In 1862 Ashley Juckett was a 33 year old Father of 3 boys and was building a home on land he had purchased a year earlier, near Ypsilanti Michigan.
I am sure he had many thoughts about joining his younger brother Albert Juckett, in the fight to preserve the union. But unlike his brother, Ashley had a wife and 3 children to think about when he made his decision.
It is not hard to imagine the conversation between Ashley and his wife Lavisa, concerning this mater, her pleading her case telling him he had a wife and 3 children Warren, Scott and John to think about, let someone else do the fighting she may have cried.
Ashley I am sure, was also concerned with leaving a family to fight a war, but perhaps he felt a duty to defend his country, or like we read in a letter from his wife, he was afraid of being drafted and decided to join the unit he wanted to be with , in this case he joined the Cavalry, Company K, Fifth Michigan Cavalry.
On August 30 1862 Ashley and the rest of the Boys of the Fifth Michigan, were mustered into service, they remained in Detroit, until early December, when they moved by rail to Baltimore and finally to Washington D.C. Ashley in a letter dated December 18 writes of the trip and what he saw in the Washington D.C. area, the Fifth apparently remained in the Washington Northern Virginia area throughout the winter and spring, scouting, guarding the city and surviving civil war camp life. Ashley writes of this in two letters dated march 8 1863,
The Fifth as part of the Michigan Calvary Brigade began moving North in late June through Maryland and into Pennsylvania, participating in the Battle of Gettysburg before moving south following the retreating confederates and engaging them at various points along the way.
We do not know if Ashley participated in any or all of these campaigns as March 8, 1863 was the last letters ever received from him.
We do know however what happened to
Ashley, He Died on August 3, 1863 of the disease known as
dropsy and is buried in Alexandria National Cemetery, Plot: A 0 903.
To the left are the four letters we have from Ashley and one letter written to inform his parents of his death.