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Colonel Samuel Porter ASHE
(1763-1835)
Elizabeth Haywood SHEPPERD
(1772-1854)
John GREEN
Ann GRANGE
Major William Shepperd ASHE
(1813-1862)
Sarah Ann GREEN
(1816-1863)

Captain Samuel A'Court ASHE
(1840-1938)

 

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Spouses/Children:
Hannah Emerson WILLARD

Captain Samuel A'Court ASHE

  • Born: 13 Sep 1840, Wrightsville Sound, NC
  • Marriage: Hannah Emerson WILLARD on 10 Aug 1871 in Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, USA
  • Died: 31 Aug 1938, Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, USA aged 97
  • Buried: 2 Sep 1938, Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, USA
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bullet  General Notes:

Samuel A'Court Ashe (September 13, 1840-1938) was a Confederate Captain in the American Civil War and celebrated editor, historian, and North Carolina legislator. Prior to his death in 1938, he was the last surviving commissioned officer of the Confederate States Army. Samuel's father, William Shepperd Ashe (1814-1862), served in the North Carolina state senate and United States Congress. The United Confederate Veterans conferred the title of Brigadier General upon Samuel A. Ashe in 1936 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Ashe is also noted for his booklet on the war titled A Southern View of the Invasion of the Southern States and War of 1861-65.
Born in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina in 1840, Ashe grew up near Wilmington and spent much of his life in Raleigh. He attended the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1855, where he met future naval historian and life-long friend Alfred Thayer Mahan. When the war erupted, Ashe enlisted in the Confederate Army and served for its duration, rising to the rank of captain. Among his duty assignments was serving at Fort Caswell, on the eastern end of Oak Island.
After the war, Samuel married Hannah Emerson Willard in 1871 and had nine children (one of whom was William Willard Ashe, the noted botanist and associate of the United States Forest Service. Samuel studied in Wilmington, later establishing a law practice there. Active in the Democratic Party, Ashe worked for several government departments and ultimately served in the North Carolina House of Representatives. As a legislator, Ashe revised North Carolina tax laws concerning the resolution of state debts.
Ashe became editor of the Raleigh Daily News, and subsequently purchased the Raleigh Daily Observer, merging the two to become editor of both publications. A prolific writer, he wrote many materials between the period of 1908 and 1935 on the subjects of North Carolina history, the Civil War, and the post-war South. Perhaps Captain Ashe's most renown publication is his booklet on the war published in 1935 and titled A Southern View of the Invasion of the Southern States and War of 1861-65, in which he addressed the subject of the constitutionality of the South's secession from the United States and other similar topics pertaining to the Confederacy, Abraham Lincoln, and the war.

Extract from Raleigh, North Carolina, Directory: 1913-1914 (1913)
Ashe, Samuel A.; Clerk; house at 628 Hillsboro.

Extract from "Chronicles of The Cape Fear River: 1660-1916" by James Sprunt (1916)
Samuel A. Ashe was appointed lieutenant of artillery on April 17, 1861, by Major Whiting, who had assumed command of the Cape Fear defenses, and in May was commissioned by the State. Although all North Carolina staff appointments ceased on the transfer of our troops to the Confederacy on August 20, 1861, he and Capt. John C. Winder continued at their work until November, when he was relieved. Captain Ashe then joined, as a volunteer, Company I, Eighth Regiment, at the front at Coosawhatchie, S. C.; and later enlisted regularly as a private in that company. But in December, the President appointed him in the Regular Army, and in March, 1862, the commission came to him through Gen. R. E. Lee, then commanding at the South. He was assigned to duty at the Charleston arsenal, where he remained until the middle of July, when he was appointed acting adjutant general to General Pender, and joined Pender's brigade in Virginia. The night following the Battle of Second Manassas, he fell into the enemy's hands and was confined in the Old Capitol Prison until October, when he was exchanged. In November he was assigned to duty with General Clingman's brigade, and in July, 1863, became ordnance officer of Battery Wagner, and continued so until the fall of that fort in September, when he was ordered to the arsenal at Fayetteville, where he served as assistant to the commanding officer until the end of the war. On the day General Johnston surrendered, Captain Ashe's chief, General Gorgas, at Charlotte, in the most appreciative terms gave him orders to join him across the Mississippi, but later told him he could go home and govern himself according to circumstances.

At the election in 1870, he was elected a representative from New Hanover and became a very active member of the Legislature, chairman of the Finance Committee, and leading member of the Judiciary and other committees. In 1874 he edited at Raleigh a daily paper, the Evening Crescent, which probably did more than any other one instrumentality in bringing about the redemption of the State, the Democratic majority that year being 12,000. In 1879 he purchased the Observer, and in 1881 he consolidated the News with it, founding the News and Observer, of which he was editor until 1894. In 1903 he became editor of a Biographical History of North Carolina, of which seven volumes have been printed, and in 1908, his History of North Carolina (1584-1783) was published.


A Book "Memorial to Capt. Samuel A'Court Ashe", by Heriot Clarkson (1941), can be found at:

http://www.archive.org/stream/memorialtocaptsa00clar#page/n1/mode/1up

Extract from Volume II of "Cyclopaedia of Eminent and Representative Men of the Carolinas of the Nineteenth Century" with an introduction by Hon. Samuel A. Ashe (1892)
William S. Ashe left two sons, of which Samuel A. Ashe (of Raleigh, N. C., who was educated at the naval school; studied history and law until the war began; entered the service in April, 1S61; became a private in Company I, Eighteenth North Carolina regiment; was appointed in regular army of the Confederate States; served at Charleston in the spring of 1862; was captain and adjutant-general of Pender's brigade in the summer of 1862; was captured after the second battle of Manassas; when exchanged was assigned to duty with Clingman's brigade at the south; was assigned to duty at battery Wagner as ordnance officer during its siege, and then ordered to Fayetteville, where he remained as assistant to the commanding officer of the arsenal of construction until the end of the war; studied law after the war; located at Wilmington; represented New Hanover county in the assembly of 1870, the sole democratic representation from the county for twenty years. He married Miss Hannah Willard, of Raleigh, in 1871. and located in Raleigh, where he formed a law partnership with Hon. A. S. Merrimon, now chief-justice of the state, and Col. T. C. Fuller, now judge of the United States land court of claims, which continued for seven years, when he, in 1879, purchased the Observer newspaper and entered journalism. The next year the News was consolidated with the Observer, he remaining the editor. Mr. Ashe has always been interested in politics, and was for many years a member of the state executive committee, of which at one time he was chairman. He was appointed postmaster of Raleigh by President Cleveland. He has found time to indulge a fondness for books, and has for twenty years been an original investigator in North Carolina history.

Extract from "Dictionary of North Carolina: Vol. I" by William S. Powell (1994)
Ashe, Samuel A'Court (13 Sept. 1840 - 31 Aug. 1938), soldier, lawyer, politician, historian, journalist, and editor, was born at Wrightsville Sound, near Wilmington. His parents were William Shepperd Ashe of Rocky Point and Sarah Ann Green. His distinguished ancestry and relatives included John Baptista Ashe, colonial official; John Baptist Ashe, governor-elect; John Ashe, revolutionary general; Samuel Ashe, judge and governor; William Shepperd Ashe, judge; and Thomas S. Ashe, congressman and supreme court justice.
Ashe was married to Hannah Emerson Willard on 10 Aug. 1871. He was a member of the Episcopal Church, belonging to St. John's Church at Wilmington and Crist Church in Raleigh and serving as vestryman of each.
At his death at the age of ninety-seven, he was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh. A memorial in his honor was unveiled on Capitol Square in Raleigh on 13 Sept. 1940.

Extract from United States Census, 1880
Census Location: Raleigh, Wake, North Carolina
Head of Household: Samuel Ash
Age: 39
Est. Birth Year: 1841
Birthplace: North Carolina
Marital Status: Married
Occupation: Editor, Paper
Father's birthplace: North Carolina
Mother's birthplace: North Carolina
Wife: Hannah Ash; age 39; est. birth year 1841; birthplace North Carolina.
Son: William Ash; age 8; est. birth year 1872; birthplace North Carolina.
Son: Samuel Ash; age 6; est. birth year 1874; birthplace North Carolina.
Son: Thomas Ash; age 4; est. birth year 1876; birthplace North Carolina.
Daughter: Lizzay Ashe; age 2; est. birth year 1878; birthplace North Carolina.
Daughter: Mary Porter Ashe; age 2 months; est. birth year 1880; birthplace North Carolina.
Aunt: Rosa Ash; age 63; est. birth year 1817; birthplace North Carolina; marital status - widowed.
Sister: Willy Ash; age 23; est. birth year 1857; birthplace North Carolina; marital status - single.
Father-in-law: W. H. Willard; age 61; est. birth year 1819; birthplace Massachusetts; marital status - widowed.

Extract from United States Census, 1900
Head of Household: Samuel Ashe
Residence: Raleigh City, Wake, North Carolina
Birth: September 1840 in North Carolina
Status: Widowed
Father's birthplace: North Carolina
Mother's birthplace: North Carolina
Son: William W. Ashe; birth June 1872 in North Carolina.
Daughter: Elizabeth E. Ashe; birth January 1878 in North Carolina.
Daughter: Mary P. Ashe; birth April 1880 in North Carolina.
Daughter: Josephine G. Ashe; birth September 1882 in North Carolina.
Son: John G. Ashe; birth January 1886 in North Carolina.
Daughter: Hannah W. Ashe; birth September 1888 in North Carolina.
Son: George B. Ashe; birth January 1891 in North Carolina.

Extract from United States Census, 1910
Cansus Location: Raleigh, Wake, North Carolina
Head of Household: Samuel A. Ashe
Age: 69
Est. Birth Year: 1841
Birthplace: North Carolina
Status: Widowed
Occupation: Historian and Literature
Father's birthplace: North Carolina
Mother's birthplace: North Carolina
Sister: Sarah W. Ashe; age 54; est. birth year 1856; birthplace North Carolina; marital status - single.
Daughter: Mary Ashe; age 30; est. birth year 1880; birthplace North Carolina; marital status - single.
Daughter: Josephine G. Ashe; age 27; est. birth year 1883; birthplace North Carolina; marital status - single.
Daughter: Hannah W. Ashe; age 21; est. birth year 1889; birthplace North Carolina; marital status - single.
Son: George B. Ashe; age 19; est. birth year 1891; birthplace North Carolina; marital status - single.


Extract from United States Census, 1920
Census location: Raleigh, Wake, North Carolina
Head of Household: Captain S. A. Ashe
Occupation: Clerk in Court
Age: 79
Est. Birth Year: 1841
Birthplace: North Carolina
Marital Status: Widowed
Sister: Willie Ashe; age 55; est. birth year 1865; birthplace North Carolina; occupation - teacher in private school.
Daughter: Hannah Ashe; age 31; est. birth year 1889; birthplace North Carolina; occupation - Stenographer.
Son: Grange Ashe; age 37; est. birth year 1883; birthplace North Carolina; occupation - Demurrage Agent; marital status - widowed.
Grandson: John Grange Ashe; age 9; est. birth year 1911; birthplace North Carolina.
Son: S. A. Ashe, Jr.; age 44; est. birth year 1876; birthplace North Carolina; occupation - Deputy Clerk at court.
Daughter-in-law: Windham T. Ashe; age 38; est. birth year 1882; birthplace North Carolina.
Grandson: Windham Ashe; age 17; est. birth year 1903; birthplace North Carolina.
Granddaughter: Alicia Ashe; age 14; est. birth year 1906; birthplace North Carolina.
Grandson: Sam A. Ashe; age 5; est. birth year 1915; birthplace North Carolina.
Grandson: William Ashe; age 8 months; est. birth year 1920; birthplace North Carolina.

Extract from Find A Grave
Samuel A'Court Ashe
Birth: 13 September 1840 in Wrightsville, New Hanover County, North Carolina, USA
Death: 31 April 1938 in Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, USA
Biography on page 64 in the book "Staff Officers in Gray" by Robert E. L. Krick.
b. Wrightsville South, North Carolina, Sept. 13, 1840. att. ASNA. Prewar law student. On ordance duty at Cape Fear, 1861. Lt. 00, Dec. 11, 1861. Capt. AAG to Pender, July 12, 1862. POW at Second Manassas. Exchanged and resigned, Nov. 1, 1862. Lt. 00 to Clingman, Feb. 14, 1863. Transferred to Fayetteville Arsenal, Aug. 1863. Railroad conductor, postmaster, author, and legislator in North Carolina. Owner of the Raleigh Observor. d. Aug. 31, 1938, bur. Oakwood Cem., Raleigh."
Spouse: Hannah Emerson Willard Ashe (1840 - 1892)
Burial: Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, USA

Extract from Raleigh Newspaper dated 31 August 1938
Captain Samuel Ashe, 98, Dies in Raleigh.
Veteran of Confederate War was Last Officer Given Commission by Davis.
Raleigh, Aug. 31 -- Captain Samuel A'Court Ashe, last of the Confederate officers commissioned by President Jefferson Davis, died tonight at his home. He was ninety-eight.
Captain Ashe, who would have been ninety-nine September 13, was editor of the Raleigh Observer soon after its beginning in 1879, and was a noted historian and lawyer.
His political career began in 1870 when he was elected to the legislature. Nine years later he grew tired of the practice of law and became a publisher, sticking to that for thirteen years. After his venture into the newspaper field he devoted several years to historical writings.
The veteran, commissioned a lieutenant in 1861, joined the North Carolina Confederate forces after Fort Sumter was attacked at Charleston, S.C. Born near Wilmington, N.C., he entered the United States naval academy in 1855, but resigned because he "got seasick every time I put my foot on a boat".


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Samuel married Hannah Emerson WILLARD, daughter of William Henry WILLARD and Elizabeth BAMFORD, on 10 Aug 1871 in Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, USA. (Hannah Emerson WILLARD was born on 19 Oct 1849 in North Carolina, USA, died on 13 Aug 1892 and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, USA.)




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