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  • Sword of Lieutenant Leonard H. Ashley, 23rd New Jersey - The "Yahoos"

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    Sword of Lieutenant Leonard H. Ashley - 23rd New Jersey - The "Yahoos".  Relic Condition Import Foot Officer's Sword identified to 23rd New Jersey Lieutenant.  This non-regulation sword is patterned after the French infantry's sword of 1821.  With the sword is approximately half of the original scabbard.  Both of the brass mounts and rings remain.  The sword and scabbard have an untouched attic relic look. 

    Recors shows that Leonard H. Ashely was commissioned a First Lietenant in Company K, 23rd New Jersey Infantry on September 13, 1862.  The regiment was assigned to the 6th Corps and saw action at Fredericksburg, where 8 were killed, 7 wounded, and 2 went missing.  As well as Chancellorsville were 15 were killed, 10 wounded, and 3 missing.  Also used at the Battles of: Salem Church, Antietam, and other Battles in 1862 and 1861. 

    The sword is accompanied by an old original large ink note written in period ink, the sheet has an old tape repair across the center with provenance that reads:

    "This sword was worn by Leonard H. Ashley of Co K 23d Regiment New Jersey Volunteers better known as the Yahoos, at the battle of Salem Church Fredericksburg Chancellorsville Antietam and other battles 1862 and 1863.

    Born in Port Republic Atlantic County New Jersey.  Died in Ocean ville N.J. March 13, 1911. and is buried at Port Republic N.J. March 15 - 1913."

    Leonard H. Ashley - Enlisted on 8/26/1862 as a 1st Lieutenant.

    On 9/13/1862 he was commissioned into "K" Co. NJ 23rd Infantry

    He was Mustered Out on 6/27/1863 at Beverly, NJ

    Federal Pension Information:

    He applied for a pension on 4/22/1891 from the state of NJ application # 1,015,784


    Twenty-third Infantry.--Cols., John S. Cox, Henry 0. Ryerson, E. Burd Grubb; Lieut.-Cols., George C. Brown, Francis W. Milnor; Majs., Alfred Thompson, William J. Parmentier.  This regiment was raised in the summer and fall of 1862 and was mustered into the Federal service at Beverly on Sept. 13, Co. A from the city and township of Burlington being the first to reach the rendezvous, on Aug. 25, Co. B of Bordentown mustering the same evening.  Leaving Beverly on Sept. 24, the regiment proceeded to Washington, going into camp on East Capitol hill, but in a few days afterward moved to Frederick City, Md.  There it remained until Oct. 8, when it started for Bakersville to join the 1st N. J. brigade, with which it was ever after identified.  It participated in the battle of Fredericksburg and lost in that engagement 3 officers and 57 men, killed or wounded.  At Chancellorsville and Salem Church it also performed noble service and continued in the field until the expiration of its term of enlistment, when it was ordered to return to New Jersey for discharge.  While at Beverly, awaiting muster out, information was received of the invasion of Pennsylvania by Gen. Lee with the Confederate army in strength. 

    The command was immediately tendered to the governor and accepted, and at once proceeded to Harrisburg, the threatened point.  It remained in that vicinity until the danger had passed, when it returned to the state and was mustered out at Beverly, N. J., June 27, 1863.  The total strength of the regiment was 1,035, and it lost during its term of service, by resignation 18, by discharge 80, by promotion 31, by transfer 4, by death 84, by desertion 10, by dismissal 1, mustered out, 807.

    Chancellorsville, VA after battle report:

    No. 214.

    Report of Col. E. Burd Grubb, Twenty-third New Jersey Infantry.


    May 10, 1863.

    SIR: In compliance with orders from brigade headquarters, I have the honor to report that my regiment left camp, near White Oak Church, at 3 p.m. April 28, and bivouacked upon the bank of the Rappahannock, which we crossed at daylight on the morning of the 29th.

    My regiment was deployed on the front at sunrise on the 29th, relieving the One hundred and twenty-first New York.

    On Thursday the regiment was relieved.

    Nothing special occurred on Friday or Saturday.

    On Sunday (May 3) was again ordered to the front, and had 1 officer and 2 men wounded from shells.

    About noon was ordered to follow the brigade, and marched through Fredericksburg and about 3 miles out on the Plank road, when I was again ordered to the front to support the Second New Jersey Volunteers, skirmishing. As soon as my regiment emerged from the woods, I was opened upon by a battery posted in the road, the second shot from which wounded an officer and killed a man. Under the immediate orders of Gen. Brooks, I advanced, keeping but a few places in rear of the skirmishers, and came upon the enemy, posted in thick woods and in a  brick church. The nature of the ground was such that my line was somewhat broken up on entering the woods. Nevertheless my men engaged the enemy with great spirit.

    Together with Col. Upton, of the One hundred and twenty-first New York, immediately upon my left, I made several efforts to derive the enemy from their position in and around the church, but (such was the severity of their fire) without success, and several regiments upon my left giving way, I was compelled to fall back. Upon emerging from the woods, the fire was exceedingly deadly, and some confusion ensued, but I succeeded in reforming in rear of a battery some 500 yards from the woods.

    My regiment was not actively engaged again, and the next evening recrossed the river at Banks' Ford.

    My officers all behaved nobly, but I desire to mention as conspicuous for their coolness and gallantry Maj. W. J. Parmentier and Adjutant Dawns; also First Lieut. F. L. Taylor, Cmdg. Company H, who exhibited the most brilliant courage, leading his men several times to the front under a most galling fire. Corporal Fenton, Company B, who, in the absence of the color-sergeant, bore the national colors, also acted with the utmost coolness and courage.

    Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

    E. BURD GRUBB, Col. Twenty-third New Jersey Volunteers.

    Capt. J. T. WHITEHEAD, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

    Inventory Number: SWO 073