prepared the work done by Messrs. Winfrey and Thames.   

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