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Published, September, 191 7 

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Acknowledgment is made to the publishers 
of Munsey's Magazine, Leslie's Weekly, and the 
New York Herald for permission to use material 
which has previously appeared in their pages. 


The chronicles of history record that in most 
wars some figure, through intrepidity, originality, 
and brilliancy of action, has raised himself above 
his fellows and achieved a picturesqueness which 
is commonly associated only with characters of 
fiction. In the American Civil War, or the War 
Between the States, three dashing cavalry leaders 
— Stuart, Forrest, and Mosby — so captured the 
public imagination that their exploits took on a 
glamour, which we associate — as did the writers 
of the time — with the deeds of the Waverley 
characters and the heroes of Chivalry. Of the 
three leaders Colonel John S. Mosby (1833-1916) 
was, perhaps, the most romantic figure. In the 
South his dashing exploits made him one of the 
great heroes of the "Lost Cause." In the North 
he was painted as the blackest of redoubtable 
scoundrels, a fact only to be explained as due to 
the exasperation caused by a successful enemy 
against whom all measures were worthless and in- 


effective. So great became the fame of Mosby's 
partisan exploits that soldiers of fortune came even 
from Europe to share his adventures. 

Colonel Mosby was a "Virginian of the Vir- 
ginians", educated at the State's University, and 
seemed destined to pass his life as an obscure 
Virginia attorney, when war brought him his 
opportunity for fame. The following pages con- 
tain the story of his life as private in the cavalry, 
as a scout, and as a leader of partisans. 

But Mosby was the type of man who is not 
content with the routine performance of duties, 
and this was illustrated early in his career as a 
soldier. He was ever on the watch to aid the cause 
in which he was engaged. Stuart's famous ride 
around McClellan and Lee's attack on Pope, be- 
fore he could be reinforced, were deeds for which 
Mosby fairly earned some share of credit. These 
enterprises, together with his prevention of Sheri- 
dan's use of the Manassas Gap Railroad, had a dis- 
tinct bearing upon the successful maintenance of 
the Southern Confederacy for four long years. But 
his great work was his distinctive warfare near 
Washington against the troops guarding the Poto- 
mac. Behind the Northern forces aiming at Rich- 
mond, for two years of almost incredible activity — 
Mosby himself said, "I rarely rested more than a 


day at a time" — he maintained his warfare, 
neutralizing at times some fifty thousand troops 
by compelling them to guard the rear of the enemy 
and his capital. The four counties of Virginia 
nearest Washington became known as "Mosby's 
Confederacy." Here his blows were almost in- 
cessant, followed always by the dispersing of his 
band or bands among the farmhouses of the sym- 
pathetic inhabitants. Seldom or never was an 
attack made with more than two hundred and fifty 
men. Usually from thirty to sixty would be col- 
lected at a rendezvous, such as Rectortown, Aldie, 
or Upperville, and after discharging, as it were, 
a lightning flash, be swallowed up in impenetrable 
darkness, leaving behind only a threat of some 
future raid, to fall no one could foresee where. 
The execution of this bold plan was successful — 
long successful ; its damage to the enemy enormous, 
and it exhibited a military genius of the highest 
order. By reason of his originality and intellec- 
tual boldness, as well as his intrepidity and success 
of execution, Mosby is clearly entitled to occupy a 
preeminence among the partisan leaders of history. 
And this is to be said for him, that he created 
and kept up to the end of the great war " Mosby's 
Confederacy", while preserving the full confidence 
and regard of the knightly Lee. 


Confederate General Marcus Wright, who as- 
sisted in editing the records of the war, wrote to 
Colonel Mosby as follows : 

Dear Colonel Mosby : 

It may and I know will be interesting to you that I 
have carefully read all of General R. E. Lee's dispatches, 
correspondence, etc., during the war of 1861-1865 ; 
and while he was not in the habit of paying compli- 
ments, yet these papers of his will show that you re- 
ceived from him more compliments and commendations 
than any other officer in the Confederate army. 

But an even more effective testimonial of 
Mosby's success comes from the records of his 
enemy. For a time the Northern belief was that 
"Mosby" was a myth, the "Wandering Jew" of 
the struggle. Later, he was termed the "Modern 
Rob Roy." Such epithets as "land pirate", 
"horse thief", "murderer", and "guerrilla" bear 
witness of the feeling of exasperation against 
the man. "Guerrilla", however, was the favorite 
epithet, and Mosby did not resent its use, for he 
believed that his success had made the term an 
honorable one. 

The effectiveness of Mosby's work is illustrated 
by the following comment of the Comte de Paris 
in his "History of the Civil War in America" : 


In Washington itself, General Heintzelman was in 
command, who, besides the depots . . . had under his 
control several thousand infantry ready to take the 
field, and Stahel's division of cavalry numbering 6,000 
horses, whose only task was to pursue Mosby and the 
few hundred partisans led by this daring chief. 

General Joseph E. Hooker, in his testimony 
on the conduct of the war, said : 

I may here state that while at Fairfax Court House 
my cavalry was reinforced by that of Major-General 
Stahel. The latter numbered 6,100 sabres. . . . The 
force opposed to them was Mosby's guerrillas, number- 
ing about 200, and, if the reports of the newspapers 
were to be believed, this whole party was killed two 
or three times during the winter. From the time 
I took command of the army of the Potomac, there 
was no evidence that any force of the enemy, other 
than the above-named, was within 100 miles of Wash- 
ington City ; and yet the planks on the chain bridge 
were taken up at night the greater part of the winter 
and spring. It was this cavalry force, it will be remem- 
bered, I had occasion to ask for, that my cavalry might 
be strengthened when it was numerically too weak to 
cope with the superior numbers of the enemy. 

How redoubtable Mosby was considered by the 
Northern authorities may be seen from the fol- 
lowing : 


War Department, 
Washington, April 16, 1865. 
Major-General Hancock, 

Winchester, Va. 
In holding an interview with Mosby, it may be need- 
less to caution an old soldier like you to guard against 
surprise or danger to yourself ; but the recent mur- 
ders show such astounding wickedness that too much 
precaution cannot be taken. If Mosby is sincere, he 
might do much toward detecting and apprehending the 

murderers of the President. 

Edwin M. Stanton, 

Secretary of War. 

Secretary Stanton had previously telegraphed 
to Hancock, "There is evidence that Mosby knew 
of Booth's plan" — concerning the assassination 
of Lincoln — "and was here in the city with him." 

No one knew better than Hancock that Mosby, 
at the time of the assassination, was in Virginia. 
The notion that he had anything to do with 
this crime was a part of the reputation he had 
acquired in the North and which he was doubtless 
quite willing to acquire in order to give worse 
dreams to those of the enemy who were in the 
neighborhood of his operations. This reputation 
was fostered by soldiers, who, during the war and 
long afterwards, entertained their firesides with 
tales of hairbreadth escapes from the dreadful 


guerrillas. But some of Mosby's best friends in 
his later life were men who had been his prisoners. 

So far did the hostility and feeling against 
Mosby carry that as late as May 4, 1865, almost 
a month after Lee's surrender, General Grant tele- 
graphed to General Halleck, " I would advise offer- 
ing a reward of $5,000 for Mosby." This was 
done, but nobody captured him. 

The turning point in his career after the war 
was his endorsement of and voting for Grant in 
1872. The Civil War was then but seven years 
past, and the Southern people were not prepared 
to follow his lead. They turned against him bit- 
terly — against one of their chief heroes, whom 
they had delighted to honor — who had struggled 
so manfully and for so long against the storm 
raging against them. Young and of little experi- 
ence in politics he may have thought it incon- 
ceivable that they would treat his voting for 
the magnanimous soldier as the unforgivable sin. 
His motive was rather gratitude than political, — 
rather a response to Grant's behavior toward the 
Southern army, General Lee, and himself, than any 
design to change the attitude of the South toward 
the Federal Government. Certainly the Colonel, 
in spite of abuse and recrimination heaped upon 
him, never repented of this act. 


During his last illness Colonel Mosby did say, 
no doubt to hear himself contradicted, "I pitched 
my politics in too high a key when I voted for 
Grant. I ought to have accepted office under 
him. My family would now be comfortably 
supplied with money." But this was far from 
being his serious opinion, as his own statements 

Intellectually the Colonel showed as great a 
constitutional impatience of restraint and as 
great individuality as he exhibited in his opera- 
tions during the war. Perhaps his lifelong fond- 
ness for Byron's poetry resulted from a feeling 
that there was a resemblance between the experi- 
ences of Byron, as represented in his poems, and 
his own — the "war of the many with one." But 
the resemblance was a superficial one. Mosby's 
impatience of restraint was a so strongly marked 
characteristic that he always seemed unwilling 
to follow a plan of his own, after having disclosed 
it to another. Probably the reason the " Yankees " 
trying to trap him could never find out where he 
was going to be next was because he never knew 

The following from an interview with him, which 
appeared in the Philadelphia Post in 1867 or 1868, 
illustrates his tendency to think independently : 


"Whom do you consider the ablest General on the 
Federal side?" 

"McClellan, by all odds. I think he is the only 
man on the Federal side who could have organized the 
army as it was. Grant had, of course, more successes 
in the field in the latter part of the war, but Grant only 
came in to reap the benefits of McClellan's previous 
efforts. At the same time, I do not wish to disparage 
General Grant, for he has many abilities, but if Grant 
had commanded during the first years of the war, we 
would have gained our independence. Grant's- policy 
of attacking would have been a blessing to us, for we 
lost more by inaction than we would have lost in battle. 
After the first Manassas the army took a sort of 'dry 
rot', and we lost more men by camp diseases than we 
would have by fighting." 

"What is your individual opinion of Jeff Davis?" 
" I think history will record him as one of the greatest 
men of the time. Every lost cause, you know, must 
have a scapegoat, and Mr. Davis has been chosen as 
such ; he must take all the blame without any of the 
credit. I do not know any man in the Confederate 
States that could have conducted the war with the 
same success that he did." 

"Are there any bitter feelings cherished?" 
"No, not now, except those engendered since the war 
by the manner in which we have been treated. . . . 
The whole administration of affairs in Virginia is in 
the hands of a lot of bounty jumpers and jailbirds, 
and their only qualification is that they can take the 


iron-clad oath!" "But," he added, "they generally 
take anything else they can lay their hands on." 

General Grant and Colonel Mosby came to be 
far more than political friends. In fact it was 
through General Grant that Mosby secured his 
position with the Southern Pacific Railroad which 
he held from 1885 to 1901. The two men were 
well suited to each other. Grant was a silent 
man — a good listener. Mosby, abrupt and even 
rude toward those who wished to speak to him 
irrelevantly, dearly loved to talk to an intelligent 
person. The silent and slow commander of "all 
the armies", guided by luminous common sense, 
and the nervous, impetuous raider — a raider 
by temperament, a raider in every way — in prac- 
tice of law, taking part in politics, writing "Me- 
moirs", had much in common that was fundamen- 
tal. They were but children in taking care of their 
business affairs ; they were shy, and full of feeling, 
sentiment, and romance. 

The Colonel was an assistant attorney in the 
Department of Justice at Washington from 1904 
to 1910 and continued to reside in the Capital 
until his death, May 30, 1916. He was not often 
inclined to talk about his own exploits in the Civil 
War, though going at some length into explanations 


of the movements of the great armies and engaging 
in various controversies about them, as well as 
about other matters of public interest, past and 
present. Colonel Mosby realized that the ac- 
count of the military operations at the Battle of 
Manassas included in the present volume is mark- 
edly at variance with the usual version. His 
efforts to unravel the story of Stuart's cavalry 
in the Gettysburg campaign extended over many 
years and resulted in a book * and numerous 
articles. The account which he prepared for 
these "Memoirs" he considered the best answer 
to Stuart's critics, and spoke of it as " the final 

The Colonel was little interested in anything 
which did not concern man in his social rela- 
tions except, perhaps, logic and polemics. What 
could not be affirmed positively with a geometric 
Q. E. D. appealed to him only as it concerned war, 
politics, sentiment, or the like. New inventions 
left him cold, if not a little resentful, at their dis- 
turbing or rendering out of date the historical 
setting of the Civil War. But in political and 
social matters he was an advanced thinker, al- 
though this was rather a liberal attitude of mind — ■ 
in which he took pride — than any interest in the 

1 Now used as a textbook in the War College. 


views themselves. His horizon in general was 
limited by American history and politics. He 
was full of the anecdotal history of Virginia and 
conspicuous Virginians of past generations, as 
well as information about family relationships — 
information such as is printed in books in New 
England, but in Virginia has been commonly left 
to oral tradition. 

But the events described in these "Memoirs" 
were his greatest interest and the days when he was 
a commander of partisans were the golden days 
of his over fourscore years. As he said at the 
reunion of his battalion in 1895 : 

"Life cannot afford a more bitter cup than the one 
I drained at Salem, nor any higher reward of ambition 
than that I received as Commander of the Forty- third 
Virginia Battalion of Cavalry." 




Introduction vii 

I Early Life i 

II The War Begins n 

III A Private in the Cavalry . . . .22 

IV Johnston's Retreat from Harper's Ferry . 33 
V Recollections of Battle of Manassas . 47 

VI The Strategy of the Battle of Manassas . 55 

VII About Fairfax Court House ... 86 

VIII Campaigning with Stuart .... 99 

IX The Campaign against Pope . . . .122 

X First Exploits as a Partisan . . .146 

XI The Raid on Fairfax 168 

XII Stuart and the Gettysburg Campaign . 201 

XIII The Year after Gettysburg . . .258 

XIV The Campaign against Sheridan . . . 283 
XV The Greenback Raid 312 

XVI Last Days in the Valley . . . .327 

XVII Final Scenes 353 

XVIII In Retrospect 365 

XLX My Recollections of General Lee . .374 

XX My Recollections of General Grant . 383 

Index 401 


Colonel Mosby at the Age of Fifty-five Years . . Frontispiece 


Colonel Mosby's Father and Brother 8 

Virginia Jackson (McLaurine) Mosby, Colonel Mosby's Mother 16 
Aaron Burton (Colored), Aged 84 Years ..... 30 

Captain Mosby in January, 1863 .150 

Mosby Returning from a Raid . . . . . . .154 

Major Mosby in 1863. From the Painting by Guillaume . . 200 
William H. Chapman, Lieutenant-Colonel and Next in Rank to 

Colonel Mosby when the War Closed ..... 270 
Lieutenant Fountain Beatty, Lieutenant Frank H. Rahm, and 

Scout John Russell ........ 290 

Dr. J. Wiltshire and Major A. E. Richards 312 

Charles E. Grogan, Colonel Mosby, and Dr. W. L. Dunn . .318 
Major A. E. Richards ......... 334 

Colonel John S. Mosby. Photographed in Richmond in March, 

1865 356 

William H. Mosby, Colonel Mosby's Adjutant and Only Brother 360 

Mosby in 1866 362 

Colonel Mosby at Fourscore Years of Age (1915) . . • 398 



showing Ihe positions of the armies on 



Early Life 

I WAS born December 6, 1833, at the home of 
my grandfather, James McLaurine, in Powhatan 
County, Virginia. He was a son of Robert 
McLaurine, an Episcopal minister, who came from 
Scotland before the Revolution. Great-grand- 
father McLaurine lived at the glebe and is buried 
at Peterville Church in Powhatan. After the 
church was disestablished, the State appropriated 
the glebe, and Peterville was sold to the Baptists. 
My grandfather McLaurine lived to be very old. 
He was a soldier of the Revolution, and I well 
remember his cough, which it was said he con- 
tracted from exposure in the war when he had 
smallpox. My grandfather Mosby was also a 
native of Powhatan. He lived at Gibraltar, but 
moved to Nelson County, where my father, Alfred 
D. Mosby, was born. When I was a child my 
father bought a farm near Charlottesville, in Albe- 


marie, on which I was raised. I recollect that one 
day I went with my father to our peach orchard 
on a high ridge, and he pointed out Monticello, 
the home of Thomas Jefferson, on a mountain a 
few miles away, and told me some of the history of 
the great man who wrote the Declaration of Inde- 

At that time there were no public and few private 
schools in Virginia, but a widow opened a school in 
Fry's Woods, adjoining my father's farm. My 
sister Victoria and I went as her pupils. I was 
seven years old when I learned to read, although 
I had gone a month or so to a country school in 
Nelson, near a post office called Murrell's Shop, 
where I had learned to spell. As I was so young 
my mother always sent a negro boy with me to the 
schoolhouse, and he came for me in the evening. 
But once I begged him to stay all day with me, and 
I shared my dinner with him. When playtime 
came, some of the larger boys put him up on a 
block for sale and he was knocked down to the 
highest bidder. I thought it was a bona fide sale 
and was greatly distressed at losing such a dutiful 
playmate. We went home together, but he never 
spent another day with me at the schoolhouse. 

The first drunken man I ever saw was my school- 
master. He went home at playtime to get his 


dinner, but took an overdose of whiskey. On the 
way back he fell on the roadside and went to sleep. 
The big boys picked him up and carried him into 
the schoolhouse, and he heard our lessons. The 
school closed soon after ; I don't know why. 

It was a common thing in the old days of negro 
slavery for a Virginia gentleman, who had in- 
herited a fortune, to live in luxury with plenty of 
the comforts of life and die insolvent,* while his 
overseer retired to live on what he had saved. 
Mr. Jefferson was one example of this. I often 
heard that Jefferson had held in his arms Betsy 
Wheat, a pupil at the school where I learned to 
read. She was the daughter of the overseer and, 
being the senior of all the other scholars, was the 
second in command. She exercised as much au- 
thority as the schoolmistress. 

As I have said, the log schoolhouse was in 
Fry's Woods, which adjoined my father's farm. 
To this rude hut I walked daily for three sessions, 
with my eldest sister — later with two — often 
through a deep snow, to get the rudiments of an 
education. I remember that the schoolmistress, 
a most excellent woman, whipped her son and 
me for fighting. That was the only blow I ever 
received during the time I went to school. 

A few years ago I visited the spot in company 


with Bartlett Boiling, who was with me in the war. 
There was nothing left but a pile of rocks — the 
remains of the chimney. The associations of 
the place raised up phantoms of the past. I am 
the only survivor of the children who went to 
school there. I went to the spring along the 
same path where I had often walked when a 
barefooted schoolboy and got a drink of cool 
water from a gourd. There I first realized the 
pathos of the once popular air, "Ben Bolt" ; the 
spring was still there and the running brook, 
but all of my schoolmates had gone. 

The "Peter Parley" were the standard school- 
books of my day. In my books were two pic- 
tures that made a lasting impression on me. One 
was of Wolfe dying on the field in the arms of a 
soldier ; the other was of Putnam riding down 
the stone steps with the British close behind him. 
About that time I borrowed a copy of the "Life 
of Marion", which was the first book I read, 
except as a task at school. I remember how I 
shouted when I read aloud in the nursery of the 
way the great partisan hid in the swamp and out- 
witted the British. I did not then expect that the 
time would ever come when I would have escapes 
as narrow as that of Putnam and take part in ad- 
ventures that have been compared with Marion's. 


When I was ten years old I began going to school 
in Charlottesville ; sometimes I went on horseback, 
and sometimes I walked. Two of my teachers, — 
James White, who taught Latin and Greek, and 
Aleck Nelson, who taught mathematics — were 
afterwards professors at Washington and Lee, 
while General Robert E. Lee was its president. 
When I was sixteen years old I went as a student 
to the University of Virginia — some evidence of 
the progress I had made in getting an education. 

In my youth I was very delicate and often heard 
that I would never live to be a grown man. But 
the prophets were wrong, for I have outlived nearly 
all the contemporaries of my youth. I was de- 
voted to hunting, and a servant always had coffee 
ready for me at daylight on a Saturday morning, 
so that I was out shooting when nearly all were 
sleeping. My father was a slaveholder, and I still 
cherish a strong affection for the slaves who nursed 
me and played with me in my childhood. That 
was the prevailing sentiment in the South — not 
one peculiar to myself — but one prevailing in all 
the South toward an institution * which we now 

1 Colonel Mosby never had a word to say favorable to slavery — a 
fact which may be attributed to the influence of Miss Abby Southwick, 
afterwards Mrs. Stevenson, of Manchester, Massachusetts, who was 
employed to teach his sisters. She was a strong and outspoken aboli- 
tionist and a friend of Garrison and Wendell Phillips. All the Mosby 


thank Abraham Lincoln for abolishing. I had 
no taste for athletics and have never seen a ball 
game. My habits of study were never regular, 
but I always had a literary taste. While I fairly 
recited Tacitus and Thucydides as a task, I read 
with delight Irving's stories of the Moors in 

[Colonel Mosby's career at the University of 
Virginia, where he graduated in Greek and mathe- 
matics, was not so serene throughout as that of 
the ordinary student. One incident made a last- 
ing impression upon his mind and affected his 
future course. He was convicted of unlawfully 
shooting a fellow student and was sentenced to a 
fine and imprisonment in the jail at Charlottesville. 
It was the case of defending the good name of a 
young lady and, while the law was doubtless vio- 
lated, public sentiment was indicated by the legis- 
lature's remitting the fine and the governor's 
granting a pardon. 

The Baltimore Sun published an account of 
this incident, by Mr. John S. Patton, who said 

family were, and remained, devoted to Miss Southwick. She and young 
Mosby had numerous talks on the subject of slavery and other political 
topics. At the close of the war she immediately sent money and sup- 
plies to the family and told how anxiously she had read the papers, 
fearing to find the news that he had been killed. 


that Mosby had been fined ten dollars for as- 
saulting the town sergeant. The young Mosby 
had been known as one not given to lawless hilar- 
ity, but as a " fighter." "And the Colonel him- 
self admits," continues Patton, "that he got the 
worst of these boyish engagements, except once, 
when the fight was on between him and Charles 
Price, of Meachem's, — and in that case they 
were separated before victory could perch. They 
also go so far as to say that he was a spirited lad, 
although far from 'talkative' and not far from 
quiet, introspective moods. . . . His antagonist 
this time was George Turpin, a student of medi- 
cine in the University. . . . Turpin had carved 
Frank Morrison to his taste with a pocket knife 
and added to his reputation by nearly killing 
Fred M. Wills with a rock. . . . 

"When Jack Mosby, spare and delicate — Turpin 
was large and athletic — received the latter 's threat that 
he would eat him ' blood raw ' on sight, he proceeded 
to get ready. The cause of the impending hostilities 
was an incident at a party at the Spooner residence in 
Montebello, which Turpin construed as humiliating to 
him, and with the aid of some friends who dearly loved 
a fisticuff, he reached the conclusion that John Mosby 
was to blame and that it was his duty to chastise him. 
Mosby was due at Mathematics lecture room and 
thither he went and met Professor Courtnay and did 


his problems first of all. That over, he thrust a pepper- 
box pistol into his jacket and went forth to find his 
enemy. He had not far to go; for by this time the 
Turpins were keeping a boarding house in the building 
then, as now, known as the Cabell House, about the 
distance of four Baltimore blocks from the University. 
Thither went the future partisan leader, and, with a 
friend, was standing on the back porch when Turpin 
approached. He advanced on Mosby at once — but 
not far; the latter brought his pepper-box into action 
with instant effect. Turpin went down with a bullet 
in his throat, and was taken up as good as dead. . . . 
The trial is still referred to as the cause celebre in our 
local court. Four great lawyers were engaged in it: 
the names of Robertson, Rives, Watson, and Leach 
adorn the legal annals of Virginia." 

The prosecutor in this case was Judge William 
J. Robertson, of Charlottesville, who made a 
vigorous arraignment of the young student. On 
visiting the jail one day after the conviction, 
much to his surprise Robertson was greeted by 
Mosby in a friendly manner. This was followed 
by the loan of a copy of Blackstone's "Com- 
mentaries" to the prisoner and a lifelong friend- 
ship between the two. Thus it was that young 
Mosby entered upon the study of law, which he 
made his profession. 

Colonel Mosby wrote on a newspaper clipping 


Taken shortly before the War. The brother, William H. Mosby, joined the 

command in 1863 at the age of 18, and was later Mosby's Adjutant. 

He is shown in the uniform of a Military School 


giving an account of the shooting incident: "I 
did not go to Turpin's house, but he came to my 
boarding house, and he had sent me a message 
that he was coming there to 'eat me up.' " 

Mosby's conviction affected him greatly, and 
he did not include an account of it in his story 
because — or at least it would seem probable — 
he feared that the conclusion would be drawn 
that he was more like the picture painted by the 
enemy during the war, instead of the kindly man 
he really was. However this may be, nothing 
pleased him more than the honors paid to him by 
the people of Charlottesville and by the Univer- 
sity of Virginia. He spoke of these things as 
"one of Time's revenges." 

In January, 191 5, a delegation from Virginia 
presented Colonel Mosby with a bronze medal 
and an embossed address which read as follows : 

To Colonel John S. Mosby, Warrenton, Virginia. 

Your friends and admirers in the University of Vir- 
ginia welcome this opportunity of expressing for you 
their affection and esteem and of congratulating you 
upon the vigor and alertness of body and mind with 
which you have rounded out your fourscore years. 

Your Alma Mater has pride in your scholarly applica- 
tion in the days of your prepossessing youth; in your 
martial genius, manifested in a career singularly orig- 
inal and romantic; in the forceful fluency of your 


record of the history made by yourself and your com- 
rades in the army of Northern Virginia; and in the 
dignity, diligence, and sagacity with which you have 
served your united country at home and abroad. 

Endowed with the gift of friendship, which won for 
you the confidence of both Lee and Grant, you have 
proven yourself a man of war, a man of letters, and a 
man of affairs worthy the best traditions of your Uni- 
versity and your State, to both of which you have been 
a loyal son.] 

The War Begins 

I went to Bristol, Virginia, in October, 1855, 
and opened a law office. I was a stranger and 
the first lawyer that located there. 

When attending court at Abingdon in the sum- 
mer of i860 I met William Blackford, who had 
been in class with me at the University and who 
was afterwards a colonel of engineers on General 
Stuart's staff. Blackford asked me to join a 
cavalry company which he was assisting to raise 
and in which he expected to be a lieutenant. To 
oblige him I allowed my name to be put on the 
muster roll ; but was so indifferent about the 
matter that I was not present when the company 
organized. William E. Jones was made captain. 
He was a graduate of West Point and had resigned 
from the United States army a few years before. 
Jones was a fine soldier, but his temper produced 
friction with his superiors and greatly impaired 
his capacity as a commander. 

There were omens of war at this time, but no- 



body realized the impending danger. Our first 
drill was on January Court Day, 1861. I bor- 
rowed a horse and rode up to Abingdon to take 
my first lesson. After the drill was over and 
the company had broken ranks, I went to hear 
John B. Floyd make a speech on the condition of 
the times. He had been Secretary of War and 
had lately resigned. Buchanan, in a history of 
his administration, said that Floyd's resignation 
had nothing to do with secession, but he requested 
it on account of financial irregularities he had 
discovered in the War Department. 

But to return to the campaign of i860. I 
never had any talent or taste for stump speaking 
or handling party machines, but with my strong 
convictions I was a supporter of Douglas l and 
the Union. 

Whenever a Whig became extreme on the 
slave question, he went over to the opposition 
party. No doubt the majority of the Virginia 
Democrats agreed with the Union sentiments of 
Andrew Jackson, but the party was controlled 

1 Colonel Mosby was almost the only Douglas Democrat in Bristol ; 
that is to say he was in favor of recognizing the right of a territory 
belonging to the United States to vote against slavery within its bor- 
ders. The Breckinridge Democrats believed, especially after the 
decision of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case, in the right of 
the slaveholders to take their slaves into the territories and hold them 
there in slavery against the wishes of the inhabitants. 


by a section known as "the chivalry", who were 
disciples of Calhoun, and got most of the honors. 
It was for this reason that a Virginia Senator 
(Mason), who belonged to that school, was se- 
lected to read to the Senate the dying speech of 
the great apostle of secession and slavery (Cal- 
houn). It proved to be a legacy of woe to the 

I met Mr. Mason at an entertainment given 
him on his return from London after the close of 
the war. He still bore himself with pride and 
dignity, but without that hauteur which is said 
to have characterized him when he declared in 
the Senate that he was an ambassador from Vir- 
ginia. He found his home in the Shenandoah 
Valley desolate. It will be remembered that, 
with John Slidell, Mason was captured when a 
passenger on board an English steamer and sent 
a prisoner to Fort Warren (in Boston Harbor), 
but he was released on demand of the English 
government. Mason told us many interesting 
things about his trip to London — of a conversa- 
tion with Lord Brougham at a dinner, and the 
mistake the London post office had made in send- 
ing his mail to the American minister, Charles 
Francis Adams, and Mr. Adams's mail to Mason. 
Seeing him thus in the wreck of his hopes and with 


no future to cheer him, I was reminded of Caius 
Marius brooding among the ruins of Carthage. 

William L. Yancey, of Alabama, did more than 
any other man in the South to precipitate the 
sectional conflict. In a commercial convention, 
shortly before the campaign of i860, he had 
offered resolutions in favor of repealing the laws 
against the African slave trade. Yancey at- 
tacked Thomas Jefferson as an abolitionist, as 
Calhoun had done in the Senate, and called 
Virginia a breeding ground for slaves to sell to 
the Cotton States. He also charged her people 
with using the laws against the importation of 
Africans to create for themselves a monopoly 
in the slave market. Roger A. Pryor replied to 
him in a powerful speech. 

Yancey was more responsible than any other 
man for the disruption of the Democratic Party 
and, consequently, of the Union. He came to 
Virginia to speak in the Presidential canvass. I 
was attending court at Abingdon, where Yancey 
was advertised to speak. A few Douglas men 
in the county had invited Tim Rives, a famous 
stump orator, to meet Yancey, and I was 
delegated to call on the latter and prepare a 
joint debate. Yancey was stopping at the house 
of Governor Floyd — then Secretary of War. 


I went to Floyd's home, was introduced to Yancey, 
and stated my business. He refused the joint 
debate, and I shall never forget the arrogance 
and contempt with which he treated me. I heard 
his speech that day ; it was a strong one for his 
side. As the Virginia people had not yet been 
educated up to the secession point, Yancey thinly 
veiled his disunion purposes. That night we 
put up Tim Rives, who made a great speech in 
reply to Yancey and pictured the horrors of dis- 
union and war. Rives was elected a member of 
the Convention that met the next winter, and 
there voted against disunion. 

Early in the war, the company in which I was 
a private was in camp near Richmond, and one 
day I met Rives on the street. It was the first 
time I had seen him since the speech at Abingdon. 
I had written an account of his speech for a Rich- 
mond paper, which pleased him very much, and 
he was very cordial. He wanted me to go with 
him to the governor's house and get Governor 
Letcher, who had also been a Douglas man the 
year before, to give me a commission. I declined 
and told him that as I had no military training, 
I preferred serving as a private under a good 
officer. I had no idea then that I should ever 
rise above the ranks. 


A few days before the presidential election, I 
was walking on the street in Bristol when I was 
attracted by a crowd that was holding a Bell 
and Everett meeting. Some one called on me to 
make a Union speech. I rose and told the meeting 
that I saw no reason for making a Union speech 
at a Bell and Everett meeting ; that it was my 
mission to call not the righteous, but sinners, to 
repentance. This "brought down the house." I 
little thought that in a few months I should be 
regarded as one of the sinners. 

I was very friendly with the editor of the se- 
cession paper in my town. One day he asked me 
what I intended to do in the case of a collision 
between the Government and South Carolina. 
I told him I would be on the side of the Union. 
He said that I should find him on the other side. 
"Very well," I replied, "I shall meet you at Phil- 
ippi." Some years after the war he called upon 
me in Washington and jokingly reminded me of 
what I had said to him. As he was about my 
age and did not go into the army, I was tempted 
to tell him that I did go to Philippi, but did not 
meet him there. 1 

1 The editor in question, Mr. J. A. Sperry, of the Bristol Courier, 
has told the story in a somewhat different way. In writing his remi- 
niscences of Mosby he said : 

"Mosby pursued the even tenor of his way until the memorable 


Colonel Mosby's Mother 


In April, 1861, came the call to arms. On the 
day after the bombardment by South Carolina 
and the surrender of Fort Sumter that aroused 
all the slumbering passions of the country, I was 

Presidential Campaign of i860. So guarded had been his political 
utterances that but few of the villagers knew with which of the parties 
to class him, when he suddenly bloomed out as an elector on the Doug- 
las ticket. This seemed to fix his status as a Union Democrat. I 
say seemed, for I am now inclined to think his politics was like his 
subsequent fighting, — independent and irregular. 

"We saw little of him in the stirring times immediately succeeding 
the election. One morning about the middle of January, 1861, I met 
him in the street, when he abruptly accosted me, 'I believe you are a 
secessionist per se.' 

"'What has led you to that conclusion?' 

"'The editorial in your paper to-day.' 

"'You have not read it carefully,' said I. 'There is nothing in it 
to justify your inference. In summing up the events of the week, I 
find that several sovereign States have formally severed their connection 
with the Union. We are confronted with the accomplished fact of 
secession. I have expressed no opinion either of the right or the expe- 
diency of the movement. I am not a secessionist per se, if I under- 
stand the term ; but a secessionist by the logic of events.' 

"'I am glad to hear it,' he rejoined. 'I have never coveted the 
office of Jack Ketch, but I would cheerfully fill it for one day for the 
pleasure of hanging a disunionist per se. Do you know what secession 
means ? It means bloody war, followed by feuds between the border 
States, which a century may not see the end of.' 

'"I do not agree with you,' I said. 'I see no reason why secession 
should not be peaceable. But in the event of the dreadful war you 
predict, which side will you take?' 

"'I shall fight for the Union, Sir, — for the Union, of course, and you ? ' 

"'Oh, I don't apprehend any such extremity, but if I am forced 
into the struggle, I shall fight for my mother section. Should we meet 
upon the field of battle, as Yancey said to Brownlow the other day, I 
would run a bayonet through you.' 

"'Very well, — we'll meet at Philippi,' retorted Mosby and stalked 

"'Several months elapsed before I saw him again, but the rapid and 
startling events of those months made them seem like years. I was 


again attending court at Abingdon, when the 
telegraph operator told me of the great news that 
had just gone over the wire. Mr. Lincoln had 
called on the States for troops to suppress the 

In the preceding December, Floyd had ordered 
Major Anderson to hold Sumter against the seces- 
sionists to the last extremity. Anderson simply 
obeyed Floyd's orders. When the news came, 
Governor Floyd was at home, and I went to his 
house to tell him. I remember he said it would 
be the bloodiest war the world had ever seen. 
Floyd's was a sad fate. He had, as Secretary of 
War, given great offense to the North by the 
shipping of arms from the northern arsenals to 
the South, some months before secession. He 
was charged with having been in collusion with 
the enemies of the Government under which he 
held office, and with treachery. At Donelson he 
was the senior officer in command. When the 

sitting in my office writing, one day in the latter part of April, when 
my attention was attracted by the quick step of some one entering and 
the exclamation, ' How do you like my uniform ? ' 

"It was a moment before I could recognize the figure pirouetting 
before me in the bob-tail coat of a cavalry private. 

"'Why, Mosby!' I exclaimed, 'This isn't Philippi, nor is that a 
Federal uniform.' 

"'No more of that,' said he, with a twinkle of the eye. 'When I 
talked that way, Virginia had not passed the ordinance of secession. 
She is out of the Union now. Virginia is my mother, God bless her ! 
I can't fight against my mother, can I ? '" 


other brigadiers refused to fight any longer, he 
brought off his own men and left the others to 
surrender to Grant. This was regarded as a 
breach of discipline, and Jefferson Davis relieved 
him of his command. 

When Lincoln's proclamation was issued, the 
Virginia Convention was still in session and had 
not passed a secession ordinance, so she was not 
included with States against which the proclama- 
tion was first directed. With the exception of 
the northwestern section of the State, where there 
were few slaves and the Union sentiment pre- 
dominated, the people of Virginia, in response to 
the President's call for troops to enforce the 
laws, sprang to arms to resist the Government. 
The war cry "To arms!" resounded throughout 
the land and, in the delirium of the hour, we all 
forgot our Union principles in our sympathy 
with the pro-slavery cause, and rushed to the 
field of Mars. 

In issuing his proclamation, Lincoln referred 
for authority to a statute in pursuance of which 
George Washington sent an army into Penn- 
sylvania to suppress the Whiskey Insurrection. 
But the people were persuaded that Lincoln's 
real object was to abolish slavery, although at his 
inaugural he had said : 


There has never been any reasonable cause for such 
apprehension that by the accession of the Republican 
administration their property and their peace and 
personal security were endangered. Indeed, the most 
ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed 
and been open to their inspection. It is found in 
nearly all the published speeches of him who now ad- 
dresses you. I do but quote from one of those speeches 
when I declare that "I have no purpose, directly or 
indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery 
in the States where it exists." I believe I have no 
lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do 

The South had always been solid for slavery 
and when the quarrel about it resulted in a con- 
flict of arms, those who had approved the policy 
of disunion took the pro-slavery side. It was 
perfectly logical to fight for slavery, if it was right 
to own slaves. Enforcing the laws was not 
coercing a State unless the State resisted the ex- 
ecution of the laws. When such a collision 
came, coercion depended on which was the stronger 

The Virginia Convention had been in session 
about two months, but a majority had opposed 
secession up to the time of the proclamation, 
and even then a large minority, including many 
of the ablest men in Virginia, voted against it. 


Among that number was Jubal Early, who was 
prominent in the war. Nobody cared whether it 
was a constitutional right they were exercising, 
or an act of revolution. At such times reason is 
silent and passion prevails. 

The ordinance of secession was adopted in 
April and provided that it be submitted to a 
popular vote on the fourth Thursday in May. 
According to the States' Rights theory, Virginia 
was still in the Union until the ordinance was 
ratified ; but the State immediately became an 
armed camp, and her troops seized the United 
States Armory at Harper's Ferry and the Nor- 
folk Navy Yard. Virginia went out of the Union 
by force of arms, and I went with her. 

A Private in the Cavalry 

In that fateful April, 1861, our local company, 
with other companies of infantry and cavalry, 
went into camp in a half-finished building of the 
Martha Washington College in the suburbs of 
Abingdon. Captain Jones allowed me to remain 
in Bristol for some time to close up the business 
I had in hand for clients and to provide for my 
family. A good many owed me fees when I left 
home, and they still owe me. My last appear- 
ance in court was at Blountville, Tennessee, be- 
fore the Chancellor. 

My first night in camp I was detailed as one of 
the camp guards. Sergeant Tom Edmonson — a 
gallant soldier who was killed in June, 1864 — gave 
me the countersign and instructed me as to the 
duties of a sentinel. For two hours, in a cold 
wind, I walked my round and was very glad when 
my relief came and I could go to rest on my pal- 
let of straw. The experience of my first night in 
camp rather tended to chill my military ardor 



and was far more distasteful than picketing near 
the enemy's lines on the Potomac, which I after- 
wards did in hot and cold weather, very cheer- 
fully ; in fact I enjoyed it. The danger of being 
shot by a rifleman in a thicket, if not attractive, 
at least kept a vidette awake and watching. At 
this time I was the frailest and most delicate man 
in the company, but camp duty was always irk- 
some to me, and I preferred being on the out- 
posts. During the whole time that I served as 
a private — nearly a year — I only once missed 
going on picket three times a week. The single 
exception was when I was disabled one night by 
my horse falling over a cow lying in the road. 

Captain Jones had strict ideas of discipline, 
which he enforced, but he took good care of his 
horses as well as his men. There was a horse 
inspection every morning, and the man whose 
horse was not well groomed got a scolding mixed 
with some cursing by Captain Jones. Jones was 
always very kind to me. He drilled his own 
company and also a company of cavalry from 
Marion, which had come to our camp to get the 
benefit of his instruction in cavalry tactics. 
' In the Marion company was William E. Peters, 
Professor at Emory and Henry College, who 
had graduated in the same class in Greek with 


me at the University. When he and I were 
students reading Thucydides, we did not expect 
ever to take part in a greater war than the Pelo- 
ponnesian. Peters had left his literary work to 
be a lieutenant of cavalry. He was made a staff 
officer by General Floyd in his campaign that 
year in West Virginia. For some reason Peters 
was not with Floyd when the latter escaped from 
Fort Donelson in February, 1862. Peters was 
a strict churchman, but considered it his duty 
to fight a duel with a Confederate officer. He 
became a colonel of cavalry. Peters's regiment 
was with McCausland when he was sent by 
General Early in August, 1864, to Chambersburg, 
and his regiment was selected as the one to set 
fire to the town. Peters refused to obey the order, 
for which he is entitled to a monument to his 
memory. Reprisals in war can only be justified 
as a deterrent. As the Confederates were hold- 
ing the place for only a few hours, while the 
Northern armies were occupying a large part of 
the South, no doubt, aside from any question of 
humanity, Peters thought it was bad policy to 
provoke retaliation. General Early ordered a 
reprisal in kind on account of the houses burned 
in the Shenandoah Valley a few months before 
by General Hunter. As General Early made 


no mention of Peters in his book, I imagine it was 
because of his refusal to apply the torch to Cham- 
bersburg. On his return from this expedition, 
McCausland was surprised by Averill at Moore- 
field, and Peters was wounded and captured. 
He told me that he had expected to be put under 
arrest for disobedience as soon as he got back to 

Hunter was a member of an old Virginia family, 
but he showed no favor to Virginians. At Bull 
Run he commanded the leading division that 
crossed at Sudley and was badly wounded, but 
there was no sympathy for .him in Virginia. A 
relative of his told me that when Hunter met a 
lady who was a near relative, he offered to em- 
brace her, but was repelled. She thought that 
in fighting against Virginia he was committing 
an unnatural act and that he had the feelings, 
described by Hamlet, of one who "would kill 
a king and marry with his brother." On Hun- 
ter's staff was his relative, Colonel Strother, who 
had won literary distinction over the pen name of 
"Porte Crayon." Both men seemed to be an- 
imated by the same sentiments towards their kin. 
Hunter presided over the court that condemned 
Mrs. Surratt as an accessory to the assassination 
of President Lincoln. He closed his life by suicide. 


But to return to our company of cavalry and 
my first days as a soldier. We were sent, within 
a few days, to another camping ground, where 
we had plank sheds for shelter and where we 
drilled regularly. Several companies of infantry 
shared the camp with us. Once I had been de- 
tailed for camp guard and, having been relieved 
just as the company went out to drill, I saddled 
my horse and went along. I had no idea t that it 
was a breach of discipline to be doing double 
duty, until two men with muskets came up and 
told me that I was under arrest for it. I was too 
proud to say a word and, as my time had come, 
I went again to walking my rounds. Once after 
that, when we were in camp on Bull Run, I was 
talking at night with the Colonel in his tent and 
did not hear the bugle sounded for roll call. So 
a lieutenant, who happened to be in command, 
ordered me, as a penalty, to do duty the rest of 
the morning as a camp guard. He knew that 
my absence from roll call was not wilful but 
a mistake. I would not make any explanation 
but served my tour of duty. These were the 
only instances in which I was punished when a 

Our Circuit Judge, Fulkerson, who had served 
in the Mexican War, was appointed a colonel by 


Governor Letcher, and took command of the 
camp at Abingdon. But in a few days we were 
ordered to Richmond. Fulkerson, with the in- 
fantry, went by rail, but Jones preferred to march 
his company all the way. As he had been an 
officer in the army on the plains, we learned a 
good deal from him in the two weeks on the road, 
and it was a good course of discipline for us. I 
was almost a perfect stranger in the company to 
which I belonged, and I felt so lonely in camp that 
I applied to Captain Jones for a transfer to an 
infantry company from Bristol. He said that 
I would have to get the approval of the Governor 
and forwarded my application to him at Richmond. 
Fortunately the next day we were ordered away, 
and I heard nothing more about the transfer. 

On May 30, in the afternoon, our company — 
one hundred strong — left Abingdon to join the 
army. In spite of a drizzling rain the whole 
population was out to say farewell ; in fact a 
good many old men rode several miles with us. 
We marched ten miles and then disbanded to 
disperse in squads, under the command of an 
officer or of a non-commissioned officer, to spend 
the night at the country homes. I went under 
Jim King, the orderly sergeant, and spent the 
night at the house of Major Ab. Beattie, who 


gave us the best of everything, but I was so de- 
pressed at parting with my wife and children 
that I scarcely spoke a word. King had been 
a cadet at West Point for a short time and had 
learned something of tactics. He was afterwards 
transferred to the 37th Virginia Infantry and 
was killed in Jackson's battle at Kernstown. 

When the roll was called the next morning at 
the rendezvous at old Glade Spring Church, I 
don't think a man was missing. The men were 
boiling with enthusiasm and afraid that the war 
would be over before they got to the firing line. 
I remember one man who was conspicuous on 
the march ; he rode at the head of the column 
and got the bouquets the ladies threw at us ; but 
in our first battle he was conspicuous for his 
absence and stayed with the wagons. "Our march 
to the army was an ovation. Nobody dreamed 
of the possibility of our failure and the last scene 
of the great drama at Appomattox. We made 
easy marches, and by the time we got to Wythe- 
ville, all of my depression of spirits had gone, 
and I was as lively as anybody. It took us two 
weeks to get to Richmond, where we spent a few 
days on the Fair Grounds. We were then sent 
to a camp of instruction at Ashland, where we 
remained a short time or until we, with a cavalry 


company from Amelia County, were ordered to 
join Joe Johnston's army in the Shenandoah. 

I well remember that we were in Ashland when 
news came to us that Joe Johnston, on June 15, 
had retreated from Harper's Ferry to Winchester. 
To begin the war by abandoning such an outpost, 
when there was no enemy near and no necessity 
for it, was a shock for which we were not pre- 
pared, and it chilled our enthusiasm. I couldn't 
understand it — that was all — but my instinct 
told me at the time what was afterwards con- 
firmed by reason and experience — that a great 
blunder had been committed. 

At Wytheville, on our third day's march to 
Richmond, we got the papers which informed us 
that the war had actually begun in a skirmish at 
Fairfax, where Captain Marr had been killed. 
We were greatly excited by the news of the affair. 
Our people had been reading about war and 
descriptions of battles by historians and poets, 
from the days of Homer down, and were filled 
with enthusiasm for military glory. They had 
no experience in the hardships of military ser- 
vice and knew nothing, had no conception, of the 
suffering it brings to the homes of those who 
have left them. In all great wars, women and 
children are the chief sufferers. 


Our company joined the First Virginia Cav- 
alry, commanded by Colonel J. E. B. Stuart, in 
the Shenandoah Valley. At Richmond, Captain 
Jones, who stood high with those in authority, 
had procured Sharp carbines for us. We con- 
sidered this a great compliment, as arms were 
scarce in the Confederacy. We had been fur- 
nished with sabres before we left Abingdon, but 
the only real use I ever heard of their being put to 
was to hold a piece of meat over a fire for frying. 
I dragged one through the first year of the war, 
but when I became a commander, I discarded it. 
The sabre and lance may have been very good 
weapons in the days of chivalry, and my suspicion 
is that the combats of the hero of Cervantes were 
more realistic and not such burlesques as they are 
supposed to be. But certainly the sabre is of 
no use against gunpowder. Captain Jones also 
made requisition for uniforms, but when they 
arrived there was almost a mutiny. They were 
a sort of dun color and came from the penitentiary. 
The men piled them up in the camp, and all but 
Fount Beattie and myself refused to wear them. 

We joined Joe Johnston's army in the Shen- 
andoah Valley at his headquarters in Winchester 
and rested there for a day. Then we went on to 
join Colonel J. E. B. Stuart's regiment at Bunker 

m*&k <**^ 


An old servant and coachman of A. D. Mosby, who went through the entire 

Civil War as body-servant to his son, Colonel John S. Mosby. 

Taken in 1 898 


Hill, a village about twelve miles distant on the 
pike leading to Martinsburg, where Patterson's 
army was camped. We were incorporated into 
the First Virginia Cavalry, which Stuart had 
just organized, now on outpost to watch Patter- 
son. I had never seen Stuart before, and the 
distance between us was so great that I never ex- 
pected to rise to even an acquaintance with him. 
Stuart was a graduate of West Point and as a 
lieutenant in Colonel Sumner's regiment, the 
First Cavalry, had won distinction and had 
been wounded in an Indian fight. At the begin- 
ning of the war he was just twenty-eight years 
old. His appearance — which included a red- 
dish beard and a ruddy complexion — indicated 
a strong physique and great energy. 

In his work on the outposts Stuart soon showed 
that he possessed the qualities of a great leader 
of cavalry. He never had an equal in such ser- 
vice. He discarded the old maxims and soon dis- 
covered that in the conditions of modern war the 
chief functions of cavalry are to learn the designs 
and to watch and report the movements of the 

We rested a day in camp, and many of us wrote 
letters to our homes, describing the hospitable 
welcome we had met on our long march and our 


anxiety to meet the foe who was encamped <x few 
miles away. On the following day, to our great 
delight, Captain Jones was ordered to take us on 
a scout towards Martinsburg. My first expe- 
rience was near there — at Snodgrass Spring — 
where we came upon two soldiers who were out 
foraging. They ran across the field, but we over- 
took them. I got a canteen from one — the first 
I had ever seen — which I f^und very useful in 
the first battle I was in. It was a trophy which 
I prized highly. We got a good view of Patter- 
son's army, a mile or so away, and returned that 
evening to our bivouac, all in the highest of spirits. 
Nearly every man in the company wrote a letter 
to somebody the next day. 

Johnston's Retreat from Harper's Ferry 

The first great military blunder of the war was 
committed by Johnston in evacuating Harper's 
Ferry. Both Jackson and General Lee, who was 
then in Richmond organizing the army and 
acting as military adviser, were opposed to this. 
They wanted to hold it, not as a fortress with a 
garrison, but to break communication with the 
West, and a salient for an active force to threaten 
the flank of an invading army. 

On April 27, Stonewall Jackson was ordered 
to the command of Harper's Ferry, which the 
militia had seized a few days before. Harper's 
Ferry is situated in a gap in the Blue Ridge 
through which flow the waters of the Potomac 
and the Shenandoah. John Brown had seized 
the place in his rebellion. The fact that he tried 
to start a slave insurrection in a region where 
there were few slaves is proof that he was a mono- 
maniac. But Harper's Ferry was a place of 
great strategic value for the Confederates, as the 



railroad and canal on the Potomac from Wash- 
ington, fifty miles below, passed through the 
gap. It was a salient position ; its possession 
by the Confederates was a menace to the North 
and broke direct communication between the 
Capital and the West. A strategic offensive on 
the border was the best policy to encourage 
Southern sentiment in Maryland and defend the 
Shenandoah Valley from invasion. 

A Virginian lieutenant, Roger Jones, had been 
stationed at Harper's Ferry with a small guard to 
protect the property of the Government. He re- 
mained until the force coming to capture the 
place was in sight, then set fire to the buildings, 
and retreated. His example in holding the po- 
sition to the last extremity was not followed by 
the Confederates. 

When Jackson arrived at the scene of his com- 
mand, without waiting for instructions, he pre- 
pared to hold it by fortifying Maryland Heights. 
"I am of the opinion," he wrote to General Lee, 
"that this place should be defended with the 
spirit that actuated the defenders of Thermopylae 
and if left to myself such is my determination." 
General Lee was in accord with Jackson's senti- 
ments. Now Jackson did not mean that Har- 
per's Ferry should be held as a fortress to stand 


a siege ; nor that he would stay there and die 
like the Spartans in the Pass, but that he would 
hold it until a likelihood of its being surrounded 
by superior numbers was imminent. There was 
no prospect of this being the case, for no invest- 
ing force was near. The best way to defend the 
Shenandoah Valley was to hold the line of the 
Potomac as a menace to Washington. 

Major Deas, who had been sent to Harper's 
Ferry as an inspector of the Confederate War 
Department, thought that the troops showed 
an invincible spirit of resistance. On May 21 
he wrote: "I have not asked Colonel Jackson 
his opinion on the subject, but my own is that 
there is force enough here to hold the place against 
any attack which, under the existing state of 
affairs, may be contemplated." And on May 
23, the day before McDowell's army at Wash- 
ington crossed into Virginia, he reported that 
there were ''about 8000 troops at Harper's Ferry 
and the outposts, including five companies of 
artillery and a naval battery, and that 7300 were 
then able to go into battle well-armed. The 
Naval Batteries," he said, "under Lieutenant 
Fauntleroy, are placed on the northern and 
southern salients of the village of Harper's Ferry 
and envelop by their fire the whole of the town 


of Bolivar and the approaches of the immediate 
banks of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. 
The cavalry under Lieutenant-Colonel J. E. B. 
Stuart is in very good condition and quite effec- 
tive. All the infantry regiments are daily drilled 
in the school of the soldier and company, and 
valuable assistance is received in this respect from 
the young men who have been instructed at the 
Military School at Lexington." Neither Jack- 
son nor Major Deas knew of any immediate 
danger of Harper's Ferry being invested. 

On May 24, in accordance with orders from the 
Confederate Government at Montgomery, Gen- 
eral Joseph E. Johnston assumed command at 
the Ferry, and in a few days Jackson was given a 
brigade of five Virginia regiments. The outposts 
at the Ferry then extended from Williamsport on 
the Potomac to Point of Rocks on the river be- 
low. Johnston at once submitted a memorandum 
to Richmond on the conditions at Harper's Ferry, 
which displayed the caution for which he became 
distinguished. He seemed to have little con- 
fidence in his troops and thought the position 
could be easily turned from above or below, taking 
no account of the fact that he might turn the 
flank of an enemy who was flanking him. John- 
ston asked instructions from General Lee in re- 


lation to the manner in which the troops he 
commanded should be used. And on May 28 
he again wrote in the same tone of despair: "If 
the Commander-in-Chief has precise instructions 
to give I beg to receive them early. I have 
prepared means of transportation for a march. 
Should it be decided that the troops should 
constitute a garrison this expense can be recalled," 
which shows he was getting ready for a retreat. 
With this letter Johnston enclosed a memorandum 
from a staff officer, Major Whiting, in which the 
latter spoke of troops that were gathering at 
Carlisle and Chambersburg, intimating that in 
the event of the advance of this force it might be 
necessary to move out to prevent being shut up 
in a cul-de-sac. But such a thing was too re- 
mote and contingent to constitute a danger of 
investment at that time. No place is absolutely 
impregnable ; Gibraltar has been captured. The 
answer Johnston should have received to this 
request for orders was that he did not command 
a garrison to defend a fortress, but an active force 
in the field ; and that Harper's Ferry might be 
held as a picket post. 

The discipline of Johnston's troops ought to 
have been as good as that of the three months' 
men that Patterson was collecting at Chambers- 


burg, fifty miles away. In addition to the cadets 
of the Virginia Military Institute, who were 
drilling his regiments, Johnston had in his army 
at least ten officers who had lately resigned from 
the U. S. Army. Nearly all of the field officers 
of Jackson's brigade had been educated at the 
Military Institute, and several had been officers 
in the Mexican War. Their conduct in battle 
a few weeks afterwards shows how much Johnston 
had underrated them. The men were volunteers 
full of enthusiasm for a cause and rendered cheer- 
ful obedience to orders ; it was not necessary to 
drill such material into machines to make them 

Johnston complained of the want of discipline 
of his army and the danger of being surrounded 
by a superior force. The force that was coming 
to surround the Ferry was a spectre. McDowell's 
and Patterson's armies were fifty miles away and 
a hundred miles apart. At the request of Gov- 
ernor Pierpont a few regiments had crossed the 
Ohio, but McClellan's headquarters were still at 
Cincinnati. Any movement from that direction 
would naturally be through central Virginia — 
towards Richmond — in cooperation with Mc- 
Dowell. Johnston continued to show great 
anxiety about his position and wrote about it 


several times to General Lee. But neither Lee 
nor President Davis could see the danger as he 
saw it, and on June 7 General Lee — to calm his 
fears — wrote him: "He (the President) does 
not think it probable that there will be an im- 
mediate attack by troops from Ohio. General 
N. J. Garnett, C. S. Army, with a command of 
4000 men, has been dispatched to Beverly to ar- 
rest the progress of troops. . . . Colonel Mc- 
Donald has also been sent to interrupt the pas- 
sage of troops over the Baltimore and Ohio Rail- 
road. It is hoped by these means you will be 
relieved from an attack in that direction, and 
will have merely to meet an attack in front from 

In the meantime reinforcements were going to 
Beauregard and Johnston almost daily. Wise 
and Floyd had been sent to the Kanawha Valley 
to counteract any movement there, and Garnett, 
with four thousand troops, had been sent to 
northwest Virginia. Patterson's was the only 
force from which Johnston could expect an attack, 
and as he would have to make detachments from 
it to guard his communications, Patterson could 
not be much superior in numbers when the col- 
lision should come. 

General Lee, as adviser to the War Department, 


was really the de facto Secretary of War and di- 
rected all operations in the field. He had se- 
lected Manassas Junction as a strategic point for 
the concentration of troops, on account of its 
being in connection with the Valley. On return 
from Manassas Junction, to relieve Johnston of 
anxiety about his flank being turned, Lee wrote 
to him that he had placed Colonel Ewell in ad- 
vance at Fairfax Court House and Colonel Eppa 
Hunton at Leesburg on the Potomac, each with 
a force of infantry and cavalry in reservation, 
who would inform him of any movement to his 
rear. But Johnston continued uneasy and, al- 
though he was receiving reinforcements, he again 
wrote that he had heard that Patterson had 10,000 
troops at Chambersburg, that some of McClellan's 
troops had reached Grafton, and he apprehended 
a junction of all of those forces against him. He 
should at least have waited for the development 
of such a plan and then, instead of retreating, 
have taken the offensive to defeat it. Johnston's 
suggestion meant the abandonment of the Valley. 
Patterson, who was organizing the force at 
Chambersburg, was a political general, only re- 
membered for having allowed the force he com- 
manded in the Shenandoah Valley to render no 
service at a critical time. Patterson proposed to 


capture Harper's Ferry, which, of course, Gen- 
eral Scott was very willing to do. But the only 
support Scott could promise from Washington was 
to make a demonstration towards Manassas to 
prevent reinforcements going to the Valley and 
to send a force of 2500 on a secondary expedition 
up the Potomac. As the Ferry was of great 
strategic value as an outpost, Scott warned Pat- 
terson of the desperate resistance he might expect 
from the Confederates. He did not suspect that 
the Confederates were then packing up to leave. 

On June 14 the Confederates began the evacu- 
ation of Harper's Ferry and retreated ten or 
twelve miles to Charles Town. No movement 
had been made against them from any direction. 
Several regiments had just arrived — there were 
about 3000 militia at Winchester, and a force of 
the enemy had retreated from Romney. 

On June 13, after repeated requests for instruc- 
tions about holding Harper's Ferry, which showed 
clearly a desire to shift the responsibility for it, 
the War Department wrote him the conditions on 
which the place should be evacuated : "You have 
been heretofore instructed to use your own dis- 
cretion as to retiring from your position at Har- 
per's Ferry and taking the field to check the ad- 
vance of the enemy. ... As you seem to desire, 


however, that the responsibility of your retire- 
ment should be assumed here, and as no reluctance 
is felt to bear any burden which the public in- 
terest may require, you can consider yourself 
authorized, whenever the position of the enemy 
shall convince you that he is about to turn your 
position and thus deprive the country of the ser- 
vices of yourself and the troops under your com- 
mand, to destroy everything at Harper's Ferry." 

Johnston seems to have met this letter at 
Charles Town while it was on the way, and did 
not wait for it at the Ferry. Johnston's report 
says he met a courier from Richmond with a 
despatch authorizing him to evacuate Harper's 
Ferry at his discretion. The dispatch he received 
had no such instructions ; the conditions on which 
he was authorized to abandon the place had not 
arisen ; no enemy was threatening to turn his 

On June 15 Patterson crossed the Maryland 
line. His leading brigade was commanded by 
Colonel George H. Thomas, a Virginian, who 
was an officer in the Second Cavalry under Lee. 
It had been expected that he would go with the 
people of his native State. On the sixteenth his 
brigade waded the Potomac. When Patterson 
heard that Harper's Ferry had been abandoned, 


he was incredulous and thought it was a ruse, 
giving Joe Johnston a credit he himself never 

The evacuation of Harper's Ferry before it 
was compelled by the presence of an enemy was 
not approved at Richmond, nor was it done to 
act in concert with any other force, as was then 
supposed. The victory at Bull Run a few weeks 
afterwards confirmed the impression that the 
movement had been made in cooperation with 
Beauregard. The latter knew nothing of such a 
purpose until he heard that the Confederates had 
lost their advantage, and that the enemy held the 
key to the Shenandoah Valley. In plain words 
it was a retreat. 

The evacuation of the post before there was 
any pressure to compel it made Johnston the 
innocent cause of a comedy at Washington. 
General Scott could not comprehend what could 
be the motive for it, except on the theory of its 
being a feigned retreat to capture Washington by 
a stratagem. No other reason could be con- 
ceived why the Confederates should surrender, 
without making a defense, the advantage of 
Harper's Ferry as a base. 

After a part of his force had crossed the Potomac, 
to his surprise, Patterson received a telegram from 


General Scott, on June 16, ordering him to send 
at once to Washington all the regular troops, 
horse and foot, and Burnside's Rhode Island 
regiment. And on the 17th of June, Scott repeated 
the order and said : "We are pressed here. Send 
the troops I have twice called for without delay." 
Where the pressure could come from was a mystery 
to Patterson, as he knew that Johnston was still 
in the Shenandoah Valley, but the order was im- 
perative, and he obeyed. "The troops were sent," 
he said, "leaving me without a single piece of 
artillery, and for the time with but one troop of 
cavalry, which had not been in service over a 
month." So the hostile armies retreated in op- 
posite directions. Patterson recrossed the Po- 
tomac, and Johnston, unconscious of the alarm 
which his retreat had given in Washington, went 
on to Winchester. 

There was another amusing episode on June 16 
as a result of the Harper's Ferry operations. In 
anticipation of the demonstration he was to make 
in favor of Patterson's predicted attack on Har- 
per's Ferry, McDowell had sent General Schenck 
on the Loudoun railroad as an advance guard. 
When turning a curve near Vienna, a fire was 
opened on the train by what Schenck called a 
"masked battery." The engine was in the rear, 


and as the engineer could not draw the train out 
of the range of fire, he detached the engine and 
disappeared under a full head of steam. So 
Schenck and his men had to walk back. Under 
a flag of truce he asked permission to bury the dead 
and take care of the wounded. Schenck after- 
wards gained notoriety as U. S. Minister at Lon- 
don and was recalled. The only distinction he 
won in the war was as the inventor of the term 
"masked battery." The battery that did so much 
damage was commanded by my schoolmate, Del 

The whole country was greatly surprised by 
the news of the evacuation of Harper's Ferry. If 
Johnston had waited a day longer for the answer 
to his request for instructions, his retreat would 
have been a disobedience of orders. The con- 
ditions did not exist, in the opinion of the War 
Department, which would justify the evacuation. 
Johnston sent a reply in which he disclaimed a 
desire to shift responsibility — which was clearly 
inconsistent with his request for instructions. 

Harper's Ferry should have been held until 
danger was imminent. It must have been a po- 
sition of strategic value as well as of tactical 
strength since it was held by 11,000 men against 
the Confederates and used as a base in the 


Gettysburg campaign and also when Early in- 
vaded Maryland. When the Ferry was evacu- 
ated, McDowell's army was fifty miles below, 
defending Washington, and Beauregard, in his 
front, fully occupied his attention. Patterson 
was at Hagerstown, had not crossed the Potomac, 
and had given no sign of doing so. 

Recollections of Battle of Manassas 1 

The First Virginia Cavalry remained in the 
Shenandoah Valley until the eighteenth of July 
when, by forced marches, it was sent to join the 
army and take its part in the Battle of Manassas. 
When we left the Valley, Stuart sent Captain 
Patrick's company to watch Patterson, whose 
army was in camp at Charles Town, and to screen 
the transfer of the army to the east of the Blue 
Ridge. It was well known that in a few, days 
the most of Patterson's regiments would be mus- 
tered out of service and would go home. It was 
evident that his prime object had been not to 
divert Johnston's army but to avoid a collision. 
Patterson no doubt thought that he had effected 
his purpose and was content to rest where he was. 

Stuart's regiment arrived at the scene of the 
approaching battle on the evening of July 20 and 
went into bivouac near Ball's Ford. The armies 

1 This, the first battle of the war, was known in the North as the 
Battle of Bull Run, and in the South as the Battle of Manassas. 



were so close together that there was a great deal 
of picket firing, and I remember very well the 
foreboding I felt when I lay down under a pine 
tree to rest beside Fount Beattie. When the 
bugle sounded on the morning of the twenty-first, 
in counting off, I was Number I in the first set of 
fours and rode at the head of the squadron that 
day. Nothing afterwards occurred in my mili- 
tary career that gives me more satisfaction to 
remember. A few days before six Colt pistols 
had been sent to our company, and Captain 
Jones had selected the men who were to have 
them. I was one of the six — I don't know why. 
But to reconcile those who got no pistols, Jones 
told them that the six should be selected for the 
most dangerous work. Shortly after breakfast 
on the morning of the battle, Stuart sent Jones to 
make a reconnaissance over Bull Run. When we 
reached the woods where he thought the enemy 
might be, Jones called for the six men. We all 
responded and rode off into the woods to recon- 
noitre, but we didn't find an enemy. So the 
company recrossed the Run. 

Our regiment was divided during the battle, 
and the squadron to which I belonged was placed 
under a Major Swan, a Marylander. Late in 
the day when the enemy was in retreat, Swan 


halted us in a field within fifty yards of Kemper's 
guns, which were firing on the retreating troops. 
That was the very time for us to have been on the 
enemy's flank. I was near Captain Jones. He 
rose in his stirrups and said indignantly, "Major 
Swan ! You can't be too bold in pursuing a flying 
enemy." But he made no impression on Swan. 
After dark Swan marched us back over Bull 
Run, and I slept in a drenching rain in a fence 
corner. Swan did not get a man or a horse 
scratched. He did a life insurance business that 
day. Instead of Swan supporting the battery, 
the battery supported Swan. Afterwards my last 
official act as adjutant of the company was to 
carry an order from Jones who had become colo- 
nel, for Swan's arrest. We lay all the next day 
near the battlefield, and I rode over it, carrying a 
despatch to Stuart at Sudley. But the first thing 
I did in the morning was to make a temporary 
shelter from the rain in a fence corner and write a 
letter to my wife. 

Monday, July 22d, Battlefield of Manassas. 

My dearest Pauline : 

There was a great battle yesterday. The Yankees 
are overwhelmingly routed. Thousands of them killed. 
I was in the fight. We at one time stood for two hours 


under a perfect storm of shot and shell — it was a 
miracle that none of our company was killed. We 
took all of their cannon from them ; among the bat- 
teries captured was Sherman's — battle lasted about 
7 hours — about 90,000 Yankees, 45,000 of our men. 
The cavalry pursued them till dark — followed 6 or 
7 miles. Genl. Scott commanded them. I just snatch 
this moment to write — am out doors in a rain — will 
write you all particulars when I get a chance. We 
start just as soon as we can get our breakfast to fol- 
low them to Alexandria. We made a forced march 
to get here to the battle — travelled about 65 miles 
without stopping. My love to all of you. In haste. 

Yours devotedly, 

Early on Tuesday morning (July 23) Stuart's regi- 
ment and Eley's brigade moved to Fairfax Court 
House and camped near there on opposite sides of 
the Alexandria pike. t Stuart's dispatch to General 
Johnston, who was still at Manassas, says we got 
there at 9.30 a.m. The country looked very much 
like Egypt after a flood of the Nile — it was strewn 
with the debris of McDowell's army. I again wrote 
to my wife and used paper and an envelope which 
the Zouaves had left behind. On it was a picture 
of a Zouave charging with a fixed bayonet and an 
inscription — "Up guards and at them" — which 
is said to have been Wellington's order at Waterloo. 
The Zouaves were then charging on New York. 


Fairfax Court House, July 24th, 1861. 

My dearest Pauline : 

I telegraphed and wrote you from Manassas early 
the next morning after the battle. We made a forced 
march from Winchester to get to Manassas in time 
for the fight, — travelled two whole days and one 
night without stopping (in the rain) and getting only 
one meal. We arrived the morning before the fight. 
It lasted about ten hours and was terrific. When we 
were first brought upon the field we were posted as a 
reserve just in rear of our artillery and directly within 
range of the hottest fire of the enemy. For two hours 
we sat there on our horses, exposed to a perfect storm 
of grapeshot, balls, bombs, etc. They burst over our 
heads, passed under our horses, yet nobody was hurt. 
I rode my horse nearly to death on the battlefield, 
going backward and forward, watching the enemy's 
movements to prevent their flanking our command. 
When I first got on the ground my heart sickened. 
We met Hampton's South Carolina legion retreating. 
I thought the day was lost and with it the Southern 
cause. We begged them, for the honor of their State, 
to return. But just then a shout goes up along our lines. 
Beauregard arrives and assures us that the day will be 
ours. This reanimated the troops to redouble their 
efforts. Our regiment had been divided in the morning ; 
half was taken to charge the enemy early in the action 
and the remaining part (ours and Amelia Co.) were held 
as a reserve, to cover the retreat of our forces, if unsuc- 
cessful, and to take advantage of any favorable moment. 


When, late in the evening, the Yankees gave way, 
they seemed overwhelmed with confusion and despair. 
They abandoned everything — arms, wagons, horses, 
ammunition, clothing, all sorts of munitions of war. 
They fled like a flock of panic-stricken sheep. We 
took enough arms, accoutrements, etc. to equip the 
whole army. They were splendidly equipped, had 
every imaginable comfort and convenience which 
Yankee ingenuity could devise. 

The fight would not have been half so long had it 
been an open-field one, but the Yankees were pro- 
tected by a thick pine woods, so that it was almost 
impossible to get at them with the cavalry. They 
never once stood to a clash of the bayonet — always 
broke and ran. In the evening, when they gave way, 
the order was given to charge them. We were then 
in the distant part of_the field. In a moment we were 
in full pursuit, and as we swept on by the lines of our 
infantry, at full speed, the shouts of our victorious 
soldiers rent the air. We pursued them for six or 
eight miles, until darkness covered their retreat. The 
whole road was blocked up with what they abandoned 
in their flight. All our regiment (in fact, nearly 
all the soldiers) now have splendid military overcoats 
which they took. I have provided myself very well. 
We took every piece of their artillery from them — 62 
pieces — among them, one of the finest batteries in the 
world. Their total loss cannot be less than 5000. Our 
company is now equipped with Yankee tents, (I am 
writing under one). We are also eating Yankee pro- 
visions, as they left enough to feed the army a long 


time. . . . All of the Northern Congress came out 
as spectators of the fight. A Senator was killed by a 
cannon ball — Foster. All of our troops fought well, 
but the Virginia troops bore the brunt of the battle, 
especially Jackson's brigade. A Washington paper 
says they were scarce of ammunition — a lie, for we 
took enough from them to whip them over again. 
Our Captain (who you know is an old army officer) 
complimented our company very much for their cool- 
ness and bravery in standing fire, — said that we stood 
like old veterans. We were placed in the most trying 
position in which troops can be placed, to be exposed 
to a fire which you cannot return. . . . There was 
scarcely a minute during the battle that I did not think 
of you and my sweet babes. I had a picture of May 
[his daughter] which I took out once and looked at. 
For a moment the remembrance of her prattling inno- 
cence almost unfitted me for the stern duties of a sol- 
dier, — but a truce to such thoughts. We are now 
marching on to bombard Washington City a 

Fairfax Court House, July 27, 1861. 

Dearest Pauline : 

We are here awaiting for the whole army to come 
up. . . . Several of our men got scared into fits at 

the battle. A Dr. put a blister on his heart as an 

excuse not to go into battle ; one named was so 

much frightened when the shells commenced bursting 
around us that he fell off his horse — commenced 
praying ; the surgeon ran up, — thought he was shot ; 


examined him, told him he was only scared to 
death. He got up and left the field in double-quick 
time. I could tell you!of a good many such ludicrous 


The Strategy of the Battle of Manassas 

On May 24, 1861, the day after Virginia rati- 
fied the Secession Ordinance, McDowell's army 
crossed the Potomac on three bridges. McDowell 
made his headquarters at Arlington, General 
Lee's home, and it should be recorded to his 
credit that he showed the highest respect for 
persons and property. 

One regiment of the New York Zouaves, com- 
manded by Colonel Ellsworth, went on a steamer 
to Alexandria and landed under the guns of the 
Pawnee. A Confederate flag was flying from the 
top of a house which was owned by a citizen named 
Jackson. Ellsworth went up and pulled down 
the flag. As he descended the stairs, Jackson 
shot him and was himself shot by a Union soldier. 

On June 26, McDowell's total strength present 
for duty was 153,682 men and twelve guns; 
Patterson's was 14,344 men. Of McDowell's 
twenty regiments, seventeen were three months' 
men. With the exception of one infantry regi- 



ment, four companies of cavalry, and three artil- 
lery companies, Patterson's force was composed 
of three months' men. Johnston's force at the 
same time was 10,654 men and five or six bat- 

General Lee had selected Manassas Junction 
as the point for the concentration of the Confed- 
erate troops on account of its being in connection 
with the Valley. Beauregard was in command 
here, while Jackson and Johnston with their 
forces were across the Blue Ridge in the Shenan- 
doah Valley. On June 15, Johnston retired 
towards Winchester, because, as he said, Patter- 
son's army had reached the Potomac twenty 
miles above, and he wanted to be in a position 
to repel an invasion of the Valley, or quickly 
to reinforce Beauregard at Manassas. Johnston 
thought, so he said, that Patterson was making 
a combined movement with McDowell, who was 
expected to move from Washington on Richmond. 
If so, Johnston at Harper's Ferry had the interior 
line and the choice of reinforcing Beauregard or 
striking Patterson. As Patterson hesitated, it 
showed that he was afraid to cross the Potomac 
with Johnston on his flank. 

Johnston's movement to Winchester, which, as 
I have said, was really a retreat, about doubled 


the distance between him and Beauregard. If 
he had really wanted to join Beauregard, his 
quickest way to do it would have been to march 
directly from Harper's Ferry to Bull Run. The 
distance would have been shorter than his march 
from Winchester to the railroad station, on his 
way to Manassas. There he left nearly half of 
his army for want of transportation. It is re- 
markable, however, that Jackson's biographers, 
Dabney, Cook, and Henderson, regarded the 
retreat to Winchester as only a strategic move. 
Jackson did not think so. 

Jackson's brigade and Stuart's regiment of 
cavalry were sent to observe Patterson on the 
upper Potomac. Patterson had no cavalry for 
outpost duty, while Johnston had the regiments of 
Stuart and Ashby. Jackson's orders were to 
feel out the enemy, but to avoid an engagement. 
On July 2 Patterson crossed the Potomac, and 
Jackson showed sufficient resistance to compel 
him to display his force and retired as his orders 
required. He was sure that Patterson had no 
aggressive purpose, but was only making a feint 
to create a diversion and retain Johnston in the 
Valley, when McDowell moved against Beauregard 
at Manassas. Jackson thought that a blow at 
Patterson would have been the best way to co- 


operate with Beauregard. As Jackson had strict 
ideas of military discipline, he would not criticise 
his superiors, and, although the order to fall 
back was a disappointment, he did not, like 
Achilles, sulk in his tent. But a letter he wrote 
at the time to his wife, read between the lines, 
shows the chagrin he felt. 

Colonel Henderson, in his "Life of Jackson", 
said : 

The Federal army crawled on to Martinsburg. 
Halting seven miles southwest, Jackson was reinforced 
by Johnston's whole command and here for four days 
the Confederates drawn up in line of battle awaited 
attack. But the Federals stood fast in Martinsburg 
and on the fourth day Johnston withdrew to Win- 
chester. The Virginia soldiers were bitterly dissatis- 

At first even Jackson chafed. He was eager for 
action. His experience at Falling Waters had given 
him no exalted notion of the enemy's prowess and he 
was ready to engage them singlehanded. "I want 
my brigade," he said, "to feel that it can itself whip 
Patterson's whole army and I believe that we can 
do it." 

The truth is that the numerical difference in 
the strength of the two armies was inconsider- 
able, but Johnston's had a great advantage in 
morale and a superior force of cavalry. 


On July 15, in obedience to General Scott's 
orders, Patterson moved up the Valley, threw 
some shells at Stuart's regiment, and then turned 
squarely around and retreated towards Harper's 
Ferry. The movement was so timid that it was 
more a farce than a feint. Patterson was not 
seeking a fight ; his movement was only a blind. 
If the Confederates had then taken the offensive, 
there would have been a footrace towards the 
Potomac, and McDowell would not have moved 
against the troops at Manassas. 

The most effective way to aid Beauregard was 
to strike Patterson. The next year Jackson did 
what should have been done in 1861. He turned 
on Banks and swept him out of the Shenandoah 
Valley, creating such alarm in Washington that 
McDowell, who was moving from Fredericksburg 
to join McClellan at Richmond, was recalled to 
save the Capital. 

The following dispatch to McClellan from 
Mr. Lincoln shows what Jackson did in 1862 
and what he would have done in 1861, if he had 
been in command : 

May 24th, 1862. 

In consequence of General Banks's critical position 
I have been compelled to suspend General McDowell's 
movements to join you. The enemy are making a 



desperate push on Harper's Ferry and we are trying 
to throw General Fremont's force and a part of Mc- 
Dowell's in their rear. 

The next that was heard of Jackson, he had 
defeated Fremont and Shields in the Valley and 
then turned off on McClellan's flank at Cold 

In July 1861, the larger part of the troops 
at Manassas should have gone to Johnston, 
instead of his reinforcing Beauregard. That is, 
if Johnston was willing to take the offensive and 
cross the Potomac. That was the best way to 
defend Richmond. 

On July 17, McDowell began his movement 
towards the Confederate Capital. Mr. Davis 
telegraphed to Johnston at Winchester to join 
Beauregard, if practicable. He said : 

General Beauregard is attacked. To strike the 
enemy a decisive blow a junction of all your effective 
force will be needed. If practicable make the move- 
ment, sending your sick and baggage to Culpeper Court 
House either by railroad or by Warrenton. In all 
arrangements exercise your discretion. 

President Davis endorsed on Johnston's report 
of the battle that his order, or rather request 
to Johnston to join Beauregard gave him discre- 
tion because Johnston's letters of July 12 and 13 


"made it doubtful whether General Johnston 
had the power to effect the movement." 

In the letters Johnston said that he had to 
"defeat Patterson or elude him." It would 
have been impossible for him to defeat Patterson 
as the latter was running ; as Patterson was 
trying to elude Johnston, the latter had no trouble 
in eluding Patterson. 

On July 13 General Johnston telegraphed to 
President Davis: "Unless he (Patterson) pre- 
vents it, we shall move toward Beauregard to-day." 
Up to that time Johnston does not seem to have 
contemplated, nor was there any plan for, any 
concerted action between Johnston and Beaure- 

The march to Manassas did not begin until 
noon of the eighteenth. Jackson's brigade was 
in the advance. It waded the Shenandoah, 
climbed the Blue Ridge, and arrived at Manassas 
by rail on the next day. When the troops left 
Winchester, they could not have been expected 
to join Beauregard at Manassas before a battle, 
because McDowell's delay of three days at Centre- 
ville could not have been anticipated. On the 
seventeenth General Scott telegraphed Patterson 
that McDowell would take Manassas the next 
day, which probably would have been done if 


Scott's program to cross the Occoquan and turn 
the Confederate right had been carried out. But 
McDowell changed the plan, waited to make 
a reconnaissance on the Confederate left, and 
decided to cross Bull Run at Sudley. Beauregard 
was not expecting aid from Johnston, for in a 
telegram to the War Department he said, "I 
believe this proposed movement of General John- 
ston is too late. Enemy will attack me in force 
to-morrow morning." 

When Johnston left the Valley, Patterson was 
in camp at Charles Town. As late as the nine- 
teenth Patterson insisted that Johnston was at 
Winchester receiving reinforcements ; but on the 
twentieth he acknowledged that Johnston had 
gone. It was then too late for him to give assist- 
ance to McDowell in the battle the next day. 
When Patterson was reproached for what he had 
not done, he consoled Scott by telling him that if 
he had attacked Joe Johnston, he (Scott) would 
have had to mourn the loss of two battles instead 
of one. 

Johnston arrived at Beauregard's headquarters 
at Manassas at noon on July 20, but nearly half 
of his army was left behind him. Beauregard's 
army was posted on Bull Run at five or six fords 
stretching from Stone Bridge to Union Mills, 


a distance of eight miles. Bull Run is a creek 
running through a largely wooded country, and 
is passable anywhere but for its steep banks. 
Johnston's troops were posted behind Beaure- 
gard's at the fords, and Jackson was placed in 
the rear of Bonham. McDowell's headquarters 
were in plain view six miles distant at Centre- 
ville and also in view of the signal station Captain 
Alexander had established on the Manassas plain. 

Beauregard proposed an offensive plan which 
Johnston approved, but no attempt was made 
to execute it. The battle was defensive on the 
Confederate side. Early on the morning of the 
twenty-first the signal officers discovered McDow- 
ell's column marching towards Sudley to turn 
our left at Stone Bridge. They reported the 
movement to General Evans, who commanded 
there, and to headquarters. Johnston's brigades 
were in the rear of the fords as reserves ready to 
be moved to any point on the line. As Bull Run 
presented no defensive advantages, it is hard 
to discover why that line was selected. No 
matter whether Beauregard intended to act on 
the offensive or defensive, his army should have 
been concentrated at one or two fords, instead 
of being distributed at several. 

Long afterwards Beauregard claimed that John- 


ston accepted his plan of battle, waived his rank, 
and consented to act as his chief of staff. As 
there was no emergency that required such an 
abdication of authority, and as there was ample 
time for Johnston to learn the conditions and get 
all the topographical knowledge necessary, it 
would have been shirking responsibility for him 
to have done so. His objective, McDowell's 
army, was in sight ; he was near Bull Run, and 
he could easily learn from maps where the fords 
were and the roads that led to them. Beaure- 
gard and his staff officers could have easily told 
him how the troops were disposed. With such 
explanation Johnston might, in an hour or so, 
have taken in the whole situation. Very few 
commanders were ever on the ground more than 
a few hours before a battle ; it is not their busi- 
ness to act as guides — the country furnishes 
plenty of them. Of course, generals must utilize 
other men's knowledge. 

But the inconsistency is that Beauregard claims 
the credit as commander-in-chief for winning 
the victory, but makes Johnston responsible for 
the failure to reap the fruit of it. He contradicts 
his own report, written a few days after the 
battle, which says that the army, after the hard 
day's righting, was in no condition to pursue. 


He did not seem to know that he had 15,000 fresh 
men on the field and that the remainder of John- 
ston's men arrived next morning. In his "Mili- 
tary Memoirs", General Alexander, who was 
chief signal officer and also in the evening carried 
orders on the field, said : 

Not far off Stonewall Jackson, who had been shot 
through the hand but had disregarded it until victory 
was assured, was now having his hand dressed by 
Doctor Hunter McGuire. Jackson did not catch the 
President's (Davis) words and Doctor McGuire re- 
peated them to him. Jackson quickly shouted, "We 
have whipped them ! They ran like sheep ! Give 
me 5000 men and I will be in Washington City to- 
morrow morning." 

Doctor Edward Campbell, a surgeon in Jack- 
son's brigade, told me soon after the war that 
he heard Jackson make that speech. 

But Johnston's endorsement on Beauregard's 
order of battle shows that so far from waiving 
he asserted his rank as commander. Here it is : 

4.30 a.m., July 21st. 

The plan of battle given by General Beauregard 
in the above order is approved and will be executed 

(Signed) J. E. Johnston, 
General, C. S. Army. 


As Beauregard submitted his program to John- 
ston's approval, he recognized Johnston as his 
superior officer. Orders are not submitted to 
the approval of subordinates. As a worse plan 
of operations could hardly have been devised, 
Johnston might have given Beauregard credit 
for it if he had adopted it. As there was no 
attempt to execute it, however, it is immaterial 
who was the author. The battle was fought 
on McDowell's plan. What was most remark- 
able was that instead of directing its immedi- 
ate execution by an advance of his columns on 
Centreville, it instructed brigade commanders 
to hold themselves in readiness to advance but 
to wait orders. None but D. R. Jones received 
such an order to cross the Run that morning, and 
his was soon revoked. As the enemy was in 
their front, old soldiers like Jackson, Longstreet, 
and Ewell, ought to have been presumed to be 
ready for combat without instructions. If the 
Confederates were to assume the offensive to 
turn McDowell, their movement should have 
been begun, as McDowell's was, before daybreak ; 
and as they would have had to move through a 
wooded country, their columns should have been 
as much as possible in sight of and in supporting 
distance of each other. But what is stranger 


still is that Beauregard's order of battle, although 
it contemplated the offensive, is dated at 4.30 
A.M., July 21, long after McDowell's army was 
in motion. McDowell issued his order of battle 
on the twentieth. 

McDowell saw the danger of keeping the wings 
of his army so far apart and said : 

I had felt anxious about the road from Manassas 
by Blackburn's Ford to Centreville along this ridge, 
fearing that while we should be in force to the front 
and endeavoring to turn the enemy's position, we our- 
selves should be turned by him by this road. For if 
he should once obtain possession of this ridge, which 
overlooks all the country to the west to the foot of the 
spurs to the Blue Ridge, we should have been irretriev- 
ably cut off and destroyed. I had, therefore, directed 
this point to be held in force, and sent an engineer to 
extemporize some field works to strengthen the posi- 
tion. . . . The divisions were ordered to march at 
2.30 o'clock A.M., so as to arrive on the ground early 
in the day and thus avoid the heat which is to be ex- 
pected at this season. 

If the Confederates had moved in two columns 
from the lower fords, while Evans and Cocke 
attracted the attention of the enemy above, 
they would have reached Centreville before Mc- 
EJowell reached Sudley, and they would have 
been between McDowell and Washington. In 


that event McDowell said his army would have 
been destroyed. McDowell saw more clearly 
than the Confederate generals what they ought 
to do, but he trusted to their not doing it. Beaure- 
gard's first plan for a simultaneous advance from 
all the Bull Run fords to Centreville was impracti- 
cable in the wooded country, and it was well 
that no attempt was made to execute it. His 
line of battle would have been several miles 

Beauregard commanded that day under John- 
ston as Meade commanded the Army of the Po- 
tomac under Grant. Beauregard's "report said : 

General Johnston arrived here about noon of the 
20th of July, and being my senior in rank he neces- 
sarily assumed command of the forces of the Confed- 
erate States then concentrating at this point. Made 
acquainted with my plan of operations and disposi- 
tions to meet the enemy, he gave them his entire 
approval and generously directed their execution under 
my command. 

Beauregard must have forgotten, when he 
wrote afterwards and claimed that he was com- 
mander-in-chief at Bull Run, that he had ever 
written that Johnston was. 


Beauregard said that, being informed at 5.30 
A.M. that a strong force was deployed in front of 
Stone Bridge, he ordered Evans and Cocke to 
maintain their positions to the last extremity, 
and that he thought the most effective method 
of relieving his left was by making a determined 
attack by his right. No doubt that was so. He 
knew, long before McDowell reached Sudley, 
that Ewell, Holmes, Jones, and Early had not 
advanced on Centreville, and there was then 
abundance of time for them to have reached 
Centreville before McDowell reached Sudley. 

But he said that the news from the left after- 
wards changed his plan. As it was clear that 
McDowell was making only a feeble demonstra- 
tion in our front and none on our right, he must 
have known early in the morning that the main 
portion of his army was moving against our left. 
He could not have expected McDowell to stand 
still ; nor does he give a satisfactory reason for 
a change of plan, but the reverse. McDowell 
was doing what he ought to have wanted him to 

At 7.10 a.m., D. R. Jones, whose brigade was 
at McLean's Ford near headquarters, said he 
received the following order : 


Brigadier-General D. R. Jones, 5 * 

General : 

General Ewell has been ordered to take the offensive 
upon Centreville. You will follow the movement at 
once by attacking him in your front. 

July 21st, 1861. 
[Signed] G. T. Beauregard, 

Ewell was at the next ford below, with Holmes's 
brigade in support. It was not pretended that 
any such orders were sent to the brigades at the 
fords above. Longstreet, who was at Black- 
burn's Ford, with Early in support, said that in 
obedience to orders of the twentieth to assume 
the offensive, he crossed Bull Run early on the 
morning of the twenty-first, but as he immedi- 
ately came in contact with the enemy and ordered 
his men to lie down under cover from the artillery 
fire, he does not seem to have been ordered to 
move on Centreville, and does not refer to any 
such order. He must have been waiting for 
further orders. 

It is clear that Bonham received no orders to 
cross the Run, as he did not attempt it, although 
the enemy opened fire on him early in the morn- 
ing. He said that before daylight one of his 
aides, General McGowan, brought intelligence 


that the enemy was moving on his left, and that 
he arose and with a field glass discovered the 
enemy moving on the pike to Stone Bridge. 
He said that he immediately communicated the 
news to headquarters and directed his command 
to prepare for action, as he supposed "an assault 
would be made early along our whole line." 
But no such assault was ordered. 

Early, who was near McLean's farm in support 
of Longstreet, did not mention receiving any 
order to move on Centreville ; neither did Jack- 
son, who was supporting Bonham at Mitchell's 
Ford. He simply got an order to place himself 
in position where he could reinforce either Cocke 
or Bonham. In the meantime Jackson ascer- 
tained that Bee, who had been sent with his 
own and Bartow's brigades to reinforce Evans, 
was hard pressed. He seems to have moved, 
in the exercise of his own discretion, where the 
sound of the cannon indicated that the real con- 
flict was. When he reached the plateau where 
the Henry house stood, he met the shattered 
brigades of Bee and Bartow retreating. Jack- 
son formed his brigade on the crest of the ridge, 
which will forever be associated with his name. 

General Alexander described the scene as 
follows : 


A fresh brigade was drawn up in line on the ele- 
vated ground known as Henry House Hill and its 
commander, till then unknown, was henceforth to be 
called Stonewall. Bee rode up to him and said : 
"General, they are driving us!" "Then, Sir," said 
Jackson, "we must give them the bayonet." Bee 
galloped among his retreating men and called out 
to them: "See Jackson standing like a stone wall — 
rally behind the Virginians." It was at this moment 
when Jackson's and Hampton's were the only organ- 
ized troops opposing the Federal advance and Bee 
and Bartow were attempting to rally their broken 
forces, that Johnston and Beauregard reached the 

This was the crisis of the battle, as Jackson's 
heroic bearing electrified the troops and saved 
the day. Jackson selected this place as a battle- 
ground, and the great struggle was for the posses- 
sion of the plateau. This was crescent shaped, 
the ridge forming a cover which protected his 
men from artillery fire. 

Jones said that after getting the order from 
Beauregard to cross the Run and follow Ewell, 
he sent a message to Ewell but crossed and took 
a position on the road from Union Mills to Centre- 
ville and waited for Ewell. In the meantime he 
received the following order directing him to 
return : 


IO.3O A.M. 

General Jones : 

On account of the difficulties in our front it is 
thought preferable to countermand the advance of the 
right wing. Resume your position. 

Beauregard said that as early as 5.30 A.M. 
the enemy opened fire on Evans at Stone Bridge, 
and that by 8.30 a.m. he discovered that it was 
a mask to cover a movement around his flank, 
and Evans promptly moved to meet it. So it 
was then clear that the enemy would be on the 
left. Instead of a change of plans and a retro- 
grade movement, when this was discovered, it 
was the opportune moment to order our right 
to advance. Only four companies were left to 
hold Stone Bridge against Tyler's division ; they 
held it all day. 

The sound of the battle now informed our 
generals where the main effort of the enemy 
would be made. The "difficulties" in his front, 
of which Beauregard spoke in his note to Jones 
as the cause for revoking the order to advance, 
instead of deterring should have encouraged him 
to take the offensive. It was now clear that 
there was only a small force between him and the 
enemy's rear at Centreville. Hunter's and Heint- 
zelman's divisions reached Sudley Ford, at least 


eight miles away, about 9.30 a.m. They halted 
for rest and for the men to fill their canteens from 
the stream. The main body of the Confederate 
army was then about half the distance from Centre- 
ville that Sudley is. The three brigades of Miles 
that were in reserve on the road to Blackburn's 
and McLean's fords could easily have been 
brushed aside before any reinforcements could 
have reached them. Then one of his brigade 
commanders, Richardson, reported that Colonel 
Stevens, who commanded a regiment there, said, 
"We have no confidence in Colonel Miles, be- 
cause Colonel Miles is drunk; " all of which was 
in our favor. It was much better for the Con- 
federates if Ewell's and Jones's forward move- 
ments were delayed until nine o'clock by a mis- 
carriage of orders, for by that time McDowell 
had progressed too far to turn back when he 
heard of it. 

When at Austerlitz Napoleon saw the allies 
marching towards his rear, he told his marshals 
to be quiet, not to interrupt them. After their 
movement had developed sufficiently, he struck 
such a blow as Johnston and Beauregard might 
have repeated at Centreville. McDowell dreaded 
such a counterstroke, and in the morning on the 
road to Sudley he halted Howard and kept his 


brigade in reserve near the pike until noon to 
meet such a contingency. On the field McDowell 
saw what he might do ; and reports from the signal 
stations and heavy firing told Johnston and 
Beauregard what they could do — that the enemy 
had exposed his rear. But "in my judgment," 
said Beauregard, "it was now (10.30 a.m.) too 
late for the contemplated movement." Napo- 
leon would have thought it was the hour for it 
to begin. It is a mystery why the Confederate 
generals abandoned their plan — if they ever 
had such a plan. 

Alexander said, "About 8 A.M. Johnston and 
Beauregard, accompanied by their staffs and 
couriers, rode to the vicinity of Mitchell's Ford, 
where they left their party under cover and took 
position on an open hill some 200 yards to the 
left of the road." 

Richardson was in their front, making a feint 
by shelling the woods. If he had intended a real 
attack, he would not have halted. The resist- 
ance made by Evans's small force on the Sudley 
road showed that, with reinforcement of Cocke's 
brigade at the ford below, McDowell's turning 
column could have been held in check until ours 
took Centreville. The fact is that the roaring 
guns and the despairing cry for help from Centre- 


ville would have stampeded McDowell. General 
Johnston said the news from our left made their 
plan impracticable. I think it showed not only 
that it was practicable, but a dead sure thing if 
they had attempted to execute it. McDowell 
thought so too. I am not judging the Confederate 
generals by the lights that are now before me, 
but by what their reports say was before them 

Again quoting Alexander : 

As he rode out in the morning, Beauregard directed 
me to go with a courier to the Wicoxen signal station 
and remain in general observation of the field, sending 
messages of all I could discover. I went reluctantly 
as the opportunity seemed very slight of rendering 
any service. There were but two signal stations on our 
line of battle — one in rear of McLean's Ford and one 
near Van Pelt's house on a bluff a few hundred yards 
to the left and rear of Stone Bridge. Beyond the 
latter the broad, level valley of Bull Run for some 
miles with its fields and pastures as seen through the 
glass was foreshortened into a narrow band of green. 
While watching the flag of this station with a good 
glass, when I had been there about half an hour, the 
sun being in the east behind me, my eye was caught 
by a glitter in this narrow band of green. I recognized 
it at once as the reflection of the morning sun from a 
brass field piece. Closer scrutiny soon revealed the 
glittering of bayonets and masked barrels. It was 


about 8.45 a.m., and I had discovered McDowell's 
turning column the head of which at this hour was just 
arriving at Sudley, eight miles away. I appreciated 
how much it might mean and thought it best to give 
Evans immediate notice, even before sending word 
to Beauregard. So I signalled Evans quickly, "Look 
out for your left, you are turned." Evans afterwards 
told me that a picket, which he had at Sudley, being 
driven in by the enemy's advanced guard, had sent 
a courier, and the two couriers, one with my signal 
message and one with the report of the picket, reached 
him together. The simultaneous reports from dif- 
ferent sources impressed him, and he acted at once 
with sound judgment. He left four companies of 
his command to watch the bridge and the enemy in 
his front — Tyler and his three brigades. With the 
remainder of his force (six companies of the 4th S. C. 
and Wheat's La. Battalion) he marched to oppose 
and delay the turning column, at the same time notify- 
ing Cocke, next on his right, of his movement. . . . 
Having sent Evans notice of his danger, I next wrote 
to Beauregard as follows: "I see a body of troops 
crossing Bull Run about two miles above the Stone 
Bridge. The head of the column is in the woods on 
this side. The rear of the column is in the woods on 
the other side. About half a mile of its length is 
visible in the open ground between. I can see both 
infantry and artillery." 

This message reached Beauregard in a few 
minutes. Johnston's report said : 


About 8 o'clock General Beauregard and I placed 
ourselves on a commanding hill in rear of Gen. Bon- 
ham's left (Mitchell's Ford). Near nine o'clock the 
signal officer, Captain Alexander, reported that a 
large body of troops was crossing the Valley of Bull 
Run some two miles above the bridge. General Bee, 
who had been placed near Col. Cocke's position, Col. 
Hampton with his legion, and Colonel Jackson from 
a point near Gen. Bonham's left were ordered to 
hasten to the left flank. 

Alexander continued his account : 

For a long time there was little change and the 
battle seemed to stand still. When Evans and Bee 
were broken by Sherman's attack on the flank, their 
retreat was specially pressed by the Federal artillery. 
On reaching the Warrenton pike they were met by the 
Hampton Legion and Hampton made an earnest effort 
to rally the retreating force upon his command. The 
ground, however, was unfavorable and though Hamp- 
ton made a stubborn fight (losing 121 out of 600 men) 
and delaying the advance near two hours before leav- 
ing the pike, our whole line then fell back under the 
enemy's fire. 

Jackson now came to the rescue. He had 
261 1 men and with the remnants of Hampton's 
600, they were the only organized troops opposing 
the enemy's advance. Bee, Bartow, and Evans 
were engaged in rallying their troops as Johnston 


and Beauregard appeared. Johnston took up 
his headquarters a short distance in the rear to 
direct reinforcements, while the immediate con- 
duct of the battle was left to Beauregard. His 
task was to hold the line until fresh troops could 
be brought upon the scene. McDowell's last 
chance was to crush Beauregard's line at once 
before any reinforcements arrived. Some of his 
brigades were absent — Burnside's had drawn 
off for rest and ammunition — and his partial 
attacks only consumed time. 

About three o'clock Kirby Smith's brigade 
arrived, and it was closely followed by Early's 
brigade and Beckham's battery. Kirby Smith 
was severely wounded just as he was extending 
his line on our left, and Elzey took command. 
Kirby Smith was the first man I ever saw carried 
from the field on a stretcher. About four o'clock 
Beauregard advanced his whole line, and the 
1 8th Virginia under Colonel Withers, the 8th 
Virginia under Colonel Hunton, and the Hampton 
Legion with Jackson's brigade swept the field 
and turned the enemy's guns on them. Early, 
with Beckham's battery and Stuart's cavalry, 
crossed the Warrenton pike and opened on the 
flank and rear of a new line which McDowell 
had formed. This force had no artillery to reply 


to ours, and it soon broke. McDowell said, 
"The retreat soon became a rout and this soon 
degenerated into a panic." 

Heintzelman said, "Such a rout I never wit- 
nessed before." 

Stuart's cavalry had charged and routed the 
Ellsworth Zouaves on the Sudley road as they 
were coming to the support of the Federal bat- 
teries. Heintzelman led the Zouaves. His ac- 
count of this was as follows. 

In the meantime I sent orders for the Zouaves to move 
forward to support Ricketts' battery on its right. As 
soon as they came up I led them forward against an 
Alabama regiment, partly concealed in a clump of small 
pines in an old field. At the first fire they broke and 
the greater portion fled to the rear, keeping up a desul- 
tory fire over the heads of their comrades in front. At 
the same time they were charged by a company of Seces- 
sion cavalry on their rear, who had come by a road 
through two strips of woods on our extreme right. 

Stuart's charge was not on the rear of the 
Zouaves but on their front, when they were 
advancing to the support of the batteries. Heint- 
zelman said the regiment dispersed and did not 
appear on the field again ; the greater portion 
kept on to New York. 

Porter said : 


The evanescent courage of the Zouaves prompted 
them to fire perhaps a hundred shots, when they broke 
and fled, leaving the batteries open to a charge of the 
enemy's cavalry, which took place immediately. . . . 
Soon the slopes behind us were swarming with our 
retreating and disorganized forces, whilst riderless 
horses and artillery teams ran furiously through the 
flying crowd. 

As McDowell, with the larger part of his army, 
had moved in a circle by Sudley, and as they 
retreated by the same route, if our troops on the 
field had moved on the straight line on the pike 
leading over Stone Bridge to Centreville, they 
would have cut off their retreat. This is what 
Jackson wanted to do. 

After the battle had shifted, Alexander joined 
Beauregard. He said that Jackson alone of the 
Confederate leaders on the field gave any evidence 
of his appreciation of the victory. After the war 
Doctor Edward Campbell, a surgeon of Jack- 
son's brigade, told me that Jackson said to him, 
"I wonder if General Johnston and General 
Beauregard know how badly they (the enemy) 
are whipped. If they will let me, I will march 
my brigade into Washington to-night." 

Alexander said he heard Jackson tell President 
Davis the same thing. His account concludes : 


Jackson's offer to take Washington City the next 
morning with 5000 men had been made to the President 
as he arrived upon the field ; probably about five 
o'clock. It was not sunset until 7.15 and there was 
nearly a full moon. But the President himself and 
both Generals spent these precious hours in riding 
over the field where the conflict had taken place. . . . 
Johnston and Beauregard both sent orders to different 
commands to make such advances, but neither went in 
person to supervise or urge forward the execution of the 
order, though time was of the essence. [The italics are 

Kershaw with two South Carolina regiments, 
Kemper with two guns, and some cavalry were 
all the troops that pursued over Stone Bridge, 
although there were several brigades near that 
had not been much engaged — some not at all. 
Alexander carried the first order from Beauregard 
about 6 P.M. in checking pursuit. It directed 
Kershaw to advance over Bull Run carefully, 
but not to attack. Alexander, surprised at his 
ill-timed caution, asked if he forbade any attack. 
Beauregard replied that Kershaw must wait for 
Kemper and pursue cautiously. It would have 
been as easy to send half a dozen batteries as one. 
Alexander overtook Kershaw just as Kemper's 
two guns opened on the retreating column and 
upset a wagon on Cub Run bridge that created 


a blockade by which a good deal of artillery was 
lost. On his way back to Beauregard, Alexander 
met a staff officer carrying an order for all the 
troops to return. 

Alexander was at the council of Mr. Davis 
and the generals that night at Manassas. The 
conclusion was reached to make a reconnaissance 
the next morning. Some cavalry scouting parties 
were sent, who saw nothing but the wreck of 
McDowell's army. It would have been as easy 
to have found that out before midnight as in the 
morning, if they had tried, as no attempt was 
made to rally the retreating army. 

McDowell sent a dispatch from Fairfax Court 
House : 

The larger part of the men are a confused mob, 
entirely demoralized. It was the opinion of all the 
commanders that no stand could be made this side of 
the Potomac. . . . They are now passing through 
this place in a state of utter disorganization. 

Edwin M. Stanton, afterwards Secretary of 
War, on July 26, five days after the battle, wrote 
to ex-President Buchanan : 

The capture of Washington now seems to be inevit- 
able ; during the whole of Monday and Tuesday it 
might have been taken without resistance. The rout, 
overthrow, and demoralization of the army is complete. 


General Johnston afterwards said as an excuse 
for not pursuing that his army was as much de- 
moralized by victory as the enemy's by defeat. 
Nobody suspected it then. We had about 15,000 
troops on the field who had not been engaged, and 
a good many arrived the next morning. 

On the caisson attached to one of Kemper's 
guns, when it swept over Bull Run, was an old 
Virginian, whose long white hair hung over his 
shoulders and gave him the look of a patriarch. 
When Kemper unlimbered near Cub Run, he 
claimed the privilege of firing the first gun. He 
had done the same when Beauregard opened 
his batteries on Sumter. When the curtain was 
let down on the last scene at Appomattox, he 
blew out his brains and ended life's fitful fever. 

In his report General Johnston said that "our 
victory was as complete as one gained by infantry 
and artillery can be." He took no account of 
Stuart's charge at a critical moment when the 
Zouaves were coming upon Jackson's flank ; nor 
of the fact that his army exceeded McDowell's 
in numbers, and had three or four times as much 
cavalry. The returns show that in Beauregard's 
army that day there were 1468 cavalry, and that 
Stuart, who had come from the Shenandoah 
Valley, had twelve companies. Besides, Ashby 


arrived the day after the battle with a cavalry 
regiment. Johnston and Beauregard had a total 
of effectives that day of 31,982 men and fifty- 
five guns, although they sent only two guns over 
the Run in pursuit. McDowell's total was 29,862 
men and but seven companies of cavalry. Cavalry 
is needed as much to cover a retreat as to pursue. 

We had enough cavalry to have taken Wash- 
ington. It is true, as General Johnston said, 
that the city is situated on an unfordable river ; 
but less than twenty miles above is a ford at 
Seneca where Stuart crossed going to Gettysburg, 
and I often afterwards crossed there. Our cav- 
alry were nearer Seneca than McDowell's army 
was to Washington when the retreat began, and 
ought to have crossed the Potomac that night. 
The next day it could have easily moved around 
towards Baltimore, broken communications, and 
isolated Washington. 

It is paradoxical but true that the Confederate 
cause was lost at Bull Run. Yet the victory 
reflected on those who won it all "the glory that 
was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome." 
And no matter now what men may speculate 
as to what might have been, cold must be the 
heart that can read that glorious record and not — 
"Feel sympathy with suns that set." 

About Fairfax Court House 

Until the spring of 1862 we did picket duty 
on the Potomac, a more agreeable duty than the 
routine of a camp. There were some skirmishes 
and many false alarms. A hog rooting or an old 
hare on its nocturnal rounds would often draw 
the fire of a vidette. My company went three 
times a week on picket and remained twenty-four 
hours, when we were relieved by another company. 

[The following letters from Colonel Mosby to 
his wife and his sister give the most interesting 
events of the time between the Battle of Manassas 
and the campaign of 1862.] 

Fairfax Court House, July 29, 1861. 

Dearest Pauline : 

We have made no further advance and I know no 
more of contemplated movements than you do. . . . 
A few nights ago we went down near Alexandria to 
stand as a picket (advance) guard. It was after dark. 
When riding along the road a volley was suddenly 
poured into us from a thick clump of pines. The 
balls whistled around us and Captain Jones' horse 



fell, shot through the head. We were perfectly help- 
less, as it was dark and they were concealed in the 
bushes. The best of it was that the Yankees shot 
three of their own men, — thought they were ours. 
. . . Beauregard has no idea of attacking Alexandria. 
When he attacks Washington he will go about Alex- 
andria to attack Washington. No other news. For one 
week before the battle we had an awful time, — had 
about two meals during the whole time, — marched two 
days and one night on one meal, in the rain, in order 
to arrive in time for the fight. . . . We captured a 
great quantity of baggage left here by the Yankees ; 
with orders for it to be forwarded to Richmond. 

Fairfax Court House, August 18, 1861. 

My dearest Pauline : 

... I was in a little brush with them one day 
last week. A party of ten of us came upon about 
150. We fired on them and of course retreated before 
such superior numbers. We jumped into the bushes 
to reload and give it to them again when they came 
up, but instead of pursuing us they put back to their 
own camp. . . . When I was last on picket I was 
within about four miles of Georgetown and could 
distinctly hear the enemy's morning drum beat. 
Some of the Yankees came to my post under a flag of 
truce, — stayed all night, — ate supper with me ; and 
we treated each other with as much courtesy as did 
Richard and Saladin when they met by the Diamond 
of the Desert. . . . Our blister plaster doctor affords 


us a good deal of fun. He is one of the most pompous 
fellows you ever saw. He went with us on picket one 
night, — got scared, — ran to us and swore he had 
ridden through a whole regiment of the enemy's in- 
fantry. The whole truth was there was not a Yankee 
in three miles of him. 

Fairfax Court House, September 2, 1861. 

My dearest Pauline : 

... I received a fall from my horse one day last 
week, down at Falls Church, which came near killing 
me. I have now entirely recovered and will return 
to camp this morning. I was out on picket one dark 
rainy night ; there were only three of us at our post ; a 
large body of cavalry came dashing down towards us 
from the direction of the enemy. Our orders were to 
fire on all. I fired my gun, started back toward where 
our main body were, my horse slipped down, fell on 
me, and galloped off, leaving me in a senseless condi- 
tion in the road. Fortunately the body of cavalry 
turned out to be a company of our own men who had 
gone out after night to arrest a spy. When they started 
they promised Captain Jones to go by our post and 
inform us of the fact, in order to prevent confusion, 

— this they failed to do and their own culpable neglect 
came near getting some of them killed. . . . Our 
troops are gradually encroaching on the Federals, — 
now occupying a position in full view of Washington, 

— a brush is looked for there to-day. ... I rode out 
one day about a week ago with our wagon after hay, 


— came to where our pickets were stationed, — they 
were in full view of the Yankees, a few hundred yards 
off on the opposite hill. The Yankees were firing at 
our men with long range guns, but ours could not 
return it, as they have only old muskets. I have a 
splendid Sharp's carbine, which will kill at a thousand 
yards. I dismounted . . . and turned loose on them. 
... I had to fire at them most of the time in a thick 
field of corn, — of course, could not tell the effect, — but 
once, when a fellow ran out into the road (in which I 
stood) to shoot at me, it took several to carry him back. 

Camp near Fairfax Court House, 

September 17, 1861. 
Dear Liz : [Mosby's sister] 

. . . Beauregard and Johnston are expected to 
move their headquarters up to Fairfax to-day. . . . 
Although Captain Jones is a strict officer he is very 
indulgent to me and never refuses me any favor I ask 
him. I think he will be made a Colonel very soon. 
Aaron [Mosby's negro servant] considers himself 
next in command to Captain Jones. . . . Nobody 
thinks the war will continue longer than a few months. 
We will clean them out in two more battles. 

Camp near Fairfax Court House, 

September 14, 186 1. 
My dearest Pauline : 

. . . To-day we go on picket at the Big Falls 
on the Potomac. One hill we occupy commands a 


full view of the Capitol. I went to take a view of it 
with Lloyd. We could see it distinctly, with all their 
fortifications and the stars and stripes floating over it. 
I thought of the last time I had seen it, for you were 
there with me, and I could not but feel some regrets 
that it was no longer the Capitol of my Country, but 
that of a foreign foe. 

Camp near Fairfax, 

September — , 1861. 
My dearest Pauline : 

. . . The Enemy had come up with three thou- 
sand men, artillery, etc. to Lewisville, one of our picket 
stations ; when we got there they were still there. 
Three men of our Company (including myself) were 
detached to go forward to reconnoitre. Col. Stewart 
[sic] was with us. While standing near the opening of 
a wood a whole regiment of Yankees came up in 
full view, within a hundred yards of me. Their 
Colonel was mounted on a splendid horse and was 
very gaily dressed. I was in the act of shooting him, 
which I could have done with ease with my carbine, 
when Col. Stewart told me not to shoot, — fearing 
they were our men. ... I never regretted anything 
so much in my life as the glorious opportunity I missed 
of winging their Colonel. We went back and brought 
up our artillery, which scattered them at the first 
shot. I never enjoyed anything so much in my life 
as standing by the cannon and watching our shells 
when they burst over them. 

Camp Cooper, November 21, 1861. 

My dearest Pauline : 

On Monday I participated in what is admitted to 
have been the most dashing feat of the war. Col. 
Lee took about 80 men out on a scout, — hearing 
where a company of about the same number of Yankees 
were on picket, we went down and attacked. They 
were concealed in a pine thicket, where one man ought 
to have been equal to ten outside. We charged right 
into them and they poured a raking fire into our ranks. 
Fount Beattie and myself, in the ardor of pursuit, had 
gotten separated some distance from our main body, 
when we came upon two Yankees in the woods. We 
ordered them to surrender, but they replied by firing 
on us. One of the Yankees jumped behind a tree and 
was taking aim at Fount when I leveled my pistol at 
him, but missed him. He also fired, but missed Fount, 
though within a few feet of him. I then jumped down 
from my horse and as the fellow turned to me I rested 
my carbine against a tree and shot him dead, He 
never knew what struck him. Fount fired at one with 
his pistol, but missed. A South Carolinian came up and 
killed the other. . . . The man I killed had a letter in 
his pocket from his sweetheart Clara. . . . They were 
of the Brooklyn Zouaves and fought at Manassas. 

— 1862. 
My dearest Pauline : 

Get Aaron to give you a full account of his adven- 
ture, — his memorable retreat from Bunker Hill, 


— his doctoring the sick men * during the battle. He 
is a good deal thought of in the company. 

At the end of 1861 occurred an event which 
greatly disappointed Southern hopes. Mason and 
Slidell had been sent as ambassadors to England 
and France. They escaped through the block- 
ading fleet at Charleston and arrived at Nassau, 
where they took passage on the English steamer 
Trent. The vessel was stopped on the high seas 
by Captain Wilkes of the San Jacinto, and the 
ambassadors were taken off and confined in Fort 
Warren, Boston. This action was hailed with 
as much joy in the South as in the North. The 
Confederates thought their ambassadors would 
be held as prisoners and conceived it to be im- 
possible that they would be surrendered on the 
demand of England after the Secretary of the 
Navy had approved the conduct of Wilkes, and 
Congress had given him a vote of thanks. For- 
tunately for the Union cause, neither Mr. Lincoln 
nor Mr. Seward had committed himself to an 
approval of it, but both had kept a judicious 
silence until they could hear from England. In 
the South we all felt sure that England would 

1 The story of the " sick " men concerns the Battle of Manassas. 
They covered themselves with heavy blankets and shivered when the 
shells were flying. When they were not, they would recover and raise 
up and ask Aaron, " Haven't you got a few more of those corn cakes ? " 


never submit to such an indignity and breach of 

War between England and the United States 
was considered inevitable, and we could almost 
hear the roar of English guns dispersing the fleets 
which were blockading our coasts. With Eng- 
land as an ally of the South our success was cer- 
tain. But the Administration wisely yielded to 
England's demand and surrendered the captives. 
Mr. Seward, in a letter to Lord Lyons, ingen- 
iously maintained that he was consistent in so 
doing, and that in demanding their release Eng- 
land had at last claimed for neutrals the rights 
for which the United States had always contended. 
Mason and Slidell were transferred to an Eng- 
lish gunboat lying off Cape Cod, and thus with- 
ered our hopes of having England as an ally. 
There was no longer a casus belli. 

The Richmond Examiner, January 1, 1862, said 
of this affair: "The year which has just begun 
opens with evil tidings. We fear there is no 
doubt of the fact that the Northern Union has 
consented to the surrender of Mason and Slidell, 
and with that event all hopes of an immediate 
alliance between the Southern Confederacy and 
Great Britain must cease." 

It happened that I brought to the camps in 


Fairfax the first news of the capture of Mason 
and Slidell. Fitzhugh Lee took a part of my 
regiment on a scout and we came upon the Brook- 
lyn 14th that was doing picket duty. They wore 
red breeches, so we called them the red-legged 
Yankees. As soon as we got in sight of them we 
charged. A portion of them were in a dense 
thicket, which we couldn't penetrate on horse- 
back, and so a few of us dismounted and charged 
on foot, with carbines, to the point where the 
reserve had a fire. We took a number of prisoners 
and I picked up a newspaper. It was about 
sundown ; the paper was a copy of the Wash- 
ington Star of that evening, and had an account 
of the capture of Mason and Slidell. When we 
brought the prisoners to Fitz Lee, I said, "Colonel, 
here's a copy of to-day's paper." Fitz Lee re- 
plied, "The ruling passion strong in death," 
referring to my reputation of always being the 
first man in the company to get hold of a news- 
paper. Colonel Jones sent the paper to General 
Johnston's headquarters at Centreville. 

A popular notion has prevailed that a great 
benefit would have resulted to the South if Eng- 
land and France had received our ministers and 
established diplomatic relations with the Southern 
Confederacy. I never thought so, unless they 


had gone further and intervened in our behalf, 
as France did with the Colonies, and sent their 
fleets to break the blockade. In that event they 
would have become parties to the war. When 
they proclaimed their neutrality and accorded 
us belligerent rights and the hospitality of their 
ports to Confederate cruisers, they just as much 
recognized the independence of the South as if 
they had officially received its ministers. The 
human mind cannot conceive of belligerent rights 
except as attached to a supreme independent 

There was a great deal of complaint against 
England for her haste in proclaiming neutrality 
and thus recognizing the belligerent character 
of the contest. But the Congress called by Mr. 
Lincoln, in July, 1861, before Bull Run had been 
fought, as Webster said about Bunker Hill, ele- 
vated an insurrection into a public war. It passed 
an act forbidding commercial intercourse between 
persons living north and south of the Potomac, 
and declaring the forfeiture of goods caught in 
transit and also the seizure of vessels on the high 
seas as enemy property, if the owners lived in 
the South. It also declared that such seizures 
and intercourse should be governed, not by the 
municipal law of the country, but by the law of 


nations. It thus recognized our sectional conflict 
as a public territorial war and not, like the Wars 
of the Roses, a contest of factions. 

The law of nations regulates the relations of 
alien enemies in war and can have no application 
to citizens of the same country. This act of 
Congress was a declaration of a war inter gentes, 
as much so as that between France and Prussia. 
The Amy Warwick, owned in Richmond, sailed 
from Rio without notice of the blockade. She 
was seized on the voyage and condemned as a 
prize of war. It was contended that there was 
no proof that her owner was in rebellion. But the 
Supreme Court held that international law took no 
notice of the personal sentiments of individuals, but 
that their domicile determined their legal status. 

In the opening of the year 1862 there was a 
great deal of depression in the Southern Confed- 
eracy. A considerable amount of this was due 
to the failure of our hopes of having England as 
an immediate ally, but most of it was on account 
of the expiration, in the coming spring, of the 
terms of enlistment of most of the regiments and 
the reluctance of the men to reenlist before going 
to their homes. General Joe Johnston issued an 
address urging the twelve-months' volunteers to 
reenlist, but it had little or no effect. He said : 


The Commanding General calls upon the twelve- 
months' men to stand by their brave comrades who 
have volunteered for the war, to revolunteer at once 
and thus show the world that the patriots who engaged 
in this struggle do not swerve from the bloodiest path 
they may be called to tread. 

The fear that the army would disappear like 
a morning mist is shown in the farewell address 
of General Beauregard, dated January 30, 1862, 
when he was about to leave to take command 
in the West. He said : 

Above all I am anxious that my brave countrymen 
here in arms fronting the haughtily arrayed master of 
Northern mercenaries should thoroughly appreciate 
the exigency, and hence comprehend that this is no 
time for the Army of the Potomac — the men of 
Manassas — to stack their arms and quit, even for a 
brief period, the standards they have made glorious by 
their manhood. 

The fact that Beauregard italicized the latter 
part of this sentence was an omen of impending 
danger. Mr. Davis also sent a message to Con- 
gress in which he said, "I therefore recommend 
the passage of a law declaring that all persons 
residing within the Confederate States between 
the ages of eighteen and thirty-five years and 
rightfully subject to military duty shall be held 


to be in the military service of the Confederate 

The conscription law increased the numbers 
but impaired the esprit de corps of the volunteer 
army that won the victory of Manassas, — the 
flower of Southern manhood had been gathered 
there. But the law saved the Confederacy from 
the danger of collapse without another battle 
through the disbandment of its army. After the 
war I heard severe criticism of the Conscription 
Act which, in fact, saved the Confederacy — 
for a time. 


Campaigning with Stuart 

The last time I went on picket was on the 12th 
of February (1862). By this time Stuart had 
been made a brigadier-general, and Jones was 
colonel of the regiment. The road from our 
camp to the outpost passed through Centreville, 
where General Joe Johnston and Stuart had their 
headquarters. On that February day Stuart 
joined us, and I observed that an empty carriage 
was following, although I did not understand the 
reason. When we arrived at Fairfax Court House, 
Stuart asked Captain Blackford to detail a man 
to go in the carriage with some ladies. There 
was a fine family in the place, who always gave 
me my breakfast when I was on picket and, as 
one of the ladies in the party was a member of the 
family, I was detailed to go as an escort several 
miles inside our lines. They did not like being 
on the picket line where there were frequent skirm- 
ishes. So I left my horse for my messmate, 
Fount Beattie, to bring back to camp the next 



day, and took my seat in the carriage with the 
ladies. It was a raw, cold morning, and it soon 
began to snow. We arrived at our journey's 
end in the evening, and I then started for Stuart's 
headquarters. When I reached there it was 
dark, and the snow was still falling. Although 
I had been in Stuart's regiment from the beginning 
of the war, I had no acquaintance with him and 
no reason to suppose that he had ever heard of 
me. So I went into the house, reported to him 
that I had left the ladies at their destination, and 
asked him for a pass, as my camp on the Bull 
Run was several miles away. The sentinels 
would not let me go back without one. 

Now the weather would not have been any 
more severe on me if I had walked back to camp 
that night than if I had stayed on picket. I never 
dreamed of Stuart's inviting me to spend the 
night at headquarters, or that I should ever rise 
to intimacy with him. There could have been 
nothing prepossessing in my general appearance 
to induce him to make an exception of me, for 
I was as roughly dressed as any common soldier. 
But he told me the weather was too bad and to 
stay there that night. Of course I obeyed and 
took my seat before a big, blazing fire. Both of 
the generals were sitting there, but I felt so small 


in their presence that I looked straight into the 
fire and never dared to raise my head. I would 
have felt far more comfortable trudging back 
to camp through the snow. Presently a boy 
announced that supper was ready. The generals 
arose and, as Stuart walked into the supper room, 
he told me to come in and get some supper. I 
was astonished and kept my seat. Stuart ob- 
served my absence from the table and sent for 
me. So I obeyed, went in, and took a seat with 
the generals. I do not think I raised my eyes 
from my plate, although they chatted freely. 
When it was time to go to sleep Stuart had some 
blankets spread on the floor, and I was soon 
snoring. The same thing happened in the morn- 
ing — a boy announced breakfast — Stuart told 
me to come in, and I again stayed behind — and 
he had to send for me. 

It has always been a mystery to me why Stuart 
made me his guest that night and did not put 
me with his couriers — which would have been 
more agreeable to me. After breakfast Stuart 
sent me, mounted, to my camp, with a courier 
to bring back the horse I rode. So here began 
my friendship for Stuart which lasted as long as 
he lived. It is a coincidence that it began on the 
very day I received my first promotion. I had 


scarcely reached our camp when a message came 
from the commander of the regiment, Colonel 
Jones, to come to his tent. I went, and he offered 
me the position of adjutant. I was as much 
astonished as I had been the night before to be 
asked to sit at the table with the generals. Of 
course I was glad to accept it, and Jones wrote 
to the War Department requesting my appoint- 
ment. The Journal of the Confederate Senate 
shows that I was confirmed to take rank from 
February 17, 1862. I have always had a repug- 
nance to ceremonials and was not half so much 
frightened in the battle of Bull Run as I was on 
the first dress parade I conducted. On such 
occasions the adjutant is the most conspicuous 
figure. I never could repeat the formulas of the 
regulations, and for this reason I remember the few 
weeks I served as an adjutant with less satisfaction 
than any other portion of my life as a soldier. 

[Undated fragment of a letter to Mrs. Mosby.] 

We are suffering the most intense anxiety to hear 
the final result from Donelson, — if we are defeated 
there it will prolong the war, I fear, but the idea of 
giving up or abandoning the field now should never 
enter a Southern man's head. To be sure there must 
be a costly sacrifice of our best blood, but the coward 
dies a thousand deaths, the brave man dies but one. 


When news came to Richmond that Grant's 
attack on Fort Donelson had been repulsed, Con- 
federate hopes of final success were raised to a high 
pitch. But they sank to zero the next day when a 
dispatch came announcing the fall of Donelson and 
the surrender of most of the garrison. Kentucky 
was now lost to us and most of middle Tennessee. 

A greater blunder was never committed in 
war than when General Albert Sidney Johnston 
sent Floyd, Buckner, and Pillow down the Cum- 
berland River, with about 17,000 troops, to hold 
a fort situated in the angle made by the conflu- 
ence of the Cumberland and a deep, unfordable 
creek. There was no line of retreat open by land 
and no transportation provided for escape by 
water, in case of defeat. The Confederates were 
caught in a trap, and their surrender was, of 
course, inevitable. The first attacks of the gun- 
boats under Commodore Foote were repulsed, 
and in the evening the situation was about the 
same as it had been in the morning. But Buckner 
and Pillow seemed to think that their men would 
not fight any longer, although they had an abun- 
dance of rations, and Floyd swore that he would 
not surrender either himself or his brigade. 
Floyd was the senior officer, and it was agreed 
that he should turn over the command to Pillow, 


who was next in rank, and that he, in turn, should 
turn it over to Buckner. Floyd with his brigade 
escaped at night on two steamboats that hap- 
pened to come down with supplies from Nash- 
ville that evening. Pillow in some way got to 
the opposite bank of the river and left his troops 
behind him. It has never been explained why a few 
boats were not on hand to set the Confederates over 
the river, when resistance became hopeless, or why 
the two which Floyd took were not used during the 
night to convey the army to the other bank. 

At daybreak Buckner ordered a parley to be 
sounded and capitulated to Grant without condi- 
tions. He did not even get as good terms as 
General Lee got for the fragment of his army at 
Appomattox. Mr. Davis relieved both Floyd 
and Pillow of command, but with strange incon- 
sistency he praised General Johnston for putting 
them in a hole where they fought for two days 
to get out. The affair of Donelson was a most 
discreditable thing to our side of the war. 

Camp of 1st Cavalry, 

March I, 1862. 
Dear Pauline : 

Nobody here is the least discouraged at our late 
reverses ; that they will prolong the war I have no 


doubt. But they have not made the first step towards 
subjugation. Nothing can reverse my own decision 
to stay in the foremost ranks, "where life is lost or 
freedom won." I want to see in Southern women 
some of that Spartan heroism of the mother who said 
to her son, when she buckled on his armor: "Return 
with your shield or return upon it." Our army is now 
falling back from Centreville, but whether to Manassas 
or Gordonsville I don't know. We haven't moved our 

When Johnston retired from Centreville, in 
the spring of 1862, our regiment was the rear- 
guard of the army. Johnston fell back leisurely ; 
first to the Rappahannock and then to the Rapi- 
dan, where he waited for McClellan to develop 
his campaign. In December, 1864, I had dinner 
with General Lee at his headquarters near Peters- 
burg, and he told me that Johnston should never 
have moved from the Rapidan to Richmond ; 
that when it was discovered that McClellan 
was moving down the Potomac, he wrote Johnston 
and urged him to move back against Washing- 
ton. Lee was confident that such a menace of 
the capital would recall McClellan to defend it. 

A considerable Union force followed our regi- 
ment as we withdrew along the railroad, and when 
it got near our picket line on Cedar Run, it de- 
ployed in an open field and made a great display. 


Jones was on the picket line that day, and I was with 
him and witnessed the exhibition. The pickets 
withdrew, and the enemy occupied the ground on 
which we had been for several days. That night 
my regiment camped near Bealeton Station. 

The next morning I rode there and met Stuart. 
The enemy was already in sight and advancing. 
I had become pretty well acquainted with Stuart 
after I became an adjutant and had already 
conducted several scouting expeditions for him. 
As we met that morning, he said to me very 
earnestly, — he seemed puzzled, — "General 
Johnston wants to know if McClellan's army is 
following us, or if this is only a feint he is mak- 
ing." Evidently Stuart wanted me to find out 
for him, but did not like to order me. I saw the 
opportunity for which I had longed and said 
in a self-confident tone, "I will find out for you, 
if you will give me a guide." He gave me one 
who knew the road, and with two others of my 
party I started around the flank of the hostile 
column and got in its rear while it was advancing 
to the Rappahannock. As the enemy moved 
south and we went north, my party was in its 
rear when the Union column reached the Rappa- 
hannock and began shelling the Confederates 
who had just crossed. 


As we were behind the enemy, we soon dis- 
covered that an isolated body was following 
Johnston, and that it kept up no line of communi- 
cation with Washington. It was clear that the 
movement was a mask to create a diversion and 
cover some operation. Of course, I was proud 
to have made the discovery, and I rode nearly 
all night to report it to Stuart. When we got 
near the river, we halted at a farmhouse, for there 
was danger of being shot by our own pickets 
if we attempted to cross the river in the dark. 
As soon as it was daylight, I started, leaving my 
companions asleep. A picket halted me when 
I got halfway across the river, and it was with 
great difficulty that I could persuade him not to 
fire. At last I made him ashamed of himself 
when I told him I was only one man and asked 
him if he was afraid of one Yankee. He told me 
to come on, but he kept his gun levelled at me. 

I went on at a gallop and found Stuart with 
General Ewell, whose division was in line of 
battle expecting the enemy to attempt to cross 
the river — a heavy fog concealed their backward 
movement. I told Stuart that there was no sup- 
port behind the force in front, and that it was 
falling back. A curtain of cavalry had been left 
behind to cover the retreat. Our cavalry was 


immediately ordered in pursuit, and I went with 
it. In the rapture of the moment Stuart told 
me I could get any reward I wanted. His report 
confirms this statement about the information 
that was obtained — but I got no reward. 

Culpeper Co., 

April 1st, 1862. 
My dearest Pauline : 

. . . Although I do not belong to that Company 
(Blackford's), being on the regimental staff, I went with 
them into the fight. . . . The appearance of the 
enemy when they crossed Cedar Run was the most 
magnificent sight I ever beheld. . . . We let them 
[advance guard of cavalry] cross, when, dismounting, 
we delivered a volley with our carbines which sent 
them back across the deep stream in the wildest 
confusion. One fellow was thrown into the water 
over his head ; and scrambling out ran off and left his 
horse ; another horse fell, rose, and fell again, burying 
his rider with him under the water. We ceased firing, 
threw up our caps, and indulged in the most boister- 
ous laughter. . . . Col. Jones speaks of some service 
I have recently rendered. At one time, with four 
men, I passed around, got to the rear of the enemy, 
discovered that they were making a feint movement on 
the railroad, while they were really moving in another 
direction. I rode nearly all night to give the informa- 
tion, which resulted in General Stuart's ordering our 
regiment in pursuit and the capture of about 30 pris- 


oners, 16 horses, arms, etc. General Stuart was so 
much pleased with my conduct that he wrote a report 
to General Johnston commending me very highly and 
also recommending my promotion. 

When our regiment got to the vicinity of 
Yorktown, it was reorganized, and Fitz Lee, 
who had been a lieutenant-colonel, was elected 
colonel. Stuart invited me to come to his head- 
quarters and act as a scout. I got no commission 
and stayed with his couriers. In this ambiguous 
condition I remained for a year, or until I took up 
my independent command. 

April 25, 1862. 
My dearest Pauline : 

Our regiment was reorganized day before yester- 
day. Col. [Fitzhugh] Lee was elected over Col. Jones. 
Col. Jones left immediately for Richmond. He ex- 
pects to be a Brigadier-General. Immediately after 
the election I handed in my resignation of my com- 
mission. The President had commissioned me for 
the war, but I would not be adjutant of a Colonel 
against his wishes or if I were not his first choice. 
General Stuart told me yesterday that he would see that 
I had a commission. 

Richmond, June 2, 1862. 
My dearest Pauline : 

The papers will give you about as much as I know 
of the fight [Battle of Fair Oaks, or Seven Pines]. 


I went down over the battlefield yesterday. Our 
men were all among the enemy's tents, which were 
still standing, their camp kettles on the fire, etc. We 
whipped them in their fortifications. . . . General 
Lee is now in command, General Johnston being 
wounded. . . . There is so much confusion in Rich- 
mond that I do not know whether I can get your 
memorandum filled to-day. There is nothing like a 
panic, everybody being engaged in preparing to take 
care of the wounded. 

In June (1862) McClellan was astraddle of 
the Chickahominy ; his right rested on the Pa- 
munkey, but there was a gap of several miles 
between his left and the James. The two armies 
were so close to each other that the cavalry was 
of little use, and it was therefore kept in the 

One morning I was at breakfast with Stuart, 
and he said that he wanted to find out if McClellan 
was fortifying on the Totopotomy, a creek that 
empties into the Pamunkey. I was glad to go 
for him and started off with three men. But we 
found a flag of truce on the road and turned off 
to scout in another direction — I did not want 
to go back without doing something. We did 
not get the information for which we were sent, 
but we did get intelligence of even more value. 


We penetrated McClellan's lines and discovered 
that for several miles his right flank had only 
cavalry pickets to guard his line of communica- 
tion with his depot at the White House on the 
Pamunkey. Here, it seemed to me, was an oppor- 
tunity to strike a blow. McClellan had not antici- 
pated any such move and had made no provision 
against it. 

On discovering the conditions, I hastened back 
to Stuart and found him sitting in the front yard. 
It was a hot day — I was tired and lay down on 
the grass to tell him what I had learned. A 
martinet would have ordered me to stand in his 
presence. He listened to my story and, when 
I had finished, told me to go to the adjutant's 
office and write it down. At the same time he 
ordered a courier to get ready to go with him to 
General Lee's headquarters. I did as he requested 
and brought him a sheet of paper with what I 
had written. After reading it, Stuart called my 
attention to its not being signed. I signed it, 
although I had thought he only wanted a memo- 
randum of what I had said — General Lee had 
never heard of me. Stuart took the paper and 
went off with a courier at a gallop. As soon as 
he returned, orders were issued to the cavalry 
to be ready. 


General Lee's instructions authorizing the ex- 
pedition were dated June II. I had reported 
the day before. On the morning of the twelfth, 
with 1200 cavalry and two pieces of artillery, 
Stuart passed through Richmond and took the 
road towards Ashland. I was at headquarters 
when Stuart was leaving. The officer in charge 
asked him when he would be back. His answer 
was, "It may be for years, it may be forever." 
His spirits were buoyant. 

The column moved on to Old Church in Han- 
over where two squadrons of U. S. regular cav- 
alry were stationed under the command of Cap- 
tain Royall. When the pickets were chased 
in, Royall heard the firing and went to their 
support. He had no cause to suspect the num- 
bers he was meeting, for McClellan had never 
even considered the possibility of a force breaking 
through his lines and passing around him. A 
squadron of the Ninth Virginia Cavalry led our 
column. Captain Latan6 was in command. A 
charge was ordered, and in the combat Royall 
was wounded and routed, and Latane was killed. 
We could not stay to give him even a hasty burial. 
Our forces soon had possession of the abandoned 
camp and, as the enemy had had no time to pack 
up, there was a festival. 


We were now on the flank of the enemy but 
nine miles from the railroad which was his line 
of communication. The question which Stuart 
had to determine was whether to go on or turn 
back. We were near the Pamunkey, and if we 
kept on, the road would soon be closed behind 
us. The only way of return would then be to 
pass around McClellan. I felt great anxiety 
for fear that Stuart would halt, for I realized 
that there was a chance for him to do some- 
thing that had never been done. His decision 
to go on showed that he possessed true military 

Just before Stuart gave the order for us to 
move, he turned to me and said, "I want you to 
go on some distance ahead." "Very well," said 
I, "but give me a guide." Two soldiers who 
knew the roads were ordered to go with me. I was 
proud to be selected for such a duty and was 
full of enthusiasm. We had not gone far before 
Stuart sent one of his staff to tell me to go faster 
and increase the distance between us. As we 
jogged along two miles in advance of the column, 
we came upon a sutler's wagon. It was filled 
with so many tempting things which we had not 
seen for nearly two years that we felt as if the 
blockade had been raised. We exercised the 


belligerent right of search. At the same time 
I could see, about a mile away in the Pamunkey 
River, a forest of masts of schooners which were 
unloading supplies into a train of wagons ready 
to carry them to the army. So I sent one man 
back to tell Stuart to hurry and capture the prizes 
and put the other as a guard over the sutler. I 
then went on alone. When Stuart came up, he 
sent a squadron to burn the schooners and the 
wagon train. Capturing watercraft was a novel 
experiment in cavalry tactics. At a bend in the 
road, I came upon a vidette and a sutler's wagon ; 
they submitted quietly. Just then a bugle 
sounded, and I saw a body of cavalry a few hun- 
dred yards away. Fugitives from the camp we 
had captured had given the alarm, and the second 
troop was getting ready to leave. As soon as 
the head of our column appeared, the enemy's 
force at once disappeared. 

A Confederate newspaper described my part 
as follows : 

Appreciating the public interest in the recital of 
everything connected with the recent exploit of Gen- 
eral Stuart's cavalry in his reconnaissance through 
the enemy's lines, we have gathered, from reliable 
participants in the affair, these additional particulars. 
After destroying the enemy's camp near the old church, 


Lieutenant John S. Mosby, aid to General Stuart 
and who had been most daring and successful as a 
scout, was sent on in advance, with a single [sic] 
guide, towards Tunstall Station, to reconnoitre and 
ascertain the position and force of the enemy. On 
his way he met two Yankees whom he took prisoners 
and sent to the rear in charge of his guide. Alone he 
pushed on and overtook a cavalryman and an artillery- 
man of the enemy's forces, having in charge a quarter- 
master's wagon and stores. Lieutenant Mosby dashed 
up and, drawing his pistols, demanded their surrender. 
The New Yorker surrendered at once, but the Pennsyl- 
vanian, beginning to fumble for his pistol, the lieu- 
tenant made a more emphatic demand for his surrender, 
and at the same moment compelled him to look quite 
closely into the muzzle of his pistol. All this time 
there was drawn up, not four hundred yards distant, a 
company of Yankee cavalry in line of battle. In a 
moment a bugle sounded as for a movement on him, 
when, anxious to secure his prisoners and stores, 
Lieutenant Mosby put spurs and galloped across the 
field, at the same time shouting to his imaginary men 
to follow him, when none of the Confederate cavalry 
were in sight and the swiftest more than a mile in the 
rear. The Yankees, hearing the word of command and 
apprehending the descent of an avalanche of Confed- 
erate cavalry upon them, broke line, each man gallop- 
ing off to take care of himself. The wagon, prisoners, 
and stores were then secured and among them were 
found forty splendid Colt's pistols with holsters, be- 
sides boots, shoes, blankets, etc., etc. 


About sundown we reached the York River 
Railroad, and the column still went on. The 
only way to get back to Richmond was now to 
recross the Chickahominy near its mouth and 
pass by McClellan's left flank. As some evidence 
of the consternation that prevailed among the 
Union troops, I remember that, after we left the 
camp, a sergeant and twenty-five men of the 
regular cavalry followed on under a flag of truce 
and surrendered to the rearguard. That night 
was a feast for Stuart's cavalry. On all the 
roads were burning trains with supplies and sut- 
lers' goods. Champagne and Rhine wine flowed 

A force was sent in pursuit of us under the 
command of General St. George Cooke — Stuart's 
father-in-law. Although the march of our column 
was slow, we never saw an armed foe after we left 
Royall's camp, except a small guard at the rail- 
road. General Warren, who commanded a bri- 
gade behind us, said, "It was impossible for the 
infantry to overtake him and as the cavalry 
did not move without us, it was impossible for 
them to overtake him." Fitz-John Porter re- 
gretted that "When General Cooke did pursue, 
he should have tied his legs with the infantry 
command." As there were six cavalry regiments, 


including all the regulars, with a battery, on 
our track, it is hard to see why they wanted 

Although more than forty-eight hours elapsed 
between the time when we passed McClellan's 
right flank and back around his left, he made 
no attempt to intercept us. In making the 
circuit of his army, the Confederate column 
was at all times within five or six miles of his 
headquarters, with two navigable rivers enclosing 
it, and another river over which we had to build 
a bridge in order to cross. McClellan was a 
soldier of great organizing ability and trained 
in the science of war — I mean in those opera- 
tions that can be regulated by rules. But he 
had none of the inspiration that decides and 
acts instantly, and he was now confronted by a 
condition without a precedent. So he was help- 

About daylight we reached a ford of the Chicka- 
hominy, a narrow crooked stream which meanders 
between the Pamunkey and the James. We had 
crossed it on the morning before. Stuart had 
expected to be able to ford this stream, but at 
this point it was overflowing. A guide told us 
of a bridge a mile below — or where one had been 
— so the column was headed for that point. 


When we got there, we found that the bridge 
was gone, although the piles were standing. 
Near by were the remains of an old warehouse, 
which furnished material for building another. 
It was soon constructed — it seemed to rise 
out of the water by magic. It may not have 
been so good a bridge as Caesar threw over the 
Rhine, but it answered our purpose. While the 
bridge was building, Stuart showed no anxiety 
and was in as gay a humor as I ever saw him. 
During the night I had provided for our com- 
missary department a lot of stores from the 
sutlers' wagons, and these were soon spread about 
on the grass. We had not been disturbed on 
the night march, but just as the bridge was fin- 
ished a body of lancers came in sight and halted. 
They had captured one of our men, a German, 
whom we had to leave behind, as he was too full 
of Rhine wine to travel. When we reached West- 
over, the command was halted to rest and get 
forage, for we knew that the road to Richmond 
was open. Stuart now left Fitz Lee in command 
and rode on to report to General Lee. The 
column moved on by moonlight and at day- 
break was in sight of Richmond. The game 
was won. 

I had ridden several miles ahead of the col- 


umn and met Stuart returning. Of course, he 
was delighted to hear that the cavalry was 

To excuse himself for what he had not done, 
McClellan, in a dispatch, tried to belittle this 
affair by saying that Stuart's cavalry did nothing 
but gain a little eclat; but it can be said with 
more truth that he himself lost a good deal. It 
was the first blow at his reputation. 

The Comte de Paris, one of McClellan's staff 
officers, said with more truth, "They had, in point 
of fact, created a great commotion, shaken the 
confidence of the North in McClellan, and made 
the first experiment in those great cavalry ex- 
peditions which subsequently played so novel 
and important a part during the war." 

Richmond, Monday, 

June 16, 1862. 
My dearest Pauline : 

I have just received your letter this morning. I 
returned yesterday with General Stuart from the grand- 
est scout of the war. I not only helped to execute it, 
but was the first one who conceived and demonstrated 
that it was practicable. I took four men, several 
days ago, and went down among the Yankees and 
found out how it could be done. The Yankees gave 
us a chase, but we escaped. I reported to General 


Stuart, — suggested his going down, — he approved, 
— asked me to give him a written statement of the 
facts, and went immediately to see General Lee, who 
also approved it. We were out nearly four days, — 
rode continuously four days and nights, — found 
among the Yankee camps and sutlers' stores every 
luxury of which you ever conceived. I had no way of 
bringing off anything. General Stuart gave me the 
horses and equipments I captured. What little I 
brought off is worth at least $350. Stuart does not 
want me to go with Floyd, — told me before this affair 
that I should have a commission, — on returning 
yesterday he told me that I would have no difficulty 
in doing so now. I met Wyndham Robertson on the 
street to-day. He congratulated me on the success 
of the exploit, and said I was the hero, and that he 
intended to write an account of it for the papers, — 
made me promise to dine with him to-day. I send 
you some captured things, — the carpet was in an 
officer's tent. . . . There is no prospect of a battle 
here, — heavy reinforcements have been going to 
Jackson. ... I got two splendid army pistols. 
Stuart's name is in every one's mouth now. I was in 
both cavalry charges, — they were magnificent. . . . 
I have been staying with General Stuart at his head- 
quarters. . . . The whole heavens were illuminated 
by the flames of the burning wagons, etc. of the Yan- 
kees. A good many ludicrous scenes I will narrate 
when I get home. Richmond in fine spirits, — every- 
body says it is the greatest feat of the war. I never 
enjoyed myself so much in my life. . . . 


Headquarters Cavalry Brigade, 

June 20, 1862. 
Hon. Geo. W. Randolph, 

Secretary of War. 
General : 

Permit me to present to you John S. Mosby, who 
for months past has rendered time and again services 
of the most important and valuable nature, exposing 
himself regardless of danger, and, in my estimation, 
fairly won promotion. 

I am anxious that he should get the Captaincy of a 
Company of Sharpshooters in my brigade, but the 
muster rolls have not yet been sent in. I commend him 
to your notice. 

Most respectfully, General, 
Your obedient servant, 
J. E. B. Stuart, 
Brigadier General Commanding Cavalry. 


The Campaign Against Pope 

Richmond, July 4, 1862. 
My dearest Pauline : 

I reached our wagon camp near Richmond about 
twelve o'clock Tuesday and as the battle [Malvern 
Hill] was raging below did not go to Richmond. I 
came up to get my horse shod. McClellan has re- 
treated about thirty-five miles and is now under cover 
of his gun-boats on James River. . . . McClellan is 
badly whipped. 

Richmond, July 7, 1862. 
My dearest Pauline : 

I came up to Richmond yesterday from our camp 
below. Our army has now fallen back near Richmond, 
as we could not attack McClellan under his gun boats, 
it was no use keeping our army so far off from sup- 
plies. ... I have just returned from an expedition 
down James River where I succeeded, with half a 
dozen men, in breaking up an assemblage of negroes 
and Yankees. They were armed. 

It is an open secret that in August, 1862, the 
disobedience of two Confederate generals saved 


Pope's army in Virginia from ruin and nearly 
resulted in the capture of the Confederate Chief 
of Cavalry. But historians have been strangely 
silent about it. I had a part in the play, and I 
take more pleasure in telling about it now than I 
did when I was an actor in the great drama. In 
war there are lights mingled with shadows. In the 
retrospect we see a great deal of the comedy 
where once all seemed to be tragedy. 

After the Seven Days' Battles around Richmond, 
that closed on July 1, several weeks of calm suc- 
ceeded. McClellan had shifted his base from the 
Pamunkey to the James, and both armies rested for 
another collision. If McClellan had possessed 
the intuition of Grant, he would not have halted 
on the bank of the river, but would have crossed 
and seized the communications of the Confederate 
Capital. General John Pope had been called from 
the West to take command of an army in front of 
Washington. This army was organized mostly 
from fragments which Jackson had overlooked in 
the Shenandoah Valley. Pope came East with 
some reputation, but he soon lost it. 

Pope opened his campaign in northern Virginia 
with a bombastic manifesto that, by an invidious 
comparison, gave offence to his own side and 
amusement to ours. He was, however, unjustly 


criticised for declaring that his army should sub- 
sist on the country it occupied. That is a right as 
old as war — to live on the enemy. I did the 
same thing whenever I could. Pope declared that 
in the West he had seen only the backs of his 
enemies, and that he would look only to his front 
and let his rear take care of itself. But he must 
be acquitted of the charge, so often repeated, of 
having said that his headquarters would be in the 
saddle. I know that it is no use to deny it now — 
it is a part of our mythology, and the people of 
Virginia believe it as religiously as they do the 
legend of Pocahontas. It is said that even so 
grave a person as General Lee made humorous 
remarks about this proclamation. 

But what interested me most in this proclama- 
tion was the following : 

I hear constantly of taking strong positions and 
holding them, of lines of retreat and bases of supplies. 
Let us dismiss such ideas, ... let us study the prob- 
able lines of retreat of our opponents and leave our 
own to take care of themselves. Let us look before 
us and not behind. 

At this time I was at cavalry headquarters, in 
Hanover County, about ten miles from Richmond. 
When I read what Pope said about looking only 
to his front and letting his rear take care of itself, 


I saw that the opportunity for which I had longed 
had come. He had opened a promising field for 
partisan warfare and had invited, or rather dared, 
anybody to take advantage of it. The cavalry 
at Richmond was doing nothing but picket duty, 
and " quiet to quick bosoms is a hell." So I 
asked Stuart for a dozen men to make the harvest 
where the laborers were few, and do for Pope what 
he would not do for himself, take care of his rear 
and communications for him. Stuart was, of 
course, well-disposed to me. He had spoken well 
of me in his report of his ride around McClellan 
on the Chickahominy, and General Lee had also 
mentioned me in his general order announcing it to 
the army. 

I really thought that there was a chance to 
render effective service. I had served the first 
year of the war in a regiment of cavalry in the 
region which was now in Pope's department and 
had a general knowledge of the country. I was 
sure then — I am surer now — that I could make 
Pope pay as much attention to his rear as his front, 
and that I could compel him to detail most of his 
cavalry to guard his long line of communications, 
or turn his commissary department and rear over 
to me — which would have been perfectly satis- 
factory to me. There never was afterwards such 


a field for partisan war in Virginia. Breaking 
communications is the chief work for a partisan — 
it defeats plans and starts confusion by destroying 
supplies, thus diminishing the offensive strength 
of an army. 

Judged in the light that is before us now, it looks 
strange that I was refused. Stuart told me that 
he was getting his cavalry ready for the active 
campaign soon to begin, but that he would give me 
a letter to Jackson, who, no doubt, would give me 
the men I wanted. I had to beg for the privilege 
of striking the enemy at a vulnerable point. If 
the detail had been given me, I would have started 
directly to cross the Rapidan to flank Pope, and. 
my partisan war would have begun then. 

I accepted the letter to Jackson — the best I 
could get — and with a club-footed companion, 
an exempt from military service, I started off. I 
was so anxious to be at work that I concluded to 
go by rail and arrange with Jackson for the cavalry 
to go with me. We spent the night with a farmer 
near Beaver Dam station on what is now the 
Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. I sent my com- 
panion on to lead my horse to Jackson's head- 
quarters and went to the depot. I laid down my 
pistols and haversack that had the letter to Jack- 
son — the man leading my horse had scarcely 


gotten out of sight — when somebody exclaimed, 
"Here they are!" A regiment of Northern 
cavalry was not a hundred yards away, coming up 
at a trot. I ran, but they caught me and got my 
pistols and haversack. This capture apparently 
blasted my hopes, especially when I was sent to 
the Old Capitol Prison in Washington, but an 
exchange of prisoners was agreed upon the next day. 
I was captured by a New York regiment — the 
Harris Cavalry. It had ridden all night to break 
the communications between Lee and Jackson. 
The men did not wait for my train, although I 
told them it could be taken with impunity. It 
was not true, but I suppose I was justified by the 
code of war. I was taken to General King's 
headquarters at Fredericksburg and very kindly 
treated. He let me write a letter to my family, 
which he sent through the lines. Some letters 
were captured at the depot. General King read 
one aloud — everybody laughed. It was from 
a Richmond girl to her country cousin. I remem- 
ber four lines. I hope they won't shock people 
who read them now : 

"Jeff Davis is our President, 
Lincoln is a fool. 
Jeff Davis rides a white horse, 
Lincoln rides a mule." 


A history of the Harris Cavalry says : 

At six o'clock on the evening of July 19th the Harris 
Light was set in rapid motion almost directly south. 
By means of a forced march through the night, at 
gray dawn of morning we descended upon Beaver Dam 
depot on the Virginia Central, like so many ravenous 
wolves. During an affray we captured a young Con- 
federate, who gave his name as Captain John S. Mosby. 
By his sprightly appearance and conversation he at- 
tracted considerable attention. He is slight but well 
formed ; has a keen blue eye and a blond complexion, 
and displays no small amount of Southern bravado in 
his dress and manners. His gray plush hat is sur- 
mounted by a waving plume, which he tosses, as he 
speaks, in real Prussian style. He had a letter in his 
possession from General Stuart commending him to 
the kind regards of General Jackson. 

Old Capitol Prison, 

Washington, July 23, '62. 
My dearest Pauline : 

I wrote you from Falmouth [opposite Fredericks- 
burg], announcing my capture by the enemy's cavalry 
at Beaver Dam. I was going up to see General 
Jackson for Stuart. I had a young man with me. I 
concluded to let him lead my horse and I would take 
the train and pay you a flying visit. I had just arrived 
at the depot, — had pulled off my arms and placed 
them in a storehouse and was sitting down outdoors 
waiting for a train, which was due in the course of an 


hour, — when the cavalry suddenly appeared and I 
had no time to escape. The Colonel and Captain 
treated me with the greatest courtesy. General King, 
before whom I was carried, ordered my arms to be 
restored to me. In my haversack was a letter from 
General Stuart introducing me to General Jackson. 
You need feel no uneasiness about me. . . . Colonel 
Davis, who captured me, offered to lend me Federal 
money. I thanked him, but declined. 

I had been a prisoner about ten days when I 
was taken, with a good many prisoners, down the 
Potomac to Fortress Monroe. Here we waited 
four days for others to arrive, that we might go 
up the James River to the place of exchange. 
When we arrived at Hampton Roads, I saw a 
large number of transports with troops lying near. 
As a prisoner I kept up my habits as a scout and 
soon learned that they were Burnside's troops 
who had just come from North Carolina. If 
they were reinforcements for McClellan, it would 
indicate that he would advance again on Richmond 
from his new base on the James. On the other 
hand, if they sailed up the Chesapeake, it would 
show that they were going to join Pope, and that 
McClellan would be withdrawn from the penin- 

This was the problem that I had to solve. It was 


a pivotal point in the campaign. There were 
several officers of high rank among the prisoners, 
but I did not communicate my purpose to any- 
one, for fear my secret work might leak out, with 
the result that we should be detained. I was, 
however, much surprised that none of them seemed 
to regard what was before their eyes as of any 

On the fourth day, several steamers with pris- 
oners from their places of confinement in the North 
anchored near us, and I was told that we were to 
start that evening up the James River, to the 
point where the commissioners would meet for 
the exchange. During the day, I saw the trans- 
ports with Burnside's troops weighing anchor and 
passing out by the fort. I had become pretty 
well acquainted with the captain of the steamer 
that brought us down from Washington, and 
found out that he was a Confederate in sympathy ; 
so when he was going ashore for his orders, I asked 
him to find out where the transports were going. 

When he returned, he whispered to me that 
Aquia Creek, on the Potomac, was the point. 
That settled it — McClellan's army would not 
advance, but would follow the transports north- 

I was feverish with excitement and anxiety to 


carry the news to General Lee, but nobody sus- 
pected what I had discovered, nor did I hear any 
comment on the movement of Burnside's troops. 
I was so restless that I sat nearly all night on the 
deck of the steamer, watching for the day star. 

Early in the morning we arrived at the landing, 
and I was the first to jump ashore. As I was in 
a hurry, and afraid of being detained by some 
formality in exchanging, I whispered to the Con- 
federate Commissioner that I had important in- 
formation for General Lee, and asked him to let 
me go. He made no objection. 

It was a hot day in August, and I set out alone 
to walk twelve miles to headquarters. Some one 
in Washington had given me a patent-leather 
haversack and a five-dollar greenback. The latter 
I had invested in lemons at Fortress Monroe, 
for the blockade kept them out of Virginia. 
After trudging several miles I was so exhausted 
and footsore that I had to lie down by the road- 
side ; but I held on to my lemons. A horseman 
— one of Hampton's legion — came along, and 
I told him how anxious I was to get to General 
Lee. He proved a benefactor indeed, for he put 
me on his horse, walked to his camp with me, got 
another horse, and rode to General Lee's head- 
quarters with me. I wish I knew his name, for 


I have always thought his conduct was one of the 
most generous deeds of the war. 

When we reached headquarters, I dismounted 
and told a staff officer, who was standing on the 
porch, that I had important information for 
General Lee and wished to see him. As I was 
roughly dressed and unkempt, no doubt the 
officer thought I was presumptuous to ask the 
privilege. In the imperious tone customary with 
staff officers, he said that I could not see the 
General. I protested that I must, but he would 
accept no explanation. So I turned to leave, 
but another officer, who had overheard what I 
had said, told me to wait. He went inside the 
house, but soon came out and told me to go inside. 
I did so and found myself in, what was then to me, 
the awful presence of the Commander-in-Chief. 

We had never met before, but I was soon re- 
lieved of embarrassment ; General Lee's kind, 
benevolent manner put me at ease. I found 
him looking over a map on the table. As quickly 
as I could, I told him that Burnside's troops had 
been sent to Pope. I then said that he did not 
know what confidence he could put in my report 
and told him my name and that I was on Stuart's 
ride around McClellan. "Oh," he said, "I re- 


After I had finished my story, he asked me a 
few questions. I remember very well that he in- 
quired on what line I thought the next movement 
against Richmond would be made, and that I 
considered it a high compliment that he should 
ask my opinion on such an important matter. 
He then called one of his staff* into the room and 
told him to have a courier ready to go to General 
Jackson. At that time Jackson was about eighty 
miles west of Richmond, on the railroad near 
Gordonsville, but ever since the affair at Beaver 
Dam, Lee had been afraid to trust the telegraph, 
and kept a relay line of couriers. As soon as 
Jackson got the news about Burnside, he hastened 
to strike Pope at Cedar Mountain before reinforce- 
ments could reach him. 

Richmond, August 6, '62. 
My dearest Pauline : 

I arrived here yesterday evening. I came by flag 
of truce steamer, — landed twelve miles below Rich- 
mond and had to walk all the way up. My feet were 
so sore I could scarcely stand. As soon as I got here 
I went out to see General Lee, as I had a good deal of 
very important information to give him. ... I 
brought information of vital importance. 

The Comte de Paris said in his "History of the 
Civil War in America" : 


So long as Burnside and the fleet of transports which 
lay in readiness to ship his troops remained at the 
mouth of the James, whence they could proceed either 
to Harrison's Landing or to Aquia Creek, it was evi- 
dent to Lee that the movement of the Federals had not 
yet been determined upon. Accordingly he sought 
with particular care for every item of intelligence 
calculated to enlighten him as to the design of his 

Finally, one evening, on the 4th or 5th of August, 
a small steamer bearing a flag of truce was seen coming 
up the James, passing the Confederate outposts and 
approaching Aiken's Landing, a place designated for 
the exchange of prisoners. In the midst of the 
soldiers, whose gray coats were worn out by long con- 
finement, and the sick and wounded, to whom the 
thought of freedom restored both strength and health, 
an officer was making himself conspicuous by his 
extreme anxiety to land. Llis face was well known to 
every Virginian, and his name to all his companions 
in arms ; it was the celebrated partisan, Colonel John 

His eagerness, which everybody attributed to his 
ardent temperament, was very natural, for he had 
news of the greatest importance to communicate to 
Lee. A few hours later he was at the headquarters of 
his chief, to whom he made known the fact that at the 
very moment when he was leaving Hampton Roads, 
that same morning, the whole of Burnside's corps was 
being embarked, and that its destination, as he knew 
positively, was Aquia Creek. 


Lee lost no time in availing himself of this informa- 
tion, which chance had opportunely thrown into his 

When I rose to leave General Lee at this my 
first meeting with him, I opened my haversack 
and put a dozen lemons on the table. He said I 
had better give them to some of the sick and 
wounded in the hospitals ; but I left them and 
bade him good-by. I had little expectation of 
ever seeing him again. 

I went to see Stuart, who was still in Hanover, 
and then went home to get my horse. I reached 
the army again on August 17, just in time to meet 
Stuart who had come by rail from Richmond, 
leaving Fitz Lee to bring up the cavalry. By 
this time it was plain that McClellan was about 
to leave the peninsula, so that General Lee was 
concentrating on the Rapidan. Stuart had just 
had a conference with General Lee and had 
received his final instructions. He did not say 
what they were, but the coming event cast its 
shadow before. Stuart was to meet Fitz Lee at 
Verdiersville, and I went with him. I had no 
arms — I had lost my pistols when I was cap- 
tured at Beaver Dam — but trusted to luck to 
get another pair. 

On the way to meet Fitz Lee, we passed Long- 


street's camp. The soldiers knew instinctively 
that a movement was on foot ; they were cooking 
their rations for a march and singing "Annie 
Laurie." We reached the appointed rendezvous 
that night but found a deserted village. There 
were no signs of the cavalry, and Stuart was 
greatly disappointed and worried, for the opera- 
tion, which had been planned for the next morn- 
ing, depended on the cavalry. I did not then 
suspect how much depended on meeting the cav- 
alry and how much was lost by its absence. It 
was the crucial point of the campaign. 

A staff officer, Major Fitzhugh, went in search 
of Fitz Lee, and Stuart and I tied our horses and 
lay down to sleep on the porch of a house by the 
road. Before sunrise I was awakened by a 
young man, Gibson, who had just come with me, 
unarmed, from prison. He said that he heard 
the tramp of cavalry down the plank road ; that 
it was probably Fitz Lee, but it might be Yankee 
cavalry. Although we were near the Rapidan, 
we thought we were inside of Longstreet's picket 
line, but I did not want to be caught napping 
again. So I awoke Stuart and told him what 
we had heard and that Gibson and I would ride 
down the road to see what was there. We soon 
saw a body of cavalry that had stopped at a 


house a few hundred yards away. A heavy fog 
made it impossible to distinguish friends from foes. 
But we were soon relieved of doubt — two cavalry- 
men saw us and rode forward. When they got in 
pistol range, they opened fire — that settled it. 
We knew they were not our friends. As Gibson 
and I had no arms, there was nothing for us to 
do but wheel and run — which we did — and used 
our spurs freely. The firing gave the alarm and 
saved Stuart. He mounted his horse, bare- 
headed, leaped a fence in the back yard, and got 
away. But he left his hat ! 

Before Gibson and I got to the house where we 
had slept, a Prussian on Stuart's staff dashed 
through the front gate and went down the road 
ahead of us as fast as his horse could carry him. 
We never overtook him. After the war he pub- 
lished a lot of fables in which he described an 
encounter he had with the Yankees that morning 
as more wonderful than the feat of St. George and 
the Dragon. Our ambition was to escape. We 
ran as fast as we could, but the Prussian ran 
faster. That was all the distinction he won. 

Pope had advanced to the line of the Rapidan, 
with his army stretched across the Orange and 
Alexandria Railway, which was his line of supply. 
His forces were massed near the river. Lee, with 


Jackson and Longstreet, was in Orange County, 
a few miles in his front. Our cavalry picketed 
the south bank of the river. As late as the seven- 
teenth Pope did not know — and this was the 
evening before he retreated in such a hurry — 
that Lee had arrived with Longstreet. He 
thought Jackson was at Gordonsville, twenty 
miles south. Pope spoke of crossing the river 
and making a demonstration towards Richmond ; 
he told Halleck "our position is strong and it will 
be very difficult to drive us from it." A worse 
position for an army could not have been selected 
for Pope by an enemy. He urged Halleck to let 
him cross the river and take the offensive, but the 
latter would not consent. 

General Lee never again had such an opportu- 
nity to destroy an army. It would have been easy, 
on that day, to pass around under cover of 
Clarke's Mountain — that is on the south bank 
of the Rapidan — cross at the fords below, and 
strike Pope both in flank and rear at the same 
time. It was particularly so, as Pope had said 
he would look only to his front. The fact is, 
the railroad turns east at such an angle in Cul- 
peper that, after crossing the river below Pope, 
Lee's army would have been nearer the Rappa- 
hannock bridge than Pope's army was. His 


railroad communications with Washington would 
have been seized, and reinforcements from 
McClellan cut off. According to Pope's dis- 
patches of that day to Halleck, there was no 
sign of a movement to cross the Rapidan. He was 
anxious to attack Jackson. By an accident 
Pope was rudely awakened from his dream of 

John C. Ropes, the historian, wrote : 

Hence, when he saw him (Pope) quickly occupying 
the line of the Rapidan, Lee at once saw his oppor- 
tunity. He ordered Longstreet and Jackson to cross 
the river at Raccoon and Somerville fords and to move 
on Culpeper Court House, while the cavalry of Stuart, 
crossing further to the east at Morton's Ford, was to 
make Rappahannock Station, destroying the bridge 
there and then turning to the left, form the right of 
Longstreet's corps. Pope would have been attacked 
in the rear and flank and his communications severed 
in the bargain. Doubtless, he would have made a 
strenuous fight, but he could hardly have escaped 
defeat, and defeat under such circumstances might 
well have been ruin. From this disaster fortune saved 
Pope through the capture of Stuart's staff officer. 

Stuart had sent Major Fitzhugh to Look for 
Fitz Lee, whose orders required him to be at 
Verdiersville the night of the seventeenth. The 
place is a few miles south of the Rapidan. Day- 


break on the eighteenth was the time fixed for 
crossing the river. But Fitz Lee, as appears from 
Stuart's report, after leaving Hanover, instead of 
marching directly to the vicinity of Raccoon 
Ford, as he was ordered, changed his course and 
turned back to follow his wagons that had been 
sent by Louisa Court House for provisions. By 
this detour he was a day late in reaching his 
destination. The delay was fatal to General 
Lee's plan and saved Pope. General Lee would 
not make the movement without his cavalry, but 
Jackson wanted to go on without it. Major 
Fitzhugh, while looking for Fitz Lee, was captured 
on the night of the seventeenth by a body of 
cavalry that had been sent over the river on a 
scout. It was the same body that came so near 
getting us the next morning. They got Lee's 
letter to Stuart that disclosed his plan to cross 
on the morning of the eighteenth and flank Pope. 
The dispatch was sent in hot haste to headquarters 
and created a panic. 

General Pope, in his report, spoke of the cap- 
ture of this letter as the cause of his hasty and 
unpremeditated retreat. He said the cavalry 
expedition he sent out captured the Adjutant 
General of Stuart and was near capturing that 
officer himself. Among the papers taken from 


him was an autograph letter of General Lee to 
General Stuart ''which made manifest the dis- 
position and force of the enemy, and their destina- 
tion to overwhelm the army and my command 
before it could be reinforced by any portion of the 
Army of the Potomac." 

But Fitz Lee was not alone responsible for 
General Lee's failure to envelop Pope. General 
Longstreet said that, as the cavalry had not come 
up on the seventeenth, he ordered two regiments 
of Toombs's brigade to be sent to guard the Rapi- 
dan fords. Toombs had ridden from his head- 
quarters to have dinner with a farmer. When the 
order came, his next in rank ordered the detail 
to be sent. When Toombs learned what had 
been done without asking him, he ordered the 
regiment back to their camp. So the fords were 
unguarded, and Pope's cavalry crossed without 
giving any alarm, captured Stuart's staff officer 
with General Lee's order, and saved Pope's army. 
Longstreet put Toombs under arrest, but Fitz 
Lee was not relieved of his command. In the 
midst of the battle of Manassas, a few days later, 
Toombs rode up to Longstreet and begged to lead 
his brigade. Longstreet relented, and Toombs 
led his men into battle. So it seemed that Gen- 
eral Pope was saved by a comedy of errors. Gen- 


eral Lee had to wait for his cavalry to come up, 
but when they came the opportunity was gone. 

If Toombs had not withdrawn the picket from 
the Rapidan, the Union cavalry could not have 
crossed ; if Fitz Lee had obeyed orders, even if 
the cavalry had crossed, they would have been 
caught. By this combination of errors, Pope got 
warning and lost no time in getting away. 

I rode with Stuart to the signal station on 
Clarke's Mountain where we could see Pope's 
army retreating and his trains scudding back to 
the Rappahannock. 

General George Gordon, who was with Pope, 
said: "Without delay the retreat began. By 
rail and along the roadways, in cars and in baggage 
wagons, from Mitchell's Station and Culpeper 
(Court House) vast stores of subsistence, forage, 
and ammunition streamed out for the left bank 
of the Rappahannock. . . . The Confederates 
were disappointed ; many of them scolded bit- 
terly. Rarely had a better opportunity offered 
for the destruction of an army." 

Dabney, Jackson's staff officer and biographer, 
in an account of the campaign written when it 
was fresh in memory, said that the plan of the 
commander-in-chief was for the movement to 
begin at dawn on the eighteenth, but was defeated 


by dilatory subordinates, and that he overruled the 
eagerness of Jackson and postponed it until the 
twentieth. "It was then," he wrote, "most 
fortunate that Jackson was not in command." 

A few days afterwards Stuart went on a raid 
around Pope. As he galloped by me, he said, "I 
am going after my hat." Sure enough, he cap- 
tured Pope's headquarters wagons, with the hat 
and plume and full-dress uniform, besides his 
money chest. Stuart was now at least even with 

Dranesville, September 5, '62. 

My dearest Pauline : 

Our arms have been crowned with a glorious vic- 
tory [Second Battle of Manassas and Chantilly]. 
Our army is now marching on toward Leesburg, and 
we all suppose it will cross into Maryland. I have 
escaped unhurt, though I got my horse slightly shot 
in the shoulder and had a bullet through the top of 
my hat, which slightly grazed my head. ... I have 
a very good Yankee horse, also two fine saddles and 
two pistols I captured. With one man I captured 
seven cavalry and two infantry. 

[Colonel Mosby accompanied Stuart on the fall 
campaign which culminated in the battle of 
Antietam. Of this campaign Mosby noted two 
incidents as follows : 


I rode just behind Jackson when he marched at the 
head of his columns through Frederick City, Md., in 
September, 1862, with his band playing "My Mary- 
land." But I never heard the story of Barbara 
Frietchie shaking the Stars and Stripes in his face until 
I read Whittier's poem. I am sorry the story is a 
myth, for, as the poet tells it, the respect which the 
Confederates showed her was a great contrast with the 
treatment an order of a certain general required to be 
shown to a woman who by word, sign, or gesture should 
be disrespectful to the U. S. soldier or flag. 

I only once saw Stonewall Jackson in battle. At 
Antietam I rode with Stuart by some batteries where 
Jackson was directing their fire on the flank of a col- 
umn that was advancing against him, and I stopped a 
minute to look at the great soldier who was then trans- 
figured with the joy of battle. In a quiet way he was 
giving orders. McClellan had sent three corps in 
succession against him — Hooker's, Mansfield's, and 
Sumner's — and each in turn was repulsed. While I 
was near him, the last onset was made, but Jackson 
held the same ground at sunset that he held in the 

I rode on and overtook Stuart, but the killed and 
wounded were strewn on the ground "like leaves of 
the forest when autumn hath blown", and I had to 
be careful not to ride over them. Whole ranks seemed 
to have been struck down by a volley. Although 
hundreds were lying all around me, my attention was 
in some way attracted to a wounded officer who was 


lying in an uncomfortable position and seemed to be suf- 
fering great agony. I dismounted, fixed him more 
comfortably, and rolled up a blanket on which he 
rested his head, and then got a canteen of water for 
him from the body of a dead soldier lying near him. 
As I passed a wounded soldier, I held the canteen 
toward him so that he could drink. He said, "No, 
take it to my Colonel, he is the best man in the world." 
[This was a speech worthy of Sidney, the model of 

First Exploits as a Partisan 

Near Culpeper, November 24, '62. 

My dearest Pauline : 

I have been on another big scout since I wrote. 
General Stuart sent me with nine men down to recon- 
noitre in the vicinity of Manassas. There was a 
Yankee regiment there. We came upon ten. We 
charged them with a yell. The Yankees ran and stam- 
peded their whole regiment, thinking all of Stuart's 
cavalry were on them. . . . Jackson is in the Valley. 
I will join Stuart in a day or so. I stayed behind on a 
scout and have just returned. 

Tuesday, December 2nd, '62. 

My dearest Pauline : 

I am now with the 1st regiment near Spottsylvania 
Court House, but it is uncertain how long we will be 
here. Jackson has arrived. I reckon you saw the 
account in the Richmond papers of my scout and stam- 
pede of the Yankees near Manassas. . . . Several of 
my old company have been shot lately. 



December 9. 
My dearest Pauline : 

Enclosed I send a copy of my report to General 
Stuart of my scout down to Manassas when with nine 
men I stampeded two or three thousand Yankees. 
I see the Richmond papers give Col. Rosser [Fifth 
Va. Cavalry] the credit of it. He had nothing to do 
with it, and was not in twenty-five miles of there. . . . 
General Lee sent me a message expressing his gratifi- 
cation at my success. I believe I have already written 
of my trip around McClellan at Catlett's Station, 
when I saw him leave his army at the time he was 
superseded by Burnside. The courier by whom I sent 
the dispatch to General Stuart announcing it passed 
five Yankee cavalry in the road. Not dreaming there 
was a rebel army in their rear, they passed on by him, 
merely saying "Good morning." We did not go in 
disguise, as spies, but in Confederate uniform and with 
our arms. Had a slip from a Northern paper, which I 
lost, giving an account of a squad of rebel cavalry hav- 
ing been seen that day in their rear. Aaron thinks 
himself quite a hero, though he does not want to come 
again in such disagreeable proximity to a bombshell. 
I want you to send me some books to read. Send 
Plutarch, Macaulay's "History" and "Essays," "En- 
cyclopedia of Anecdotes," Scott's Works, Shakespeare, 
Byron, Scott's Poems, Hazlitt's "Life of Napoleon," 
— if you can get me a copy of "My Novel," send it, 
also "Memoirs of an Irish Gentleman" (for Fount 
Beattie), "Corinne," and "Sketch Book." 


The situation is now changed. McClellan and 
Pope have been driven from Virginia, and Burn- 
side has met a bloody repulse at Fredericksburg. 
The two hostile armies are in winter quarters on 
the Rappahannock, and the pickets on opposite 
banks have declared a truce and are swapping 
coffee and tobacco. Occasionally a band on the 
Northern bank plays a favorite Southern air and 
soon, in response, the strain of the Star Spangled 
Banner comes from our side. The cavalry is 
not used for picketing and has been sent to the 
rear to be more convenient to forage. 

To relieve the monotony Stuart resolved to take 
his cavalry on a Christmas raid to Dumfries on 
Burnside's line of communication with Washing- 
ton. A good many wagons with supplies were cap- 
tured, and we chased a cavalry regiment through 
their own camp and got all their good things. 
There is a dispatch in the history of the telegraph 
in the war from an operator in Fairfax, which 
says, "The 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry just passed 
here, furiously charging to the rear." 

When he returned, Stuart let me stay behind a 
few days with six men to operate on the enemy's 
outposts. He was so satisfied with our success 
that he let me have fifteen men to return and 
begin my partisan life in northern Virginia — 


which closed with the war. That was the origin 
of my battalion. On January 24, 1863, we 
crossed the Rappahannock and immediately be- 
gan operations in a country which Joe Johnston 
had abandoned a year before. It 1 looked as 
though I was leading a forlorn hope, but I was 
never discouraged. In general my purpose was 
to threaten and harass the enemy on the border 
and in this way compel him to withdraw troops 

1 [A Confederate newspaper described the Mosby of this time as 
follows. "His figure is slight, muscular, supple, and vigorous; his eye 
is keen, penetrating, and ever on the alert." 

Another description of his appearance during the war: — 
"He was thin, wiry, and I should say about five feet nine or ten 
inches in height. A slight stoop in the back was not ungraceful. His 
chin was carried well forward ; his lips were thin, and wore a somewhat 
satirical smile ; the eyes, under the brown felt hat, were keen, sparkling, 
and roved curiously from side to side. He wore a gray uniform, with 
no arms but two revolvers, — the sabre was no favorite with him. His 
voice was low, and a smile was often on his lips. He rarely sat still 
ten minutes. Such was his appearance at that time. No one would 
have been struck with anything noticeable in him except his eyes. 
These flashed at times, in a way which might have induced the opinion 
that there was something in the man, if it only had an opportunity to 
come out. . . . The face of this person is tanned, beardless, youthful 
looking, and pleasant. He has white regular teeth, which his habitual 
smile reveals. His piercing eyes flash out from beneath his brown hat, 
with its golden cord ; and he reins his horse with the ease of a practised 
rider. A plain soldier, low and slight of stature, ready to talk, to laugh, 
to ride, to oblige you in any way, — such was Mosby in outward ap- 
pearance. Nature had given no sign but the restless, roving, flashing 
eyes, that there was much worth considering beneath. The common- 
place exterior of the partisan concealed one of the most active, daring, 
restless minds of an epoch fruitful in such. . . . His activity of mind 
and body, — call it, if you choose, restless, eternal love of movement, 
was something wonderful."] 


from his front to guard the line of the Potomac and 
Washington. This would greatly diminish his 
offensive power. General "Joe" Hooker said 
before a committee of Congress that we created so 
much anxiety that the planks on the bridge across 
the Potomac were taken up every night to prevent 
us from carrying off the Government. 

Recruits came to us from inside the enemy's 
lines, and they brought valuable information. 
Then, I had picketed for some time in Fairfax the 
year before and had acquired considerable local 
knowledge. The troops attached to the defence 
of Washington, south of the Potomac, were dis- 
tributed in winter quarters through Fairfax County 
and extended in an arc of a circle from the upper 
to the lower Potomac. The headquarters of Gen- 
eral Stoughton, who commanded them, were at 
the Court House. In a day or so after I arrived 
in Loudoun, we began operations on the outposts 
of Fairfax. The weak points were generally 
selected for attack. Up to that time the pickets 
had passed a quiet life in their camps or dozing 
on the picket posts, but now they were kept under 
arms and awake all night by a foe who generally 
assailed them where he was least expected. At 
first they accounted for our attacks on the theory 
that the farmers and cripples they saw in the 

•Olxa^, *>^ 

/7v^^/-^c^Z^t- Lo 4l erf y c fy^*^- (*-& 


daytime ploughing their fields and taking care of 
their flocks collected in bands at night, raided 
their camps, and dispersed at daybreak. But 
when they went around at night searching the 
homes for these invisible foes, they generally 
found the old farmers in bed, and when they 
returned to camp, they often found that we had 
paid them a visit in their absence. The farmers 
could prove an alibi. 

An English officer, Colonel Percy Wyndham, a 
soldier of fortune who had been with Garibaldi in 
Italy, commanded the cavalry brigade and had 
charge of the outposts. He was familiar with the 
old rules of the schools, but he soon learned that 
they were out of date, and his experience in war 
had not taught him how to counteract the forays 
and surprises that kept his men in the saddle all 
the time. The loss of sleep is irritating to anybody 
and, in his vexation at being struck by and striking 
at an invisible foe, he sent me a message calling 
me a horse thief. I did not deny it, but retorted 
that all the horses I had stolen had riders, and 
that the riders had sabres, carbines, and pistols. 
There was a new regiment in his brigade that was 
armed only with sabres and obsolete carbines. 
When we attacked them with revolvers, they were 
really defenceless. So I sent him word through 


a citizen that the men of that regiment were not 
worth capturing, and he must give them six- 
shooters. We used neither carbines nor sabres, 
but all the men carried a pair of Colt pistols. We 
did not pay for them but the U. S. Government 

Fauquier Co., Va., 1 

Feb. 4, '63. 

... I have been in this neighborhood over a 
week. Have had a gay time with the Yankees. 
Have captured twenty-eight Yankee cavalry, twenty- 
nine horses. ... I have 15 men with me . . . Fount 
Beattie was captured by the Yankees, — his horse 
fell with him. There were over two hundred Yankees. 
The Yankees set what they thought was a sure trap 
to catch me a few nights ago. I went into it and 
brought the whole of them off, — killed and captured 

During the first days as a partisan, there were 
more comic than tragic elements in the drama of 
war. About that time occurred an episode that 
would have furnished Goldsmith with all the 
elements of a comedy. It was a dark night with 
a deep snow on the ground, but the weather was 
warm and the snow soft. I received information 
that there was a pretty strong outpost on a cer- 

1 A letter to Mrs. Mosby. 


tain road in Fairfax, and I was determined to 
capture it. Of course, the fine horses were a 
great attraction. Several citizens had joined my 
command and acted as guides. Near the post 
lived a man named Ben Hatton, who traded in the 
camps and was pretty familiar with them. So, 
around midnight, we stopped at his house about a 
mile from the picket post, and he told us that he 
had been there that evening — I suppose to get 
coffee and sugar. Ben was impressed as a guide 
to conduct us to the rear of the enemy. When we 
reached that point, I determined to dismount, leave 
our horses, and attack on foot. Ben had fully 
discharged his duty and, as he was a non-comba- 
tant, I did not want to expose him to unnecessary 
danger. The blazing fire by which the Yankees 
were sleeping and dreaming was sufficient for us. 
So the horses were tied to the trees, and two of my 
men — Jimmie, an Irishman, and another we 
called "Coonskin ", from the cap he wore — 
stayed with Ben as a guard over the horses. 

Walking on the soft snow, we made no noise and 
were soon upon the picket post. The surprise 
was complete, and they had no time to prepare 
for resistance. We were soon ready to start back 
with our prisoners and their horses, when a fire 
opened in our rear, where we had left the guard 


and horses. The best scheme seemed to be to 
mount the Yankee horses, dash back, and re- 
capture our own. Some of the men were left to 
bring the prisoners on foot. A considerable fusil- 
lade had been going on where the guard had been 
left, but it ceased suddenly when we got near the 
place. To our surprise we found the horses all 
standing hitched to the trees, and Ben Hatton 
lying in a snowbank, shot through the thigh. 
But neither "Coonskin" nor Jimmie was there. 
Ben told us that the Yankees had come up and 
attacked them ; that was all he knew, except that 
they had shot him. He did not know whether 
the Yankees had carried off Jimmie and "Coon- 
skin ", or whether they had carried off the Yankees, 
nor could he explain why the horses were there. 
That was a mystery nobody could solve. We 
mounted ; Ben was lifted on a horse behind one of 
the men, and we started off with all the horses and 
prisoners. By that time the Yankees from the 
camp had been attracted by the firing. They 
came up and opened fire at us at long range, but 
let us leave without venturing to come near. 
Ben was bleeding profusely, but it was only a 
flesh wound. We left him at home, curled up in 
bed, with his wife to nurse him. He was too 
near the enemy's lines for me to give him surgical 


assistance, and he was afraid to ask any from the 
camps. The wound would have betrayed him 
to the Yankees had they known about it, and 
Ben would have been hung as a spy ! He was 
certainly innocent, for he had no desire to serve 
any one but himself. His wound healed, but the 
only reward he got was the glory of shedding his 
blood for his country. 

As soon as it was daylight, a strong body of 
cavalry was sent up the turnpike to catch us — 
they might as well have been chasing a herd of 
antelope. We had several hours' start of them, 
and they returned to camp in the evening, lead- 
ing a lot of broken-down horses. The pursuit had 
done them more harm than our attack. 

We brought off "Coonskin's" and Jimmie's 
horses, but we couldn't invent a theory to solve 
the mystery. Two days afterwards, "Coonskin" 
and Jimmie reappeared. They had trudged 
twenty-five miles through the snow, arriving 
within a few hours of each other, but from op- 
posite directions, and each thought he was the only 
survivor. Neither knew that Ben Hatton had 
been shot, and each said that he had fought until 
they saw a body of Yankees riding down upon 
them. Then they ran off and left the horses in 
the belief that we were all prisoners. 


By a comparison of their statements, I found 
out that the facts were about as follows. To 
keep themselves warm, the three had walked 
around among the trees and got separated. 
"Coonskin" saw Ben and Jimmie moving in the 
shadows and took them for Yankees. He opened 
on them and drew blood at the first fire. Ben 
yelled and fell. Jimmie took it for granted that 
"Coonskin" was a Yankee and returned his fire. 
So they were firing at each other and dodging 
among the trees when they saw us coming up at 
a gallop. As we had left them on foot, they could 
not understand how we could come back on horse- 
back. So after wounding Ben Hatton and shoot- 
ing at each other, they had run away from us. 

A few days after this adventure, Fate com- 
pelled me to act a part in a comedy which appeared 
to be heroic, but for which I was really entitled 
to as little credit as Ben Hatton was for getting 
shot. From our rendezvous along the base of the 
Blue Ridge we continued to make night attacks 
on the outposts near Washington. So it was 
determined in Washington to put a stop to what 
were called our depredations, and an expedition 
was sent against us into Loudoun. Middleburg, 
a village, was supposed to be our headquarters, and 
it was thought that by surrounding it at night the 


marauders could be caught. The complaints 
against us did not recognize the fact that there 
are two parties of equal rights in a war. The 
error men make is in judging conduct in war by 
the standards of peace. I confess my theory of 
war was severely practical — one not acquired by 
reading the Waverley novels — but we observed 
the ethics of the code of war. Strategy is only 
another name for deception and can be practised 
by any commander. The enemy complained 
that we did not fight fair ; the same complaint was 
made by the Austrians against Napoleon. 

A Major Gilmer was sent with 200 men in expec- 
tation of extirpating my gang — as they called us. 
He might have done more if he had taken less 
whiskey along. But the weather was cold ! Be- 
fore daybreak he had invested the town and made 
his headquarters in the hotel where he had learned 
that I slept. I had never been in the village 
except to pass through. The orders were to 
arrest every man that could be found, and when 
his searching parties reported to him, they had a 
lot of old men whom they had pulled out of bed. 
Gilmer pretended to think these were the parties 
that had captured his pickets and patrols and 
stampeded his camps. If so, when he saw the 
old cripples on crutches, he ought to have been 


ashamed. He made free use of his bottle and 
ordered a soldier to drill the old men and make 
them mark time just to keep warm. As he had 
made a night march of twenty-five miles, he con- 
cluded to carry the prisoners to his camp as 
prizes of war. So each graybeard had to ride 
double with a trooper. There were also a number 
of colored women whom he invited, or who asked, 
to go with him. They had children, but the major 
was a good-natured man. So each woman was 
mounted behind a trooper — and the trooper 
took her baby in his arms. With such encum- 
brances, sabres and pistols would be of little use, 
if an attack was made. When they started, the 
column looked more like a procession of Canter- 
bury Pilgrims than cavalry. 

News came to me that the enemy were at Mid- 
dleburg, so, with seventeen men, I started that 
way, hoping to catch some stragglers. But when 
we got to the village, we heard that they had gone, 
and we entered at a gallop. Women and children 
came out to greet us — the men had all been carried 
off as prisoners. The tears and lamentations of the 
scene aroused all our sentiments of chivalry, and 
we went in pursuit. With five or six men I rode 
in advance at a gallop and directed the others 
to follow more slowly. I had expected that 


Major Gilmer might halt at Aldie, a village about 
five miles ahead, but when we got there a citizen 
told us that he passed on through. Just as we 
were ascending to the top of a hill on the out- 
skirts of the village, two cavalrymen suddenly 
met us. We captured them and sent them to the 
rear, supposing they were videttes of Gilmer's 
command. Orders were sent to the men behind 
to hurry up. Just then I saw two cavalrymen 
in blue on the pike. No others were visible, so 
with my squad I started at a gallop to capture 
them. But when we got halfway down the hill 
we discovered a considerable body — it turned 
out to be a squadron — of cavalry that had dis- 
mounted. Their horses were hitched to a fence, 
and they were feeding at a mill. I tried to stop, 
but my horse was high-mettled and ran at full 
speed, entirely beyond my control. But the cav- 
alry at the mill were taken absolutely by surprise 
by the irruption ; their videttes had not fired, and 
they were as much shocked as if we had dropped 
from the sky. They never waited to see how many 
of us there were. A panic seized them. Without 
stopping to bridle their horses or to fight on foot, 
they scattered in all directions. Some hid in the 
mill ; others ran to Bull Run Mountain near by. 
Just as we got to the mill, I saw another body 


of cavalry ahead of me on the pike, gazing in 
bewildered astonishment at the sight. To save 
myself, I jumped off my horse and my men 
stopped, but fortunately the mounted party in 
front of me saw those I had left behind coming to 
my relief, so they wheeled and started full speed 
down the pike. We then went back to the mill 
and went to work. Many had hidden like rats, 
and as the mill was running, they came near being 
ground up. The first man that was pulled out 
was covered with flour ; we thought he was the 
miller. I still believed that the force was Major 
Gilmer's rearguard. All the prisoners were sent 
back, and with one man I rode down the pike to 
look for my horse. But I never got him — he 
chased the Yankees twenty-five miles to their 

I have said that in this affair I got the reputation 
of a hero ; really I never claimed it, but gave my 
horse all the credit for the stampede. Now comes 
the funniest part of the story. Major Gilmer had 
left camp about midnight. The next morning a 
squadron of the First Vermont Cavalry, which 
was in camp a few miles away from him, was sent 
up the pike on Gilmer's track. Major Gilmer 
did not know they were coming. When he got a 
mile below Aldie, he saw in front a body of cavalry 


coming to meet him. He thought they were my 
men who had cut him off from his camp. He 
happened to be at the point where the historic 
Braddock road, along which young George Wash- 
ington marched to the Monongahela, crossed the 
turnpike. As Major Gilmer was in search of us, 
it is hard to see why he was seized with a panic 
when he thought he saw us. He made no effort 
to find out whether the force in front was friend 
or foe, but wheeled and turned off at full speed from 
the pike. He seemed to think the chances were 
all against him. There had been a snow and a 
thaw, and his horses sank to their knees in mud 
at every jump. But the panic grew, the farther he 
went, and he soon saw that he had to leave some 
of his horses sticking in the road. He concluded 
now that he would do like the mariner in a storm — 
jettison his cargo. So the old men were dropped 
first ; next the negro women, and the troopers were 
told to leave the babies in the arms of their 
mothers. The Braddock road had seen one such 
wreck and retreat a hundred years before. 

I had not gone far before I met the old men com- 
ing back, and they told me of their ludicrous ad- 
venture and thanked me for their rescue. They 
did not know that the Vermont cavalry was 
entitled to all the glory for getting up the stampede, 


and that they owed me nothing. In the hurry 
to find my horse, I had asked the prisoners no 
questions and thought that we had caught a rear- 
guard. Among the prisoners were two captains. 
One was exchanged in time to be at Gettysburg, 
where he was killed. Major Gilmer was tried 
for cowardice and drunkenness and was dismissed 
from the army. Colonel Johnstone, who put him 
under arrest when he got back, said in his report, 
"The horses returned exhausted from being run 
at full speed for miles." They were running from 
the Vermont cavalry. 

Among the accessions to my command was a 
young man named John Underwood, whom I 
found in the Fairfax forests. I was largely in- 
debted to his skill and intelligence for whatever 
success I had in the beginning of my partisan life. 
He was killed a few months afterward, and I never 
found his like again, for he was equally at home 
threading his way through the pines or leading a 
charge. Why he had stayed at home and let me 
discover him is a mystery to me. Soon after the 
affair in which Ben Hatton became an involuntary 
hero, Underwood reported another outpost in 
Fairfax which was in an exposed position. I could 
hardly believe it ; the Yankees seemed to have 
learned nothing by experience. It looked much as 


though they had been put there just to be caught, 
or as a snare to catch me, so I resolved to give 
them another lesson in the art of war. 

We had a suspicion that it was a trap set for us 
and that there was danger, but war is not an 
exact science, and it is necessary to take some 
chances. I determined to try my luck in the 
daytime — they would not be expecting us, as 
all our attacks had been at night. Underwood 
led us by paths through the woods to their rear 
until we arrived at a road leading from their camp 
to the picket. A vidette was there, but he was 
caught before he could fire and give the alarm. 
It was then plain that the surprise we had planned 
would be complete. A few hundred yards away 
the boys in blue were lounging around an old saw- 
mill, with their horses tied to a fence. It was past 
twelve o'clock, there was bright sunlight, and there 
was snow on the ground. They were Vermont 
cavalry, and they had no suspicion that an enemy 
was near. It was just the hour for their relief 
to come, and as we came from the direction of their 
camp, they thought, when they saw us, that we 
were friends. 

When we got within a hundred yards of them, 
an order to charge was given. They were panic- 
stricken — they had no time to untie their horses 


and mount — and took refuge in the loft of the mill. 
I was afraid that if they had time to recover from 
their shock, they would try to hold the mill against 
us with their carbines until reinforcements came. 
There was a pile of dry timber and shavings on the 
floor, and the men were ordered, in a loud voice, 
to set the mill on fire. When we reached the head 
of the stairs, the Yankees surrendered. They 
were defenceless against the fire, and it was not 
their ambition to be cremated alive. Not a shot 
was fired. After all were mounted, we saw four 
finely-equipped horses tied in front of a near-by 
house. My men at once rushed to find the riders. 
They found a table spread with lunch. One of 
the men ran up-stairs where it was pitch dark ; 
he called but got no answer. As a pistol shot 
could do no harm, he fired into the darkness. 
The flash of the pistol in his face caused one of 
the Yankees to move, and he descended through 
the ceiling. He had stepped on the lathing and 
caved it in. After he was brushed off, we saw that 
he was a major. The three other officers who 
were with him came out of their holes and sur- 
rendered. My men appropriated the lunch by 
right of war. 

Just as the Yankee relief appeared, John Under- 
wood was sent off with the prisoners. We kept 


a rear guard behind, but no attack was made on 
it, although one was threatened. Major Taggart, 
in his report of the affair, censured the officer in 
command, as he had a larger force than ours and 
made no attempt either to capture us or to recap- 
ture the prisoners. Major Wells, the major we 
captured, was exchanged in time to be at Gettys- 
burg where he was promoted to be a brigadier- 

There was more than one ludicrous affair that 
day. A man named Janney lived at the place 
and was permitted to conduct a store since he 
was inside the picket lines. He had just brought 
a barrel of molasses from Washington to retail to 
his neighbors, and he was in the act of filling a 
jug for a customer when he heard the yell of my 
men as they rushed at the picket post. As the 
place was occupied by the Unionists, he could not 
have been more surprised if a comet had struck it. 
Janney did not aspire to be a hero, so he ran away 
as fast as his heels could carry him, and, if pos- 
sible, the molasses ran even faster. When he 
ventured to return to the store, he found the 
molasses spread all over the floor, and not a drop 
in the barrel. 

After we were a safe distance away, the privates 
were paroled and allowed to go home, and the 


officers gave their paroles to report to Fitz Lee 
in Culpeper. Jake, a Hungarian, was sent with 
them as an escort. Now Jake had served under 
Kossuth and did not put much trust in paroles. 
They spent the night with a farmer and, when the 
officers went to bed, Jake volunteered to take 
their boots to the kitchen to be shined. As long 
as he had their boots, Jake had no fear of their 
going off in the snow. When he got back, Jake 
told me, with a chuckle, of the trick he had played 
on the Yankees. 

War is not always grim-visaged, and incidents 
occur which provoke laughter in the midst of 
danger. In the Shenandoah Valley, a Yankee 
cavalry regiment went into camp one evening. 
One of the men rode off to a house to get some- 
thing to eat and called a colored woman to the 
door. He wanted to feel safe, so he asked if any- 
body was there. " Nobody but Mosby," she 

"Is Mosby here?" he asked. 

"Yes," she said. 

He dashed off to the camp and reported that 
Mosby was in a house near by. Orders were given 
to saddle and mount quickly, and they marched 
to the house and surrounded it. The Colonel 
entered and asked the woman if Mosby was there. 


"Yes," she answered. 

"Where is he?" demanded the Colonel. 

"There he is," she said, pointing to a negro baby 
in the cradle. 

One night I was with one man near the enemy's 
camps in Fairfax. We were passing a house, 
when I heard a dog bark and somebody call, 
"Come here, Mosby." So I turned, rode up 
to the house, and asked the man if he had called 

" No," he said, " I was calling Mosby. I wanted 
him to stop barking." 

So I have had the distinction of having had 
negro babies and dogs named after me. 


The Raid on Fairfax 

When we captured prisoners, it was my custom 
to examine them apart, and in this way, together 
with information gained from citizens, I obtained 
a pretty accurate knowledge of conditions in the 
enemy's camps. After a few weeks of partisan 
life, I meditated a more daring enterprise than 
any I had attempted and fortunately received 
aid from an unexpected quarter. A deserter 
from the Fifth New York Cavalry, named Ames, 
came to me. He was a sergeant in his regiment 
and came in his full uniform. I never cared to 
inquire what his grievance was. The account he 
gave me of the distribution of troops and the gaps 
in the picket lines coincided with what I knew and 
tended to prepossess me in his favor. But my 
men were suspicious of his good faith and rather 
thought that he had been sent to decoy me with 
a plausible story. At first I did not give him my 
full confidence but accepted him on probation. 

1 68 


Ames stood all tests, and until he was killed I 
never had a more faithful follower. 

Ames had come out from his camp on foot and 
proposed to me that he would go back into his 
camp and return on horseback, if I would accept 
him. A recruit, Walter Frankland, had just 
come to me, but he was not mounted. With my 
approval he agreed to go with Ames to get a horse. 
They trudged on foot through the snow — twenty- 
five miles — entered the camp of the Fifth New 
York Cavalry at night, unchallenged, and rode 
out on fine horses. 

At the same time, with a number of men, I 
started on a raid in another direction and had 
rather a ludicrous adventure. We met an old 
country doctor, Doctor Drake, in a desolate con- 
dition, walking home through mud and snow. 
He told us he had been going the rounds, visiting 
his patients, when he had met a body of cavalry 
that was not far ahead of us. They had robbed 
him of his horse, saddlebags, and medicine. As 
the blockade had made medicine scarce, this 
was a severe loss to the community. We spurred 
on to overtake the raiders and intercepted a party 
that had stopped at a house. They exceeded us 
in numbers, but they were more intent on saving 
themselves and their plunder than on fighting. 


They scampered away, with us close behind 
them. Soon they got to Horsepen Run, which was 
booming from the melting snows, and the fore- 
most man plunged into the stream. He got a 
good ducking and was glad to get back a prisoner. 
His companions did not try to swim after him but 
preferred to surrender. They were loaded with 
silver spoons and valuables they had taken, but 
the chief prize was old Doctor Drake's saddle- 
bags, which they had not opened. The silver 
was returned to the owners, and the prisoners were 
sent to Richmond. 

When we got back to Middleburg, we found 
Ames and Frankland with their fine horses. I 
now determined to give Ames one more trial and 
so took him with me on a raid to Fairfax. But 
he went as a combatant without arms. I had 
found out that there was a picket post at a cer- 
tain crossroads and went to attack it in a rain on 
a dark night, when there was snow on the ground. 
As only a raccoon could be supposed to travel on 
such a night, I knew the pickets would feel safe 
and would be sound asleep, so that a single shot 
would create a panic. We stopped to inquire 
of a farmer the location of the post. He had 
been there during the day and said that there 
were ioo men who slept in a schoolhouse. He 


asked me how many men I had, and I replied, 
"Seventeen, but they will think there are a hun- 
dred." They could not count in the dark. We 
made no attempt to flank the picket to prevent 
his giving the alarm, but we went straight down 
the road. One of the men, Joe Nelson, was sent 
ahead to catch the vidette. When the vidette 
saw Joe, he fired at him and started at full speed 
to the reserve ; but we were on his heels and got 
there almost as soon as he did. The yells of my 
men resounded through the pines, and the Yankees 
all fled and left their horses hitched to the trees. 
As it was very dark, we could not catch many of 
the men, but we got all their horses. My at- 
tention was attracted to Ames, who struck a man 
with a carbine he got from him — I don't remember 
why. We were soon back on the pike and trotting 
towards the Blue Ridge with the prisoners and 
horses. When it was daylight, Wyndham mounted 
his squadrons and started full speed after us. 
After going twenty miles, he returned to camp with 
half of his men leading broken-down horses. 
Wyndham was soon afterwards relieved, but 
not before we had raided his headquarters and 
carried off his staff, his horses, and his uniform. 
I now determined to execute my scheme to 
capture both General Stoughton and Wyndham 


at their headquarters. Ames, about whose fidel- 
ity there was no longer any question, knew where 
their headquarters were, and the place was fa- 
miliar to me as I had been in camp there. I also 
knew, both from Ames and the prisoners, where 
the gaps in the lines were at night. The safety 
of the enterprise lay in its novelty ; nothing of 
the kind had been done before. 

On the evening of March 8, 1863, in obedience 
to orders, twenty-nine men met me at Dover, 
in Loudoun County. None knew my objective 
point, but I told Ames after we started. I re- 
member that I got dinner that day with Colonel 
Chancellor, who lived near Dover. Just as I 
was about to mount my horse, as I was leaving, I 
said to him, "I shall mount the stars to-night or 
sink lower than plummet ever sounded." I did 
not rise as high as the stars, but I did not sink. 
I then had no reputation to lose, even if I failed, 
and I remembered the motto, "Adventures to 
the adventurous." 

The weather conditions favored my success. 
There was a melting snow on the ground, a mist, 
and, about dark, a drizzling rain. Our starting 
point was about twenty-five miles from Fairfax 
Court House. It was pitch dark when we got 
near the cavalry pickets at Chantilly — five or 


six miles from the Court House. At Centreville, 
three miles away on the Warrenton pike and 
seven miles from the Court House, were several 
thousand troops. Our problem was to pass be- 
tween them and Wyndham's cavalry without 
giving the alarm. Ames knew where there was 
a break in the picket lines between Chantilly and 
Centreville, and he led us through this without 
a vidette seeing us. After passing the outpost 
the chief point in the game was won. I think no 
man with me, except Ames, realized that we were 
inside the enemy's lines. But the enemy felt 
secure and was as ignorant as my men. The 
plan had been to reach the Court House by mid- 
night so as to get out of the lines before daybreak, 
but the column got broken in the dark and the 
two parts travelled around in a circle for an hour 
looking for each other. After we closed up, we 
started off and struck the pike between Centre- 
ville and the Court House. But we turned off 
into the woods when we got within two or three 
miles of the village, as Wyndham's cavalry camps 
were on the pike. We entered the village from 
the direction of the railroad station. There were 
a few sentinels about the town, but it was so 
dark that they could not distinguish us from 
their own people. Squads were detailed to go 


around to the officers' quarters and to the stables 
for the horses. The court-house yard was the 
rendezvous where all were to report. As our great 
desire was to capture Wyndham, Ames was sent 
with a party to the house in which he knew Wynd- 
ham had his quarters. But fortune was in Wynd- 
ham's favor that time, for that evening he had 
gone to Washington by train. But Ames got his 
two staff officers, his horses, and his uniform. 
One of the officers, Captain Barker, had been 
Ames's captain. Ames brought him to me and 
seemed to take great pride in introducing him 
to me as his former captain. 

When the squads were starting around to gather 
prisoners and horses, Joe Nelson brought me a 
soldier who said he was a guard at General Stough- 
ton's headquarters. Joe had also pulled the 
telegraph operator out of his tent ; the wires had 
been cut. With five or six men I rode to the 
house, now the Episcopal rectory, where the 
commanding general was. We dismounted and 
knocked loudly at the door. Soon a window above 
was opened, and some one asked who was there. 
I answered, " Fifth New York Cavalry with a 
dispatch for General Stoughton." The door was 
opened and a staff officer, Lieutenant Prentiss, 
was before me. I took hold of his nightshirt, 


whispered my name in his ear, and told him to 
take me to General Stoughton's room. Resistance 
was useless, and he obeyed. A light was quickly 
struck, and on the bed we saw the general sleeping 
as soundly as the Turk when Marco Bozzaris 
waked him up. There was no time for ceremony, 
so I drew up the bedclothes, pulled up the gen- 
eral's shirt, and gave him a spank on his bare 
back, and told him to get up. As his staff officer 
was standing by me, Stoughton did not realize 
the situation and thought that somebody was 
taking a rude familiarity with him. He asked 
in an indignant tone what all this meant. I told 
him that he was a prisoner, and that he must 
get up quickly and dress. 

I then asked him if he had ever heard of 
"Mosby", and he said he had. 

"I am Mosby," I said. "Stuart's cavalry has 
possession of the Court House ; be quick and 

He then asked whether Fitz Lee was there. I 
said he was, and he asked me to take him to Fitz 
Lee — they had been together at West Point. 
Two days afterwards I did deliver him to Fitz 
Lee at Culpeper Court House. My motive in 
trying to deceive Stoughton was to deprive him 
of all hope of escape and to induce him to dress 


quickly. We were in a critical situation, sur- 
rounded by the camps of several thousand troops 
with several hundred in the town. If there had 
been any concert between them, they could 
easily have driven us out ; but not a shot was 
fired although we stayed there over an hour. As 
soon as it was known that we were there, each 
man hid and took care of himself. Stoughton had 
the reputation of being a brave soldier, but a fop. 
He dressed before a looking-glass as carefully as 
Sardanapalus did when he went into battle. He 
forgot his watch and left it on the bureau, but one 
of my men, Frank Williams, took it and gave it 
to him. Two men 1 ad been left to guard our 
horses when we went into the house. There 
were several tents for couriers in the yard, and 
Stoughton's horses and couriers were ready to 
go with us, when we came out with the general 
and his staff. 

When we reached the rendezvous at the court- 
yard, I found all the squads waiting for us with 
their prisoners and horses. There were three 
times as many prisoners as my men, and each 
was mounted and leading a horse. To deceive 
the enemy and baffle pursuit, the cavalcade 
started off in one direction and, soon after it got 
out of town, turned in another. We flanked the 


cavalry camps, and were soon on the pike between 
them and Centreville. As there were several 
thousand troops in that town, it was not thought 
possible that we would go that way to get out of 
the lines, so the cavalry, when it started in pur- 
suit, went in an opposite direction. Lieutenant 
Prentiss and a good many prisoners who started 
with us escaped in the dark, and we lost a great 
many of the horses. 

A ludicrous incident occurred when we were 
leaving Fairfax. A window was raised, and a 
voice inquired, in an authoritative tone, what 
that cavalry was doing in the street. He was 
answered by a loud laugh from my men, which 
was notice to him that we were not his friends. 
I ordered several men to dismount and capture 
him. They burst through the front door, but the 
man's wife met them in the hall and held her 
ground like a lioness to give her husband time to 
escape. He was Colonel Johnstone, who was 
in command of the cavalry brigade during Wynd- 
ham's absence. He got out through the back door 
in his night clothes and barefooted, and hid in 
the garden. He spent some time there, as he did 
not know when we left, and his wife could not 
find him. 

Our safety depended on our getting out of the 


Union lines before daybreak. We struck the 
pike about four miles from Centreville ; the dan- 
ger I then apprehended was pursuit by the cav- 
alry, which was in camp behind us. When we 
got near the pike, I halted the column to close 
up. Some of my men were riding in the rear, and 
some on the flanks to prevent the prisoners from 
escaping. I left a sergeant, Hunter, in command 
and rode forward to reconnoitre. As no enemy 
was in front, I called to Hunter to come on and 
directed him to go forward at a trot and to hold 
Stoughton's bridle reins under all circumstances. 
Stoughton no doubt appreciated my interest in 

With Joe Nelson I remained some distance 
behind. We stopped frequently to listen for the 
hoofbeats of cavalry in pursuit, but no sounds 
could be heard save the hooting of owls. My 
heart beat higher with hope every minute ; it 
was the crisis of my fortunes. 

Soon the camp fires on the heights around 
Centreville were in sight ; my plan was to flank 
the position and pass between that place and the 
camps at Chantilly. But we soon saw that 
Hunter had halted, and I galloped forward to 
find out the cause. I saw a fire on the side of 
the road about a hundred yards ahead of us — 


evidently a picket post. So I rode forward to 
reconnoitre, but nobody was by the fire, and 
the picket was gone. We were now half a mile 
from Centreville, and the dawn was just breaking. 
It had been the practice to place a picket on our 
road every evening and withdraw it early in the 
morning. The officer in charge concluded that, 
as it was near daylight, there was no danger in 
the air, and he had returned to camp and left the 
fire burning. That was the very thing I wanted 
him to do. I called Hunter to come on, and 
we passed the picket fire and then turned off to 
go around the forts at Centreville. I rode some 
distance ahead of the column. The camps were 
quiet ; there was no sign of alarm ; the telegraph 
wires had been cut, and no news had come about 
our exploit at the Court House. We could see the 
cannon bristling through the redoubts and hear the 
sentinel on the parapet call to us to halt. But no 
attention was paid to him, and he did not fire to 
give the alarm. No doubt he thought that we were 
a body of their own cavalry going out on a scout. 
But soon there was a shot behind me and, turn- 
ing around, I saw Captain Barker dashing to- 
wards a redoubt and Jake, the Hungarian, close 
behind him and about to give him another shot, 
when Barker's horse tumbled and fell on him in 


a ditch. We soon got them out and moved on. 
All this happened in sight of the sentinels and in 
gunshot of their camps. 

After we had passed the forts and reached Cub 
Run, a new danger was before us. The stream 
was swift and booming from the melting snow, 
and our choice was to swim, or to turn back. 
In full view behind us were the white tents of the 
enemy and the forts, and we were within can- 
non range. Without halting a moment, I plunged 
into the stream, and my horse swam to the other 
bank. Stoughton followed and was next to me. 
As he came up the bank, shivering from his cold 
morning bath, he said, "Captain, this is the first 
rough treatment I have to complain of." 

Fortunately not a man or a horse was lost. 
When all were over, I knew there was no danger be- 
hind us, and that we were as safe as Tarn O'Shanter 
thought he would be if he crossed the bridge of 
Doon ahead of the witches. I now left Hunter 
in charge of the column, and with one of my men, 
George Slater, galloped on to see what was ahead 
of us. I thought a force might have been sent to 
intercept us on the pike we had left that runs 
through Centreville. I did not know that Colonel 
Johnstone, with his cavalry, had gone in the 
opposite direction. 


We crossed Bull Run at Sudley Ford and were 
soon on the historic battlefield. From the heights 
of Groveton we could see that the road was clear 
to Centreville, and that there was no pursuit. 
Hunter soon appeared in sight. The sun had 
just risen, and in the rapture of the moment I 
said to Slater, "George, that is the sun of Aus- 
terlitz !" I knew that I had drawn a prize in the 
lottery of life, and my emotion was natural and 
should be pardoned. 

I could not but feel deep pity for Stoughton 
when he looked back at Centreville and saw that 
there was no chance of his rescue. Without any 
fault of his own, Stoughton's career as a soldier 
was blasted. 

There is an anecdote told of Mr. Lincoln that, 
when it was reported to him that Stoughton 
had been captured, he remarked, with char- 
acteristic humor, that he did not mind so much 
the loss of a general — for he could make another 
in five minutes — but he hated to lose the horses. 

Slater and I remained for some time behind as 
a rear guard and overtook Hunter, who had gone 
on in command, at Warrenton. We found that 
the whole population had turned out and were 
giving my men an ovation. Stoughton and the 
officers had breakfast with a citizen named Beck- 


ham. The general had been a classmate at West 
Point with Beckham's son, now a Confederate 
artillery officer, and had spent a vacation with 
him at his home. Stoughton now renewed his 
acquaintance with his family. 

We soon remounted and moved on south. 
After crossing the Rappahannock, the men and 
prisoners were put in charge of Dick Moran with 
orders to meet me near Culpeper Court House the 
next morning, while, with Hunter and the officers 
on parole, I went on in advance and spent the 
night near Brandy. As I had been in the saddle 
for thirty-six hours, I retired to rest as soon as 
we had eaten supper. The next morning there 
was a cold rain, but after breakfast we started 
for General Fitz Lee's headquarters. 

When we arrived at our destination, we hitched 
our horses in the front yard and went into the 
house, where we found Fitz Lee writing at a table 
before a log fire. We were cold and wet. In the 
First Virginia Cavalry, Fitz Lee and I had been 
well acquainted. He was very polite to his old 
classmate and to the officers, when I introduced 
them, but he treated me with indifference, did not 
ask me to take a seat by the fire, nor seem im- 
pressed by what I had done. 

As a matter of historical fact, it is well known 


that this episode created a sensation in both armies, 
but the reception I received convinced me that 
I was not a welcome person at those headquarters. 
So, bidding the prisoners good-by and bowing to 
Fitz Lee, Hunter and I rode off in the rain to the 
telegraph office to send a report to Stuart, who 
had his headquarters at Fredericksburg. The 
operator told me that Stuart was on his way to 
Culpeper and would arrive on the train that 
evening, but he sent the dispatch and it was de- 
livered to Stuart. I met him at the depot and 
can never forget the joy his generous heart 
showed when he met me. That was a sufficient 
reward. Major John Pelham was with Stuart. 
This was the last time I ever saw Pelham, for he 
was killed a week afterwards. As we walked off, 
Stuart handed rne a commission as captain from 
Governor John Letcher. It gave me rank with 
the Virginia troops, but, as there were no such 
troops, it was a blank form, and I regarded it as 
a mockery. Stuart remarked that he thought 
the Confederate War Department would recog- 
nize it. I said, in rather an abrupt and indignant 
tone, "I want no recognition." I meant official 
recognition. I did not affect to be indifferent to 
public praise. Such a man is either too good or 
too bad to live in this world. Stuart published 


a general order announcing the capture of Stough- 
ton and had it printed, giving me fifty copies. 
That satisfied me, and I soon returned to my field 
of operations and again began war on the Potomac. 

Headquarters Cavalry Division, 

March 12, 1863. 
General Orders. 

Captain John S. Mosby has for a long time attracted 
the attention of his generals by his boldness, skill, and 
success, so signally displayed in his numerous forays 
upon the invaders of his native soil. 

None know his daring enterprise and dashing hero- 
ism better than those foul invaders, those strangers 
themselves to such noble traits. 

His last brilliant exploit — the capture of Brigadier- 
General Stoughton, U. S. A., two captains, and thirty 
other prisoners, together with their arms, equipments, 
and fifty-eight horses — justifies this recognition in 
General Orders. This feat, unparalleled in the war, 
was performed in the midst of the enemy's troops, at 
Fairfax Court House, without loss or injury. 

The gallant band of Captain Mosby shares his 
glory, as they did the danger of this enterprise, and are 
worthy of such a leader. 

J. E. B. Stuart, 
Major-General Commanding. 

In a few days Fitz Lee wrote me that the detail 
of men I had from his brigade must return to their 


regiment. This attempt to deprive me of a com- 
mand met with no favor from Stuart. I sent him 
Fitz Lee's letter, and he issued an order for them 
to stay until he recalled them. When the armies 
began to move in April, the men went back, but 
a considerable number of recruits had joined me, 
and what the enemy called my "depredations" 
continued. In the published records of the war 
is the following letter from General Robert E. 
Lee to President Davis, informing him of another 
success I had soon after the capture of Stoughton : 

Headquarters, Army of Northern Virginia, 

March 21, 1863. 

You will, I know, be gratified to learn by the en- 
closed despatch that the appointment conferred a 
few days since on Captain John S. Mosby was not 
unworthily bestowed. The point where he struck the 
enemy is north of Fairfax Court-House, near the 
Potomac, and far within the lines of the enemy. I wish 
I could receive his appointment (as major) or some offi- 
cial notification of it, that I might announce it to him. 

R. E. Lee, General. 

A dispatch from Lieutenant O'Connor, Provost- 
Marshal at Fairfax Court House, sent to Washing- 
ton an hour after we left the village, confirms the 
account I have given of our visit. He said : 


Captain Mosby, with his command, entered this 
town this morning at 2 a.m. They captured my 
patrols, horses, etc. They took Brigadier-General 
Stoughton and horses, and all his men detached from 
his brigade. They took every horse that could be 
found, public or private ; and the commanding officer 
of the post, Colonel Johnstone, of the Fifth New York 
Cavalry, made his escape from them in a nude state 
by accident. They searched for me in every direction, 
but being on the Vienna road visiting outposts, I made 
my escape. 

And in a report the next day to Colonel Wynd- 
ham, O'Connor said : 

On the night of the 8th instant, say about two or 
half past two a.m., Captain Mosby with his command 
entered the village by an easterly direction. They 
proceeded to Colonel Wyndham's headquarters and 
took all his horses and movable property with them. 
In the meantime another party of them entered the 
residence of Colonel Johnstone and searched the house 
for him. He had on their entering the town heard of 
their movements and believing them to be the patrol, 
went out to halt them, but soon found out his mis- 
take. He then entered the house again — he being 
in a nude state — and got out backwards — they in 
hot pursuit of him. In the meantime others were 
dispatched to all quarters where officers were lodged, 
taking them out of their beds, together with the tele- 
graph operator and assistant. 


Stoughton was soon exchanged but did not 
return to the army. The circumstances of his 
capture wrecked him as a soldier. He was ac- 
cused of negligence in allowing the gap in the 
picket line through which we entered. The 
commander of the cavalry pickets, Colonel Wynd- 
ham, was responsible for that, and there is a letter 
in the War Records from Stoughton to Wynd- 
ham, calling his attention to it. I allowed Stough- 
ton to write a letter, which I sent through a citi- 
zen, to Wyndham, in which he reproached him for 
the management of his outposts. But Wynd- 
ham ought not to be blamed, because he did not 
anticipate an event that had no precedent. He 
did exercise reasonable vigilance. In this life 
we can only prepare for what is probable, not 
for every contingency. 

Colonel Johnstone lost his clothes and lay hid- 
den for some time before he heard we were gone. 
O'Connor said he appeared in the state of Adam 
before the fall. But he could not survive the 
ridicule he incurred by it and disappeared. 

Near Piedmont, Va., March 18, 1863. 

General : 

Yesterday I attacked a body of the enemy's cavalry 
at Herndon Station, in Fairfax County, completely 


routing them. I brought off twenty-five prisoners 
— a major, one captain, two lieutenants, and twenty- 
one men, all their arms, twenty-six horses, and equip- 
ments. One, severely wounded, was left on the 
ground. The enemy pursued me in force, but were 
checked by my rear-guard and gave up the pursuit. 
My loss was nothing. 

The enemy have moved their cavalry from German- 
town back of Fairfax Court House on the Alexandria 

In this affair my officers and men behaved splendidly. 

(Signed) Jno. S. Mosby. 
Maj.-Gen. J. E. B. Stuart. 

Headquarters of the Army of Northern Virginia, 

March 21, 1863. 

Respectfully forwarded for the information of the 
department and as evidence of the merit and continued 
success of Captain Mosby. 

R. E. Lee, 

[This Dranesville affair led to the following 
interesting correspondence after the war. It is 
of special value in illustrating the feelings of his 
enemies — the men who actually fought with 
him — towards Mosby. 


Washington, Vt., December 19, 1910. 

Col. John S. Mosby, 

Washington, D. C. 
Dear Colonel and Friend : 

You will be surprised to receive a letter from me, 
one you know so little, but will remember. In notic- 
ing to-day the item of the enclosed clipping [Mosby's 
comment on President Taft's appointment of a Con- 
federate soldier (White) to be Chief Justice of the 
Supreme Court] I could not resist the privilege of 
writing to you, as I believe now I am the only surviving 
one of the four officers — Major Wells, Capt. Scho- 
field, Lieut. Watson, and myself — you captured at 
Herndon Station, near Dranesville, Va., St. Patrick's 
day, March 17, 1863, and with us the picket post of 
twenty-one men. Your treatment and [that of] 
your men to us on that occasion has always been 
gladly remembered by us all — in every respect cour- 
teous. And you kindly gave us our horses to ride 
from Upperville to Culpeper Court House, which was 
an act of the highest type of a man, and should bury 
deep forever the name of a "guerrilla" and substitute 
"to picket line a bad disturber." . . . 

Most sincerely and cordially yours, 

Lieut. P. C. J. Cheney. 

Burlington, Vt., December 28, 1910. 
Dear Col. Mosby : 

The enclosed letter from Lieut. P. C. J. Cheney, of 
Washington, Vt., explains itself. 


During the war for the Union he was a first lieu- 
tenant in the First Vermont Cavalry, and was cap- 
tured by you at Herndon Station on the 17th of March, 
1863. Lieut. Cheney was one of the bravest and 
best officers in the regiment, and was dangerously 
wounded in the charge made by the Company in front 
of Round Top (Gettysburg) on the afternoon of July 3, 

... I had the pleasure of meeting you at the 
inauguration of President McKinley, at which time 
I was adjutant of Vermont, and presented you to Hon. 
Josiah Grout, then Governor of this state, who at the 
Miskel Farm fight between the First Vermont Cavalry 
and yourself was most dangerously wounded. . . . 
You were kind enough to say that the First Vermont 
Cavalry was one of the very best regiments you had 
met in action. . . . 

Yours very truly, 

T. S. Peck. 

General Stahel described the Miskel Farm af- 
fair in his report of April 2, 1863, as follows: 

It appears that on the evening of the 31st ultimo, 
Major Taggart, at Union Church two miles above 
Peach Grove, received information that Mosby, with 
about sixty-five men, was near Dranesville. He 
immediately dispatched Capt. Flint, with 150 men of 
the First Vermont, to rout or capture Mosby and his 
force. . . . Turning to the right they followed up the 
Broad Run to a place marked J. Meskel [sic]. Here 


at a house, they came upon Mosby, who was com- 
pletely surprised and wholly unprepared for an attack 
from our forces. Had a proper disposition been made 
of our troops, Mosby could not, by any possible means, 
have escaped. It seems that around this house was 
a high board fence and stone wall, between which and 
the road was also another fence and ordinary farm 
gate. Capt. Flint took his men through the gate, 
and, at a distance from the house, fired a volley at 
Mosby and his men, who were assembled about the 
house, — doing but slight damage to them. He then 
ordered a sabre charge, which was also ineffective, 
on account of the fence which intervened. Mosby 
waited until the men were checked by the fence, and 
then opened the gate of the barnyard, where his men 
were collected, saddling and bridling their horses, 
and opened fire upon them, killing and wounding 
several. The men became panic-stricken, and fled 
precipitately through this gate, through which to 
make their escape. The opening was small ; they got 
wedged together, and a fearful confusion followed ; 
while Mosby's men followed them up, and poured 
into the crowd a severe fire. Here, while endeavoring 
to rally his men, Capt. Flint was killed, and Lieut. 
Grout, of the same Company, mortally wounded (will 
probably die to-day). 

Mosby, who had not had time to mount his horse, 
personally threw open the barnyard gate and 
ordered his men to charge through it, which they 
did with a terrific yell.] 


Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia, 

March 23, 1863. 
Capt. J. S. Mosby, 
Captain : 

You will perceive from the copy of the order here- 
with enclosed that the President has appointed you 
captain of partisan rangers. The general commanding 
directs me to say that it is desired that you proceed 
at once to organize your company, with the under- 
standing that it is to be placed on a footing with all 
the troops of the line, and to be mustered uncondi- 
tionally in the Confederate service for and during the 
war. Though you are to be its captain, the men will 
have the privilege of electing the lieutenants so soon 
as its members reach the legal standard. You will 
report your progress from time to time, and when 
the requisite number of men are enrolled, an officer 
will be designated to muster the company into the 

(Signed) W. W. Taylor, A. A. G. 

[Mosby's report to General Stuart] 

Fauquier County, Va., April 7, 1863. 
General : 

I have the honor to submit the following report of 
the operations of the cavalry since rendering my last 
report. On Monday, March 16, I proceeded down the 
Little River pike to capture two outposts of the 
enemy, each numbering 60 or 70 men. I did not 


succeed in gaining their rear as I had expected, and 
only captured 4 or 5 videttes. It being late in the 
evening, and our horses very much jaded, I concluded 
to return. I had gone not over a mile back when we 
saw a large body of enemy's cavalry, which, according 
to their own reports, numbered 200 men, rapidly 
pursuing. I feigned a retreat, desiring to draw them 
off from their camps. At a point where the enemy 
had blockaded the road with fallen trees, I formed 
to receive them, for with my knowledge of the Yankee 
character I knew they would imagine themselves fallen 
into an ambuscade. When they had come within 100 
yards of me I ordered a charge, to which my men re- 
sponded with a vim that swept everything before them. 
The Yankees broke when we got in 75 yards of them ; 
and it was more of a chase than a fight for 4 or 5 miles. 
We killed 5, wounded a considerable number, and 
brought off 1 lieutenant and 35 men prisoners. I did 
not have over 50 men with me, some having gone back 
with the prisoners and others having gone on ahead, 
when we started back, not anticipating any pursuit. 
On Monday, March 31, I went down in the direction 
of Dranesville to capture several strong outposts in 
the vicinity of that place. On reaching there I dis- 
covered that they had fallen back about 10 miles down 
the Alexandria pike. I then returned 6 or 8 miles 
back and stopped about 10 o'clock at night at a point 
about 2 miles from the pike. Early the next morning 
one of my men, whom I had left over on the Leesburg 
pike, came dashing in, and announced the rapid ap- 
proach of the enemy. But he had scarcely given us 


the information when the enemy appeared a few hun- 
dred yards off, coming up at a gallop. At this time 
our horses were eating ; all had their bridles off, and 
some even their saddles — they were all tied in a 

Throwing open the gate I ordered a counter-charge, 
to which my men promptly responded. The Yankees 
never dreaming of our assuming the offensive, terrified 
at the yells of the men as they dashed on, broke 
and fled in every direction. We drove them in con- 
fusion seven or eight miles down the pike. We left 
on the field nine of them killed — among them a cap- 
tain and lieutenant — and about fifteen too badly 
wounded for removal ; in this lot two lieutenants. 
We brought off 82 prisoners, many of these also 
wounded. I have since visited the scene of the fight. 
The enemy sent up a flag of truce for their dead and 
wounded, but many of them being severely wounded, 
they established a hospital on the ground. The 
surgeon who attended them informs me that a great 
number of those who escaped were wounded. The 
force of the enemy was six companies of the First Ver- 
mont Cavalry, one of their oldest and best regiments, 
and the prisoners inform me that they had every avail- 
able man with them. There were certainly not less 
than 200 ; the prisoners say it was more than that. I 
had about 65 men in this affair. In addition to the 
prisoners, we took all their arms and about 100 horses 
and equipments. Privates Hart, Hurst, Keyes, and 
Davis were wounded. The latter has since died. 
Both on this and several other occasions they have 


borne themselves with conspicuous gallantry. In 
addition to those mentioned above I desire to place on 
record the names of several others, whose promptitude 
and boldness in closing in with the enemy contributed 
much to the success of the fight. They are Lieutenant 
Chapman (late of Dixie Artillery), Sergt. Hunter and 
Privates Wellington and Harry Hatcher, Turner, 
Wild, Sowers, Ames, and Sibert. There are many 
others, I have no doubt, deserving of honorable men- 
tion, but the above are only those who came under my 
personal observation. I confess that on this occasion 
I had not taken sufficient precautions to guard against 
surprise. It was 10 at night when I reached the place 
where the fight came off on the succeeding day. We 
had ridden through snow and mud upwards of 40 miles, 
and both men and horses were nearly broken down ; 
besides, the enemy had fallen back a distance of about 
18 miles. 

(Signed) John S. Mosby, 
Captain Commanding. 

Maj.-Gen. J. E. B. Stuart. 


Headquarters Cavalry Division, 

April 11, 1863. 

Respectfully forwarded, as in perfect keeping with 

his other brilliant achievements. Recommended for 


J. E. B. Stuart, 



Headquarters Army Northern Virginia, 

April 13, 1863. 

Respectfully forwarded for the information of the 
Department. Telegraphic reports already sent in. 

R. E. Lee, 

April 22, 1863. 
Adjutant-General : 

Nominate as major if it has not already been done. 

J. A. S. (Seddon). 

[Report of General Stahel] 

Fairfax C. H., May 5, 1863. 

. . . On the third of May, between 8 and 9 a.m., 
Mosby with his band of guerrillas, together with a 
portion of the Black Horse Cavalry and a portion of 
a North Carolina regiment, came suddenly through 
the woods upon 50 of our men of the First Virginia 
Cavalry, who were in camp feeding their horses, just 
having returned from a scout, the remainder of that 
regiment being out in a different direction to scout the 
country on the right of the Warrenton and Alexandria 
Railroad and toward the Rappahannock. 

Our men being surprised and completely surrounded, 
rallied in a house close at hand and where a sharp 
fight ensued. Our men defended themselves as long 
as their ammunition lasted, notwithstanding the rebels 
built a large fire about the house, of hay and straw 


and brushwood. The flames reached the house and 
their ammunition being entirely expended they were 
obliged to surrender. At this juncture a portion of 
the Fifth Regiment New York Cavalry which was 
posted in the rear some distance from the First Vir- 
ginia Cavalry came to their rescue, making a brilliant 
charge, which resulted in the complete annihilation of 
Mosby's command and recaptured our men and prop- 
erty. Our men pursued the rebels in every direction, 
killing and wounding a large number, and had our 
horses been in better condition and not tired out by 
the service of the last few days, Mosby nor a single 
one of his men would have escaped. 

The rebel loss was very heavy, their killed being 
strewn along the road. . . . [One man was killed 
and about twenty wounded.] 

[Telegram, Stahel to Heintzelman] 

May 30, 1863. 

We had a hard fight with Mosby this morning, who 
had artillery, — the same which was used to destroy 
the train of cars. We whipped him like the devil, and 
took his artillery. My forces are still pursuing him. 

[Mosby's report to General Stuart] 

June 6, 1863. 

Last Saturday morning I captured a train of twelve 
cars on the Virginia and Alexandria Railroad loaded 
with supplies for the troops above. The cars were 


fired and entirely consumed. . . . Having destroyed 
the train, I proceeded some distance back, when I 
recognized the enemy in a strong force immediately in 
my front. One shell which exploded in their ranks 
sufficed to put them to flight. After going about a 
mile further, the enemy were reported pursuing. 
Their advance was again checked by a shot from the 
howitzer. In this way we skirmished for several 
miles, until seeing the approach of their overwhelming 
numbers and the impossibility of getting off the gun, I 
resolved to make them pay for it as dearly as possible. 
Taking a good position on a hill commanding the road 
we awaited their onset. They came up quite gal- 
lantly, not in dispersed order, but in columns of fours, 
crowded in a narrow lane. At eighty yards we opened 
on them with grape and following this up with a charge 
of cavalry, we drove them half a mile back in confu- 
sion. Twice again did they rally and as often were 
sent reeling back. At last our ammunition became 
exhausted, and we were forced to abandon the gun. 
We did not then abandon it without a struggle, and a 
fierce hand to hand combat ensued in which, though 
overpowered by numbers, many of the enemy were 
made to bite the dust. In this affair I had only 48 
men — the forces of the enemy were five regiments of 
cavalry. My loss, one killed — Captain Hoskins, a 
British officer who fell when gallantly fighting, — four 
wounded. It is with pleasure I recommend to your 
attention the heroic conduct of Lieutenant Chapman 
and Privates Mountjoy and Beattie, who stood by their 
gun until surrounded by the enemy. 


Middleburg, Va., June 10, 1863. 

General : 

I left our point of rendezvous yesterday for the pur- 
pose of making a night attack on two cavalry companies 
of the enemy on the Maryland shore. Had I suc- 
ceeded in crossing the river at night, as I expected, I 
would have had no difficulty in capturing them ; but 
unfortunately, my guide mistook the road and, instead 
of crossing by 11 o'clock at night, I did not get over 
until after daylight. The enemy (between 80 and 100 
strong), being apprised of my movement, were formed 
to receive me. A charge was ordered, the shock of 
which the enemy could not resist ; and they were 
driven several miles in confusion, with the loss of 
seven killed, and 17 prisoners; also 20 odd horses or 
more. We burned their tents, stores, camp equipage, 
etc. I regret the loss of two brave officers killed — 
Capt. Brawner and Lieut. Whitescarver. I also had 
one man wounded. 

(Signed) John S. Mosby, 
Major of Partisan Rangers. 

Maj.-Gen. J. E. B. Stuart. 


June 15, 1863. 

Respectfully forwarded. In consideration of his 
brilliant services, I hope the President will promote 
Maj. Mosby. 

J. E. B. Stuart, 
Major General. 


[Extracts from Stuart's Report of the Gettysburgv 

Maj. Mosby, with his usual daring, penetrated the 
enemy's lines and caught a staff-officer of Gen. Hooker 
— bearer of despatches to Gen. Pleasanton, command- 
ing United States cavalry near Aldie. These de- 
spatches disclosed the fact that Hooker was looking to 
Aldie with solicitude, and that Pleasanton, with in- 
fantry and cavalry, occupied the place ; and that a 
reconnaissance in force of cavalry was meditated toward 
Warrenton and Culpeper. I immediately despatched 
to Gen. Hampton, who was coming by way of Warren- 
ton from the direction of Beverly Ford, this intelli- 
gence, and directed him to meet this advance at War- 
renton. The captured despatches also gave the entire 
number of divisions, from which we could estimate 
the approximate strength of the enemy's army. I 
therefore concluded in no event to attack with cavalry 
alone the enemy at Aldie. . . . Hampton met the 
enemy's advance toward Culpeper and Warrenton, 
and drove him back without difficulty — a heavy 
storm and night intervening to aid the enemy's retreat. 

I resumed my own position now, at Rector's cross 
roads, and being in constant communication with the 
commanding general, had scouts busily employed 
watching and reporting the enemy's movements, and 
reporting the same to the commanding general. In 
this difficult search the fearless and indefatigable 
Maj. Mosby was particularly efficient. His informa- 
tion was always accurate and reliable. 


Detail from an Historical Picture, Painted in Richmond in 

1863 by Guillaume, afterwards in charge of the 

Corcoran Art Gallery at Washington 

Stuart and the Gettysburg Campaign 

After Chancellorsville, the armies resumed 
their positions on the Rappahannock. A brilliant 
but barren victory had been won, and the pickets 
on the opposite banks of the river again began to 
trade in coffee and tobacco. With the years of 
hardship and danger, war had not lost all of its 
romance, and the soldiers observed in their inter- 
course the courtesies of combatants as strictly as 
did the Crusaders. 

General Lee now determined to cross the Poto- 
mac and make a strategic offensive. His main 
object was really to create a diversion and con- 
duct a great foraging expedition into Penn- 
sylvania for the relief of Virginia and his fasting 
army — the South was almost exhausted. The 
movement would temporarily draw the enemy from 
Virginia, but he did not hope to dictate a peace 
north of the Potomac, nor could he have ex- 
pected to maintain his army there without a line 
of communication and base of supply. 



When Lee crossed the Potomac, he had no 
objective point. His army was now organized 
with three corps, under Longstreet, Ewell, and 
A. P. Hill — Stonewall Jackson had crossed the 
Great River. Stuart was his Chief of Cavalry. 

Early in June the movement that terminated 
in the unexpected encounter at Gettysburg began 
from Fredericksburg up the river. Previously 
the cavalry corps had been sent in advance to 
Culpeper County to prevent the enemy's cavalry 
from crossing the Rappahannock and to get the 
benefit of the grazing ground. Lee followed with 
Longstreet and Ewell. A. P. Hill's corps was left 
behind to amuse Hooker. Lee wanted to conceal 
his march so that he could cross the Blue Ridge 
and surprise Milroy in the Shenandoah Valley. 
Hooker's man in the balloon discovered that some 
camp grounds had been abandoned, so a re- 
connaissance was ordered to find out what it 
meant. But the force met with such resistance 
that Hooker concluded that Lee's whole army 
was there. 

To relieve the Administration of anxiety about 
invasion, Hooker telegraphed to Washington what 
the reconnoitring force reported — just what Lee 
wanted him to do. The impression was confirmed 
by pretended deserters, who said they belonged to 


reinforcements that had just come to Lee. De- 
ception is the ethics of war. 

On June 8, at Brandy Station in Culpeper 
County, there was a review of the cavalry. The 
spectators little imagined that the squadrons 
which appeared in the grand parade before the 
Commander-in-Chief would be in deadly combat 
on the same ground the next day — 

"Rider and horse — friend, foe — in one red burial 

Hooker knew that the Confederate cavalry was 
there and thought it was assembled for a raid 
across the Potomac. So he sent his cavalry corps 
up the river to intercept it. On June 6 he wrote 
Halleck : "As the accumulation of the heavy rebel 
force of cavalry about Culpeper may mean mis- 
chief, I am determined, if practicable, to break it 
up in its incipiency. I shall send all my cavalry 
against them, stiffened by about 3000 infantry." 

Buford's division had already reached the 
railroad. He was instructed: "On arriving at 
Bealeton, should you find yourself with sufficient 
force, you will drive the enemy out of his camps 
near Culpeper Court House across the Rapidan, 
destroying the bridges at that point." The 
Rapidan is a tributary of the Rappahannock. 


Hooker's instructions to Pleasanton show that 
his object was not to get information, but to 
prevent a cavalry raid across the Potomac. 
But, to cover up his defeat, Pleasanton afterwards 
claimed that he was only making a reconnaissance. 
A reconnaissance is made to discover the position 
and strength of an enemy. A sufficient force is 
applied to compel him to display himself, and, 
when that is done, the object is accomplished and 
the attacking force retires. No matter whether 
Pleasanton was making a real attack, or a recon- 
naissance, his expedition was a failure. If he 
had discovered the presence of Lee, with Long- 
street and Ewell, he would have reported it to 
Hooker. He had been instructed that he would 
be absent four or five days, and to take along five 
days' rations, with pack mules and tents for the 
officers. Such preparations do not indicate that 
he was expected to cross the Rappahannock in the 
morning and recross in the evening. 

Stuart knew that the enemy's camps were over 
the river, and that their outposts were near. 
Confederate pickets lined the river with grand 
guards in support. On June 9, at daylight, the 
enemy began crossing at Beverly's and Kelly's 
fords — several miles apart, above and below the 
railroad bridge. The plan was for the two 


divisions to unite at Brandy — four miles away — 
and then move on six miles to the Court House 
where the camps of Stuart's cavalry corps were 
supposed to be. The Unionists did not expect to 
meet anything near the river except pickets. 
Their error was in thinking the Confederate 
camps were ten miles away, and that there would 
be no collision in force before the columns united. 
The fact was that Stuart's headquarters were 
between Brandy and the river and near the camps 
of two brigades. Another brigade, Jones's, was 
a mile and a half from Beverly's Ford, where 
Buford's division crossed. Each of Pleasanton's 
divisions was supported by a brigade of infantry. 

Captain Grimsley's company was picketing at 
the bridge. Before daybreak a vidette informed 
him that he could hear troops crossing the rail- 
road. The captain put his ear to the ground and, 
hearing the click of the artillery wheels passing 
over the iron rails, sent a courier with the in- 
formation to Jones. Captain Gibson's company 
gallantly resisted the crossing at the ford. The 
leading regiment was the Eighth New York 
Cavalry under the command of a Mississippian, 
"Grimes" Davis. He had hardly reached the 
southern bank before he fell. 

The camps were aroused by the firing at the 


fords, and there was saddling and mounting in 
hot haste. The Seventh Virginia Cavalry was 
the grand guard, and it is said that many rode 
into the fight bareback and without their boots. 
For some unexplained reason Jones's artillery was 
between his camps and the pickets on the river. 
As a general rule, it was in the wrong place, but 
on this occasion it happened to be in the right 
place. On account of the scarcity of grain, the 
horses had been turned out to graze, and there 
would have been no time to harness and hitch 
them before the enemy reached the camp. The 
Yankees were driving a body of Confederate 
cavalry back and just emerging through the woods, 
when some of the men ran a gun into the road, by 
hand, and opened fire on the column. The troops 
halted ; the delay was fatal, and the guns were 

As there was no precedent in war for an artil- 
lery camp so near an outpost Pleasanton nat- 
urally concluded that the Confederates knew he 
was coming and had prepared a masked battery 
to receive him ; that he had run into an ambus- 
cade. War is not a science, but an art. Pleasan- 
ton was surprised and halted — and lost. That he 
had miscalculated the resistance he would meet at 
the ford may be inferred from the dispatch he sent 


Hooker at 7.40 a.m., "The enemy is in strong 
cavalry force here. We had a severe fight. They 
were aware of our movement and prepared." 

To prepare Halleck for a surprise after he had 
promised so much, Hooker telegraphed him, 
"Pleasanton reports that after an encounter with 
the rebel cavalry over the Beverly ford he has not 
been able to make head against it." 

At 2.30 p.m., as he had made no progress, 
Pleasanton telegraphed back, "I will recross this 
p.m." And so ended his expedition on which he 
had started to the Rapidan, on his so-called re- 

When the firing was first heard at the fords, 
Stuart sent Robertson's brigade below, towards 
Kelly's, to hold Gregg's division in check on that 
road, and with Hampton's brigade went at a 
gallop to meet the force at Beverly's ford. 
Buford's division would soon have been driven 
over the river, but the news came that Gregg's 
division was in his rear. At first Stuart would 
not believe this, but in some way Robertson had 
allowed Gregg to pass him unobserved on another 
road. So, leaving W. H. F. Lee's brigade, which 
had just come up, on Buford's flank to hold him 
in check, Stuart turned and went to meet Gregg 
with Hampton's and Jones's brigades. 


On the field around Brandy there was now the 
greatest mounted combat of the war — probably 
of any war. Gregg was driven back over the river, 
leaving behind him three guns and six battle 
flags. Buford and Pleasanton followed him back 
to their camps. Pleasanton had repeated the 
Austrian manoeuvre at Rivoli of having a double 
line of operations, and Stuart had done just what 
Bonaparte did there, when he was attacked in 
front and on his flanks and nearly surrounded — 
struck and defeated the columns in succession 
before they united. 

Stuart's great credit is the manner in which he 
screened the movements of Lee and got informa- 
tion of the enemy. Referring to this operation 
in his work on Cavalry, General Bernhardi said : 

The American War of Secession showed in a sur- 
prising manner what could be done in this respect. 
Stuart's screening of the left wheel of the Confederate 
army, after the battle of Chancellorsville, for instance, 
was a masterpiece, and the reconnaissance carried out 
by Mosby's scouts during the same period was equally 

Early in the morning after Brandy, June 10, Ewell 
started to cross the Blue Ridge into the Shenan- 
doah Valley. On June 13, Milroy, at Winchester, 
who had relied on Hooker to warn him of the 


approach of an enemy from that direction, found 
himself surrounded. Pleasanton had not dis- 
covered that Lee, with two army corps, was in 
Culpeper; and Hooker thought that the whole of 
Lee's army was still on his front on the lower 
Rappahannock. There was so little suspicion 
of the impending blow in the Valley that on June 
12 Hooker invited President Lincoln to come 
down and witness some practice with an in- 
cendiary shell. Lincoln accepted, but afterwards, 
instead of going, sent Hooker this dispatch, "Do 
you think it possible that 15,000 of Ewell's men can 
be at Winchester?" 

At first Hooker would not believe it, but he 
soon struck his tents and started to keep between 
Lee and Washington. To Schenck, at Baltimore, 
Lincoln, with characteristic humor, said, "Get 
Milroy from Winchester to Harper's Ferry, if 
possible. He will be gobbled up, if he is not 
already past salvation." 

After capturing the most of Milroy's force, 
Ewell moved on and crossed the Potomac on 
June 15. Lee, with Longstreet and A. P. Hill, 
followed him to the Valley and halted a week, 
while Stuart's cavalry moved east of the ridge as 
a curtain to conceal the operation. The hostile 
armies marched in concentric circles, Lee having 


the initiative. When Lee moved, Hooker also 
moved so as always to cover Washington. Of 
course Lee must have expected that Hooker 
would maintain the same relative position and 
follow him after he had crossed the Potomac. 
The right of Hooker's army now rested on the 
river, where he had laid pontoons for crossing. 
Stuart was on his front to watch and report his 
movements to Lee. On June 15, Ewell, having 
crossed into Maryland, had sent his cavalry on to 
forage in Pennsylvania. At that time General 
Lee seems to have been undecided as to a plan of 
campaign, except to subsist on the enemy and 
draw him out of Virginia. On the nineteenth 
Lee wrote Ewell, who was about Hagerstown, 
that "should we be able to detain General 
Hooker's army from following you, you would be 
able to accomplish as much unmolested as the 
whole army could with General Hooker in its 
front. If your advance causes Hooker to cross 
the Potomac, or separate his army in any way, 
Longstreet can follow you." 

So Lee's crossing the Potomac was contingent 
on Hooker's following Ewell. All that Ewell 
then had to do was to collect supplies, for he 
met no resistance. Lee said nothing about A. 
P. Hill crossing the river. This letter proves 


that he then had no objective, but a biographer, 
Long — his military secretary — asserted, in the 
face of the record, that Gettysburg was the 
objective when Lee started from Fredericksburg, 
and that he was surprised on hearing that Hooker 
had followed him over the Potomac. There was 
not a soldier or even a wagon-master in the army 
who was surprised to hear it. Lee seemed to be 
content to hold Hooker in Virginia, while Ewell 
was living on the Pennsylvania farmers, and his 
sending another corps across the Potomac de- 
pended on Hooker. So, when Lee concluded to 
follow Ewell, he must have been sure that Hooker 
was ready to cross. 

On June 22, Lee ordered Ewell, at Hagerstown, to 
move into Pennsylvania, and told him that whether 
the rest of the army followed or not depended on 
the supplies he found in the country. Lee said : 

I also directed General Stuart, should the enemy 
have so far retired from his front as to permit of the 
departure of a portion of the cavalry, to march with 
three brigades across the Potomac and place himself 
on your right and in communication with you, keep 
you advised of the movements of the enemy, and assist 
in collecting supplies for the army. 

Lee told Ewell that his best course would be 
towards the Susquehanna, that he must be 


guided by circumstances, and, possibly, he might 
take Harrisburg. Lee had already written Stuart 
to leave two brigades to watch the enemy and 
take care of the flank and rear of the army and, 
with three brigades, to join Ewell, who was 
marching to the Susquehanna. Stuart was in- 
structed to act as Ewell's Chief of Cavalry and 
to "collect all the supplies you can for the use 
of the army." As no enemy was following Ewell, 
and as there was none on his front, except militia, 
Stuart would really have had nothing but foraging 
to do, if he had joined Ewell, who, by this time, 
was sending back long trains loaded with provisions. 
Longstreet was then in Virginia, near Ashby's 
Gap in the Blue Ridge, and this order was sent 
through him and was subject to his approval. 
Longstreet forwarded the order, and in a letter 
to Stuart said : 

He speaks of your leaving via Hopewell Gap [in 
Bull Run Mountain] and passing by the rear of the 
enemy. I think that your passage of the Potomac 
by our rear [west of the Blue Ridge at Shepherdstown] 
at the present moment will, in a measure, disclose our 
plans. You had better not leave us, therefore, unless 
you take the proposed route in the rear of the enemy. 

Longstreet wrote to General Lee, on the 
twenty-second : 


Yours of 4 o'clock this afternoon is received. I 
have forwarded your letter to General Stuart with the 
suggestion that he pass by the enemy's rear, if he 
thinks that he may get through. We have nothing 
of the enemy to-day. 

So it seems that General Lee suggested, and 
Longstreet urged, Stuart to pass by the enemy's 
rear. At that time Longstreet and A. P. Hill 
had not been ordered to follow Ewell. After 
the war Longstreet w T rote an account of Gettys- 
burg, in which he forgot his own orders to Stuart 
and charged him with disobeying his instructions. 
He said he ordered Stuart to march on his flank 
and to keep between him and the enemy ; Lee's 
staff officers and biographers repeat the absurd 
story. They do not explain how Stuart could be 
with Ewell on the Susquehanna and, at the same 
time, on Longstreet's flank in Virginia. No 
precedent can be found for such a performance, 
except in the Arabian Nights. 

When Lee was in the Shenandoah Valley, he 
wrote twice to President Davis that Hooker's 
army was drawing close to the Potomac and had 
a pontoon across it, and that he thought he could 
throw Hooker over the river. Lee also wrote to 
Imboden, who was moving farther west, thanked 
him for the cattle and sheep he had sent to him, 


and urged him to collect all he could. On June 
23, 5 p.m., Lee wrote again to Stuart. He re- 
peated the instructions about joining Ewell and 
authorized him to cross the Potomac west, at 
Shepherdstown, or east of the Blue Ridge, by the 
enemy's rear. "In either case," said General 
Lee, "after crossing the river you must move on 
and feel the right of Ewell's troops, collecting in- 
formation, provisions, etc." 

Lee seemed to be more intent about gathering 
rations than anything else. There is not a word 
in either of his dispatches to Stuart about report- 
ing the enemy's movements to him. Lee's biog- 
raphers say there was. He would neither order 
nor expect Stuart to do an impossible thing, but 
he told him what instructions to give the com- 
manders of the two cavalry brigades he would 
leave behind. Stuart did give each of the com- 
manders minute instructions to report the move- 
ments of the enemy directly to Lee, and to follow 
on the flank and rear of the army when the enemy 
left Virginia. There was no complaint against 
Jones and Robertson, the brigade commanders, 
for not having performed this duty — conclusive 
evidence that they did. 

If Stuart had gone the western route by 
Shepherdstown, he would have had to cross and 


recross the Blue Ridge and to march in a zigzag 
circuit to join Ewell. Thus he would have been 
a long way from the enemy and out of com- 
munication with Lee. Lee's movements did not 
depend on the cavalry he had ordered to join 
Ewell. Stuart chose the most direct route to 
the Susquehanna by the rear of the enemy. It 
afforded an opportunity, as Lee had instructed 
him, " to do them all the damage you can" and to 
"collect provisions"; he would break the com- 
munications with Washington and destroy 
Hooker's transportation. Such a blow would 
compel the latter, instead of following Lee, 
to retreat to his base and wait for repairs. 

The seven corps of Hooker's army were 
scattered through three counties in Virginia, 
with his right resting on the Potomac. The plan 
for Stuart to pass through Hooker's army was 
really a copy of the campaign of Marengo, when 
Bonaparte crossed the Alps and cut the Austrian 
communications in Italy. It was a bold enter- 
prise — its safety lay in its audacity — the enemy 
would be caught unprepared, and at the same time 
it would protect Lee's communications by drawing 
off Hooker's cavalry in pursuit. It was known that 
the camps of the different corps were so far apart that 
a column of cavalry could easily pass between them. 


I was at headquarters when Stuart wrote his 
last dispatch to Lee, informing him of the route 
he would go, and sat by him when he was writing 
it — in fact, I dictated a large part of it. I had 
just returned from a scout inside the enemy's 
lines and brought the intelligence that induced 
Stuart to undertake to pass through them. I 
remember that Fitz Lee and Hampton came into 
the room while we were writing. 

I had arrived from this scout early on the 
morning of June 24, and found that Stuart had 
just received the orders to join Ewell with three 
brigades and had been given discretion to pass by 
the rear of the Union army. John Esten Cooke, the 
Ordnance Officer of the cavalry corps, was at head- 
quarters. In his "Wearing of the Gray" (1867) 
he corroborated my statement about the effect 
on the campaign of the report I brought Stuart. 
He writes : 

General Stuart came, finally, to repose unlimited 
confidence in his (Mosby's) resources and relied im- 
plicitly upon him. The writer recalls an instance of 
this in June, 1863. General Stuart was then near 
Middleburg, watching the United States Army — 
then about to move toward Pennsylvania — but could 
get no accurate information from his scouts. Silent, 
puzzled, and doubtful, the General walked up and 


down, knitting his brows and reflecting. When the 
lithe figure of Mosby appeared, Stuart uttered an 
exclamation of relief and satisfaction. They were 
speedily in private conversation, and Mosby came out 
again to mount his quick gray mare and set out in a 
heavy storm for the Federal camps. On the next day 
he returned with information which put the entire 
cavalry in motion. He had penetrated General 
Hooker's camps, ascertained everything, and safely 
returned. This he had done in his gray uniform with 
his pistols in his belt, and I believe that it was on this 
occasion that he gave a characteristic evidence of his 

The adventure to which Cook refers occurred 
at the house of a citizen named Coleman, where 
I captured two cavalrymen who were sitting 
on their horses gathering cherries. This fact 
was confirmed by General Weld, of General 
Reynolds's staff, in his "War Diary." He 
said : 

We found out to-day that our guide was captured 
at Coleman's house yesterday. Coleman lives about 
two miles from here, and he has a lot of forage ; our 
guide and quarter-master went there for it and were 
caught by a "Secesh" there said to be Mosby. 1 

1 Mosby rode along with his two prisoners and unexpectedly came upon 
a body of enemy cavalry. He thereupon threatened the two soldiers 
with certain death, and rode with the enemy a considerable distance, at 
length turning into a lane and getting safely away, with his prisoners. 


Lee knew that while Stuart was passing be- 
tween Hooker's army and Washington com- 
munication with him would be impossible. This 
was before the days of wireless ! Lee must 
have relied for intelligence on the cavalry brigades 
he had with him, on his scouts, and his signal corps 
on the Blue Ridge. He had no other use for 
them. The cavalry commander said he fre- 
quently sent couriers to Lee with dispatches. 
I regret that Lee's report says that he expected 
Stuart to perform a miracle and keep in com- 
munication with him. 

Three of Lee's staff officers, Marshall, Long, 
and Taylor, have given accounts of the Gettys- 
burg campaign that misrepresent the orders Stuart 
received and claim that Lee relied on him for 
intelligence. Now the letters of Lee to Ewell, 
directing him to move to the Susquehanna and 
to Stuart to join Ewell with three brigades, are 
copied in Lee's dispatch book in the handwriting 
of Colonel Charles Marshall, who also wrote Lee's 
reports. The implications of disobedience against 
Stuart in the reports are contradicted by these 
letters. The dispatch book was in Marshall's 
possession when he delivered a philippic on Lee's 
birthday (1896) in which he imputed disobedience 
of orders to Stuart and asserted that Lee depended 


on him for information. He did not say what 
Lee expected the two cavalry brigades to do, nor 
did he say what they didn't do — he didn't 
mention them. The letter of 5 p.m., June 23, 
directing Stuart to go to Ewell on the Susque- 
hanna and authorizing him to pass by the enemy's 
rear, is in the handwriting of Colonel Walter 
Taylor, Lee's Assistant Adjutant-General. He 
wrote an account of Gettysburg charging Stuart 
with disobedience in going to Ewell and not re- 
maining with Lee and reporting the movements of 
the enemy to him, and blaming Stuart, as Mar- 
shall did, for the disaster at Gettysburg. Long 
falsified the record in the same way. Apparently 
they never dreamed that there would be a res- 
urrection of Lee's dispatch book. 

On the authority of the staff officers, a historian 
wrote that Stuart left Lee without orders and 
went off on a wild-goose chase. I wrote and 
asked him if he thought that Ewell was a wild 
goose. The truth is Lee was so anxious for Stuart 
to cross the river ahead of Hooker that he wrote 
him, "I fear he will steal a march on us and get 
across the Potomac before we are aware." 

Yet his report says that he was astonished to 
hear, on June 28, at Chambersburg, that Hooker 
had crossed. The staff officers knew perfectly 


well how the battle was precipitated, but they 
concealed it. They intentionally misrepresented 
it. Their animus towards Stuart is manifest. 
Taylor, in his narrative of his service with General 
Lee, did not even mention the great cavalry com- 
bat at Brandy, which his chief rode on the field to 
witness. Marshall and Long, to disparage Stuart, 
referred to the battle and used the same phrase, 
"he was roughly handled." Long, to deprive 
Stuart of the glory of his victory, said that a 
division of infantry came to his support. The 
record shows that General Lee kept his infantry 
concealed that day. 

Early on the morning of June 25, Stuart's 
column crossed the Bull Run, expecting to pass 
directly through Hooker's army and to reach the 
Potomac that evening. This could have been 
done easily on the day before. But on the 
morning of the twenty-fourth, A. P. Hill's corps, 
at Charles Town, moved to the Potomac in plain 
view of the Federal signal station on Maryland 
Heights. Longstreet, at Millwood, three times 
as far from the river as Hill, started at the same 
time, but he marched by Martinsburg and out of 
sight of the signal station, crossing at Williams- 
port. Hill had crossed the day before at Shep- 
herdstown and waited for Longstreet. There 


was no emergency to require this movement. 
Hooker was waiting on Lee and had not sent a 
single regiment over the river, although Ewell 
was foraging in Pennsylvania. The news of 
Hill's and Longstreet's crossing the river was 
immediately telegraphed to Hooker, and the next 
morning he set his army in motion for the pon- 
toons. As his corps crossed the Potomac, they 
marched west for South Mountain and occupied 
the Gaps. Longstreet and Hill united in Mary- 
land and spent two days with General Lee within 
a few miles of Hooker's camps. Hooker's signal 
stations were in full view on peaks, flapping their 
flags. Each of Lee's corps had a signal corps, 
and Lee had a number of scouts to send on the 
mountain to see Hooker's army on the other side. 
The truth is that Lee and Stuart got their in- 
formation of the enemy through individual scouts 
and not by using the cavalry in a body. Lee says 
that one of these scouts brought him the informa- 
tion at Chambersburg that Hooker had crossed 
the Potomac. I have no doubt that Lee used 
any means he could to get intelligence of the 
enemy, for the simplicity of the bucolic ages 
was not a characteristic of the Confederate com- 

The enemy crossed the Potomac in front of 


the two cavalry brigades that were left to watch 
him. There is no doubt that the cavalry did 
their duty, and that Lee waited in Maryland for 
Hooker's army to get over the river. If A. P. 
Hill had only waited a day longer in his camps, 
Hooker would have stood still, and Stuart could 
easily have crossed the Potomac on the twenty- 
fifth. It would be a severe reflection on Lee and 
his generals to suppose that they spent two days 
so near an army of a hundred thousand men and 
didn't even suspect it. Hooker's army was cross- 
ing the river twenty-five miles below at the same 
time Lee was crossing. Stuart soon ran against 
Hooker's columns on the roads on which he had 
expected to march. But they had the right of 
way and kept on, while Stuart, after an artillery 
duel, had to make a detour around them and 
did not cross the river until the night of the 
twenty-seventh. Thus Stuart was delayed two 
days, but he sent a dispatch informing Lee that 
Hooker was moving to the Potomac. The appear- 
ance of a body of cavalry on the flank of Hooker's 
army created great anxiety for his rear, and 
Pleasanton's cavalry corps was kept as a rear 
guard and was the last to cross on the pontoons 
on the night of the twenty-seventh. 

At the time Stuart was crossing the Potomac at 


Seneca, Lee had reached Chambersburg. Ordi- 
narily the Union cavalry should have been in 
front, harassing Lee's flank and rear, but up to 
the day of the battle Lee's communications were 
intact, and he had not lost a wagon or a straggler. 
The enemy's cavalry were in Hooker's rear, on 
the defensive, and they had no idea that Stuart was 
crossing the river between them and Washington. 

Stuart spent the night (June 27) in Maryland, 
capturing a lot of boats carrying supplies to the 
army on the canal, and on the twenty-eighth 
moved north and marched all night to join Ewell. 
During the day Stuart caught a supply train going 
to headquarters from Washington, and, as his 
orders required, he took the supplies along to 
Ewell. The presence of the Confederate cavalry 
between the army and Washington created a 
panic, which was increased by the report that 
there was another body south of the river. For 
several days communication with the Union army 
was cut, Washington was isolated, and Stuart's 
column attracted more attention than Lee's army 
in the Cumberland Valley. 

Meade took command of the Army of the Poto- 
mac on the afternoon of the twenty-eighth at 
Frederick City, and there was great commotion 
in his camps when the news came that Stuart 


had their mules and provisions. The quarter- 
master-general wired to Ingalls, "Your commu- 
nications are now in the hands of General Fitz- 
hugh Lee's brigade." 

On June 27, the day that General Lee arrived 
at Chambersburg, the corps that Hooker had 
advanced to the Gaps in Maryland were with- 
drawn twenty miles to the east, and the Army 
of the Potomac was concentrated at Frederick 
City. As a result, Lee's communications were 
no longer even threatened. After crossing the 
river, Hooker had moved west, as he said, to 
strike Lee's rear, but the War Department inter- 
fered with the plan, and he asked to be relieved. 
Ewell was then marching to the Susquehanna, so 
Hooker's counter movement to Frederick was 
made to protect the Capital and Baltimore from 
any movement down the Susquehanna. Lee must 
have considered the probability of an operation 
against his rear, when he wrote President Davis, 
after he reached the Potomac, that he thought he 
could throw Hooker's army over the river, and 
that, as he did not have sufficient force to guard 
his communications, he would have to abandon 
them. But as he would live on the country, he 
did not have to guard a base of supply, and his 
communications were not vital. 


Colonel Marshall, it seems to me in the light of 
the evidence, was unjust to his chief when he 
represented him to have been surprised and almost 
in a panic when he heard, at Chambersburg, on 
the night of the twenty-eighth, that Hooker had 
crossed the Potomac. He did not explain how 
Lee could have thought that the Northern army 
would remain in Virginia, while the Confederates 
were ravaging Pennsylvania, nor why he changed 
his plan of campaign to protect his communica- 

The first news of the enemy that Meade re- 
ceived after he assumed command was the fol- 
lowing discouraging dispatch from Halleck : 

It is reported that your train of one hundred and 
fifty wagons has been captured by Fitzhugh Lee near 
Rockville. Unless cavalry is sent to guard your 
communications with Washington, they will be cut off. 
It is reported here that there is still a considerable 
rebel force south of the Potomac. 

General Lee had passed near and left behind 
him at Harper's Ferry a force of 11,000 that did 
not seem to disturb him as a menace to his com- 
munications, but on the twenty-eighth Meade 
withdrew these troops to guard his rear and the 
line of the Potomac. General Lee was then to 
the west, in the Cumberland Valley, but Meade 


started off in the opposite direction on Stuart's 
trail. That did seem as hopeless as chasing a 
wild goose. 

Meade said to Halleck, "I can now only say 
that it appears to me I must move towards the 
Susquehanna, keeping Washington and Baltimore 
well-covered, and, if the enemy is checked in his 
attempt, to cross the Susquehanna, or, if he turn 
towards Baltimore, to give him battle." 

Meade spent a day at Frederick and on the 
thirtieth started on his campaign. Lee was still 
at Chambersburg. His staff officers say that at 
that time Gettysburg was the objective point on 
which both Lee and Meade were marching, and that 
there was a race between them to occupy it first. 
Lee could easily have occupied Gettysburg while 
Meade was still at Frederick. Meade's communi- 
cations were now broken, and for several days he 
was drifting. He sent off to the east two of his 
cavalry divisions and three army corps to intercept 
Stuart, so after two days' marching a large part 
of Meade's army was as far from Lee as it was at 
Frederick. If General Lee had known how Ewell 
and Stuart would attract Meade to the east, he 
would not have recalled Ewell so soon. 

On the night of the thirtieth Meade was still 
in a fog. He had not heard that Ewell had 


withdrawn from the Susquehanna, so he wrote 
to Halleck, by a courier, that he would push 
farther east the next day to the Harrisburg rail- 
road, and open communication with Baltimore. 
But at 11.30 p.m., on the thirtieth, a telegram was 
sent from Harrisburg to be forwarded by a mes- 
senger to Meade, telling him that Lee was falling 
back. Meade received this news on the morning 
of July 1, and he at once recalled the orders he 
had issued to push on towards the Susquehanna 
and determined to take a defensive position. He 
wrote Halleck of the change and that he would 
not advance farther, but would retire to the line 
of Pipe Creek and await an attack — which would 
have satisfied Lee. If Ewell had remained a day 
longer at Carlisle and Early at York, Meade would 
have moved to the Susquehanna, and there would 
have been no battle at Gettysburg. Halleck must 
have been surprised by Meade's dispatch, for he 
had told him at Frederick that his object was to 
find and fight Lee. 

After he got the news about Ewell, Meade issued 
a circular directing the corps commanders to hold 
the enemy in check, if attacked, and to retire to 
Pipe Creek. Reynolds, with the First Corps, 
was on his extreme left and had been directed 
to move early on July 1 on Gettysburg — merely 


in observation. Meade wrote Reynolds that he 
had been ordered to Gettysburg before the news 
came that Ewell had withdrawn from the Susque- 
hanna. But Reynolds started early, never re- 
ceived Meade's letter or the circular of recall, 
and was killed. 

On the night of the thirtieth Stuart arrived at 
Dover and learned that Early's division of Ewell's 
corps, which he expected to join at York, had 
marched west that morning. As he was ordered 
to report to Ewell, after a short rest Stuart moved 
on to Carlisle, where he knew Ewell had been. 
But he sent a staff officer on Early's track to 
report to General Lee, whom he found on the field 
of Gettysburg. Stuart reached Carlisle that 
night, but Ewell, with his cavalry and two divi- 
sions, had gone south. It was fortunate for Lee 
that Stuart did go to Carlisle. 

Couch had collected a force of about 15,000 
at Harrisburg and had been ordered to cooperate 
with Meade and attack Lee's communications. 
Stuart met his advance at Carlisle, an artillery 
duel ensued, and it was thought by the Federalists 
that Ewell had returned. So the troops on the 
march from Harrisburg turned back, and the 
trains that were bringing their supplies from differ- 
ent points in the country were stampeded by the 


firing. Stuart left that night for Gettysburg and 
arrived about noon the next day, in time to meet 
the two divisions of cavalry which had been away 
in pursuit of him. Couch's force started again 
from Harrisburg, but had to wait for rations. 
He did not get off until July 4, after the battle 
had been fought, and never overtook Lee's trains. 

Stuart's march of a column of cavalry around the 
Union army will be regarded, in the light of the 
record, as one of the greatest achievements in war, 
viewed either as an independent operation or 
raid, or in its strategic relation to the campaign. 
But all the advantage gained by it was neutralized 
by the indiscretion of a corps commander and was 
obscured by the great disaster to our arms for 
which it was in no way responsible. 

General Bernhardi wrote : 

I hold therefore that such circumstances render a 
disturbance of the rear communications of an army an 
important matter. It will often do the opponent more 
damage, and contribute more to a favorable decision 
of arms than the intervention of a few cavalry divisions 
in the decisive battle itself. One does not, of course, 
exclude the possibility of the other. General Stuart, 
in the campaign of Gettysburg, rode all around the 
hostile army, broke up its communications, drew 
hostile troops away from the decisive point, and yet 
was in place on the wing of the army on the day of the 


battle. What this man performed with cavalry and 
the inestimable damage he inflicted on his opponent 
are worth studying. The fortune of war, which lay 
in might and in the nature of things, he could not turn. 

Such was Stuart's ride around McClellan ; the 
two armies stood still as spectators. 

A raid is a predatory incursion, generally against 
the supplies and communications of an enemy. 
The object of a raid is to embarrass an enemy by 
striking a vulnerable point and destroying his 
subsistence. The operation should be in coopera- 
tion with, but independent of, an army. But 
Stuart's march was a combined movement with 
Ewell and not a raid. His objective was Ewell's 
flank on the Susquehanna. The spoil he captured 
was an incident, not the object, of the march. 
It was no more a raid than if he had crossed the 
Blue Ridge, as he was authorized by Lee, and 
travelled to join Ewell by a route on which he 
would have no opportunity for adventure. But 
General Lee's orders show that he was not in- 
different either to the embarrassment of the enemy 
or to the spoil he might capture. Ewell already 
had an abundance of cavalry for ordinary out- 
post duty. It was the personality of Stuart that 
was needed — not cavalry. 

During this campaign, the operations of the 


cavalry were coordinate with the movements of 
the army as a unit. On the evening of June 27, 
Lee arrived at Chambersburg, while Hill turned 
east and went on seven miles. This shows that 
General Lee did not intend to move farther north, 
but to concentrate in that vicinity. Ewell had 
reached Carlisle — thirty miles distant. So Lee 
wrote him on the evening of the twenty-seventh 
to return to Chambersburg and informed him that 
Hooker had crossed the Potomac. This dispatch 
is not in the war records. But it seems that Lee 
changed his mind and, at 7.30 A.M. on the twenty- 
eighth, in a second letter repeated the substance 
of what he wrote Ewell "last night" , and directed 
him that, if he had not already started, he move 
south with his trains, but east of South Mountain. 
It is clear that Ewell's destination was Cashtown 
— a village at the eastern base of the mountain — 
eight miles west of Gettysburg. Discretion was 
given to him as to the roads he should travel. 
Ewell's and Early's reports say that Cashtown was 
the appointed rendezvous ; Lee's that it was 
Gettysburg. Cashtown was occupied on June 
28 by a part of Heth's division. In the next two 
days Hill moved with two divisions to that point. 
Ewell had detached Early's division to make a 
demonstration towards the Susquehanna. On 


the way Gordon's brigade spent a night at Gettys- 
burg, but it moved on and joined Early at York. 
If Gettysburg had been Lee's objective, he would 
have held it when he had it. 

Lee's report says that on the night of June 28 a 
spy came in and informed him that Hooker was 
following him. The news, the report says, was a 
surprise ; that he had thought Hooker's army was 
in Virginia, that he had expected Stuart to give 
him notice when Hooker crossed the Potomac ; 
and that he abandoned a campaign he had planned 
against Harrisburg, recalled Ewell, and ordered 
his army to concentrate at Gettysburg. As he 
had uninterrupted communication with the Poto- 
mac, Lee knew that the Union army must be 
east of the mountain. 

We accept as of poetical origin the legends of 
prehistoric Rome, which Livy transmitted ; but 
it is as easy to believe the story of the rape of the 
Sabines, or that Horatius stood alone on the bridge 
over the Tiber against the army of the Gauls, as 
that Lee planned a campaign into Pennsylvania 
on the theory that his army could march to Harris- 
burg and Hooker's army would stay on the Poto- 
mac. If Lee had not known, when he was in 
Maryland, that Hooker was still on his front, he 
would have marched directly to Washington. If 


his statement be true that the news brought by a 
spy arrested a campaign he had planned to 
Harrisburg, such an anticlimax would make the 
campaign a subject for a comic opera. 

If a spy had come from Frederick on June 28, 
he would have reported that Hooker's army was 
moving eastward toward Baltimore and was 
concentrated at Frederick. Colonel Marshall 
said : 

On the night of the 28th of June I was directed by 
General Lee to order General Ewell to move directly 
upon Harrisburg, and to inform him that General 
Longstreet would move the next morning (the 29th) to 
his support. General A. P. Hill was directed to move 
eastward to the Susquehanna, and crossing the river 
below Harrisburg, seize the railroad between Harper's 
Ferry and Philadelphia ; it being supposed that such 
a movement would divert all reinforcements that 
otherwise might be coming to General Hooker to the 
defense of that city ; and that there would be such 
alarm created by their movement that the Federal 
Government would be obliged to withdraw its army 
from Virginia and abandon any plan it might have for 
attack upon Richmond. I sent the orders about 10 
o'clock at night to General Ewell and General Hill 
and had just returned to my tent when I was sent for 
by the Commanding General. I went to his tent and 
found him sitting with a man in citizen's dress, who, 
General Lee informed me, was a scout of General Long- 


street's who had just been brought to him. He told 
me that this scout had left the neighborhood of Fred- 
erick that morning and had brought information that 
the Federal army had crossed the Potomac, moving 
northward ; and that the advance had reached Fred- 
erick and was moving westward towards the Moun- 
tains. The scout also informed General Lee that 
General Meade was then in command of the army ; 
and also as to the movements of the enemy, which was 
the first information General Lee had received since 
he left Virginia. . . . While making this march the 
only information he possessed led him to believe that 
the army of the enemy was moving westward from 
Frederick to throw itself upon his line of communica- 
tions with Virginia ; and the object was, as I have 
stated, simply to arrest this supposed plan on the east 
side of the mountain. . . . By reason of the absence 
of the cavalry his own army, marching eastward from 
Chambersburg and southward from Carlisle, came un- 
expectedly on the Federal advance on the first day of 

Marshall said that Lee countermanded his orders 
to Ewell and Hill to move to the Susquehanna 
and ordered them to Gettysburg, in order to 
counteract a movement against his communica- 
tions. He did not mention Lee's letter of 7.30 
a.m., June 28, which contradicts the story of the 
spy at Chambersburg on the night of June 28. 
That letter shows that when it was written, Lee 


thought that Hooker's army was still holding 
the Gaps in Maryland, and had not heard that it 
had been withdrawn to Frederick. Lee does not 
appear to have been uneasy about his communica- 
tions. Instead of ordering Ewell to proceed to 
Harrisburg, he directed him to return to Cash- 
town. It is inconceivable that he could have 
ordered A. P. Hill to cross the Susquehanna and 
threaten Philadelphia, and at the same time should 
have ordered Early, at York, to come back to the 
Cumberland Valley. They would have passed 
each other marching in opposite directions. If 
the 7.30 a.m. letter should have been dated the 
twenty-ninth, as has been suggested, then neither 
of Lee's letters to Ewell could have reached him 
at Carlisle, as he would have left there before 
they arrived. Lee had written to Mr. Davis 
that he would have to abandon his communica- 
tions ; but if Hooker had moved west to intercept 
them, I am sure that General Lee would have 
imitated Napoleon at Austerlitz and marched to 

Lee's report on the Gettysburg campaign was 
published immediately and made a deep and 
almost indelible impression. It is really a law- 
yer's brief and shows the skill of the advocate in 
the art of suppression and suggestion. Stuart's 


report, dated August 20, 1863, is a respectful 
answer, but it was buried in the Confederate 
archives. General Lee made a more elaborate 
report, in January, 1864, which repeated the 
implications of the first in regard to the cavalry, 
but contradicted what it said about his orders for 
the concentration at Gettysburg. Of course, he 
knew his own orders as well in July as in January. 
Now the essence of the complaint against Stuart 
is that the cavalry — the eyes of an army — were 
improperly absent ; that the Confederate army 
was ordered by Lee to Gettysburg, and, Colonel 
Marshall and Lee's Assistant Adjutant General, 
Colonel Walter Taylor, said, and the report 
implies, ran unexpectedly against the enemy. 
But the charge falls to the ground when Lee's 
second report admits that the army was not 
ordered to Gettysburg, and that the force that 
went there was only making a reconnaissance. 
However, the report does not say that there was 
any order for a reconnaissance, or any necessity 
for making one. Neither does it explain why 
Hill did not come back to Cashtown, nor why 
Lee followed him to Gettysburg. Hill's report 
says that on the thirtieth he sent a dispatch to 
General Lee, telling him that the enemy held 
Gettysburg. A collision, then, could not be un- 


expected — if he went there. If, as Lee's report 
says, the spy brought news on the twenty-eighth 
that the Union army was at Frederick, it could not 
have been expected to stand still ; nor a surprise 
to learn that it was moving north. 

But there is even less color to the truth or jus- 
tice in the complaint, when it is known that the 
story that a spy diverted the army from Harris- 
burg is a fable, and that Hill and Heth went off 
without orders and without Lee's knowledge on a 
raid and precipitated a battle. There is a satis- 
factory explanation for Stuart's absence that day, 
but a man who has to make an explanation is 
always at a disadvantage. 

Colonel Taylor does not seem to have known 
where Lee's headquarters were on the morning of 
July 1, for he said that A. P. Hill had a conference 
at Cashtown with General Lee before he started. 
If so, Lee was responsible for the blunder. Hill's 
and Heth's reports say that they left Cashtown at 
5 A.M., and soon ran against the enemy. Lee's 
headquarters were then ten miles distant west of 
the mountain at Greenwood. There was no long 
distance 'phone over which he might talk with 
Hill. That morning Lee wrote to Imboden, in 
his rear, and said, "My headquarters for the 
present will be at Cashtown, east of the moun- 


tain." This letter is copied in his dispatch book 
in the handwriting of Colonel Marshall, who 
wrote Lee's report which states that Lee at 
Chambersburg, after the spy came in, ordered 
the army to Gettysburg and was unprepared for 
battle when the armies met, placing the blame on 
Stuart. Yet this dispatch shows that on the 
morning of July I the army had not been ordered 
to Gettysburg. Lee would not have had his 
headquarters at one place and his army eight miles 
off at another. Lee started during the day for 
Cashtown, as he told Imboden he would, and, 
when crossing the mountain, was surprised to hear 
the ominous sound of battle. He passed through 
Cashtown at full speed and never saw the place 
again. His surprise was not at the enemy being 
at Gettysburg, but that a part of his army was 
there. It is remarkable that Colonel Taylor, 
who was in close relations with General Lee, 
did not even mention a projected movement to 
Harrisburg that was arrested by a spy. 

Lee's report omits all reference to Ewell's 
march in advance of the army to the Susquehanna 
and the order to Stuart to leave the army in Vir- 
ginia and join him. As it complains that by the 
route he chose around the Union army communi- 
cation with him was broken, it is natural to con- 


elude from this statement, that Stuart disobeyed 
orders to keep in communication with Lee. The 
report speaks of Ewell's entering Maryland and 
says that Longstreet and Hill followed and that the 
columns were reunited at Hagerstown. The infer- 
ence is that the three corps united at that place 
and that Stuart was directed to join them in 
Maryland. The fact is that Ewell was then some 
days in advance in Pennsylvania and that the 
three corps united on the field of Gettysburg. 

Stuart, says the report, was left to guard the 
passes, observe the movements of the enemy, 
and harass and impede him if he attempted to 
cross the Potomac. "In that event (Hooker's 
crossing) he was directed to move into Maryland, 
crossing the Potomac east or west of the Blue 
Ridge, as in his judgment should be best, and take 
position on the right of our column as it advanced." 

Stuart's crossing the Potomac did not depend 
on Hooker's crossing, and he had no such instruc- 
tions. Lee's orders to Stuart, which I repeat, 
were, "In either case after crossing the river 
(whether you go by the eastern or western route) 
you must move on and feel the right of Ewell's 
troops, collecting information, provisions, etc." 
The report states a part of the truth in saying 
that Stuart had the discretion to cross the Poto- 


mac east or west of the Blue Ridge, but it omits 
the whole truth and that he also had authority to 
pass by the enemy's rear. That was the only 
route he could go if he crossed east of the Ridge. 
As the report complains of the Union army being 
interposed and preventing communication with 
him by the route he went, the inference is that 
Stuart violated orders in passing by the enemy's 
rear. Stuart had no orders, as stated in the report, 
about guarding the Gaps, impeding the enemy, 
and reporting his movements, nor to watch Hooker 
in Virginia and forage for Ewell on the Susque- 
hanna. Such an expectation implies a belief that 
Stuart possessed a supernatural genius. 

The report speaks of Stuart's efforts to impede 
the progress of the Northern army. He made 
no such efforts — he had no such orders — it 
impeded him. The report makes no mention of 
the use that Lee and Longstreet made of the two 
cavalry brigades which Stuart left with them. 
They must have done their duty, for there was no 
complaint that they did not. 

To return to Lee at Chambersburg. On the 
night of the twenty-seventh he had written to 
Ewell at Carlisle that Hooker had crossed the 
Potomac and was in the Middletown Valley at 
the east end of the Gaps, and directed him to 


return to Chambersburg. It was time to con- 
centrate the army. But Lee changed his mind, 
and, at 7.30 A.M. on the twenty-eighth he again 
wrote Ewell, repeating what he had told him in 
the "last night" letter about Hooker, but directed 
him to move south by the pike and east of the 
mountain. He did not mention Meade, who had 
not then been placed in command. The letter is 
indefinite as to the point of concentration — that 
was evidently a precaution in the event of its 
capture. Such an important dispatch would be 
sent by a staff officer so that he might explain 
it orally, and, as they were in the enemy's 
country, he would have a cavalry escort. Ewell 
sent a copy of this dispatch, by a staff officer, 
to Early, thirty-six miles away at York. It 
could not have been written after the night of the 
twenty-seventh. Early said that he received it 
on the evening of the twenty-ninth and started 
the next morning to unite with Ewell west of the 
mountain, but during the day he met a courier 
with a dispatch from Ewell, informing him of the 
change of destination. This statement proves 
that Ewell at Carlisle received two letters from 
Lee. Although he sent a copy of Lee's first order 
to Early, in his report Ewell only referred to the 
second order under which he marched with Rodes's 


division for Cash town. Edward Johnson's divi- 
sion left Carlisle for Chambersburg on the morning 
of the twenty-ninth, before the second order 
arrived, and marched to Green Village — twenty 
miles — that day. 

Lee's dispatch of the night of the twenty- 
seventh could not have reached Carlisle before 
the evening of the twenty-eighth. If it had been 
written on the night of the twenty-eighth, it could 
not have reached Ewell before he got to Harris- 
burg. The trains probably started back that 
night before Edward Johnson left, as they were 
passing Chambersburg at midnight on the twenty- 
ninth. They probably halted in the heat of the 
day as was the custom, to rest and feed th~ 
animals. Lee directed Ewell, if he received the 
second order in time, to move south with the 
trains by the eastern route. So it is clear that 
Early's and Johnson's divisions marched in ac- 
cordance with the order of the twenty-seventh, 
which Ewell did not mention. 

Early said he met Ewell that evening (June 
30) with Rodes's division near Heidlersburg. 
Rodes told him that Cashtown was to be the point 
of concentration and that he was to march there 
the next morning. On July 1 Ewell had started, 
with Rodes's and Early's divisions, on the road 


to Cashtown, when he received a note from Hill 
that turned him off to Gettysburg. Ewell left 
Carlisle with Rodes's division on the thirtieth, 
after he had received Lee's second letter changing 
his destination. Ewell said, " I was starting on the 
twenty-ninth for that place (Harrisburg) when 
ordered by the General Commanding to join the 
main body at Cashtown, near Gettysburg." Al- 
though two of his divisions marched under the first 
order, Ewell's report speaks only of the second 
order. He is clearly inaccurate in saying that the 
second order to move south to Cashtown was the 
cause of his halting at Carlisle. He had already 
been halted by the first order. On this lapse of the 
pen is based the quibble that the date (June 27) of 
Lee's letter to Ewell is wrong, and Edward John- 
son's division had started back to Chambersburg. 
The time of the marching of Ewell's three divisions 
accords with the dates of the two letters, and 
proves that before the spy is alleged to have 
appeared — the night of the twenty-eighth — 
Lee had sent orders to Ewell to return to 
Chambersburg, and that he afterwards directed 
him to Cashtown. In these letters he told Ewell 
where Hooker's, not Meade's, army was. Again, 
Lee's report says that as the spy had informed him 
on the night of the twenty-eighth that the head of 


Hooker's column had reached the South Moun- 
tain, which was a menace to his communications, 
he resolved to concentrate at Gettysburg, east of 
the mountain, to prevent his further progress, 
and that he issued orders accordingly. 

But Lee, on the night of the twenty-seventh 
and morning of the twenty-eighth, had directed 
the army to return. As he ordered Ewell back 
to Chambersburg on the night of the twenty- 
seventh and then to Cashtown on the morn- 
ing of the twenty-eighth, the statement that 
he was preparing to move on to Harrisburg 
when the spy came in on the night of the twenty- 
eighth and brought news that Hooker was in 
pursuit cannot stand the test of reason. If the 
order to Ewell to return had been issued after the 
spy is alleged to have come in, it would not have 
overtaken Ewell before he got to Harrisburg. Nor 
could the order to concentrate at Cashtown have 
been the consequence of news brought by the 
alleged spy, as it had been issued before it is said 
that the spy came. If Gettysburg had been 
Lee's objective, he could easily have occupied 
it on the twenty-ninth, before Meade left Fred- 
erick. As Lee's Chambersburg letter contradicts 
his report, his biographers did not mention it. 

Lee's second report speaks of two cavalry bri- 


gades being in Virginia to guard the Gaps, and 
says that as soon as it was known that the enemy- 
was in Maryland, orders were sent them to join 
the army. They were not put there to guard the 
Gaps, for the Gaps did not need a guard. Their 
instructions were to watch and report the move- 
ments of the enemy to General Lee and to follow 
on the flank of the army when the enemy moved 
from their front. On the night of June 27 
Hooker's rear guard crossed the river, and on the 
twenty-ninth the two cavalry brigades crossed 
the Blue Ridge and arrived at Chambersburg 
on the night of July 2. If an order was sent for 
them after the spy came in, as the report says, it 
could not have reached them on the twenty-ninth 
in Loudoun County, Virginia, before they started. 
They marched in accordance with Stuart's orders. 
The allegation is that the Confederate army 
was surprised at Gettysburg on account of the 
absence of the cavalry. The gist of the complaint 
is that Gettysburg was Lee's objective, as his 
first report says ; that the leading divisions of 
Hill's corps ran unexpectedly against the enemy 
there ; and that he had to fight a battle under 
duress to save his trains. The trains were then 
in the Cashtown Pass, and Longstreet's corps 
and Imboden's command were at the western 


end of it, while Lee, with two corps, was at the 
other end. Now the party surprised is, as a rule, 
the party attacked. But in the three days' 
fighting around Gettysburg, Lee's army was the 
assailant all the time and got the better of it on 
the first and second days. If Lee had selected 
Gettysburg as a battleground, it is strange that he 
should apologize for fighting there. General Lee 
was surprised by A. P. Hill — not by the enemy. 
It is a curious thing that Lee's report should have 
shielded A. P. Hill and Heth, who broke up his 
plan of campaign. It is not claimed that Lee 
needed cavalry in the battle, but before the battle, 
to bring him intelligence. How he suffered in 
this respect his report does not indicate, but it 
says that the spy told him where the enemy were 
on the night of the twenty-eighth when Meade's 
army was fifty miles away at Frederick. If this 
was the case, Lee had ample time to concentrate 
at Gettysburg. If he had this information, it is 
immaterial how he got it. Nobody can show that 
Lee did anything or left anything undone for want 
of informatioti that cavalry could have given him. 

Stuart was absent from the battlefield on the 
first day because he was away doing his duty 
under orders, and two divisions of Meade's cavalry 
were in pursuit of him. Lee and Longstreet were 


absent from the field on that day because they 
did not expect a battle at Gettysburg, and did 
not have foreknowledge of what Hill and Heth 
were going to do. While the spy that is alleged 
to have appeared on the stage at night and to have 
changed the program of invasion is an invention 
for dramatic effect, a spy did appear in a common- 
place way two days afterwards, when the army was 
on the march to Cashtown. He brought interest- 
ing but unimportant news. 

Colonel Freemantle, an English officer and a 
guest at Longstreet's headquarters, said in his 
diary : 

June 30th, Tuesday. . . . We marched from 
Chambersburg six miles on the road toward Gettys- 
burg. In the evening General Longstreet told me 
that he had just received intelligence that Hooker had 
been disrated and Meade was appointed in his place. 

In another item Freemantle alluded to a spy. 
So it was on the thirtieth, after Lee had left 
Chambersburg, and not on the twenty-eighth 
of June, that a spy reported. Longstreet had a 
picture of the spy in his book, and under it was 
inscribed that he brought the first news that 
Meade was in command. The report makes news 
brought by a spy the cause of what had occurred 
before it was brought. 


Marshall said that the spy appeared at head- 
quarters on the night of the twenty-eighth and 
told of the change of commanders, and he also 
said how much surprised Lee was to hear that 
Hooker had crossed the Potomac, and that he 
spoke of returning to Virginia. Now it is be- 
tween fifty and sixty miles from Frederick City, 
where Meade took command of the army on the 
afternoon of that day (June 28), to Chambers- 
burg. The order for the change was kept a 
secret until it was published that evening. Every 
road, path, and gap was closely picketed. The 
spirit in "Manfred" that rode on the wind and 
left the hurricane behind might have made the 
trip in that time, but no mortal could have done 
it. In this use of a spy, the author of the report 
imitated a Greek dramatist who brought down a 
god from the clouds to assist in the catastrophe 
of his tragedies. 

i Lee's report says that the spy informed him 
that the Union army had reached South Mountain. 
It was there when Lee was in Maryland. But if 
the spy had just come out of Hooker's lines, as 
Marshall said, and told of the change in com- 
manders, he would also have told that the army 
had been withdrawn from the mountain on the 
twenty-seventh and had marched east to Fred- 


erick City. Lee's letter to Ewell speaks of Hooker s 
army, which shows that he had not heard of any 
change of commanders when it was written — 
and there had not been — and he does not men- 
tion Meade. The tale of the spy must take its 
place with Banquo's ghost and other theatrical 

On June 30, Heth, with his division, was at 
Cashtown and sent Pettigrew, with his brigade, 
to Gettysburg to get a lot of shoes that were 
said to be there. When Pettigrew got in sight 
of the place, he saw a body of cavalry coming in ; 
so he returned and reported to Heth — who 
proposed to go there the next morning. The 
cavalry was Buford's division, which kept close 
to Meade's left flank. At 5 a.m. on July 1, Hill, 
with Heth's and Pender's divisions and artillery, 
left camp for Gettysburg in the same spirit of 
adventure that took Earl Percy to hunt the deer 
at Chevy Chase. They evidently intended a 
raid and to return to camp and meet Lee that 
evening. All of the impedimenta were left behind. 
General Lee would be at Cashtown that day, 
and the army would be concentrated by evening. 
Lee said that he had no idea of taking the offensive. 
Heth's leading brigade, Archer's, soon ran against 
Buford's pickets ; the latter fought his cavalry 


dismounted and checked Heth until Reynolds 
arrived. Reynolds had left his camp early that 
morning for Gettysburg before Meade's order 
had come to retire to Pipe Creek. Heth's report 
reads : 

It may not be improper to remark that at this time — 
nine o'clock on the morning of July 1st — I was igno- 
rant what force was at or near Gettysburg, and sup- 
posed it consisted of cavalry, most probably supported 
by a brigade or two of infantry. . . . Archer and 
Davis were now directed to advance, the object being 
to feel the enemy, to make a forced reconnaissance 
and determine in what force they were — whether or 
not he was massing his forces on Gettysburg. Heavy 
columns of the enemy were soon encountered. . . . 
General Davis was unable to hold his position. 

Archer's brigade was soon shattered, and he 
and a large portion of his brigade were captured. 
If Heth had any curiosity about the enemy being 
there in force, he and Hill ought now to have been 
satisfied and should have retired — that is, if they 
were only seeking information. But Pender's 
division was now put in to support Heth's and was 
faring no better. Hill would have been driven 
back to Cashtown, but Ewell, without orders, 
came to his relief and won the day. Early's 
division gave the final stroke as he did at Bull 


Run. Hill said that his division was so exhausted 
that it could not join in pursuit of the enemy. 
Yet he called the affair, which had lasted nearly a 
whole day, a reconnaissance just to conceal his 

After the war, Heth published an article in 
which he said nothing about their making a re- 
connaissance, but that they went for shoes. He 
claimed that he and Hill were surprised and said 
it was on account of the want of cavalry, yet both 
said they knew the enemy was there. The want 
of cavalry might have been a good reason for 
not going there — it was a poor one for going. 
Heth did not pretend that he and Hill had orders 
to go to Gettysburg, nor was there any necessity 
for their going. All that the army had to do was 
to live on the country and wait for the enemy at 
Cashtown Pass — as Lee intended to do. 

The truth is that General Lee was so com- 
promised by his corps commanders that he stayed 
on the field and fought the battle on a point of 
honor. To withdraw would have had the appear- 
ance of defeat and have given the moral effect of 
a victory to the enemy. A shallow criticism has 
objected that Lee repeated Hooker's operation 
with his cavalry at Chancellorsville. Both Lee 
and Hooker did right ; both retained sufficient 


cavalry with the main body for observation and 
outpost duty. The difference in the conditions 
was that Lee sent Stuart to join Ewell, and the 
damage he would do on the way would be simply 
incidental to the march. Hooker's object in 
detaching his cavalry, on the other hand, was to 
destroy Lee's supplies and communications. With 
his superior numbers Hooker had a right to cal- 
culate on defeating Lee, and, in that event, his 
cavalry would bar Lee's retreat as Grant's did at 

That the inventions of the staff officers have 
been accepted by historians as true is the most 
remarkable thing in literary history since the 
Chatterton forgeries. But the history of the 
world is a record of judgments reversed. 

I have told in brief the story of Gettysburg, of 
the way in which defeat befell the great Con- 
federate commander, and have criticised the 
report which has his signature, but which it is 
well known was written by another. It does as 
great injustice to Lee as to Stuart. Lee may 
have had so much confidence in the writer that 
he signed it without reading it, or, if it was read 
to him, he was in the mental condition of the dying 
gladiator in the Coliseum — his mind 

"Was with his heart, and that was far away." 


Stuart was the protagonist in the great drama, 
and no other actor performed his part so well. 
In a late work by Colonel Furse, of the English 
army, we read : 

Stuart was a genial man of gay spirits and energetic 
habits, popular with his men and trusted by his su- 
periors as no other officer in the Confederate army. 
His authority was exercised mildly but firmly ; no 
man in the South was better qualified to mould the 
wild element he controlled into soldiers. His raids 
made him a lasting name and his daring exploits will 
ever find a record alongside the deeds of the most 
famous cavalry leaders. He was mortally wounded in 
an encounter with Sheridan's cavalry at Yellow Tav- 
ern, May, 1864, and died a few days afterward. 

I will add that after General Lee lost Stuart 
he had no cavalry corps and no Chief of Cavalry. 
No one was there who could bend the bow of 

"And these are deeds which should not pass away 
And names that must not wither, though the earth 
Forgets her empire with a just decay." 

[The defence of Stuart's conduct in the Gettys- 
burg campaign occupied Mosby's study and 
thought over a considerable period of years. His 
championship of his beloved chief resulted in 
various controversies, to some of which acrimo- 


nious may be truthfully applied, as well as in 
considerable writing and publication on the sub- 
ject. The account given in these pages was his 
final work and seems to answer all criticisms which 
have been aimed at his conclusions. The follow- 
ing letter to Mrs. Stuart explains, in a measure, 
some of his work on the Gettysburg campaign 
and the discussions which followed.] 

Washington, D.C., 
June 9, 1915. 
Mrs. General J. E. B. Stuart : 
Dear Mrs. Stuart : 

I have received your letter in reply to mine inquiring 
if you had any unpublished correspondence left by 
General Stuart which I might use in my Memoirs of 
the war which I am preparing. I return McClellan's 
letter which is dated March 22nd, 1899. 1 He claims 
credit for having first published, in reply to Colonel 
Marshall, General Lee's and Longstreet's orders to 
General Stuart which authorized him to go the route 
in rear of Hooker's army in the Gettysburg campaign. 
Governor Stuart and you know that this is not true. 
... In the winter of 1886-87 I was i n Washington 
settling my accounts as Consul at Hong Kong. Long- 
street about that time had an article in the Century 
charging General Stuart with disobedience of orders ; 
and Long's "Memoirs of Lee " also appeared about the 

1 Major H. B. McClcllan, author of "The Life and Campaigns of 
General Stuart", Boston and Richmond, 1885. 


same time with a similar charge. As I knew the inside 
history of the transaction and that the charge was 
false, I went to the office where the Confederate ar- 
chives were kept and got permission to examine them. 
The three volumes of the Gettysburg records had not 
then been published. Colonel Scott gave me a large 
envelope that had the reports and correspondence of 
the campaign on printed slips. Very soon I discovered 
Lee's and Longstreet's instructions to Stuart to do the 
very thing that he did. I was delighted and so ex- 
pressed myself to Colonel Scott. He was surprised 
that McClellan had made no use of them and told me 
that McClellan had spent several days in his office 
and that he had given him the same envelope and 
papers that he had given me. I told Mr. Henry Stuart, 
whom I met at the National Hotel, all about my dis- 
covery and that I should reply to Longstreet and pub- 
lish this evidence to contradict him and Long. I also 
wrote to Mr. Wm. A. Stuart and to McClellan of my 
discovery and told them that I should reply to Long- 
street. Mr. Stuart advised me to publish what I had 
discovered. These documents with a communication 
from me appeared in the Century about May or June, 
1887. See "Battles and Leaders." ... In 1896 
Colonel Charles Marshall delivered a violent philippic 
on General Lee's birthday against General Stuart. He 
imputed to Stuart's disobedience all the blame for the 
Gettysburg disaster. I replied to Marshall's attack 
in a syndicated article which was published in Rich- 
mond and Boston and again published Lee's and 
Longstreet's instructions to Stuart. With this article 


I also published for the first time Lee's letter to Ewell, 
written from Chambersburg on June 28th, 1863, 
which exploded the mythical story of the spy on which 
Marshall had built his fabric of fiction. Some time 
after my article appeared, in reply to Marshall, Mc- 
Clellan also published a reply to him with the docu- 
ments which I had published nine years before in the 
Century. . . . But McClellan, like Lee's biographers, 
was silent about the Chambersburg letter. That it 
contradicts Lee's report, which Marshall wrote, is 
admitted by Stuart's critics; but to avoid the effect 
of it they say the date in the records is wrong. The 
only evidence they produce is that the report written 
a month afterward is not consistent with the letter. 
That was the reason I published the letter. But I 
have demonstrated that the time that a copy of it 
was received by Early from Ewell and the marching of 
Ewell's divisions in accordance with it confirm the 
correctness of the date. McClellan says that Marshall 
had not dared to answer him ; and I can say that 
although I was the first to attack him he never dared 
to answer me. He also speaks of John C. Ropes, of 
Boston, having written him that his answer was con- 
clusive. But Mr. Ropes had read my article in the 
Boston Herald and had written me the same thing a 
month before McClellan's appeared. Some years 
before I had read a review by Ropes of McClellan's 
"Life of Stuart", in which he seemed to be very friendly 
to Stuart, but he said that McClellan had made a very 
unsatisfactory defense of him on the Gettysburg cam- 
paign. I then wrote to Ropes and sent him Belford's 


Magazine (October-November, 1891) with an article 
of mine that had Stuart's orders from Lee and Long- 
street. Ropes wrote me that my article had changed 
his opinion, and that in the next volume of his history 
his views would conform to mine. Unfortunately he 
died before the volume was finished. So you see how 
unfounded McClellan's claim of precedence is. His 
book, as I told Mr. Henry Stuart nearly thirty years 
ago, does General Stuart great injustice. It deprives 
him of the credit of the ride around McClellan — I 
heard Fitz Lee urge General Stuart not to go on — it 
defends Fitz Lee against the just criticism of Stuart's 
report for his disobedience of orders that saved Pope's 
army from ruin and came near getting Stuart and 
myself captured; and it represents the great cavalry 
combat and victory at Brandy as "a successful recon- 
naissance" by Pleasanton, which means that he 
voluntarily recrossed the Rappahannock after he had 
accomplished his object and not because he was 
defeated. . . . 

Very truly yours, 

(Signed) Jno. S. Mosby. 


The Year after Gettysburg 

[The period between the battle of Gettysburg 
and the arrival of Sheridan in Shenandoah Val- 
ley, in August, 1864, was one of incessant activity 
on the part of Mosby's command. Scouts, raids, 
and pitched battles followed each other in rapid 
succession. Mosby destroyed supply trains, broke 
up the means of conveying intelligence, thus 
isolating troops from their base, and confused 
plans by capturing dispatches, while at the same 
time compelling the use of large numbers of the 
enemy's troops to protect Washington and the 
Potomac. Attracted by the chance of booty 
and desire for adventure, without the irksome 
duties of camp life, brave and dashing spirits 
were drawn to Mosby's battalion until the fifteen 
men with whom he had started his partisan war- 
fare became five companies, regularly mustered 
into the Confederate service. The main events 
of these months are told in the following reports 
which Colonel Mosby made to his superiors. 



Unlike the usual formal report of the War Records, 
these records are permeated by the zeal and en- 
thusiasm for his partisan warfare to which was 
due, in large measure, Mosby's striking success. 
The spirit of the man, his boundless energy, and 
the unbridled zest with which he made war on 
his country's foes are reflected in every line of 
his official story.] 

[Report, Mosby to Stuart] 

July, 1863. 

I sent you in charge of Sergeant Beattie, one hun- 
dred and forty-one prisoners that we captured from 
the enemy during their march through this county. 
I also sent off forty-five several days ago. Included in 
the number, one Major, one Captain and two lieu- 
tenants. I also captured one hundred and twenty-five 
horses and mules, twelve wagons (only three of which 
I was able to destroy), fifty sets of fine harness, arms, 
etc., etc. 

[Report, Mosby to Stuart] 

Fauquier Co., Va., Aug. 4, 1863. 

I send over in charge of Sergeant Beattie about 30 
prisoners captured on an expedition into Fairfax, from 
which I have just returned. Most of them were taken 
at Padgett's, near Alexandria. I also captured about 
30 wagons, brought off about 70 horses and mules, 


having only ten men with me. We lost a good many 
on the way back, as we were compelled to travel narrow, 
unfrequented paths. Among the captures were three 
sutlers' wagons. 

At Fairfax Court House a few nights ago I captured 
29 loaded sutlers' wagons, about 100 prisoners and 140 
horses. I had brought all off safely near Aldie, where 
I fell in with a large force of the enemy's cavalry, who 
recaptured them. The enemy had several hundred. 
I had only 27 men. We killed and captured several. 
My loss : one wounded and captured. 

[Report, Mosby to Stuart] 

Culpeper, August 20, 1863. 

On Tuesday, August 1 1, I captured a train of 19 
wagons near Annandale, in Fairfax County. We 
secured the teams and a considerable portion of the 
most valuable stores, consisting of saddles, bridles, 
harness, etc. We took about 25 prisoners. 

[Report, Mosby to Stuart] 

Sept. 30, 1863. 

. . . On the morning of August 24, with about 30 
men, I reached a point (Annandale) immediately on 
the enemy's line of communication. Leaving the 
whole command, except three men who accompanied 
me, in the woods, concealed, I proceeded on a recon- 
naissance along the railroad to ascertain if there were 
any bridges unguarded. I discovered there were three. 


I returned to the command just as a drove of horses 
with a cavalry escort of about 50 men were passing. 
These I determined to attack and to wait until night 
to burn the bridges. I ordered Lieutenant Turner to 
take half of the men and charge them in front, while 
with the remainder I attacked their rear. 

In the meantime the enemy had been joined by 
another party, making their number about 63. When 

1 overtook them they had dismounted at Gooding's 
Tavern to water their horses. My men went at them 
with a yell that terrified the Yankees and scattered 
them in all directions. A few taking shelter under 
cover of the houses, opened fire upon us. They were 
soon silenced, however. At the very moment when I 
had succeeded in routing them, I was compelled to 
retire from the fight, having been shot through the 
side and thigh. My men, not understanding it, fol- 
lowed me, which gave time to the Yankees to escape 
to the woods. But for this accident, the whole party 
would have been captured. As soon as I perceived 
this, I ordered the men to go back, which a portion of 
them did, just as Lieutenant Turner, who had met and 
routed another force above, came gallantly charging 

Over 100 horses fell into our possession, though a 
good many were lost in bringing them out at night ; 
also 12 prisoners, arms, etc. I learn that 6 of the 
enemy were killed. ... In this affair my loss was 

2 killed and 3 wounded. . . . 

I afterwards directed Lieutenant Turner to burn the 
bridges. He succeeded in burning one. 


During my absence from the command, Lieuten- 
ant Turner attacked an outpost of the enemy near 
Waterloo, killing 2 and capturing 4 men and 27 

About September 15 he captured 3 wagons, 20 
horses, 7 prisoners and a large amount of sutlers' 
goods near Warrenton Junction. 

On the 20th and 21st instant, I conducted an expedi- 
tion along the enemy's line of communication, in which 
important information obtained was forwarded to the 
army headquarters, and I succeeded in capturing 9 
prisoners and 21 fine horses and mules. 

On the 27th and 28th instant, I made a reconnais- 
sance in the vicinity of Alexandria, capturing Colonel 
Dulaney, aide to the bogus Governor Pierpont, several 
horses, and burning the railroad bridge across Cam- 
eron's Run, which was immediately under cover of 
the guns of two forts. 

The military value of the species of warfare I have 
waged is not measured by the number of prisoners and 
material of war captured from the enemy, but by the 
heavy detail it has already compelled him to make, 
and which I hope to make him increase, in order to 
guard his communications and to that extent diminish- 
ing his aggressive strength. 


Headquarters Cavalry Corps, October 5, 1863. 

Respectfully forwarded, and recommend that Major 
Mosby be promoted another grade in recognition of his 


valuable services. The capture of these prominent 
Union officials, as well as the destruction of bridges, 
trains, etc., was the subject of special instructions 
which he is faithfully carrying out. 

J. E. B. Stuart, Major-General. 

Headquarters, November 17, 1863. 

Respectfully forwarded. 

Major Mosby is entitled to great credit for his bold- 
ness and skill in his operations against the enemy. 
He keeps them in constant apprehension and inflicts 
repeated injuries. I have hoped that he would have 
been able to raise his command sufficiently for the 
command of a Lieutenant-Colonel, and to have it 
regularly mustered into the service. I am not aware 
that it numbers over 4 companies. 

R. E. Lee, General. 

[Letter to Mrs. Mosby] 

Fauquier Co., 
Oct. 1, '63. 
My dearest Pauline : 

Just returned from a raid. I went down in the 
suburbs of Alexandria and burned a railroad bridge 
in a quarter of a mile of two forts and directly in range 
of their batteries, also captured Colonel Dulaney, aide 
to (Governor) Pierpont. Dulaney lives in Alex- 
andria, — has a son in my command, who was with 
me at the time. ... It was quite an amusing scene, 


the interview between Colonel Dulaney and his son. 
Just as we were about leaving the Colonel sarcasti- 
cally remarked to his son that he had an old pair of 
shoes he had better take, as he reckoned they were 
darned scarce in the Confederacy, whereupon the son, 
holding up his leg, which was encased in a fine pair of 
cavalry boots just captured from a sutler, asked the 
old man what he thought of that. I am now fixing 
my triggers for several good things which, if they 
succeed, will make a noise. Old Mrs. Shacklett is 
going to Baltimore next week and I shall send for some 
things for you all. . . . In Richmond I got some 
torpedoes, which have just arrived, and my next trip 
I shall try to blow up a railroad train. Went to see 
the Secretary of War, — he spoke in the highest terms 
of the services of my command, — said he read all my 
official reports. Also saw old General Lee, — he was 
very kind to me and expressed the greatest satisfaction 
at the conduct of my command. 

[Report, Mosby to Stuart] 

October 19, 1863. 

. . . On Thursday, 15th, came down into Fair- 
fax, where I have been operating ever since in the 
enemy's rear. 

I have captured over 100 horses and mules, several 
wagons loaded with valuable stores, and between 75 
and 100 prisoners, arms, equipments, etc. Among the 
prisoners were 3 captains and 1 lieutenant. 

I had a sharp skirmish yesterday with double my 


number of cavalry near Annandale in which I routed 
them, capturing the captain commanding and 6 or 7 
men and horses. I have so far sustained no loss. It 
has been my object to detain the troops that are occu- 
pying Fairfax, by annoying their communications and 
preventing them from operating in front. ... I 
contemplate attacking a cavalry camp at Falls Church 
to-morrow night. 

[Report, Mosby to Stuart] 

Nov. 6, 1863. 

I returned yesterday from a scout in the neighbor- 
hood of Catlett's. I was accompanied by Captain 
Smith and 2 men of my command. We killed Kil- 
patrick's division commissary and captured an adju- 
tant, 4 men, 6 horses, etc. Kilpatrick's Division (now 
reported unfit for duty) lies around Weaverville. 
... I sent you 4 cavalrymen on Wednesday captured 
by my scouts. 

[Report, Mosby to Stuart] 

Nov. 22, 1863. 

Since rendering my report of the 5th [sic] inst. we 
have captured about 75 of the enemy's cavalry, over 
100 horses and mules, 6 wagons, a considerable number 
of arms, equipments, etc. 

It would be too tedious to mention in detail the 
various affairs in which these captures have been 


made, but I would omit the performance of a pleasant 
duty if I failed to bring to your notice the bold 
onset of Capt. Smith, when, with only about 40 men, 
he dashed into the enemy's camp of 150 cavalry near 
Warrenton, killed some 8 or 10, wounded a number 
and brought off 9 prisoners, 27 horses, arms, equip- 
ments, etc. In various other affairs several of the 
enemy have been killed and wounded. I have sus- 
tained no loss. . . . 

[Report, Mosby to Stuart] 

January 4, 1864. 

I have the honor to report that during the month of 
December there were captured by this command over 
100 horses and mules and about 100 prisoners. A 
considerable number of the enemy have also been 
killed and wounded. It would be too tedious to men- 
tion the various occasions on which we have met the 
enemy, but there is one which justice to a brave officer 
demands to be noticed. On the morning of January 1, 
I received information that a body of the enemy's 
cavalry were in Upperville. It being the day on which 
my command was to assemble, I directed Capt. Wil- 
liam R. Smith to take command of the men while I 
went directly toward LTpperville to ascertain the move- 
ments of the enemy. In the meantime the enemy had 
gone on toward Rectortown, and I pursued, but came 
up just as Capt. Smith with about 35 men had attacked 
and routed them (75 strong), killing, wounding, and 
capturing 57. 



Headquarters Cavalry Corps, February 13, 1864. 

Respectfully forwarded. 

A subsequent report of subsequent operations has 
been already sent in, this having been mislaid. Major 
Mosby continues his distinguished services in the 
enemy's rear, relieving our people of the depredations 
of the enemy in a great measure. 

J. E. B. Stuart, 

February 15, 1864. 

A characteristic report from Colonel Mosby, who 
has become so familiar with brave deeds as to consider 
them too tedious to treat unless when necessary to 
reflect glory on his gallant comrades. Captain Smith's 
was a brilliant and most successful affair. 

J. A. Seddon, Secretary of War. 

[Report, Mosby to Stuart] 

February 1, 1864. 

On Wednesday, January 6, having previously 
reconnoitered in person the position of the enemy, I 
directed Lieutenant Turner, with a detachment of 
about 30 men, to attack an outpost of the enemy in 
the vicinity of Warrenton, which he did successfully, 
routing a superior force of the enemy, killing and 
wounding several, and capturing 18 prisoners and 42 
horses, with arms, equipments, etc. 


On Saturday, January 9, having learned through 
Frank Stringfellow (Stuart's scout), that Cole's (Mary- 
land) Cavalry was encamping on Loudon Heights, 
with no supports but infantry, which was about one- 
half mile off, I left Upperville with about 100 men, 
in hopes of being able to completely surprise his camp 
by a night attack. By marching my command by 
file, along a narrow path, I succeeded in gaining a 
position in the rear of the enemy, between their camp 
and the Ferry. On reaching this point, without 
creating any alarm, I deemed that the crisis had 
passed, and the capture of the enemy a certainty. I 
had exact information up to dark of that evening of 
the number of the enemy (which was between 175 and 
200), the position of their headquarters, etc. When 
within 200 yards of the camp, I sent Stringfellow on 
ahead with about 10 men to capture Major Cole and 
staff, whose headquarters were in a house about 100 
yards from their camp, while I halted to close up my 
command. The camp was buried in a profound 
sleep ; there was not a sentinel awake. All my 
plans were on the eve of consummation, when suddenly 
the party sent with Stringfellow came dashing over 
the hill toward the camp, yelling and shooting. They 
had made no attempt to secure Cole. Mistaking them 
for the enemy, I ordered my men to charge. 

In the meantime the enemy had taken the alarm, 
and received us with a volley from their carbines. A 
severe fight ensued, in which they were driven from 
their camp, but, taking refuge in the surrounding 
houses, kept up a desultory firing. Confusion and 


delay having ensued from the derangement of my 
plans, consequent on the alarm given to the enemy, 
rendered it hazardous to continue in my position, as 
reinforcements were near the enemy. Accordingly, I 
ordered the men to retire, which was done in good 
order, bringing off 6 prisoners, and between 50 and 
60 horses. 

My loss was severe ; more so in the worth than the 
number of the slain. It was 4 killed, 7 wounded (of 
whom 4 have since died), and 1 captured. A pub- 
lished list of the enemy's loss gives it at 5 killed and 
13 wounded. Among those who fell on this occasion 
were Capt. William R. Smith and Lieutenant Turner, 
two of the noblest and bravest officers of this army, 
who thus sealed a life of devotion and of sacrifice to 
the cause they loved. 

In numerous other affairs with the enemy, between 
75 and 100 horses and mules have been captured, 
about 40 men killed, wounded, and captured. A 
party of this command also threw one of the enemy's 
trains off the track, causing a great smash up. 


Headquarters Cavalry Corps, 

Respectfully forwarded. February 9, 1864. 

The conduct of Major Mosby is warmly commended 
to the notice of the commanding general. His sleep- 
less vigilance and unceasing activity have done the 
enemy great damage. He keeps a large force of the 
enemy's cavalry continually employed in Fairfax in 


the vain effort to suppress his inroads. His exploits 
are not surpassed in daring and enterprise by those of 
petite guerre in any age. Unswerving devotion to 
duty, self-abnegation, and unflinching courage, with 
a quick perception and appreciation of the opportunity, 
are the characteristics of this officer. Since I first 
knew him, in 1861, he has never once alluded to his 
own rank or promotion ; thus far it has come by the 
force of his own merit. While self-consciousness of 
having done his duty well is the patriot soldier's best 
reward, yet the evidence of the appreciation of his 
country is a powerful incentive to renewed effort, 
which should not be undervalued by those who have 
risen to the highest point of military and civic emi- 
nence. That evidence is promotion. If Major Mosby 
has not won it, no more can daring deeds essay to do 
it. . . . 

J. E. B. Stuart, Major-General. 

[One of those wounded in a fight at Dranesville, 
February 22, was Baron von Massow, who later 
became the Chief of Cavalry in the Imperial 
German Army. Von Massow was the son of 
the chamberlain to the King of Prussia and came 
to America to see some fighting. He offered 
his services to General Stuart who sent him to 
Mosby. In the Dranesville fight Mosby's com- 
mand charged a California regiment from two 
directions and routed it. The Baron was fight- 


Lieutenant-Colonel and next in rank to Colonel Mosby when the 
war closed. Photographed in 1863 


ing with the rest when he espied Captain Reid 
of the Californians. Von Massow made a rush 
at Reid, as if he were about to chop his head off 
with his sword — the Prussian clung to the sword 
in a fight instead of using a revolver, as did the 
rest of Mosby's men. Captain Reid was caught 
so that he could not defend himself and made a 
motion which the Baron interpreted as a sign of 
surrender. The latter signed for Reid to go to 
the rear and rode on into the melee. As he turned 
his back Reid drew a revolver and shot him. At 
almost the same instant Captain Chapman, who 
had seen the incident and divined the Californian's 
intention to shoot, drew his revolver and shot 
Captain Reid. Reid was instantly killed, and Von 
Massow was so seriously injured that he was never 
able to rejoin Mosby's command.] 

[Report, Mosby to Lieutenant-Colonel Taylor, 
Assistant Adjutant-General] 

September 11, 1864. 

On March 10th with a detachment of about 40 
men, I defeated a superior force of the enemy's cavalry 
near Greenwich, severely wounding 3, and capturing 
9 prisoners, 10 horses, arms, etc. On the same day 
Lieut. A. E. Richards, with another detachment of 
about 30 men, surprised an outpost of the enemy 


near Charles Town, killed the major commanding and 
a lieutenant, several privates, and brought off 21 
prisoners with their horses, arms, etc. In neither en- 
gagement did my command sustain any loss. 

During the months of March and April but few 
opportunities were offered for making any successful 
attacks on the enemy, the continual annoyances to 
which they had been subjected during the winter 
causing them to exert great vigilance in guarding against 
surprises and interruptions of their communications. 
During most of these months I was myself engaged in 
scouting in the enemy's rear for Major-General Stuart 
and collecting information which was regularly trans- 
mitted to his headquarters, concerning the movements, 
numbers, and distribution of the enemy's forces both 
east and west of the Blue Ridge. During this time my 
men were mostly employed in collecting forage from 
the country bordering on the Potomac. 

About April 15, Captain Richards routed a maraud- 
ing party of the enemy's cavalry at Waterford, killing 
and wounding 5 or 6 and bringing off 6 or 8 prisoners, 
15 horses, arms, etc. 

About April 25 I attacked an outpost near Hunter's 
Mills, in Fairfax, capturing 5 prisoners and 18 horses. 
The prisoners and horses were sent back under charge 
of Lieutenant Hunter, while I went off on a scout in 
another direction. The enemy pursued and captured 
the lieutenant and 6 of the horses. 

About May 1st, with a party of 10 men, I captured 
8 of Sigel's wagons near Bunker Hill, in the Valley, 
but was only able to bring off the horses attached (34 


in number) and about 20 prisoners. The horses and 
prisoners were sent back, while with another detach- 
ment of 20 men who had joined me I proceeded to 
Martinsburg, which place we entered that night, while 
occupied by several hundred Federal troops, and 
brought off 15 horses and several prisoners. 

Returning to my command, I learned that General 
Grant had crossed the Rapidan. With about 40 men 
I moved down the north bank of the Rappahannock 
to assail his communications wherever opened, and 
sent two other detachments, under Captains Richards 
and Chapman, to embarrass Sigel as much as possible. 
Captain Richards had a skirmish near Winchester in 
which several of them were killed and wounded. 
Captain Chapman attacked a wagon train, which was 
heavily guarded, near Strassburg, capturing about 30 
prisoners with an equal number of horses, etc. Near 
Belle Plain, in King George, I captured an ambulance 
train and brought off about 75 horses and mules, and 
40 prisoners, etc. 

A few days after I made a second attempt near the 
same place, but discovered that my late attack had 
caused them to detach such a heavy force to guard 
their trains and line of communication that another 
successful attack on them was impracticable. 

About May 10 I attacked a cavalry outpost in the 
vicinity of Front Royal, capturing 1 captain and 15 
men and 75 horses and sustained no loss. 

About May 20, with about 150 men, I moved to 
the vicinity of Strassburg with the view of capturing 
the wagon trains of General Hunter, who had then 


moved up the Valley. When the train appeared I 
discovered that it was guarded by about 600 infantry 
and 100 cavalry. A slight skirmish ensued between 
their cavalry and a part of my command, in which 
their cavalry was routed with a loss of 8 prisoners and 
horses, besides several killed, but falling back on their 
infantry, my men in turn fell back, with a loss of 1 
killed. While we did not capture the train, one great 
object had been accomplished — the detachment of 
a heavy force to guard their communications. After 
the above affair, only one wagon train ever went up 
to Hunter, which was still more heavily guarded. He 
then gave up his line of communication. 

After the withdrawal of the enemy's forces from 
Northern Virginia, for several weeks but few oppor- 
tunities were offered for any successful incursions upon 
them. Many enterprises on a small scale were, how- 
ever, undertaken by detachments of the command, 
of which no note has been taken. 

About June 20 I moved into Fairfax and routed a 
body of cavalry near Centreville, killing and wounding 
6 or 8, and capturing 31 prisoners, securing their 
horses, etc. 

A few days afterwards we took Duffield's Depot, 
on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad ; secured about 
50 prisoners, including 2 lieutenants and a large number 
of stores. The train had passed a few minutes before 
we reached the place. On my way there I had left 
Lieutenant Nelson, commanding Company A, at 
Charles Town, for the purpose of intercepting and 
notifying me of any approach in my rear from Harper's 


Ferry. As I had anticipated, a body of cavalry, largely 
superior in numbers to his force, moved out from that 
point. Lieutenant Nelson gallantly charged and 
routed them, killing and wounding several and taking 
19 prisoners and 27 horses. We sustained no loss on 
this expedition. 

On July 4, hearing of General Early's movement 
down the Valley, I moved with my command east of 
the Blue Ridge for the purpose of cooperating with him 
and crossed the Potomac at Point of Rocks, driving 
out the garrison (250 men, strongly fortified) and secur- 
ing several prisoners and horses. As I supposed it to 
be General Early's intention to invest Maryland 
Heights, I thought the best service I could render would 
be to sever all communication both by railroad and 
telegraph between that point and Washington, which 
I did, keeping it suspended for two days. 

As this was the first occasion on which I had used 
artillery [sic] the magnitude of the invasion was 
greatly exaggerated by the fears of the enemy, and 
panic and alarm spread through their territory. I 
desire especially to bring to the notice of the com- 
manding general the unsurpassed gallantry displayed 
by Captain Richards, commanding First Squadron. 
Our crossing was opposed by a body of infantry sta- 
tioned on the Maryland shore. Dismounting a num- 
ber of sharpshooters, whom I directed to wade the 
river above the point held by the enemy, I superin- 
tended in person the placing of my piece of artillery in 
position, at the same time directing Captain Richards 
whenever the enemy had been dislodged by the sharp- 


shooters and artillery, to charge across the river in 
order to effect their capture. The enemy were soon 
routed and Captain Richards charged over, but be- 
fore he could overtake them they had retreated across 
the canal, pulling up the bridge in their rear. My 
order had not, of course, contemplated their pursuit 
into their fortifications, but the destruction of the 
bridge was no obstacle to his impetuous valor, and 
hastily dismounting and throwing down a few planks 
on the sills, he charged across, under a heavy fire from 
a redoubt. The enemy fled panic stricken, leaving in 
our possession their camp equipage, etc. . . . 

On the morning of July 6, while still encamped near 
the Potomac, information was received that a consid- 
erable force of cavalry was at Leesburg. I immediately 
hastened to meet them. At Leesburg I learned that 
they had gone toward Aldie, and I accordingly moved 
on the road to Ball's Mill in order to intercept them 
returning to their camp in Fairfax, which I succeeded 
in doing, meeting them at Mount Zion Church, and 
completely routing them, with a loss of about 80 of 
their officers and men left dead and severely wounded 
on the field, besides 57 prisoners. Their loss includes a 
captain and lieutenant killed and 1 lieutenant severely 
wounded ; the major commanding and 2 lieutenants 
prisoners. We also secured all their horses, arms, etc. 

My loss was 1 killed and 6 wounded — none dan- 

After this affair the enemy never ventured, in two 
months after, the experiment of another raid through 
that portion of our district. 


A few days afterward I again crossed the Potomac 
in cooperation with General Early, and moved through 
Poolesville, Md., for the purpose of capturing a body 
of cavalry encamped near Seneca. They retreated, 
however, before we reached there, leaving all their 
camp equipage and a considerable amount of stores. 
We also captured 30 head of beef cattle. 

When General Early fell back from before Wash- 
ington I recrossed the Potomac, near Seneca, moving 
thence to the Little River Pike in order to protect him 
from any movement up the south side of the river. 
The enemy moved through Leesburg in pursuit of 
General Early and occupied Ashby's and Snicker's 
Gaps. I distributed my command so as to most 
effectually protect the country. These detachments 
— under Captains Richards and Chapman and Lieu- 
tenants Glasscock, Nelson, and Hatcher — while they 
kept the enemy confined to the main thoroughfares 
and restrained their ravages, killed and captured about 
300, securing their horses, etc. My own attention 
was principally directed to ascertaining the numbers 
and movements of the enemy and forwarding the infor- 
mation to General Early, who was then in the Valley. 

At the time of the second invasion of Maryland by 
General Early, I moved my command to the Potomac, 
crossed over 3 companies at Cheek's and Noland's 
Fords, while the remaining portion was kept in re- 
serve on this side with the artillery, which was posted 
on the south bank to keep open the fords, keeping one 
company, under Lieutenant Williams, near the ford, 
on the north bank. Two were sent under Lieutenant 


Nelson, to Adamstown, on the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad, for the purpose of intercepting the trains 
from Baltimore, destroying their communications, 
etc. Apprehending a movement up the river from a 
considerable body of cavalry which I knew to be 
stationed below, I remained with a portion of the 
command guarding the fords. 

Lieutenant Nelson reached the road a few minutes 
too late to capture the train, but destroyed two tele- 
graph lines. On his return he met a force of the 
enemy's cavalry, near Monocacy, which was charged 
and routed by the gallant Lieutenant Hatcher, who 
took about 15 men and horses, besides killing and 
wounding several 

We recrossed the river in the evening, bringing 
about 75 horses and between 20 and 30 prisoners. 

Our loss, 2 missing. 

[The battle at Mount Zion attracted great 
attention at the time — especially in the North, 
and made the already redoubtable figure of Mosby 
an altogether awe-inspiring one. The capture 
of Major Forbes, "Colonel Lowell's fighting 
Major", was also an important incident in Mosby's 
life, as here began the lifelong friendship between 
the two families. 

The story of the battle was well told in the 
official report of Colonel Charles R. Lowell, Jr., 
Second Massachusetts Cavalry. The report reads :] 


Near Falls Church, Va., July 8, 1864. 

I have the honor to report Major Forbes' scout as 
completely as is yet possible. I have not talked with 
Lieutenant Kuhls or Captain Stone, who is badly 
wounded, but send what I learned on the ground. 

Major Forbes left here with 150 men (100 Second 
Massachusetts Cavalry, 50 Thirteenth New York 
Cavalry) Monday, p.m. Tuesday, a.m., went through 
Aldie, and found all quiet toward the Gaps. Tuesday, 
p.m., went by Ball's Mill to Leesburg. Heard of 
Mosby's raid at Point of Rocks, and learned that he 
had sent four or five wagons of plunder through Lees- 
burg, under a guard of about 60 men, the afternoon 
before. Heard nothing of any other force this side 
of the ridge. He returned that night to the south of 
Goose Creek, as directed, and, on Wednesday, a.m., 
went again by Ball's Mill to Leesburg. Still heard 
nothing of Mosby or any force. From what I learned 
from citizens, I think Mosby passed between Leesburg 
and the Potomac some time on Tuesday, crossed Goose 
Creek, and moved westward toward Aldie on Wednes- 
day ; learned of Major Forbes' second visit to Leesburg, 
and laid in ambush for him at Ball's Mill. Major 
Forbes returned from Leesburg by Centre's Mill (4 
miles above), came down by Aldie, and halted for two 
or three hours about one and a half miles east, on the 
Little River Pike ; when Mosby learned this he moved 
south and struck the pike about one and a quarter 
miles east of the Major's position, being hidden till 
he had reached about half a mile west on the pike. 


Major Forbes was duly notified by his advance guard, 
mounted his men, and moved them from the north to 
the south of the pike. As the rear was crossing, Mosby 
fired one shell from his 12-pounder, which burst entirely 
too high. As Major Forbes formed on the south, his 
advance guard, which had dismounted and fired as 
Mosby came up, fell back, still keeping a little north of 
the pike, and took an excellent position somewhat on 
the flank. Up to this time, I think, all the dispositions 
were admirable. Major Forbes' two squadrons were 
formed, his third squadron and rear guard not formed 
but nearly so, and no confusion. Mosby's men, who 
were not in any order, but were down the road in a 
"nick," had just reached the fence corner some 225 
yards off, and a few had dismounted, under a fire from 
the advanced guard, to take down the fence. When 
two panels of the fence were down the men trotted 
through for about 75 yards, and came gradually down 
to a walk, and almost halted. Major Forbes' first 
platoon was ordered to fire with carbines. Here was 
the first mistake. It created confusion among the 
horses, and the squadron in the rear added to it by 
firing a few pistol shots. Had the order been given 
to draw sabres and charge, the rebels would never have 
got their gun off, but I think Major Forbes, seeing 
how uneasy his horses were at the firing, must have 
intended to dismount some of his men. At any rate, 
he attempted to move the first squadron by the right 
flank. The rebels saw their chance, gave a yell, and 
our men, in the confusion of the moment, broke. The 
two rear squadrons went off in confusion. Attempts 


were made, with some success, to rally parts of the 
first squadron in the next field, and again near Little 
River Church, one mile off. 

Captain Stone was wounded here, and I believe all 
the non-commissioned officers of A and L Companies 
present were wounded or killed. There was little 
gained. I have only to report a perfect rout and a 
chase for five to seven miles. We lost Major Forbes, 
Lieutenant Amory, and Mr. Humphreys (Chaplain), 
from Second Massachusetts, and Lieutenant Burns, 
Thirteenth New York Cavalry, prisoners, all unhurt. 
Captain Stone, Second Massachusetts, and Lieutenant 
Schuyler, Thirteenth New York, very badly wounded. 
Lieutenant Kuhls alone came safely to camp. Of 
men, we lost, killed outright, 7, Second Massachusetts ; 
5, Thirteenth New York : wounded, we brought in 
27 and left 10 too bad to move. I fear of the wounded 
at least 12 will die. About 40 others have come to 
camp half mounted, and Mosby reported to have 44 
prisoners ; quite a number, you will see, still unac- 
counted for. Some of them are probably wounded, 
and some still on their way to camp, and others will 
be made prisoners. 

Mosby went up toward Upperville with his prisoners 
and his dead and wounded about midnight Wednesday. 
I reached the ground about 11.30 a.m. and remained in 
plain sight for about three hours ; then searched 
through all the woods and moved to Centreville, where 
I again waited an hour in hopes some stragglers would 
join us. We only picked up half a dozen, however. 
The soldiers and citizens all speak in high terms of 


the gallantry of the officers ; Major Forbes especially 
remained in the first field till every man had left it, 
emptied his revolver, and, in the second field, where 
Company A tried to stand, he disabled one man with 
his sabre, and lunged through Colonel Mosby's coat. 
His horse was then killed and fell on his leg, pinning him 
till he was compelled to surrender. 

More than ioo horses were taken. Accoutrements, 
arms, etc., will also be missing. I cannot yet give the 
precise number. 

Mosby's force is variously estimated at from 175 to 
200, Mrs. Davis and her daughter putting it at 250 to 
300 men. I think he had probably about 200. What 
his loss is I cannot say, as he picked up all his dead and 
wounded and took them off in the night. The Union 
people in Aldie report that he took them in five wagons. 
A wounded sergeant reports hearing the names of 3 or 
4 spoken of as killed ; one mortally wounded man was 
left on the ground. [Mosby actually lost seven men 
wounded. His force was about 175 men.] I think 
the chance was an excellent one to whip Mosby and 
take his gun. I have no doubt Major Forbes thought 
so, too, as the wounded men say there was not enough 
difference in numbers to talk about. The chance was 

The Campaign against Sheridan 

According to Grant's design, Sheridan left 
his base at Harper's Ferry on August 10, 1864, 
and started up the Shenandoah Valley. Grant's 
main object was to cut Lee's line of communi- 
cation with the southwest, for, if this were ac- 
complished, the inevitable result would be the 
fall of Richmond and the end of the war. It 
was immaterial whether Sheridan secured this 
result by defeating Early — who was defending 
the Valley — in battle or by pushing him south 
by flank movements. 

During this campaign of 1864, my battalion 
of six companies was the only force operating in 
the rear of Sheridan's army in the Shenandoah 
Valley. Our rendezvous was along the eastern 
base of the Blue Ridge, in what is known as the 
Piedmont region of Virginia. Fire and sword 
could not drive the people of that neighborhood 
from their allegiance to what they thought was 



right, and in the gloom of disaster and defeat 
they never wavered in their support of the Con- 
federate cause. The main object of my campaign 
was to vex and embarrass Sheridan and, if pos- 
sible, to prevent his advance into the interior 
of the State. But my exclusive attention was 
not given to Sheridan, for alarm was kept up 
continuously by threatening Washington and 
occasionally crossing the Potomac. We lived 
on the country where we operated and drew noth- 
ing from Richmond except the gray jackets my 
men wore. We were mounted, armed, and 
equipped entirely off the enemy, but, as we 
captured a great deal more than we could use, 
the surplus was sent to supply Lee's army. The 
mules we sent him furnished a large part of his 
transportation, and the captured sabres and 
carbines were turned over to his cavalry — we 
had no use for them. 

I believe I was the first cavalry commander 
who discarded the sabre as useless and consigned 
it to museums for the preservation of antiquities. 
My men were as little impressed by a body of 
cavalry charging them with sabres as though 
they had been armed with cornstalks. In the 
Napoleonic wars cavalry might sometimes ride 
down infantry armed with muzzle-loaders and 


flintlocks, because the infantry would be broken 
by the momentum of the charge before more 
than one effective fire could be delivered. At 
Eylau the French cavalry rode over the Russians 
in a snowstorm because the powder of the in- 
fantry was wet and they were defenceless. Fixed 
ammunition had not been invented. I think 
that my command reached the highest point of 
efficiency as cavalry because they were well armed 
with two six-shooters and their charges combined 
the effect of fire and shock. We were called 
bushwhackers, as a term of reproach, simply 
because our attacks were generally surprises, 
and we had to make up by celerity for lack of 
numbers. Now I never resented the epithet 
of "bushwhacker" — although there was no sol- 
dier to whom it applied less — because bush- 
whacking is a legitimate form of war, and it is 
just as fair and equally heroic to fire at an enemy 
from behind a bush as a breastwork or from the 
casemate of a fort. 

The Union cavalry who met us in combat 
knew that we always fought on the offensive 
in a mounted charge and with a pair of Colt's 
revolvers. I think we did more than any other 
body of men to give the Colt pistol its great reputa- 
tion. A writer on the history of cavalry cites 


as an example of the superiority of the revolver 
a fight that a squadron of my command, under 
Captain Dolly 1 Richards, had in the Shenan- 
doah Valley, in which more of the enemy were 
killed than the entire total by sabre in the 
Franco- Prussian War. But, to be effective, 
the pistol must, of course, be used at close 

• As I have said, during this campaign our opera- 
tions were not confined to this valley. The 
troops belonging to the defences of Washington 
and guarding the line of the Potomac were a 
portion of Sheridan's command. To prevent 
his being reinforced from this source, I made 
frequent attacks on the outposts in Fairfax and 
demonstrations along the Potomac. The Eighth 
Illinois Cavalry, the largest and regarded as the 
finest regiment in the Army of the Potomac, 
had been brought back to Washington, largely 
recruited, and stationed at Seneca (or Muddy 
Branch) on the river above Washington. There 
were a number of other detachments of cavalry 
on the Maryland side, and two regiments of 
cavalry in Fairfax. General Augur commanded 
at Washington. Stevenson, at Harper's Ferry, 
had nine thousand men, who were expected 

'Adolphus E. Richards. 


to keep employed in watching the canal and 

Sheridan wanted to take the Eighth Illinois to 
the Valley, but Augur objected, on the ground 
that they could not be spared from Washington. 

[Sheridan to Augur] 

Harper's Ferry, August 8, 1864. [The day after 
Sheridan took formal command of the Army 
of the Shenandoah.] 

What force have you at Edwards's and Noland's 
ferries? (On the Potomac.) Where is Colonel La- 
zelle posted? Mosby has about 200 cavalry at, or 
near, Point of Rocks. 

[Augur to Sheridan] 

Washington, D.C., August 3. 

Colonel Lazelle is posted at Falls Church (Fairfax 
County) and pickets from the Potomac near Difficult 
Creek to Orange and Alexandria Railroad. Major 
Waite (Eighth Illinois) has near 600 cavalry along the 
Potomac from Great Falls to the mouth of the Monoc- 
acy watching the different fords. 

[Sheridan to Augur] 

August 8th. 

Can the Eighth Illinois Cavalry be spared ? I 
find that the cavalry has been so scattered up here that 
it is no wonder that it has not done so well. 


[Augur to Sheridan] 

August 8th. 

The Eighth Illinois is scattered worse than anything 
you have. The headquarters of six companies are in 
General Wallace's department. Major Waite, with 
four companies, is guarding the Potomac between 
Great Falls and the Monocacy ; another company is 
near Port Tobacco, and another is with the Army of 
the Potomac. I do not see how Major Wake's com- 
mand can be spared, as I have no cavalry to replace it. 

[Sheridan to Augur] 

August 8th. 

Your dispatch in reference to the Eighth Illinois 
received. Colonel Lowell left about 6oo men of 
Gregg's cavalry division in support of Major Waite. 
They moved this morning towards the mouth of the 
Monocacy, and will remain in that vicinity. I will 
not change the Eighth Illinois Cavalry for the present. 

[Augur to Waite] 

Upper Potomac, August 8th. 

General Sheridan reports that Mosby, with about 
300 men, is at or near the Point of Rocks. Look 
out well for him. 

[Taylor to Augur] 

August 10th. 

General Sheridan has ordered concentration of 
the Eighth Illinois Cavalry at Muddy Branch to picket 


the river from Monocacy to Washington. The river 
is well guarded from mouth of Monocacy to Harper's 

[Sheridan to Augur] 

Charles Town, August 18th. 

Keep scouts out in Loudon County. I have 
ordered the Eighth Illinois Cavalry to rendezvous at 
Muddy Branch Station. The line of the Potomac 
should be watched carefully, and information be sent 
to me should any raiding parties attempt to cross. 

[Augur to Waite] 

August 1 8 th. 

Mosby is reported to have within reach and con- 
trol from 400 to 500 men and two pieces of artillery. 
It will be necessary for you to move with the utmost 

General Lee apprehended a raid by the 
cavalry from Washington on the Central Rail- 
road, and instructed me, if possible, to prevent 
it. The only way that I could do so was to excite 
continual alarm in their camps. Their outposts 
were often attacked all along their lines on the 
same night. This was the only way we could 
keep them at home. On the same day three 
or four different detachments would go out ; some 
to operate on Sheridan west of the ridge, some to 


keep Augur in remembrance of his duty to guard 
the Capital. 

Sheridan was obviously greatly solicitous about 
preserving his communications, for he knew that 
they were weak and a vital necessity for his army. 
He evidently had some information which in- 
creased his anxiety about his rear. One night, 
when his headquarters were at Berryville, I sent 
my best scout, John Russell, with two or three 
men, to reconnoitre, intending to deliver a blow 
at Sheridan's rear and thus cripple him by cutting 
off his supplies. John reported long trains pass- 
ing down along the valley pike. I started for 
the vicinity with some 250 men and two howitzers, 
one of which became an encumbrance by break- 
ing down. Through Snicker's Gap we crossed 
the Blue Ridge Mountains after sundown and 
passed over the Shenandoah River not far from 
Berryville. I halted at a barn for a good rest 
and sent Russell to see what was going on upon 
the pike. I was asleep when he returned with 
the news that a very large train was just passing 
along. The men sprang to their saddles. With 
Russell and some others I went on in advance 
to choose the best place for attack, directing 
Captain William Chapman to bring on the com- 
mand. About sunrise we were on a knoll from 

H. RAHM (in centre); SCOUT JOHN RUSSELL (at right) 

Detail from the painting, " Mosby and His Veterans," by Otto Walter Beck 
Copyright, I 91 7 


which we could get a good view of a great train 
of wagons moving along the road and a large 
drove of cattle with the train. The train was 
within a hundred yards of us, strongly guarded, 
but with flankers out. We were obscured by 
the mist, and, if noticed at all, were doubtless 
thought to be friends. I sent Russell to hurry 
up Chapman, who soon arrived. The howitzer 
was made ready. Richards, with his squadron, 
was sent to attack the front ; William Chapman 
and Glasscock were to attack them in the rear, 
while Sam Chapman was kept near me and the 

My scheme was nearly ruined by a ludicrous 
incident, the fun of which is more apparent now 
than it was then. The howitzer was unlimbered 
over a yellow-jacket's nest. When one of the 
men had rescued the howitzer, a shell was sent 
screaming among the wagons, beheading a mule. 
The shot was like thunder from a clear sky, and 
the mist added to the enemy's perplexity. This 
shot was our signal to charge, and we met little 
resistance. Panic reigned along their line, and 
I only lost two men killed and three wounded. 
Before the fighting ended, as I knew that the 
guard would soon recover from the panic, I had 
men unhitching mules, burning wagons, and hurry- 


ing prisoners and spoils to the rear. There were 
325 wagons, guarded by Kenly's brigade and a 
large force of cavalry. They had not stopped 
to find out our numbers. We set a paymaster's 
wagon on fire, which contained — this we did 
not know at the time — $125,000. I deployed 
skirmishers as a mask, until my command, the 
prisoners, and booty were well across the Shenan- 
doah River. We took between 500 and 600 horses, 
200 beeves, and many useful stores ; destroyed 
seventy-five loaded wagons, and carried off 200 
prisoners, including seven officers/ 

The following dispatches illustrate the char- 
acter and effect of my partisan operations in 
Sheridan's rear. 

[Stevenson to Sheridan] 

Harper's Ferry, Aug. 17th. 

Finding all trains threatened by guerillas, and that 
they are in force, largely increased by a concentration 
of several organizations under Mosby [there had been 
no such concentration], making the vicinity of Charles 
Town their theater of operations, I am of opinion that 
the only safety of our trains and couriers is the posting 
of a force at Charles Town, with General Duffie, at 
Berryville, and one thousand of Averell's force at 
Charles Town, with orders by constant scouting to 
keep the country clear. I think we can send forward 


everything without loss. As matters now stand no 
small party of trains with small guard is safe. 

[Stevenson to Averell] 

August 17th. 

Rebels occupy Charles Town (in Sheridan's rear) 
with small force this evening. Attacked party of 
couriers coming in about five o'clock, capturing two 
of them ; heard nothing of your command. A large 
supply train will start from here in the morning, so 
as to reach Charles Town by 6 a.m. Have but a 
small guard. If you could have a force at that point 
before the train to join escort and move with it to 
Berryville, it would secure the safety of train. Mosby, 
with his command, is waiting to attack train, and will 
capture it, if possible. The supplies are needed at the 
front, and will be put through by all means. 

[Lazelle to Augur] 

Fairfax County, August 9th. 

I have the honor to report that two parties sent out 
from this command, consisting of thirty men each, 
met yesterday afternoon at Fairfax Station, and that 
while united and acting together were attacked by a 
force of rebels, variously estimated at from forty to 
fifty men, and were completely dispersed and routed. 
Citizens report that Mosby himself was in command 
of the rebels. So far as known, our loss is as follows : 
Captain J. H. Fleming, Sixteenth New York Cavalry, 
missing ; thirty- three men missing. Thirty-nine 


horses missing. The number of the killed and 
wounded is not yet known. Captain Fleming, who at 
the time of the attack had command of the party, is 
reported killed. 

[Captain Harrison to Kelly] 

Martinsburg, August 14th. 

Several of our scouts here say they cannot get 
through to Sheridan, Mosby having driven them back. 

[Lazelle to De Russy] 

Fairfax County, August 24th. 

The attack at Annandale has ceased, and the rebels 
withdrew, perhaps with the intention of attacking some 
other part of my picket line. The attacking party is 
said to have consisted of from less than 200 to 300, even 
to 500 men, with two pieces of artillery, all under Mosby. 

[Augur to Sheridan] 

Washington, September 1st. 

Major Waite has returned from Upperville, in the 
vicinity of Snicker's Gap ; reports no rebel forces in 
that vicinity, except Mosby's. 

[Lazelle to Augur] 

September 1st. 

Last night at about 10.30 o'clock one of our pickets 
was attacked near this camp ; the attacking party was 
driven off, with a loss to the rebels of one horse, and it 


is believed one man wounded. About the same hour 
the picket posts on the Braddock Road and on the 
road to Falls Church and Annandale, were attacked 
simultaneously and driven in. This morning at about 
6 A.M., one of our pickets, about half a mile west of 
the village of Falls Church, was attacked and one vi- 
dette captured. Late to-day two of our picket posts 
between here and Annandale were attacked at about the 
same time by a force of between twenty and thirty 
men. Five men were captured and seven horses, 
while four men escaped. At about the same hour the 
picket post on the Little River pike, towards Fair- 
fax Court House, from Annandale, was attacked, and 
one sergeant and a horse were wounded ; two men and 
three horses captured. 

[Augur to Lazelle] 

September 1st. 

I have reliable information that Mosby is still 
lying in the woods in front of your lines, and expects 
to make an attack to-night somewhere upon it. Please 
have all your men on duty notified of this, that they 
may be on their guard and take proper precautions. 
If not successful to-night, he proposes to remain until 
he strikes some important blow. 

[Gansevoort to Augur] 

Fairfax, September 19th. 

Information considered very reliable has reached 
here to-day that in the skirmish with the Thirteenth 


New York Cavalry, on the last scout of that regiment, 
Colonel Mosby was seriously wounded, a pistol bullet 
striking the handle of the pistol in his belt and glanc- 
ing off in his groin. He was able, however, to ride 
off, but soon fainted, and was carried in a wagon to a 
place of safety. 

[Lazelle to Augur] 

September 29th. 

Private Henry Smith, of Company H, Thirteenth 
New York Cavalry, is the man who wounded him 
(Mosby). It was a bold deed, and Smith deserves 
credit for it. 

[Sheridan to Augur] 

Strassburg, September 21st. 

I wish you to send to Winchester all the available 
troops possible to the number of between four thousand 
to five thousand, without delay, to relieve the troops 
left there to guard my communication. If necessity 
should require, they can be returned at short notice. 

[Stevenson to Stanton] 

Harper's Ferry, Sept. 26th. 

Both of my last courier parties were attacked by 
Rebel cavalry ; dispersed part of them, capturing the 
first party at Strassburg, the second at a point between 
Charles Town and Bunker Hill. Message No. 31 was 
sent by both parties, and both have failed. I shall 
try another duplicate to-night. The country between 


this and Sheridan yesterday and to-day seemed to be 
alive with parties of Rebel guerillas and cavalry. Last 
night they attacked ambulances with scout of seven- 
teen men between this and Charles Town ; severely 
wounded Sergeant of Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry. 
I doubt if we should be able to get any dispatches 
through without sending much larger body of cavalry 
than I can get hold of. I have but small force for such 
duty, and it is badly worn down. 

[Edwards to Neil] 
Martinsburg-Winchester, Oct. 2d. 

The train that left Martinsburg arrived here last 
night. I have no forces here to escort it to the front, 
except 400 cavalry (and 100 of these cannot be relied 
on) ; also, some straggling infantry, without organiza- 
tion, numbering 300 men. I have detained the train 
here on account of insufficiency in men to properly 
guard it. A train of its size to go through the country 
where it has to should have an escort of at least 2000 
men with it. Captain Blazer, of the Independent 
Scouts, comes in this morning and reports Mosby's 
command hovering in the neighborhood of Newtown, 
etc. No escort with dispatches can get through with 
less than 500 cavalry. 

[Stevenson to Stanton] 

Harper's Ferry, Oct. 1st. 

There are no organized troops of enemy in Valley 
this side of Staunton, except Mosby's guerillas. 


[Neil to Stanton] 

Martinsburg, September 30th. 

About 300 or 400 guerillas are operating between 
Winchester and Bunker Hill. I do not consider my 
post safe unless I have stronger force to protect the 
large amount of Government property rapidly collect- 
ing here. 

As the Federal dispatches said, I was wounded 
on September 14, four days before the battle 
of Winchester. But it was hardly the bold deed 
Lazelle described. Two of my men, Tom Love 
and Guy Broadwater, and myself met five of 
the enemy's cavalry in Fairfax. As we were 
within a few yards of each other, we all fired at 
the same time. Two of the enemy's horses fell 
dead, and I was seriously wounded. The other 
three cavalry then fled full speed with Love and 
Broadwater after them until I called them back 
to my assistance. We then left the other men 
under the dead horses, and I was carried, for 
safety, to my father's home near Lynchburg. 
Captain William Chapman commanded my battal- 
ion during my absence. 

On the day after I was wounded, 400 of Sheri- 
dan's cavalry came over the Blue Ridge at night, 
expecting, by aid of a spy, to capture a good 
many of my men. The expedition was com- 


manded by General George H. Chapman of 
Indianapolis. He caught several of my men 
and started back, with Captain Chapman in 
pursuit of the General. Captain Chapman did 
not go on his trail, but took a road running along 
the top of the Blue Ridge in order to intercept 
the Union troops before they got to the Shenan- 
doah River. It was an excessively hot day and 
the Union troops had ridden all night. The 
General had heard of my being wounded and 
may have calculated that my command was 
disorganized or would be less active. So when 
the troops reached Snicker's Gap, all lay down 
in the shade and went to sleep. Captain Chap- 
man soon came plunging down the mountain- 
side like an avalanche and was firing among the 
men before they were awake. They had not 
expected an enemy to come like a bolt from 
the sky, and the attack caused a general stampede. 
All the prisoners were recaptured, and many of 
the enemy were killed, wounded, and captured. 
General Chapman returned to camp and wrote 
in his report : 

About an hour had elapsed and the men had mostly 
fallen asleep, when they were suddenly charged upon 
by a force of from fifty to eighty of the enemy, and, 
being stampeded by the surprise, a number were 


killed, wounded, and captured before I reached the 
scene of the encounter with the main body. They 
had approached the Gap across the mountains and 
charged down an easy slope, and they retired the 
same way, pursued for two miles by my men. It was 
near sundown, and in the exhausted state of men and 
horses, I did not deem further pursuit expedient. 

Captain Tompson had captured twelve of the enemy 
but they were recaptured. From citizens I ascertained 
that Mosby was wounded some time ago and had gone 
to Richmond. Judging from indications, I should 
estimate the force operating under Mosby and his 
colleague at from 200 to 250. If they have any en- 
campment it must be in the neighborhood and beyond 

It will be observed that General Chapman 
did not say that he was bushwhacked. 

But these constant raids aroused the Federal 
officers to such an extent that on September 22 
they attempted to take revenge by hanging some 
of my men. 

An eye witness described the scene in a Con- 
federate newspaper as follows : 

The Yankee Cavalry, under General Torbert, entered 
the town (Front Royal), and drove out the four Con- 
federates on picket, who fell back to Milford. At 
this latter point General Wickham met the Yankee 
force and repulsed it. A part of Mosby's men, under 


Captain Chapman, annoyed the enemy very much 
on their return to Front Royal, which, with the morti- 
fication of their defeat by Wickham, excited them to 
such savage doings as to prompt them to murder six 
of our men who fell into their hands. Anderson, 
Overby, Love, and Rhodes were shot and Carter and 
one other, whose name our informant did not recollect, 
were hung to the limb of a tree at the entrance of the 
village. . . . Henry Rhodes was quite a youth, 
living with his widowed mother and supporting her 
by his labor. He did not belong to Mosby's command. 
His mother entreated them to spare the life of her son 
and treat him as a prisoner of war, but the demons 
answered by whetting their sabres on some stones and 
declaring they would cut his head off and hers too, if 
she came near. They ended by shooting him in her 
presence. The murders were committed on the 22nd 
day of September, Generals Torbert, Merritt, and 
Custer being present. It is said that Torbert and 
Merritt turned the prisoners over to Custer for the 
purpose of their execution. 

An account in the Richmond Examiner was as 
follows : 

On Friday last Mosby's men attacked a wagon 
train, which was protected by a whole brigade, so that 
their charge was repelled with the loss of six prisoners. 
Two of their prisoners the Yankees immediately hung 
to a neighboring tree, placing around their necks 
placards bearing the inscription, 'Hung in retaliation 


for the Union officer killed after he had surrendered 
— the fate of Mosby's men.' The other four of our 
prisoners were tied to stakes and mercilessly shot 
through the skull, each one individually. One of 
those hung was a famous soldier named Overby, from 
Georgia. When the rope was placed around his neck 
by his inhuman captors, he told them that he was 
one of Mosby's men, and that he was proud to die as a 
Confederate soldier, and that his death was sweetened 
with the assurance that Colonel Mosby would swing in 
the wind ten Yankees for every man they murdered. 

This action on the part of the enemy led to 
my writing the following letter : 

November II, 1864. 

Major General P. H. Sheridan, 

Commanding U. S. Forces in the Valley. 

General : 

Some time in the month of September, during my 
absence from my command, six of my men who had 
been captured by your forces, were hung and shot in 
the streets of Front Royal, by order and in the imme- 
diate presence of Brigadier-General Custer. Since 
then another (captured by a Colonel Powell on a 
plundering expedition into Rappahannock) shared a 
similar fate. A label affixed to the coat of one of the 
murdered men declared "that this would be the fate 
of Mosby and all his men." 

Since the murder of my men, not less than seven 


hundred prisoners, including many officers of high 
rank, captured from your army by this command 
have been forwarded to Richmond ; but the execution 
of my purpose of retaliation was deferred, in order, 
as far as possible, to confine its operation to the men 
of Custer and Powell. Accordingly, on the 6th instant, 
seven of your men were, by my order, executed on the 
Valley Pike — your highway of travel. 

Hereafter, any prisoners falling into my hands will 
be treated with the kindness due to their condition, 
unless some new act of barbarity shall compel me, 
reluctantly, to adopt a line of policy repugnant to 

Very respectfully, 

your obedient servant, 

John S. Mosby, 
Lieut. Colonel. 

No further "acts of barbarity" were committed 
on my men. 

Although Sheridan defeated Early in the battle 
at Winchester, on September 19, 1864, and was 
urged by Grant to move on south, press Early, 
and end the war, he really made no farther prog- 
ress and spent the winter, with an overwhelming 
force, where he had won a victory in September. 
On September 23, after Fisher's Hill, Grant had 
telegraphed him, "Keep on and you will cause 
the fall of Richmond." 


On the twenty-ninth Sheridan wrote to Grant 
from Harrisonburg : 

My impression is that most of the troops which 
Early had left passed through these mountains to 
Charlottesville. Kershaw's division came to his assist- 
ance and, I think, passed along the west base of the 
mountain to Waynesboro. The advance of my in- 
fantry is at Mount Crawford, eight miles south of 
Harrisonburg. From the most reliable accounts 
Early's army was completely broken up and dispirited. 
It will be exceedingly difficult for me to carry the in- 
fantry over the mountains and strike at the Central 
road. I cannot accumulate stores to do so, and think 
it best to take some position near Front Royal and 
operate with cavalry and infantry. 

In reply to Grant's dispatch a few days before 
he had said, "I am now about eighty miles 
from Martinsburg, and find it exceedingly diffi- 
cult to supply this army." 

Grant rejoined : 

Your victories have caused the greatest consterna- 
tion. If you can possibly subsist your army to the 
front for a few days more, do it, and make a great effort 
to destroy the roads about Charlottesville, and the 
canal wherever your cavalry can reach. 

If this advice had been acted on, Sheridan's 
army would have been thrown into the rear of 
General Lee. Grant did not, of course, mean 


that Sheridan should stop at Charlottesville. 
He wanted him first to gain a foothold there, 
accumulate supplies by the Orange Railroad, 
and make it a new starting point for further 

The Orange and Alexandria Railroad runs 
south by Gordonsville and Charlottesville to 
Lynchburg. From Manassas Junction — twenty- 
five miles from Washington — a branch road 
runs west through the Blue Ridge to Front Royal 
and Strassburg. It was assumed that if the 
Northern army held the Manassas Gap line, my 
command would retire south of the Rappahan- 
nock. In this way a double purpose would be 
effected ; a more convenient line of supplies 
would be secured, as well as the annexation of 
more territory to the United States. The sequel 
shows that I had not been consulted. 

Without securing the fruits of his victory, on 
October 6 Sheridan began his retrograde move- 
ment, no doubt much to Grant's chagrin. 

On October 3 Grant telegraphed Sheridan : 

You may take up such position in the Valley as you 
think can and ought to be held, and send all the force 
not required for this immediately here. I will direct 
the Railroad to be pushed towards Front Royal, so 
that you may send our troops back that way. 


[Halleck to Sheridan] 

October 3rd. 

The Orange and Alexandria road was repaired 
to the Rappahannock, in the expectation that you 
would pursue the enemy through the mountains and 
receive your supplies from Culpeper. By General 
Grant's order, the workmen have been changed to the 
Manassas Gap road, which will be opened to Front 

On October 4 Halleck said to Grant, with ref- 
erence to the opening and holding the railroad 
from Alexandria to Front Royal : 

In order to keep up my communication on this line 
to Manassas Gap and Shenandoah Valley, it will be 
necessary to send south all rebel inhabitants between 
that line and the Potomac, and also to clean out 
Mosby's gang of robbers, who have so long infested 
that district of country ; and I respectfully suggest 
that Sheridan's cavalry should be required to accom- 
plish this object before it is sent elsewhere. The 
two small regiments (Thirteenth and Sixteenth New 
York, stationed in Fairfax) under General Augur, 
have been so often cut up by Mosby's band that 
they are cowed and useless for that purpose. If 
these dispositions are approved and carried out, it 
will not be necessary to keep so large a force at 
Harper's Ferry and guarding the canal and Baltimore 
and Ohio Railroad. 


By sending some of Sheridan's troops to Grant, 
it was calculated that through the sudden aug- 
mentation of Grant's strength, he could make a 
successful assault on Lee at Petersburg before 
Early's troops could reach him, or to extend his 
lines so as to seize the Southside Railroad. This 
combination was defeated. 

The following dispatch (October 4) from Steven- 
son at Harper's Ferry, to Edwards at Winchester, 
is significant as showing the dangers that beset 
Sheridan's line of supply. 

Escorts with dispatches have to cut their way and 
generally lose half their men. I think a train of 200 
wagons should have an escort of one thousand infantry 
and 500 cavalry going to the front. The train going 
out this morning will have nearly 1500 escort. I do 
not think I overestimate the danger between here and 

Although I was still on crutches, I had now 
resumed command of my men. On October 4 
a body of infantry, with construction force, came 
up on the Manassas road ; they could not have 
anticipated any resistance, as they had only a 
single company of cavalry for couriers, and 
General Augur did not accompany them. The 
next day I attacked this force, and General Lee 
reported the results to the Secretary of War : 


Chaffin's Bluff, October 9, 1864. 
Hon. James A. Seddon, Secretary of War : 

Colonel Mosby reports that a body of about a 
thousand of the enemy advanced up the Manassas 
road on the 4th, with trains of cars loaded with rail- 
road material, and occupied Salem and Rectortown. 
He attacked them at Salem, defeating them, capturing 
fifty prisoners, all their baggage, camp equipage, 
stores, etc., and killed and wounded a considerable 
number. His loss, two wounded. The enemy is now 
entrenched at Rectortown, with two long trains of 
cars. The railroad is torn up and bridges burned in 
their rear, and all communications cut. 

All work repairing the railroad was stopped, 
and both the soldiers and workmen went to build- 
ing stockades for their own safety. A courier 
was sent immediately to Gordonsville with a 
telegram to General Lee informing him of the 
movement on the railroad. In reply General 
Lee said, "Your success at Salem gives great 
satisfaction. Do all in your power to prevent 
reconstruction of the road." 

[The following undated fragment of letter to 
Mrs. Mosby probably refers to this action, — see 
page 331.] 

... at Salem, and completely routed them. 
Captured fifty prisoners, and all their baggage, tents, 
rations, etc. Yesterday in a fight near the Plains my 


horse (or rather yours) ran entirely through the 
Yankees in a charge. He was badly shot and tumbled 
over me, but we whipped them. They are camped 
all along the railroad. Bowie, Ames, have both been 
killed. I don't think the Yankees will be here long. 
I will bring you all over as soon [as they leave the 
Manassas railroad]. 

The intentions cf the enemy were now plainly 
developed, and it was my duty to do all I could 
to defeat them. To do so with my slender means 
looked a good deal like going to sea in a saucer. 
The troops at Salem fled to Rectortown, where 
the railroad runs through a gorge. Here they 
took shelter. On the sixth and seventh we 
shelled them to keep them on the defensive. My 
guns could not be depressed sufficiently to do 
them much damage, but the enemy kept under 

On the seventh of October, from Woodstock, 
Sheridan sent the following dispatch to General 
Grant : 

I commenced moving back yesterday morning. I 
would have preferred sending troops to you by 
the Baltimore and Ohio Road. It would have been 
the quickest and most concealed way of sending them. 
The keeping open of the road to Front Royal will 
require large guards to protect it against a very small 
number of partisan troops. 


At the same time Sheridan requested Halleck 
not to send railroad transportation to Front 
Royal, as he might be delayed. It will be remem- 
bered that in his dispatch to General Grant 
on September 29, he had suggested falling 
back to Front Royal and operating from there as 
a base. Unless he used the railroad, his supplies 
would have to be brought by wagons from 
Harper's Ferry. On the same day he said to 
Halleck : 

I have been unable to communicate more frequently 
on account of the operations of guerillas in my rear. 
They have attacked every party, and I have sent my 
dispatches with a view of economizing as much as 

Sheridan went to Front Royal to see to the em- 
barkation of 10,000 troops for Grant, but he 
found nothing but a roadbed without iron. The 
troops remained there for three days waiting for 
Augur to build the road, but he could not do it ; 
his troops had all they could do to take care of 
themselves, for my men were rather active those 

In the following dispatch to Halleck, Sheridan 
admitted that he did not use the railroad because 
Augur could not repair it : 


October 12th. 

I have ordered the Sixth Corps (except one brigade 
now at Winchester) to march to Alexandria to-morrow 
morning. I have ordered General Augur to concen- 
trate all his forces at Manassas Junction or Bull Run 
until he hears from me. He could not complete the 
railroad to Front Royal without additional forces from 
me, and to give him that force to do the work and 
transport the troops by rail to Alexandria would 
require more time. 


The Greenback Raid 

Throughout the fall and winter of 1864 I 
kept up an incessant warfare on Sheridan and 
his communications. On October 12 I wrote to 
my wife : 

Near Middleburg. 
My dearest Pauline : 

I have been engaged in a perpetual strife with the 
Yankees ever since my arrival. They are now en- 
gaged in repairing the railroad (Manassas). I at- 
tacked a camp of 800. . . . 

As we operated in Sheridan's rear, the railroad 
that brought his supplies was his weak point 
and consequently our favorite object of attack. 
For security it had to be closely guarded by de- 
tachments of troops, which materially reduced 
his offensive strength. We kept watch for un- 
guarded points, and the opportunity they offered 
was never lost. 

Early in October one of my best men, Jim 
Wiltshire, afterwards a prominent physician in 


DR. J. WILTSHIRE (at left); MAJOR A. E. RICHARDS (at right) 

Detail from the painting " Mosby and His Veterans," by Otto Walter Beck 
Copyright, 1917 


Baltimore, discovered and reported to me a gap 
through which we might penetrate between the 
guards and reach that railroad without exciting 
an alarm. It was a hazardous enterprise, as 
there were camps along the line and frequent com- 
munication between them, but I knew it would 
injure Sheridan to destroy a train and compel 
him to place stronger guards on the road. So I 
resolved to take the risk. Jim Wiltshire had a 
time-table and we knew the minute when the 
train was due and so timed our arrival that we 
would not have to wait long. 

There was great danger of our being discovered 
by the patrols on the road and our presence re- 
ported to the camps that were near. The sit- 
uation was critical, but we were so buoyant with 
hope that we did not realize it. The western- 
bound passenger train was selected from the 
schedule as I knew it would create a greater sen- 
sation to burn it than any other ; it was due about 
two o'clock in the morning. Wiltshire conducted 
us to a long, deep cut on the railroad. No patrol 
or picket was in sight. I preferred derailing the 
train in a cut to running it off an embankment, 
because there would be less danger of the pas- 
sengers being hurt. People who travel on a rail- 
road in a country where military operations are 


going on take the risk of all these accidents of 
war. I was not conducting an insurance business 
on life or property. 

It was a lovely night, bright and clear, with a 
big Jack Frost on the ground. I believe that 
I was the only member of my command who went 
through the war without a watch, but all of my 
men had watches, and we knew it would not be 
long before the train would be due. Videttes 
were sent out, and the men were ordered to lie 
down on the bank of the railroad and keep quiet. 
We had ridden all day and were tired and sleepy, 
so we were soon peacefully dreaming. I laid my 
head in the lap of one of my men, Curg Hutchinson, 
and fell asleep. For some reason — I suppose 
it was because we were sleeping so soundly — we 
did not hear the train coming until it got up in 
the cut, and I was aroused and astounded by an 
explosion and a crash. As we had displaced a 
rail, the engine had run off the track, the boiler 
burst, and the air was filled with red-hot cinders 
and escaping steam. A. good description of the 
scene can be found in Dante's "Inferno." Above 
all could be heard the screams of the passengers — 
especially women. The catastrophe came so sud- 
denly that my men at first seemed to be stunned 
and bewildered. Knowing that the railroad guards 


would soon hear of it and that no time was to be 
lost, I ran along the line and pushed my men 
down the bank, ordering them to go to work 
pulling out the passengers and setting fire to 
the cars. 

By this time Curg Hutchinson had recovered 
from the shock and had jumped on the train. 
When the train came up, he was snoring and 
dreaming that he was in Hell ; and when he was 
awakened by the crash, he found himself breathing 
steam and in a sparkling shower. He had no 
doubt then that his dream was not all a dream. 
But he recovered his senses when I gave him a 
push, and he slid down a bank. 

It did not take long to pull out the passengers. 
While all of this was going on, I stood on the 
bank giving directions to the men. One of them 
reported to me that a car was filled with Ger- 
mans, and that they would not get out. I told 
him, "Set fire to the car and burn the Dutch, if 
they won't come out." They were immigrants 
going west to locate homesteads and did not 
understand a word of English, or what all this 
meant. They had through tickets and thought 
they had a right to keep their seats. There was 
a lot of New York Heralds on the train for Sheri- 
dan's army. So my men circulated the papers 


through the train and applied matches. Sud- 
denly there was a grand illumination. The Ger- 
mans now took in the situation and came tumbling, 
all in a pile, out of the flames. I hope they all 
lived to be naturalized and get homes. They 
ought not to blame me, but Sheridan ; it was his 
business, not mine, to protect them. 

While we were helping the passengers to climb 
the steep bank, one of my men, Cab Maddux, 
who had been sent off as a vidette to watch the 
road, came dashing up and cried out that the 
Yankees were coming. I immediately gave or- 
ders to mount quickly and form, and one was sent 
to find out if the report was true. He soon came 
back and said it was not. The men then dis- 
mounted and went to work again. I was very 
mad with Cab for almost creating a stampede and 
told him that I had a good mind to have him 
shot. Cab was quick-witted, but, seeing how 
angry I was, said nothing then. But he often 
related the circumstance after the war. His 
well-varnished account of it was that I ordered 
him to be shot at sunrise, that he said he hoped 
it would be a foggy morning, and that I was so 
much amused by his reply that I relented and 
pardoned him. Years afterwards Cab confessed 
why he gave the false alarm. He said he heard 


the noise the train made when it ran off the track 
and knew the men were gathering the spoils and 
did not think it was fair for him to be away picket- 
ing for their benefit. He also said that after he 
got to the burning cars he made up for lost time. 

A great many ludicrous incidents occurred. 
One lady ran up to me and exclaimed, "Oh, my 
father is a Mason !" I had no time to say any- 
thing but, "I can't help it." One passenger 
claimed immunity for himself on the ground that 
he was a member of an aristocratic church in 

Just as Cab dashed up, two of my men, Charlie 
Dear and West Aldridge, came to me and reported 
that they had two U. S. Paymasters with their 
satchels of greenbacks. Knowing it would be 
safer to send them out by a small party, which 
could easily elude the enemy, one of my lieu- 
tenants, Charlie Grogan, was detailed with two 
or three men to take them over the ridge to our 

Whether my men got anything in the shape of 
pocketbooks, watches, or other valuable articles, 
I never inquired, and I was too busy attending to 
the destroying of the train to see whether they 
did. We left all the civilians, including the ladies, 
to keep warm by the burning cars, and the sol- 


diers were taken with us as prisoners. Among 
the latter was a young German lieutenant who 
had just received a commission and was on his 
way to join his regiment in Sheridan's army. I 
was attracted by his personal appearance, struck 
up a conversation with him, and rode by him for 
several miles. He was dressed in a fine beaver- 
cloth overcoat ; high boots, and a new hat with 
gilt cord and tassel. After we were pretty well 
acquainted, I said to him, "We have done you no 
harm. Why did you come over here to fight 
us?" "Oh," he said, "I only come to learn de 
art of war." I then left him and rode to the head 
of the column, as the enemy were about, and 
there was a prospect of a fight. It was not long 
before the German came trotting up to join me. 
There had been such a metamorphosis that I 
scarcely recognized him. One of my men had 
exchanged his old clothes with him for his new 
ones, and he complained about it. I asked him 
if he had not told me that he came to Virginia 
to learn the art of war. 
"Yes," he replied. 

"Very well," I said, "this is your first lesson." 

Now it must not be thought that the habit of 

appropriating the enemy's goods was peculiar to 

my men — through all ages it has been the 

4J l"» 

£ £ 

^ 2 


custom of war. Not long after this incident I 
had to suffer from the same operation — was 
shot at night and stripped of my clothes. Forty 
years afterwards a lady returned to me the hat 
which I was wearing. She said that her uncle, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Coles of the regiment that 
captured it, had given it to her as a relic of the 
war. That is war. I am willing to admit, however, 
that in a statement of mutual accounts at that 
time my men were largely in debt to Sheridan's 

Before we reached the Shenandoah River, a 
citizen told us that a Captain Blazer was roving 
around the neighborhood looking for us. He 
commanded a picked corps, armed with Spencer 
carbines — seven-shooters — that had been as- 
signed by Sheridan to the special duty of looking 
for me. My men had had an easy time capturing 
the train, and, although they were not indifferent 
to greenbacks, their mettle was up when they 
heard that "Old Blaze", as they called him, was 
about. They were eager for a fight in which they 
could win more laurels. It was not long before 
we struck Blazer's trail and saw his camp fires 
where he had spent the night. I could no longer 
restrain the men — they rushed into the camp "as 
reapers descend to the harvests of death." But 


Blazer was gone ! He was a bold but cautious 
commander and had left before daybreak. But 
this only postponed his fate for a few weeks, when 
Captain Dolly Richards met him near the same 
spot and wiped him out forever. 

We crossed the Shenandoah and Blue Ridge 
before noon and found Grogan's party with the 
greenbacks waiting for us at the appointed place 
in Loudoun County. The men were ordered to 
dismount and fall in line, and three were ap- 
pointed — Charlie Hall, Mountjoy, and Fount 
Beattie — to open the satchels and count the 
money in their presence. I ordered it to be di- 
vided equally among them and no distinction 
to be made between officers and men. My com- 
mand was organized under an act of the Con- 
federate Congress to raise partisan corps ; it ap- 
plied the principle of maritime prize law to land 
war. Of course, the motive of the act was to 
stimulate enterprise. 

The burning of this train in the midst of Sheri- 
dan's troops and the capture of his paymasters 
created a great sensation. Of course, the rail- 
road people thought that Sheridan had not given 
adequate protection to their road. The follow- 
ing dispatch shows what General Lee thought of 
the importance of the blow I struck. 


Chaffin's Bluff, 
October 16th, 1864. 

On the 14th instant Colonel Mosby struck the 
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at Duffield's, destroyed 
U. S. military train consisting of locomotive and ten 
cars, securing twenty prisoners and fifteen horses. 
Amongst the prisoners are two paymasters with 
$168,000 in Government funds. 

(Signed) R. E. Lee, General. 
Hon. James A. Seddon, Secretary of War. 

The paymasters and other prisoners were sent 
south to prison, and one of them, Major Ruggles, 
died there. They were unjustly charged with 
being in collusion with me, but their capture was 
simply an ordinary incident of war. As the 
Government held them responsible for the loss 
of the funds, they had to apply to Congress for 
relief. After the war, Major Moore came to see 
me to get a certificate of the fact that I had cap- 
tured the money. The certificate stated that my 
report to General Lee of $168,000 captured was 
based upon erroneous information and was sent 
off before I had received the report of the com- 
missioners appointed to count and distribute the 
money. The sum captured was $173,000. 

The attack was made on the train on the night 
of October 13 between Martinsburg and Har- 


per's Ferry. During the day, as the following 
dispatch shows, we had operated on the Valley 
Pike and moved at night to the railroad. 

[Seward, at Martinsburg, to Stevenson, at 
Harper's Ferry] 

Four scouts have just arrived and reported that 
they were attacked about eight miles this side of Win- 
chester by a party of fifty guerrillas this afternoon. 
They all seem to be positive that they were attacked 
by Mosby's men and that Mosby with one foot bound 
up was with them. 

It is true that I was there and with one foot 
bound up. In fact I had on only one boot. I 
suppose the scouts heard this from some citizen 
who saw me. A few days before my horse had 
been shot in a fight, and a Yankee cavalryman 
rode over me. His horse trod on my foot and 
bruised it so that for some time I could wear only 
a sock and had to use a cane when I walked. I 
was in this condition when we captured the train. 

[Stanton, Secretary of War, to Stevenson, Harper's 


Washington, October 14, 1864. 

It is reported from Martinsburg that the railroad has 
been torn up and a paymaster and his funds captured. 


When and where did this occur and have any measures 
been taken for recapture ? Immediate answer. 

[Stevenson to Stanton] 

Just heard from captured train. The attacking 
party was part of Mosby's command. They removed 
a rail, causing train to be thrown off track, then robbed 
the passengers and burned train. The point of 
attack was about two miles east of Kearneysville, 
about 2.30 a.m. Paymasters Moore and Ruggles 
with their funds were captured and carried off. . . . 
General Seward telegraphs that his courier parties 
were attacked last night twice by Mosby's command 
between Bunker Hill and Winchester and dispersed. 

[Stevenson to Stanton] 

The cavalry sent out in pursuit of Mosby's guer- 
rillas, who burned the train, have returned. Report 
they failed to overtake them. They learned that they 
moved off in the direction of the Shenandoah and 
having several hours' start, succeeded in getting away 
with their prisoners and plunder. 

At that time there were a number of paymasters 
at Martinsburg on their way to pay off Sheridan's 
soldiers, and they were now in a state of blockade. 
One of them who was shut up there said in a 
dispatch : 

I have my funds in the parlor of the United States 
Hotel here, guarded by a regiment. The express train 


was burned eight miles west of Harper's Ferry between 
2 and 3 o'clock this A.M. Major Ruggles' clerk es- 
caped and is now with me. . . . General Seward, 
who is in command here, says he will use all his efforts 
to protect us and our money. I shall make no move 
till I can do so with safety. 

The following telegram from Stevenson to Sheri- 
dan shows his anxiety about the safety of the 
trains and that Sheridan had as much cause to 
give his attention to his rear as to his front : 

Mosby has now concentrated his guerrillas in your 
rear and commenced operations ; burning railroad 
trains, robbing passengers, which without cavalry I 
am powerless to prevent. He at the same time 
threatens all your supply trains. 

[Stevenson to Halleck] 

At least iooo good cavalry should be attached to 
this command to protect us against the sudden dashes 
of the guerrilla organizations infesting this part of 
the country. [My battalion was the only Confederate 
force in that region.] If I had this cavalry I could 
safely say Mosby could not reach the railroad. 

But our operations that day were not confined 
to the Shenandoah Valley, but extended east of 
the Blue Ridge to the vicinity of Washington, 
where preparations were made to keep us south 
of the Potomac. Later in the same day we cap- 


tured the train ten miles west of Harper's Ferry. 
Captain William Chapman, with two companies 
of my battalion, crossed the Potomac a few miles 
east of it and struck the canal and railroad in 
Maryland. The alarm caused by the burning of 
the train in the morning had not subsided before 
news came of a fresh attack on the road at an- 
other point, and troops were hurried from Balti- 
more and other places to meet it. But, of course, 
when the troops got there, the damage had been 
done and my men had gone. 

[Stevenson to French] 

Move with all your available cavalry at once to 
Point of Rocks, Md. ; unite your force with the forces 
in that vicinity and attack a body of rebel cavalry near 

[Lawrence, A. A. G., to Halleck] 

Bal't., Oct. 14th, 1864. 

The enemy was at Buckeyestown, four miles from 
the Monocacy, at 4 p.m. this evening. 

Another dispatch said : 

All lost. Even citizens were passing through here 
from Poolsville with horses to get away from the 
rebels. They report 2000 rebels between there and 


[Prescott Smith to President Garrett of the Balti- 
more and Ohio Railroad] 

October 15. 

We have no fresh alarms but the two affairs badly 
damaged the working of the road and will involve an 
immense loss to the company in every way. 

This meant that the railroad must be more 
strongly guarded if communication was to be 
kept up between the Shenandoah Valley, Wash- 
ington, and Baltimore. Troops were rushed from 
many points to guard the railroad and the canal. 
My object had then been accomplished. 


Last Days in the Valley 

After returning from the so-called "Green- 
back Raid", two of my companies, under Richards 
and Mountjoy, made a demonstration on Wash- 
ington to keep reinforcements from Sheridan. 

[Taylor, A. A. G., to De Russy] 

Washington, October 17th, 1864. 

I have telegraphed General Slough to send at once 
500 infantry to Annandale. A small infantry force at 
either place, Annandale or Buffalo, will be sufficient 
to drive off Mosby, who cannot have 100 men. 

[Taylor to Slough] 

October 17th, 1864, — 5 p.m. 

Notify Lazelle at Fall's Church that he may not be 
surprised. Your infantry certainly is strong enough 
to hold any force of Mosby's in check. 

[Slough to Taylor] 

October 17th, 1864. 8 p.m. 

Mosby has driven in Lazelle's pickets. Send 
Wells' cavalry, if any is in Alexandria, to Lazelle and 
let the Fifth Wisconsin move rapidly to Annandale. 



[Winship to Taylor] 

Alexandria, October 17th, 1864. 

It is reported that Mosby with about 300 men is 
in the vicinity of Burke's station this afternoon. 

[Augur to Taylor] 
Rectortown, October 18th, 1864. 

I have sent the Eighth Illinois down through Centre- 
ville to find Mosby's force. 

The panic in Washington was very great, as is 
shown by many similar dispatches in the war 
records. When the Eighth Illinois got to Fairfax, 
they found that we had gone back towards the 
Blue Ridge. They did what I was manoeuvring 
to make them do — spend their time and waste 
their strength in pursuit of a Jack-o'-lantern. 

About this time I heard that a force was moving 
to repair the Manassas Railroad to make a new 
base for Sheridan, and I determined to move 
against it and, if possible, defeat it. My suc- 
cess in accomplishing this was of greater military 
value than anything I did in the war, for it saved 
Richmond for several months. I sent Tom Ogg, 
one of my scouts, to reconnoitre and report to me 
at Haymarket, a little village on the road, which 
the enemy had not occupied. When we got] near 
Haymarket about eleven o'clock that night, we 


saw a large number of camp fires. The Yankees 
were ahead of us ! 

After Tom got the information he was sent for, 
he came to meet me according to our appointment. 
He saw the camp fires and naturally thought they 
were mine. When he got near them, a picket 
halted him and called out, "Who comes there?" 
Ogg had no suspicion that the demand came from 
an enemy, so he replied, "Ogg, Tom Ogg. Don't 
you know Ogg?" 

The picket had never heard of Ogg. He did 
not know whether he was friend or foe, so, ac- 
cording to military rule, he ordered Tom to dis- 
mount and advance. Tom protested and again 
told the picket that he was Tom Ogg, that he had 
been sent by "the Colonel" on a scout, and 
asked the picket to what company he belonged. 

The picket replied, "Company E", and swore 
he had never heard of Ogg. Tom then said, 
indignantly, "I thought you were one of that 
d — d green Company E." [E was a new com- 
pany I had just organized.] 

At last Ogg was compelled to dismount and 
advance on foot leading his horse. It was pitch 
dark, and Tom did not discover, until he got 
right up against the sentinel, that the latter had 
a musket and a bayonet was pointed at his breast. 


But Tom never lost his presence of mind. So 
he said, "I am lame, and you must let me ride to 
see the Colonel." 

The poor picket did not suspect Tom's stratagem 
and consented. He really thought that he was 
only doing his duty and was talking to a brother 
in arms. Tom mounted and, as soon as he was 
in the saddle, drove his spurs into his horse, and 
darted off in the darkness, shouting to his men, 
"Break, boys !" 

A volley was fired on his track, but it never 
overtook Ogg. It was a coincidence that this 
occurred just after we approached the camp from 
the opposite direction. When I heard the firing, 
I laughed and told the men that I would bet it 
was Tom Ogg and that he had ridden into the 
Yankees by mistake. But all is well that ends 
well. Tom lived many years after the war, and 
we often laughed about his surprise that the 
Yankees had never heard of "Ogg, Tom Ogg !" 

Near Upperville, 
Oct. 22, '64. 
My dearest Pauline : 

I have just returned from a successful trip to the 
valley, — captured a brigadier general (Duffie), cap- 
turing ambulance horses, etc. Sent them out, then 
returning by another route, captured seven wagons, 


fifty-five prisoners, and forty-one horses. As soon 
as the Yankees leave the Manassas road I will send for 
you all. 

[Fragment of a letter to Mrs. Mosby, probably 
November, 1864] 

We killed and captured about 600 from the time of 
their occupying to their abandonment of the railroad 
(Manassas road). Since my return to my command, 
I have been in the saddle the whole time. 

[From a Confederate newspaper, 1864] 

The following is a clear admission of the injuries 
Mosby has been inflicting on the enemy of late. When 
they begin war on unoffending persons in this way 
it is evidence of the desperation to which they are 

" Working parties are now engaged in felling timber 
on each side of the Manassas Gap Railroad, to prevent 
its use by guerrillas as a place of concealment. Orders 
have been issued that if another attack should be made 
on a Government train, similar to the last one, in which 
so many lives were lost, every house of a rebel within 
five miles of the road, on either side, shall be imme- 
diately destroyed, meanwhile every train bears a 
party of rebel sympathizers, selected from the abundant 
number in Alexandria, to receive such bullets as their 
friends the guerrillas may choose to fire at them. 
Three physicians and one clergyman were among the 
first party thus sent." 


[Another Confederate paper quoted "the Yan- 
kee newspaper" published at Alexandria as fol- 
lows :] 

General Slough, acting under special orders from 
the War Department, yesterday arrested a number of 
well-known rebel sympathizers in this city, for the 
purpose of sending them out on trains of the Orange 
and Alexandria and Manassas Gap Railroad, in order 
to secure their property against guerrilla attacks. . . . 
When once the guerrillas hear that the trains are run 
for the special accommodation of their friends, they 
will not disturb the road. . . . P.S. Since the above 
was in type, we learn that all those arrested in this 
city yesterday were sent out on the railroad train 
to-day. 1 

By December, 1864, the war had practically 
ceased between the contending armies in the 
Shenandoah Valley. The greater portion of 
Early's forces had been transferred to the lines 
about Petersburg, while Sheridan had taken up 
his winter quarters at Winchester. My own 
command, which had been operating against his 
communications, never went into winter quar- 
ters, but kept up a desultory warfare on outposts, 
supply trains, and detachments. And, although 

1 Word was sent to Mosby that a number of women and children 
would be sent on certain trains. His answer was that he did not under- 
stand that it hurts women and children to be killed any more than it 
hurts men. 


the Southern army had disappeared from his 
front, these few hundred rangers kept Sheridan's 
soldiers as busily employed to guard against sur- 
prises as when that army confronted them. Un- 
able to exterminate the hostile bands by arms, 
Sheridan had applied the torch and attempted 
to drive us from the district in which we operated 
by destroying everything that could support man 
or horse. But so far from quelling, his efforts 
only stimulated the fury of my men. In snow, 
sleet, and howling storms, through the long 
watches of the winter nights, his men had to 
wait for a sleepless enemy to capture or kill them. 

[Telegram — Sheridan to Halleck] 

Kernstown, Va. ; Nov. 26, 1864. 

I will soon commence work on Mosby. Heretofore 
I have made no attempt to break him up, as I would 
have employed ten men to his one, and for the reason 
that I have made a scapegoat of him for the destruction 
of private rights. Now there is going to be an intense 
hatred of him in that portion of the valley which is 
nearly a desert. I will soon commence on Loudoun 
County, and let them know there is a God in Israel. 
Mosby has annoyed me considerably ; but the people 
are beginning to see that he does not injure me a great 
deal, but causes a loss to them of all that they have 
spent their lives in accumulating. Those people who 


live in the vicinity of Harper's Ferry are the most 
villainous in this valley, and have not yet been hurt 
much. If the railroad is interfered with, I will make 
some of them poor. Those who live at home in peace 
and plenty want the duello part of this war to go on ; 
but when they have to bear the burden by loss of 
property and comforts, they will cry for peace. 

As I wanted to have a conference with Gen- 
eral Robert E. Lee about my plans for future 
operations, I turned my command over to the 
next in rank, William Chapman, and, taking 
one of my men, Boyd Smith, went on a visit to 
the army headquarters near Petersburg. When 
I got off the train there, I recognized in the crowd 
the face of Doctor Monteiro, an old college mate 
whom I had not seen for thirteen years. I had 
changed so much that he did not recognize me 
until I told him my name. He was then a sur- 
geon with Wise's brigade, and I told him he was 
the very man I wanted, for the surgeon I had, 
Doctor Will Dunn, was too fond of fighting. I 
wanted a surgeon that took more pride in curing 
than killing. I had Monteiro transferred to my 
command before I returned. 

After spending a few hours with General Lee 
and getting his recommendation for the promo- 
tion of two of my officers, Chapman and Richards, 


He commanded Mosby's Men at the Mt. Carmel fight and on other 
occasions, emulating his dashing courage 


I returned to Richmond, and in a few days was 
back with my men. On the day after my re- 
turn, December 21, I had gone to the house of 
Joe Blackwell, a farmer in upper Fauquier, to 
attend the wedding of my ordnance sergeant, 
Jake Lavender. A report came that a body of 
the enemy's cavalry was advancing on the road 
to Salem, a few miles away. Not caring to in- 
terrupt the wedding festivities, with one man — 
Tom Love — I rode off to reconnoitre. We 
were riding across the field of the Glen Welby 
farm, as it was safer than going by the main road, 
where there was danger of running against the 
enemy's column, when we saw two cavalrymen 
approaching. Soon a number of others appeared 
and began firing at us. I knew then that these 
were the flankers of the main body of the enemy 
out of sight over the hill. So Love and I gal- 
loped away a few hundred yards and then halted 
on an eminence. They did not pursue, and we 
soon saw the whole column in blue moving on the 
road to Rectortown. After reaching there, they 
kindled fires and seemed to be preparing to biv- 
ouac for the night. 

It was about dusk ; a cold, drizzling rain was 
falling and freezing, the road was covered with 
sleet, and icicles hung in clusters from the trees. 


After reconnoitring the encampment and satis- 
fying myself that they had prepared to spend 
the night there, I dispatched a man to inform 
Chapman and Richards that I wanted them to 
attack the Northern camp about daybreak the 
next morning, and to get their men ready. Love 
and I then started off in another direction for the 
purpose of notifying some of the other officers and 
collecting the men. (When we stayed inside the 
enemy's lines we were obliged to disperse for 
safety.) As we were passing the house of a 
citizen, Ludwell Lake, who was famous for al- 
ways setting a good table, the lights shining 
through the windows tempted me, as I was cold 
and hungry, to stop where I knew we would be 
welcome. So, when we got to the front gate, 
I proposed to dismount and to go in to get warm 
and something to eat. Love said he would 
stay out at the gate and keep watch while I was 
eating my supper. 

"No, Tom," I said; "it wouldn't do me any 
good if you were out here in the cold. There is 
no danger ; get down." 

We tied our horses and went in. The family 
was at supper, and we were soon seated at the 
table enjoying some good coffee, hot rolls, and 
spareribs. Among those there was a Mrs. Skin- 


ner, whose husband was then a prisoner at Point 
Lookout. She had managed to get a pass through 
the lines to visit him and had seen a number of 
my men who were also prisoners there. We 
were enjoying our supper and her account of 
the trip and the various devices to which the 
prisoners resorted for amusement, when sud- 
denly we heard the tramp of horses around the 
house. One door of the dining room opened 
toward the back yard, and on opening it, I dis- 
covered several cavalrymen. Hastily shutting 
the door, I turned to the other one, but just then 
a number of Northern officers and soldiers walked 
into the room. 

I was better dressed that evening than I ever 
was during the war. Just before starting to Rich- 
mond I got through the blockade across the 
Potomac a complete suit from head to foot. I 
had a drab hat with an ostrich plume, with gold 
cord and star ; a heavy, black beaver-cloth over- 
coat and cape lined with English scarlet cloth, 
and, as it was a stormy evening, over this I wore 
a gray cloak, also lined with scarlet. My hat, 
overcoat, and cape were lying in the corner. I 
wore a gray sack coat with two stars on the collar 
to indicate my rank as lieutenant-colonel, gray 
trousers with a yellow cord down the seam, and 


long cavalry boots. As the Northerners entered 
the room, I placed my hands on my coat collar 
to conceal my stars, and a few words passed be- 
tween us. The situation seemed desperate, but I 
had made up my mind to take all the chances for 
getting away. I knew that if they discovered my 
rank, to say nothing of my name, they would 
guard me more carefully than if I were simply a 
private or a lieutenant. 

But a few seconds elapsed before firing began 
in the back yard. One of the bullets passed 
through the window, making a round hole in the 
glass and striking me in the stomach. Old man 
Lake, who weighed about three hundred pounds 
and was as broad as he was long, and his daughter, 
Mrs. Skinner, were standing between me and 
the window. It was a miracle how the shot 
could have missed them and hit me — but 
it did. I have always thought that Yankee had 
a circular gun. My self-possession in concealing 
the stars on my collar saved me from being car- 
ried off a prisoner, dead or alive. The officers 
had not detected the stratagem, when I exclaimed, 
"I am shot!" The fact was that the bullet 
created only a stinging sensation, and I was not 
in the least shocked. My exclamation was not 
because I felt hurt, but to get up a panic in order 


that I might escape. It had the desired effect. 
Old man Lake and his daughter waltzed around 
the room, the cavalrymen on the outside kept up 
their fire, and this created a stampede of the 
officers in the room with me. In the confusion 
to get out of the way there was a sort of hurdle 
race, in which the supper table was knocked over, 
and the tallow lights put out. In a few seconds 
I was left in the room with no one but Love, Lake, 
and his daughter. 

I saw that this was my opportunity. There 
were nine hundred and ninety-nine chances out 
of a thousand against me. I took the single 
chance and won. There were at least three hun- 
dred cavalry surrounding the house, and, if I 
had not been wounded, I should have tried to 
get off in the dark. But by this time the terrible 
wound was having its effect ; I was bleeding 
profusely and getting faint. There was a door 
which opened from the dining room into an ad- 
joining bedroom, and I determined to play the 
part of a dying man. I walked into the room, 
pulled off my coat, on which were the insignia 
of my rank, tucked it away under the bureau so 
that no one could see it, and then lay down with 
my head towards the bureau. After several 
minutes the panic subsided, and the Northerners 


returned to the scene from which the shots of their 
own men had frightened them. They found my 
old friend Lake dancing a hornpipe. He missed 
a button from his waistcoat and swore that the 
bullet which had killed me had carried it off. 
Having heard me fall on the floor, he thought 
I was dead — the truth was he was almost as near 
dead as I was. The daughter was screaming, the 
room in which I lay was dark, and it was some 
minutes before the soldiers collected their senses 
sufficiently to strike a light. 

During all this time I lay on the floor with the 
blood gushing from my wound. In those few 
minutes it seemed to me that I lived my whole 
life over again ; my mind traveled away from 
the scenes of death and carnage, in which I had 
been an actor for four years, to the peaceful 
home and the wife and children I had left 

I overheard the soldiers ask Mrs. Skinner who 
I was — I was well acquainted with her, and 
her brother was in my command — and I listened 
with fear and trembling for her answer. She 
declared that I was a stranger — that she had 
never seen me before — that I was not one of 
Mosby's men, and she did not know my name. 
I am sure that in the eternal records there is 


nothing registered against that good woman who 
denied my name and saved my life. 

At last, after a candle had been lighted, my 
enemies came into the room, and the first thing 
they asked me was my name. I gave a fictitious 
one. They wanted to know to what command 
I belonged. I did not tell them the right one. 
My reason for doing so was that I wanted to 
conceal my identity. As I knew the feeling at 
the North against me and the great anxiety to 
either kill or capture me, I was sure I would be 
dragged away as a trophy, if they knew who their 
prisoner was. I had on a flannel shirt which was 
now soaked with my blood. The soldiers opened 
my clothes and looked at my wound, while I ap- 
parently gasped for breath. A doctor examined 
the wound and said that it was mortal — that I 
was shot through the heart. He located the 
heart rather low down, and even in that supreme 
moment I felt tempted to laugh at his ignorance 
of human anatomy. I only gasped a few words and 
affected to be dying. They left the room hurriedly, 
after stripping me of my boots and trousers, evi- 
dently supposing that a dead man would have no 
use for them. The only sensible man among them 
was an Irishman, who said, as he took a last look 
at me, "He is worth several dead men yet." 


There was a good deal of whiskey in the crowd, 
but they had sense enough left to take away 
my clothes. Fortunately they never saw my 

I listened to hear them getting away — they 
passed out and left my fat friend and his daughter 
under the impression that I was ready for the grave. 
I lay perfectly still for some five or ten minutes 
— it seemed to me that many hours — but at 
last, as I felt assured that the enemy had gone, 
I rose from the pool of blood in which I was lying 
and walked into the room where Lake and his 
daughter were sitting by the fire. They were as 
much astonished to see me as if I had risen from 
the tomb ; they had thought me dead and were 
now sure the general resurrection had come. 
There was a big log fire blazing, and the room was 
warm. We examined the wound, but we could 
not tell whether the bullet had passed straight 
into the body, or, after penetrating, had passed 
around it. Shortly I became sick and faint. 
My own belief was that the wound was mortal ; 
that the bullet was in me ; that the intestines 
had been cut. Mrs. Skinner gave me some 
coffee, but I was too sick to drink it. My fear 
was that I had some documents in my pockets 
which would disclose my name. Although Provi- 


dence had not protected me from the bullet, it 
had saved me from getting caught. That day I 
had been at Glen Welby, the home of the Car- 
ters, and for some unaccountable reason, just as 
I was leaving to go to the wedding, I took from 
my pocket several official documents and gave 
them to one of the young ladies to keep for me. 
If I had not done this, I would never have lived 
to write an account of this adventure, for if I 
had been taken off as a prisoner that night, I 
could not have survived it. 

The force of cavalry that I had seen go into 
camp at Rectortown was the Thirteenth and 
Sixteenth New York, under command of Major 
Frazar. They had only built fires to warm them- 
selves, and, after staying there a short time, they 
started on to Middleburg to join Colonel Clen- 
denin, with the Eighth Illinois Cavalry, from which 
they had separated a few hours before. That 
night they encamped at Middleburg. Several of 
my men, including Love, were prisoners, and 
they were shown my hat and overcoat and 
asked if they knew the person who had worn 
them. All denied any knowledge of him. The 
next day the Unionists returned to camp, little 
dreaming who it was that had been a prisoner in 
their hands. My own belief is that I was in- 


debted to whiskey for my escape, and I have always 
thought since then that there is a deal of good 
in whiskey. 

As soon as Lake recovered from the shock at 
seeing me alive, he went out and got a couple of 
negro boys to yoke up a pair of young, half- 
broken oxen to haul me away to a place of safety, 
for we feared that the enemy would find out who 
I was and return. After a while the ox-cart was 
announced, and I was rolled up in quilts and 
blankets and put into it. It was an awful night 
— a howling storm of snow, rain, and sleet. I 
was lying on my back in the cart — we had to 
go two miles to the house of a neighbor, over a 
frozen road cut into deep ruts. When we reached 
there, I was almost perfectly stiff with cold, and 
my hair was a clotted mass of ice. The family 
had not gone to bed, and one of my men, George 
Slater, was at the house. A courier was sent to 
the wedding party to carry the news to my brother 
and my other men, and before daybreak a great 
many of the men and two surgeons were with me. 
Slater had been present when Stuart had been 
shot a few months before. After I had been laid 
by the fire, I called him to me and said, 

"George, look at my wound, I think I am shot 
just like General Stuart was." 


Slater pulled up my shirt — I was bleeding pro- 
fusely — and told me that he thought the bullet 
had run around my body. This turned out to 
be the case, for it had lodged in my right side. 
Early in the morning chloroform was admin- 
istered, and the ball extracted. 

Another of the good effects of the whiskey on 
my captors was that they went off leaving my 
horse standing at the front gate, with the pistols 
in the holsters. If I had had them with me in 
the house, I am very confident I could have 
cleared the way through the back yard and es- 
caped in the dark. Neither Love nor I had a 
chance to fire a shot, and there is no truth in the 
reports that shots were fired from the house. I 
had nothing to shoot with. As I said, a Northern 
officer was standing near, talking to me when I 
was shot. Although I was a prisoner at the time, 
I have never complained of it, for it proved to be 
a lucky shot for me. It was the means of my es- 
cape from imprisonment. A few days afterwards 
tidings came to the camp down in Fairfax that 
I was the man who was wounded at Lake's. A 
force of cavalry was sent to search for me, but 
although I was still in the neighborhood, they 
did not find me. At the same time General 
Torbert, returning from an unsuccessful expedi- 


tion to Gordonsville, passed within a few miles 
of where I was lying, but also failed to discover me. 

About a week after all this occurred I was taken 
to my father's house near Lynchburg. Richmond 
papers had already announced my death. Doctor 
Monteiro had not reached my command before 
I was brought away, so he came to my father's 
house to see me. Monteiro was a great wit and 
had been with me only a few minutes when he got 
me to laughing. This produced a hemorrhage 
from my wound, and it took all his surgical skill 
to repair the damage his talk had done. 

Major Frazar reported my capture and escape 
as follows : 

Fairfax Court House, 
December 31, 1864. 

Colonel William Gamble, Commanding Cavalry 

Colonel : 

In obedience to your command, I have the honor 
to report concerning the wounding of Colonel Mosby. 
He was shot by a man of my advance guard, under 
Captain Brown, in Mr. Lake's house, near the Rector's 
Cross-roads, on the evening of the 21st instant.; about 
9 p.m.; at which time I was in command of the 13th 
and 1 6th New York regiments. Several shots were 
fired, and I was informed that a rebel lieutenant was 
wounded. I immediately dismounted and entered 


the house, and found a man lying on the floor, ap- 
parently in great agony. I asked him his name — 
he answered, "Lieutenant Johnson, Sixteenth Virginia 
Cavalry." He was in his shirtsleeves — a light blue 
cotton shirt — - no hat — no boots — no insignia of 
rank; nothing to denote in the slightest degree that 
he was not what he pretended to be. I told him I 
must see his wounds to see whether to bring him or 
not. I opened, myself, his pants and found that a 
pistol bullet had entered the abdomen about two 
inches below and to the left of the navel ; a wound that 
I felt assured was mortal. I therefore ordered all 
from the room, remarking, "He will die in twenty- 
four hours." Being behind time on account of skir- 
mishing all the afternoon with the enemy, I hurried on 
to meet Lieutenant-Colonel Clendenin at Middleburg, 
according to orders received. Nearly every officer 
in my command, if not all, saw this wounded man, and 
no one had the slightest idea that it was Mosby. 
Captain Brown and Major Birdsall were both in the 
room with me when this occurred. After arrival at 
Middleburg I reported the fact of having wounded a 
rebel lieutenant to Lieutenant-Colonel Clendenin. As 
soon as the camp fires were lit so that things could be 
seen, an orderly brought me Mosby's hat dressed with 
gold cord and star. I took the hat and went imme- 
diately among the prisoners, eight in number, of 
Mosby's men that I had captured, and told them the 
man who wore that cap was shot dead, and asked 
them if it was Mosby or not ; it was no use to conceal it 
if it was, as he was shot dead. They all said "No," 


that it was not Mosby, that he never had such a hat, 
etc., etc. Some of them said it was Major Johnson, 
Sixth Virginia Cavalry, home on leave. In the morn- 
ing I reported the facts and showed the cap to Colonel 
Clendenin and Mr. Davis, the guide ; all this, while I 
considered, as did all my other officers, that the wound 
was mortal. From Middleburg I came to camp. 
On this scout, from which I have just returned to-day, 
I have the honor to state that the man shot in Lake's 
house was Colonel Mosby. He was moved half an 
hour after he was shot to Quilly Glasscock's, about a 
mile and a half distant, where he remained three 
days and had the ball extracted, it having passed 
around or through the bowels, coming out behind the 
right side. I conversed with several persons who saw 
him. He was very low the first two days, the third 
much better. I tracked him to Piedmont, thence to 
Salem, and out of Salem towards the Warrenton Pike. 
I met pickets in various parts of the country, and under- 
stood that until within the last night or two they had 
extended as far down as Aldie. Various signalling was 
carried on by means of white flags above Piedmont. 
Several persons who saw him in the ambulance report 
him spitting blood, and it seems to be the general im- 
pression that he cannot live. There is no doubt in my 
mind but what he is yet in the country, concealed ; seri- 
ously, if not mortally wounded. In both expeditions I 
lost neither men nor horses and captured nine prisoners. 

(Signed) Douglas Frazar, 

Major Commanding. 



Headquarters First Separate Brigade, 
Fairfax C. H., Va., Jan. I, 1865. 

Respectfully forwarded to department headquarters. 
I exceedingly regret that such a blunder was made. 
I have given direction that all wounded officers and 
men of the enemy be hereafter brought in, although 
any officer ought to have brains and common sense 
enough to do so without an order. 

(Signed) W. Gamble, 
Colonel Commanding Brigade. 

[Gamble to Augur] 

I am also informed that Major Frazar was too much 
under the influence of liquor to perform his duty at 
the time in a proper manner. Under the circum- 
stances I have deemed it best to send Major Frazar 
with 300 men to scour the neighborhood and ascertain, 
if possible, something definite about it, he being the 
officer present at the time the rebel officer was shot in 
the house where it is supposed Mosby was wounded. 

Sheridan seemed as much delighted to hear of 
my death as the troops in Fairfax. No doubt he 
expected no more annoyances that winter. A 
short time afterward he sent a body of cavalry 
under a Major Gibson to that neighborhood one 
night, but Dolly Richards got after him and sent 
most of his men prisoners to Richmond. The 


last heard of Major Gibson was that he had been 
unhorsed and was getting back to his camp full 
speed over the snow in a sleigh. 

[Stevenson to Sheridan] 

December 29, 1864. 

Mosby was shot by a party from General Augur's 
command at Rector's Crossroads. There were two or 
three men in the party ; they fired at Mosby and 
some of his men through the windows, wounding Mosby 
in the abdomen. He was then moved to the house of 
widow Glasscock. Torbert tried to catch him there, 
but he had been taken away in an ambulance. Tor- 
bert searched the house of Rogers at Middleburg, but 
he was not there. Mosby's wound is mortal. He and 
his party were eating supper when the attack was 
made on the house by General Augur's men. 

[Augur to Sheridan] 

December 30, 1864. 

Richmond papers of the 27th report Mosby's death 
as having occurred at Charlottesville. 

[Sheridan to Emory] 

December 31, 1864. 

How are you getting along? The storm is unfor- 
tunate. I have no news to-day except the death of 
Mosby. He died from his wound at Charlottesville. 


The following account of the wounding of Mosby 
was written by a "Yankee Major General" for 
the New York Herald of December 31, 1864, and 
was copied by the Confederate newspapers : 

On Tuesday, December 17, an expedition compris- 
ing the Thirteenth and Sixteenth New York and Eighth 
Illinois Cavalry, under the command of Lieutenant- 
Colonel Clendenin, started to scout the country this 
side of the Blue Ridge, in search of Mosby. On 
arriving at White Plains on Wednesday the command 
separated. . . . The first named (13th New York) 
proceeded toward Salem, and when a short distance 
from Middleburg came upon the house at which Mosby 
was then dining. Captain Taylor's Company of the 
13th New York were in the advance, and manceuvered 
to surround the house, near which two horses, with 
cavalry equipment were fastened. Corporal Cane or 
Kane, of Company F, rode near the house and was 
about to secure the horses, when Mosby opened the 
door and fired at the Corporal. Kane raised his car- 
bine to fire in return ; when Mosby closed the door and 
ran into another part of the house. The Corporal, 
seeing him pass a window, instantly fired, shooting 
Mosby through the bowels. Captain Taylor and 
others hastily entered the house. Some of the men 
proposed finishing the rebel ; but Captain Taylor, 
having examined his wound, pronounced it mortal. 
Major Frazar, 13th New York Cavalry, also examined 
the wound and declared that the man would die. The 
rank and name of the wounded man were not known 


at this time. He had on a magnificent cloak of gray, 
trimmed with English scarlet and gold clasps. This 
cloak had often been talked about by inhabitants of 
the valley as belonging to Mosby, and was described 
by citizens as the richest article of the kind in either 
army. The boots of the wounded man were carried 
off and found to agree exactly, in make and maker's 
name, with a pair taken from Mosby's house when 
burned last summer. The rebel accounts show that 
their conclusions were correct ; but, if we are to believe 
the rebel stories, Mosby is not yet dead. He may 
possibly recover : "The devil takes care of his own." 

Final Scenes l 

The war drama was now drawing to a close. 
According to General John B. Gordon, Lee's 
troops were subsisting on parched corn, and one 
day a private accosted him with the request, 
"I say, General, can't you give us a little fod- 
der?" Gordon also said that Lee's surgeons 
reported to him that the men were in such bad 
condition that, if wounded, they would become 
gangrened. Grant's remorseless policy had 
caused the Confederates "to rob the cradle and 
the grave." And the blockade had all the time 
been aiding the Federal armies, silently but 

Colonel Mosby was wounded on December 21, 
1864, and, naturally, it was some time before he 
could get to work again. 

1 This chapter was prepared from material collected by Colonel 



[Extracts from the diary of Mosby's mother] 

Sunday, Jan. I, 1865. 

Hear by the papers to-day that dear John is re- 
covering. We feel intense anxiety about John. No 
tidings from John. 

Tuesday, 3rd. 

This evening . . . John arrived safely and doing well. 

Feb. 24th. 

John sent Mrs. J. S. Mosby his photograph and a 
piece dedicated to Mosby and his men — "They Will 
Never Win Us Back." We feel so sad at the thought 
of our dear John leaving us to-morrow. 

Feb. 25th. 

The day has come and the hour has passed that saw 
our dearest one leave once more the household group 
to go back to battle for his country and all that is dear 
to man and woman. It is one of the saddest events of 
my life, when I have to part from my dear boys, 
to go to the Army, yet I know God is there as well 
as around the peaceful and secure fireside. ... A 
crisis is upon us. We are beset on all sides by a power- 
ful enemy. 

But while Colonel Mosby was recovering his 
men were by no means idle. 

[Extract from a Confederate newspaper] 

The part attributed to Captain Taylor's Company, 
in a notice copied into yesterday's paper, was in reality 


an exploit of Major Richards, of Mosby's command, 
as accurate accounts have since established. On 
Thursday last, Major Richards, with a force of sixty 
men, struck the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad between 
Duffield and Martinsburg, and captured a train of 
fifteen cars propelled by two engines and loaded with 
supplies for Sheridan's army. The engines were 
blown up and the cars consumed by fire. Our adven- 
turous soldiers loaded their horses with such articles 
as they could carry ; many of them possessing them- 
selves in this manner of sacks of coffee, besides other 
desirable supplies. Major Richards has already estab- 
lished his fame as one of the most active and success- 
ful of Mosby's indefatigables. 

When Mosby went to Richmond early in De- 
cember, 1864, he presented the following letter 
to the Confederate War Department : 

December 6, 1864. 
Hon. James A. Seddon, 
Secretary of War. 


I beg leave to recommend, in order to secure greater 
efficiency in my command, that it be divided into two 
battalions, each to be commanded by a Major. The 
scope of duties devolving upon me being of a much 
wider extent than on officers of the same rank in the 
regular service, but small time is allowed me to attend 
to the duties of organization, discipline, etc. I am 
confident that the arrangement I propose would give 


me much more time both for planning and executing 
enterprises against the enemy. I would recommend 
Capt. Wm. H. Chapman (Commanding Co. C. 43d 
Va. P. R. Battalion) and Captain Adolphus E. Richards 
(Commanding Co. B. same battalion) for the command 
of the two . . . [letter mutilated] have both on many 
occasions . . . valor and skill to which my reports 
... so in engagements with the . . . Aldie, Charles 
Town, and . . . 

Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

(Signed) John S. Mosby, 

Lieutenant Colonel. 

On January 9, 1865, Mosby's commission as 
a colonel was issued. William Chapman, whose 
brother Sam, a Baptist preacher, whom Colonel 
Mosby described as the only man he ever saw 
who really enjoyed fighting, and who generally 
went into the fray with his hat in one hand and 
banging away with his revolver with the other, 
became a lieutenant-colonel. 

On March 27, 1865, Colonel Mosby was put 
in command of all northern Virginia. And then 
on April 9th came the surrender of Lee at Appo- 

The Colonel often said that if his small 
mother had been in command of the Southern 
armies, the war would have been going on yet. 


Photographed in Richmond in March, 1865 


[Extracts from the diary of Mosby's mother] 

Saturday, March 6. 

To-day will be a day never to be forgotten. We 
heard the Yankees occupied Charlottesville last even- 
ing and are advancing up here. All is consternation 
and confusion. We are trying to get our things out of 
the way. Rumor after rumor arrives, and we know 
not how to proceed. We expect to be driven from our 
homes. Oh ! may we be spared, and our house, and 
the vile Yankees driven back. 

Saturday, April 3. 

Captain Kennon left and Mr. Moore to go to Col. 
Mosby's command. . . . There is a craven spirit 
abroad with our people. If overpowered we will 
have to submit to the powers that be, but I would feel 
that the Yankees themselves would despise us, if we 
recanted our Southern principles. They would have no 
confidence in us and look with contempt on us, as they 
should do. I think a deserter on either side the most 
degraded human being that breathes. Yes, we hate 
them, and the Yankees do too, and they will hiss them. 

Sunday, April 9th. 

I went out and heard the deep toned cannon, carry- 
ing hundreds and perhaps thousands to that long sleep 
that knows no waking. Oh, how my heart went up 
for our great, our noble Lee, that God would give him 
strength in weakness to bring us out of battle a vic- 
torious people. If God does see fit to crush us and 
bow us down, because of our sins and the sins of this 


nation, I feel it will be in justice and mercy, and will 
even believe he doeth all things well ; but there are 
hearts too noble to be conquered. Our Lee will stand 
out a man in all the nations of the earth, nobler and 
greater in adversity than any other man with a crown 
on his head. ... I hear of fearful desertions. Poor 
craven spirits, — I hope the Yankee bullets will yet 
pierce their hateful hides. General Lee surrendered to 
superior numbers to-day at Appomattox Court House. 

Headquarters Middle Military Division, 

Winchester, Ya., April 10, 1865. 

The Major-General Commanding announces to the 
citizens in the vicinity of his lines that General Robert 
E. Lee surrendered with the Army of Northern Vir- 
ginia yesterday to Lieut. General Grant near Appo- 
mattox Court House. . . . Officers and men were 
all paroled. . . . 

(Signed) W. S. Hancock, 
Maj. Genl. U. S. Vols. 

E. B. Parsons, 

Assistant Adjutant General, 
A. P. M. G. 

P. S. All detachments and stragglers from the Army 
of Northern Virginia will, upon complying with the 
above conditions, be paroled and allowed to go to 
their homes. Those who do not so surrender will be 
brought in as prisoners of war. The Guerilla Chief 
Mosby is not included in the parole. 

W. S. H. 


Headquarters Middle Military Division, 
Winchester, April 11, 1865. 
Colonel John S. Mosby, 
Commanding Partizans, 

Colonel : 

I am directed by Major General Hancock to inclose 
you copies of letters which passed between Generals 
Grant and Lee on the occasion of the surrender of the 
Army of Northern Virginia. Major General Hancock 
is authorized to receive the surrender of the force under 
your command on the same conditions offered to Gen- 
eral Lee, and will send an officer of equal rank with 
yourself to meet you at any point and time you may 
designate, convenient to the lines, for the purpose of 
arranging the details, should you conclude to be gov- 
erned by the example of General Lee. 

Very respectfully, 
Your servant, 
C. H. Morgan, 
Bat. Brig. Genl. 
Chief of Staff. 

April 15, 1865. 
Major General W. S. Hancock, 

General : 

I am in receipt of a letter from your Chief of Staff 
General Morgan, enclosing copies of correspondence 
between Generals Grant and Lee, and informing me 
that you would appoint an officer of equal rank with 
myself to arrange the details for the surrender of the 


forces under my command. As yet I have no notice 
through any other source of the facts concerning the sur- 
render of the Army of Northern Virginia, nor, in my opin- 
ion, has the emergency yet arisen which would justify the 
surrender of my command. With no disposition, how- 
ever, to cause the useless effusion of blood or to inflict 
upon a war-worn population any unnecessary distress, I 
am ready to agree to a suspension of hostilities for a short 
time, in order to enable me to communicate with my own 
authorities or until I can obtain sufficient intelligence to 
determine my future action. Should you accede to this 
proposition, I am ready to meet any person you may des- 
ignate to arrange the terms of the armistice. I am, 
Very respectfully, 
Your obedient servant, 

John S. Mosby, 
Colonel C. S. A. 

(This letter to Hancock, who was at Winchester, 
was written at Warrenton, Fauquier Co., Va., 
the home of the Washington family. It was 
sent by a flag of truce that was carried by Colonel 
Wm. H. Chapman, Dr. Monteiro, and my brother, 
Wm. H. Mosby, who was my adjutant. J. S. M.) 

[Mosby's Farewell Address to his Command] 

Fauquier County, April 21, 1865. 
Soldiers — 

I have summoned you together for the last time. 
The visions we have cherished of a free and independent 


Colonel Mosby's Adjutant and only brother. Photographed 
(about) 1867 


country have vanished, and that country is now the 
spoil of the conqueror. I disband your organization 
in preference to surrendering it to our enemies. I am 
no longer your Commander. After an association of 
more than two eventful years, I part from you with 
a just pride in the fame of your achievements and a 
grateful recollection of your generous kindness to 
myself. And at this moment of bidding you a final 
adieu, accept the assurance of my unchanging confi- 
dence and regard. Farewell ! 

Jno. S. Mosby, 

Valley Farm, Aug. 27, '65. 

My dearest Pauline : 

I staid almost a week at Pa's and then returned to 
Uncle John's, as the infernal Yankees were in Lynch- 
burg, which made it dangerous to remain there longer. 
Uncle John made John Hipkins go to Richmond, as 
we were anxious to learn what were the designs of 
the Yankees towards me. Mr. Palmer went to see 
General Lee. General Lee sent me word by Willie 
Cabell that he was waiting to see General Grant ; he 
also said that he entirely approved of everything I 
had done. He is going to move up to Haymarket. 
When I passed through Charlottesville there were 
fourteen Yankee cavalry in the place. I met a lieu- 
tenant and one man in the street. They said nothing 
to me. I went up to the University to call on Dr. 
McGuffey. A short while after I left, it was sur- 


rounded by two companies of Yankee cavalry. If you 
see Willie tell him Pa is anxious for him to return 
home. I want to find out what will be the course of 
the Yankees towards me before I return to Fauquier. 

[Extract from a Lynchburg, Virginia, paper of 

Some little stir was created in the city yesterday by 
the report that Col. Mosby, the celebrated partisan 
chieftain, was in Lynchburg. Various reasons were 
expressed as to the cause of his appearance, but the 
following are, we believe, the facts of the case. Some 
days since Col. Mosby's brother came to Captain 
Swank, Provost Marshal of this city, to inquire if 
Mosby would be paroled on coming in and surrender- 
ing to the authorities. Capt. Swank replied that he 
would make inquiries upon the subject, and give 
him an answer in a few days. Day before yesterday, 
he again called to see the marshal upon the subject, 
and was told that Col. Mosby would be paroled if he 
would come in and give himself up. In accordance 
with this information, Mosby came into Lynchburg 
yesterday, and applied at the Provost Marshal's 
office for a parole. Capt. Garnett happened to be 
attending to the duties of the office at the time and, 
not being aware of the arrangement, sent to Col. 
Duncan for instructions. He was immediately ordered 
not to parole Col. Mosby until further orders from Col. 
Duncan. In the meantime a dispatch was received 
from Richmond, and Mosby was ordered to leave town 
immediately, while the Provost guard were instructed 

MOSBY IN 1866 


to see that he did so without molestation or hindrance. 
The dispatch is generally supposed to have been an 
order for his arrest, probably under a misapprehension 
of the facts, — and, as he had come here under an 
implied safeguard from the military authorities, they 
felt bound in honor not to take advantage of the act. 

[Extract from the Alexandria State Journal, 1865] 

We last night noticed the fact that Major [sic] 
Mosby was in the city, and his presence was much 
courted by his friends and admirers. An hour after 
his arrival there was hardly a sympathizer with the 
late Confederacy here who did not know of his pres- 
ence. Wherever he went he was followed by a large 
crowd of friends. He seemed to make Harper's store 
his headquarters, and whenever stationed there large 
crowds, composed of a plentiful sprinkling of colored 
men and boys, gathered on the corner and blockaded 
the sidewalk, sometimes almost obstructing the street. 
This became so annoying that about four o'clock 
P.M. last evening, the military authorities ordered his 
arrest. He was arrested by Capt. McGraw at the 
residence of Mrs. Boyd Smith, on St. Asaph Street, 
and taken before Genl. Wells, who held him until he 
communicated with headquarters at Washington and 
received orders for his release. 

Leesburg, January 8, '66. 
Dearest Pauline : 

I was just in the act of starting home this morning 
when an order came for my arrest. I am now under 


arrest here, awaiting orders from General Ayres. 
Don't be uneasy. . . . 

Yours affectionately, 

John S. Mosby. 

[From the Baltimore Sun, February 6th, 1866] 

Col. Mosby has been released upon parole by Genl. 
Grant, he being included in the terms of Genl. Lee's 

Thus it was nearly a year after Lee's surrender 
that the war closed for Mosby. 


In Retrospect 

[In December, 1899, Colonel Mosby wrote 
the following letter to John S. Russell — his 
chief scout in the war — which throws valuable 
sidelights on many of the episodes connected with 
his command, and sums up his deliberate opinion of 
many of the controversial points connected with his 
partisan life. In this survey of the past, Colonel 
Mosby stated many of his final conclusions.] 

San Francisco, Dec. 16, 1899. 

Mr. John S. Russell, 
Berryville, Va. 

Dear John : 

I have mailed you a set of photographs of the Berry- 
ville raid that made Sheridan retreat fifty miles down 
the Valley to the place where he started from. In 
1867 Captain McAleer, of Baltimore, visited the 
scene, made sketches, and procured photographs of 
many of our men. He then went to Paris and had the 
pictures painted by two distinguished artists. 1 . . . 

1 Beauce" and Philippoteaux. Photographic reproductions of these 
paintings were widely circulated in France, England, and America 
shortly after the war, and one is reproduced in this volume. 



Number i ("Mosby Planning an Attack on the Federal 
Cavalry") represents the battalion just as we reached 
the east bank of the Shenandoah — "the daughter of 
the stars." You are near me, listening intently to an 
order I am giving you to cross the river and find out 
what was in front. You returned after dark, when I 
was asleep enjoying a soldier's dream, "and the senti- 
nel stars had set their watch in the sky", and told me 
that a long train, heavily guarded, was passing on the 
pike. In a few minutes all were mounted and moving 
to the attack. 

Number 2 represents the Berryville fight and the 
stampede of the train guard. I am with Sam Chap- 
man's company that was kept in reserve with the 
howitzer that is firing while Richards's squadron 
charge at one point on the line and William Chapman 
and Glasscock with their companies charge at another. 
Stockton Terry, of Lynchburg, is near me with the 
battalion colors. A body of the enemy formed behind 
a stone fence and made some resistance. Here Lewis 
Adie, of Glasscock's company, was killed. I remember 
very well when Guy Broadwater rode up and reported 
it to me in the midst of the fight. All I said was, 
"I can't help it." He was a fine boy. 

Do you remember how the yellow- jackets routed us, 
and were near spoiling all my plans of that day? 
The howitzer came up at a gallop and was unlimbered 
on a knoll that commanded the pike. The gun was 
put in a position right over a nest of yellow-jackets. 
They were home-rulers, like the Boers, and instantly 
a swarm flew out to repel the invasion of their terri- 


tory. My men had stood a volley from a body of 
infantry on the pike, but the sting of the yellow- jackets 
was too much for their courage. The horses reared and 
plunged, the men ran away from the gun. Whether 
the scene was sublime or ridiculous depends upon one's 
point of view at the time. My horse was frantic, 
and I felt a good deal like Hercules did when he put 
on the shirt of the Centaur and couldn't pull it off. 
We were on the verge of a panic — a few minutes' 
delay would give the enemy time to recover from their 
surprise. A shot from the howitzer was to be the 
signal for the squadrons to charge. They were waiting. 
But just then one of the men — Babcock I think it 
was — rushed forward, recaptured the howitzer, and 
dragged it off. The yellow-jackets returned in tri- 
umph to their hole in the ground. In a minute a 
shell burst among the wagons ; it knocked off the head 
of a mule, the guard stampeded, while the braying of 
the mules could be heard above the roar of the gun. 
The mules we captured supplied General Lee's army 
with transportation, and the drove of fine beeves was 
sent as a present and furnished beefsteaks for his 

You will observe in the picture representing our 
return a figure on horseback playing a fiddle. It is 
Bob Ridley (Eastham). He got it from a headquarters 
wagon. Bob is playing a tune to which he had danced 
— "Malbrook has gone to the Wars." 

Our object was to impede Sheridan's march. 

I was sorry I could not be with you at the unveiling 
of the monument to our men at Front Royal, and I 


dissent from some historical statements in Major 
Richards's address. I do not agree with him that our 
men were hung in compliance with General Grant's 
orders to Sheridan. They were not hung in obedience 
to the orders of a superior, but from revenge. A man 
who acts from revenge simply obeys his own impulses. 
Major Richards says the orders were "a dead letter" 
after I retaliated, which implies that they had not 
been before. I see no evidence to support such a con- 
clusion. In his letter in the Times, Major Richards 
says that Sheridan's dispatches about hanging our 
men were "visionary ", i.e., he never hung any. If so, 
the order had always been a "dead letter." No one 
ever heard of his hangings until his dispatches were 
published a few years ago ; Sheridan was then dead, 
but his posthumous memoirs say nothing about hang- 
ing, although two pages are devoted to an account of 
the killing of Meigs and Custer's burning dwelling 
houses in Rockingham County in revenge. Meigs 
was not killed by my men ; we never went that far 
up the Valley. 

Sheridan's dispatches in the War Records about the 
men he hung were not even a revelation to me, — 
they revealed nothing. They were simply spectres 
of imagination, like the dagger in the air that Macbeth 
saw. If Sheridan had communicated Grant's dispatch 
of August 16th to any one to be executed, it would 
have been to Blazer, who commanded a picket corps 
that was specially detailed to look after us. In his 
report Blazer speaks of capturing some of my men ; 
he never mentions hanging any. Those he captured 


were certainly not hung, for I saw them when they 
came home after the close of the war. 

The following dispatches record the rise and fall of 

[Sheridan to Augur] 

August 20, 1864. 

I have 100 men who will take the contract to clean 
out Mosby's gang. I want 100 Spencer rifles for them. 
Send them to me if they can be found in Washington. 

P. H. Sheridan, 
Major-General Commanding. 

Approved : By order of the Secretary of War. 

C. A. Dana, 

Asst. Secretary. 

[Stevenson to Sheridan] 
Harper's Ferry, November 19, 1864. 

Two of Captain Blazer's men came in this morning 
— Privates Harris and Johnson. They report that 
Mosby with 300 men attacked Blazer near Kabletown 
yesterday about 11 o'clock. They say the entire 
command, with the exception of themselves, was cap- 
tured or killed. I have ordered Major Congo 1 on with 
300 Twelfth Pennsylvania Cavalry to Kabletown to 
bury dead and take care of wounded, if any, and report 
all facts he can learn. I shall immediately furnish 
report as soon as rec'd. 


Exit Blazer ! 

Richards commanded in the Blazer fight. I was 
not there. As an affair of arms it passed anything 
that had been done in the Shenandoah campaign and 
recalled the days when Knighthood was in flower. 
When we sent Blazer and his band of prisoners to 
Richmond, they would not have admitted that they 
ever hung anybody. 

Major Richards refers to Grant's orders to destroy 
subsistence for an army so as to make the country 
untenable by the Confederates, and pathetically de- 
scribes the conflagration. He ought to know that 
there had been burning of mills and wheat stacks in 
Loudon two years before Grant came to Virginia. 
Grant's orders were no more directed against my com- 
mand than Early's. Augusta and Rockingham were 
desolated, where we never had been. But I can't 
see the slightest connection between burning forage 
and provisions and hanging prisoners. One is per- 
mitted by the code of war ; the other is not. 

After General Lee's surrender I received a communi- 
cation from General Hancock asking for mine. I de- 
clined to do so until I could hear whether Joe Johnston 
would surrender or continue the war. We agreed on 
a five days' armistice. When it expired nothing had 
been heard from Johnston. I met a flag of truce at 
Millwood, and had proposed an extension of ten days, 
but received through Major Russell a message from 
Hancock refusing it and informing me that unless I 
surrendered immediately he would proceed to devastate 
the country. The reply I sent by Russell was, "Tell 


General Hancock he is able to do it." Hancock then 
had 40,000 men at Winchester. The next day I dis- 
banded my battalion to save the country from being 
made a desert. If any one doubts this, let him read 
Hancock's report. If it was legitimate for Hancock to 
lay waste the country after I had suspended hostilities, 
surely it was equally so for Grant to do it when I was 
doing all the damage in my power to his army. Stan- 
ton warned Hancock not to meet me in person under a 
flag of truce, for fear that I would treacherously kill 
him. Hancock replied that he would send an officer 
to meet me. He sent General Chapman. The atten- 
tion Grant paid to us shows that we did him a great 
deal of harm. Keeping my men in prison weakened us 
as much as to hang them. 

Major Richards complains of the "debasing epi- 
thets" Sheridan applied to us. I have read his reports, 
correspondence, and memoirs, but have never seen the 
epithets. In common with all northern and many 
southern people, he called us guerrillas. The word 
"guerrilla" is a diminutive of the Spanish word 
"guerra" (war), and simply means one engaged in the 
minor operations of war. Although I have never 
adopted it, I have never resented as an insult the term 
"guerrilla" when applied to me. 

Sheridan says that my battalion was "the most 
redoubtable" partisan body that he met. I certainly 
take no exception to that. He makes no charge of any 
act of inhumanity against us. The highest compli- 
ment ever paid to the efficiency of our command is the 
statement in Sheridan's "Memoirs", that while his 


army largely outnumbered Early's, yet their line of 
battle strength was about equal on account of the 
detachments he was compelled to make to guard the 
border and his line of communication from partisan 
attacks. Ours was the only force behind him. At 
that time the records show that in round numbers 
Early had 17,000 present for duty, and Sheridan had 
94,000. I had only five companies of cavalry when 
Sheridan came in August, 1864, to the Shenandoah 
Valley. A sixth was organized in September. Two 
more companies joined me in April, 1865, after the 
evacuation of Richmond. They came just in time to 

I don't care a straw whether Custer was solely re- 
sponsible for the hanging of our men, or jointly with 
others. If we believe the reports of the generals, 
none of them ever heard of the hanging of our men ; 
they must have committed suicide. Contemporary 
evidence is against Custer. I wonder if he also denied 
burning dwelling houses around Berryville. 

I once called at the White House in 1876 to see 
General Grant ; sent him my card, and was promptly 
admitted. When I came out of his room, one of the 
secretaries told me that General Custer had called the 
day before, but that General Grant had refused to see 
him. The incident is related in the "Life of Custer." 
A few weeks afterward Custer was killed in the Sitting 
Bull Massacre. 

Major Richards further says "that there was 
scarcely a family in all that section that did not have 
some member in Mosby's command." If that is true, 


I must have commanded a larger army than Sheridan. 
I didn't know it. He describes the pathos of the 
scenes that might have been if the "severe and cruel 
order" had been executed to transfer the families 
from that region to Fort McHenry, and says it would 
have "paralyzed" my command. If so, that would 
have been a more humane way of getting rid of it 
than killing the men. Now I have never considered 
women and children necessary appendages to an 
army ; on the contrary, I would rather class them with 
what Caesar, in his "Commentaries", calls impedi- 
menta. Homer's heroes were not paralyzed when 
Helen was carried off to Troy ; it only aroused their 
martial ambition. Sheridan knew that if he did any- 
thing of the kind it would stimulate the activity of my 
men, so he didn't try it. As for our lieutenant-colonel, 
who, as Major Richards says, married in that section, 
I think that if Sheridan had captured his wife and 
mother-in-law and sent them to prison, instead of 
going into mourning, he would have felt all the wrath 
and imitated the example of the fierce Achilles when 
he heard that Patroclus, his friend, had been killed 
and his armor had been captured. "Now perish 
Troy," he said, and rushed to fight. 

Very truly yours, 

John S. Mosby. 

My Recollections of General Lee 

My first meeting with General Robert E. Lee 
was in August, 1862, when I brought the news 
of Burnside's reinforcement of Pope, a story I 
have told in the preceding pages. The next 
time we met was at his headquarters in Orange, 
about two months after Gettysburg. He did 
not seem in the least depressed, and was as 
buoyant and aggressive as ever. He took a deep 
interest in my operations, for there was nothing 
of the Fabius in his character. Lee was the most 
aggressive man I met in the war, and was always 
ready for an enterprise. I believe that his in- 
terest in me was largely due to the fact that his 
father, "Light Horse Harry", was a partisan 
officer in the Revolutionary War. 

After General Stuart was killed, in May, 1864, 
I reported directly to General Lee. During the 
siege of Petersburg I visited him three times — 
twice when I was wounded. Once, when I got 
out of the ambulance, he was standing near, 



talking to General Longstreet. When he saw 
me hobbling up to him on crutches, he came to 
meet me, introduced me to General Longstreet, 
and said, "Colonel, the only fault I have ever 
had to find with you is that you are always getting 

Such a speech from General Lee more than 
repaid me for my wound. 

The last time I saw him during the war was 
about two months before the surrender. I had 
been wounded again. He was not only kind, 
but affectionate, and asked me to take dinner 
with him, though he said he hadn't much to eat. 
There was a leg of mutton on the table ; he re- 
marked that some of his staff officers must have 
stolen it. 

After dinner, when we were alone, he talked 
very freely. He said that in the spring of 1862, 
Joe Johnston ought not to have fallen back from 
the Rapidan to Richmond, and that he had 
written urging him to turn against Washington. 
He also said that when Joe Johnston evacuated 
his lines at Yorktown, in May of that year, he 
should have given battle with his whole force 
on the isthmus at Williamsburg, instead of mak- 
ing a rear-guard fight. 

When I bade Lee good-by after our last inter- 


view, I had no idea that it was my final parting 
with him as my commander. I can never forget 
the sympathetic words with which he cautioned 
me against unnecessary exposure to danger. 

The following is the last order he ever gave me. 
It was dated March 27, 1865, and put me in com- 
mand of all northern Virginia : 

Collect your command and watch the country from 
the front of Gordonsville to Blue Ridge, and also the 
Valley. Your command is all now in that section, 
and the general (Lee) will rely on you to watch and 
protect the country. If any of your command is in 
Northern Neck, call it to you. 

W. H. Taylor, 
Assistant Adjutant-General. 

Lee was raised in the political school of Wash- 
ington and Hamilton. In the Virginia conven- 
tion of 1788, his father had voted against the 
imbecile confederation and for the Constitution 
which made the laws of the Union supreme law 
of the land, and in 1798 spoke and voted against 
the famous States-rights' resolutions. In the 
year 1794 ne commanded the Virginia troops 
that were ordered to Pennsylvania to suppress 
the Whiskey Insurrection. It is difficult to dis- 
tinguish in law between Washington's proclama- 
tion in 1794, calling out the military force to 


execute the laws of the United States, and Lin- 
coln's in 1861. 

As Lieutenant-Colonel of the Second Cavalry, 
Lee was stationed in Texas in February, 1861, 
but was ordered to Washington, arriving there 
about the time of the presidential inauguration. 
The commander-in-chief, General Scott, a Vir- 
ginian, was too old for active service — there 
was then no retirement law — and he wanted 
Lee near him as an adviser and second in com- 
mand. On March 16, Colonel Edwin V. Sumner 
was promoted to be a brigadier-general in place 
of Twiggs, who had been dismissed for treachery 
in surrendering the Union troops in Texas. A 
Virginia lady, who met Lee about that time, 
told me, many years ago, that he spoke to her 
with great indignation about General Twiggs's 
conduct. Lee now became colonel of the First 
Cavalry. His biographers do not seem to have 
heard of this promotion and have ignored the 
fact that he accepted a commission from Presi- 
dent Lincoln. Lee was with his family at Arling- 
ton and on confidential relations with the War 
Department up to the day of his resignation, 
April 20, 1 861. As the command of the U. S. 
Army was offered to him, Scott must have thought 
that he would stand by the Union, and Lee's 


purpose to resign in the event of Virginia passing 
an ordinance of secession had not been disclosed. 

Lee was forced by circumstances to take the 
side for which he fought in the war. On the sub- 
ject of slavery and the right of secession, he 
agreed with Abraham Lincoln. Five years be- 
fore, in writing about slavery, he had said, "It 
is a moral, social, and political evil." 

Writing at Fort Mason, Texas, on January 23, 
1 86 1 — after seven States had passed ordinances 
of secession — Lee said : 

The framers of our Constitution would never have 
exhausted so much labor, wisdom, and forbearance 
in its formation, and surrounded it with so many 
safeguards and securities, if it was intended to be 
broken by every member of the confederacy at will. 
It was intended for "perpetual union", so expressed 
in the preamble, and for the establishment of a govern- 
ment, not a compact, which can only be dissolved by 
revolution, or by the consent of all the people in con- 
vention assembled. It is idle to talk of secession. 
Anarchy would have been established, and not a gov- 
ernment, by Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madi- 
son, and all the other patriots of the Revolution. 

When Lee resigned his commission to join the 
forces of his native State, he acted, as nearly every 
soldier acts, from personal sympathy with the 
combatants, and not on any legal theory of right 


and wrong. On the day when he resigned, he 
wrote his sister that he could not draw his sword 
against his family, his neighbors, and his friends. 

On the previous day, he happened to go into a 
store in Alexandria to pay a bill. His heart was 
burdened with a great sorrow, and he uttered these 
words, which the merchant wrote down in his 
journal — they still stand there to-day: "I must 
say that I am one of those dull creatures that can- 
not see the good of secession." 

Below this entry the merchant wrote, "Spoken 
by Colonel R. E. Lee when he paid this bill, April 
19, 1861." 

A few days later, Lee was made commander- 
in-chief of the forces of the State of Virginia. 
There was no competition for the position. The 
late Judge John Critcher represented Westmore- 
land, Lee's native county, in the secession con- 
vention, and was one of the committee sent to 
notify him of the appointment. The judge told 
me that when Lee returned with the committee 
to the convention hall, in the Capitol at Rich- 
mond, they had to wait for a few minutes in the 
rotunda. Looking at Houdon's statue of Wash- 
ington, Lee said, very gravely, "I hope we have 
seen the last of secession." 

He evidently feared that the seceding States 


would soon separate from one another. "The 
Life of Alexander Stephens" shows that the appre- 
hension was not unfounded, and that the members 
of the Confederacy were held together only by 
the pressure of war and by the despotic power of 
the central government at Richmond. 

I once heard General John C. Breckenridge say, 
at a dinner in Baltimore, soon after he returned 
from his exile in Canada, that if the Southern Con- 
federacy had been established, " there would have 
been such a spirit of local self-assertion that every 
county would have claimed the right to set up for 

I met General Lee a few times after the war, 
but the days of strife were never mentioned. I 
remember the last words he spoke to me, about 
two months before his death, at a reception that 
was given to him in Alexandria. When I bade 
him good-by, he said, "Colonel, I hope we shall 
have no more wars." 

In March, 1870, I was walking across the bridge 
connecting the Ballard and Exchange hotels, in 
Richmond, and to my surprise I met General Lee 
and his daughter. The general was pale and 
haggard, and did not look like the Apollo I had 
known in the army. After a while I went to his 
room ; our conversation was on current topics. 


I felt oppressed by the great memories that his 
presence revived, and while both of us were think- 
ing about the war, neither of us referred to it. 

After leaving the room, I met General Pickett, 
and told him that I had just been with Lee. He 
remarked that, if I would go with him, he would 
call and pay his respects to the general, but he did 
not want to be alone with him. So I went back 
with Pickett ; the interview was cold and formal, 
and evidently embarrassing to both. It was 
their only meeting after the war. 

In a few minutes I rose and left the room, to- 
gether with General Pickett. He then spoke very 
bitterly of General Lee, calling him "that old 

"He had my division massacred at Gettysburg," 
Pickett said. 

"Well, it made you immortal," I replied. 

I rather suspect that Pickett gave a wrong rea- 
son for his unfriendly feelings. In May, 1892, at 
the University of Virginia, I took breakfast with 
Professor Venable, who had been on Lee's staff. 
He told me that some days before the surrender at 
Appomattox, General Lee ordered Pickett under 
arrest — I suppose for the Five Forks affair. 1 I 
think the professor said that he carried the order. 

1 Battle of April I, 1865. 


I remember very well his adding that, on the re- 
treat, Pickett passed them, and that General Lee 
said, with deep feeling, "Is that man still with 
this army?" 

I once went to see the tomb of Montcalm in 
the chapel of the Ursuline Convent at Quebec. 
When I read the inscription — "Fate denied him 
victory, but blessed him with a glorious immor- 
tality" — it recalled General Robert E. Lee. 

My Recollections of General Grant 

I FIRST met General Grant in May, 1872, after 
Mr. Greeley had been nominated for the presidency 
by a convention whose members called themselves 
Liberal Republicans — although, as a matter of 
fact, many of them had been the most radical 
element of the party, but had seceded on account 
of personal grievances. My home was then at 
Warrenton, Virginia, where I was practising law. 
As it was only fifty miles from Washington, I was 
frequently there, but I had only once seen General 
Grant — one evening at the National Theatre, 
when he was in a box with General Sherman. 
Both men seemed to enjoy the play as much as 
the gods in the gallery. 

In common with most Southern soldiers, I had 
a very kindly feeling towards General Grant, 
not only on account of his magnanimous conduct 
at Appomattox, but also for his treatment of me 
at the close of hostilities. I had never called on 
him, however. If I had done so, and if he had 



received me even politely, we should both have 
been subjected to severe criticism, so bitter was 
the feeling between the sections at the time. 

No doubt, in those days, most Northerners be- 
lieved the imaginative stories of the war corre- 
spondents and supposed that my battalion fought 
under the black flag. General Grant was as much 
misunderstood in the South as I was in the North. 
But time has healed wounds which were once 
thought to be irremediable ; and there is to-day 
no memory of our war so bitter, probably, as 
the Scottish recollection of Culloden. Like most 
Southern men, I had disapproved the reconstruc- 
tion measures and was sore and very restive under 
military government ; but since my prejudices 
have faded, I can now see that many things which 
we regarded as being prompted by hostile and 
vindictive motives were actually necessary, in 
order to prevent anarchy and to secure the free- 
dom of the newly emancipated slave. 

I had given little attention to politics and had 
devoted my time to my profession, although I was 
under no political disability. As we had all been 
opposed to the Republican party before the war, 
it was a point of honor to keep on voting that way. 

When Horace Greeley was nominated, I saw — 
or thought I saw — that it was idle to divide 


longer upon issues which we acknowledged to have 
been legally, if not properly, settled ; and that if 
the Southern people wanted reconciliation, as 
they said they did, the logical thing to do was to 
vote for Grant. I have not changed my opinion, 
nor yet have I any criticism to make of those who 
differed with me. We were all working for the 
same end. Some said they couldn't sacrifice 
their principles for Grant's friendship ; I didn't 
sacrifice mine. 

Not long before the death of the late General 
M. C. Butler, United States Senator from South 
Carolina, I met him on the street in Washington. 

"We ought to have gone with you for Grant," 
he said. 

My views and opinions of that period are set 
forth in the following interview published in the 
Richmond Enquirer, in January, 1873. 

Reporter: "I see it stated generally that you have 
some influence with General Grant, — is this true?" 

Colonel Mosby : "I don't know what amount of 
influence I may have with the President, but General 
Grant knows the fiery ordeal I have been through 
here in supporting him, and I suppose he has some 
appreciation of it." 

Reporter : "What is the policy that you have advo- 
cated for the Virginia people?" 

Colonel Mosby: "The issues that formerly divided 


the Virginia people from the Republican party were 
those growing out of the reconstruction measures. 
Last year the Virginia people agreed to make no fur- 
ther opposition to those measures and to accept all 
questions growing out of them as settled. There being 
no longer any questions, then, on principles separating 
Virginia people from General Grant, it became a mere 
matter of policy and expediency whether they would 
support him or Horace Greeley. I thought it was the 
first opportunity the Southern people had had to be 
restored to their proper relation and influence with the 
Federal administration. In other words, I said the 
Southern statesmen ought to avail themselves of this 
opportunity and support General Grant for re-election, 
and thereby acquire influence and control over his 
administration. That was the only way I saw of 
displacing the carpetbag crew that represented the 
Government in the Southern States. I think that 
events have demonstrated that I was right. 

"General Grant has certainly accorded to me as 
much consideration or influence as any one man could 
have a right to expect. I know it is the disposition of 
General Grant to do everything in his power for the 
relief of the Southern people, if Southern politicians 
will allow him to do it. The men who control the 
policy of the Conservative party combine with the 
extreme Radicals to keep the Southern people arrayed 
against General Grant. As long as this course is 
pursued, the carpetbag crew who profess to support 
the administration get all the Federal patronage. 
This is the sustenance, the support of the carpetbag 


party in the South. Deprived of that, it would die 
to-morrow. I admit, as every Southern man must 
admit, the gross wrongs that have been perpetrated 
upon the Southern people. I am no apologist for them, 
but neither party proposes any atonement or indem- 
nity for the past. I propose at least to give security 
for the future by an alliance between the Southern 
people and General Grant's administration." . . . 

Reporter: "Has the President ever tendered you 
any position under his administration?" 

Colonel Mosby : "Shortly after the presidential 
election the President said something to me on the 
subject of giving me an office. I told him while I 
would as lief hold an office under him as under any 
other man who had ever been President, yet there 
was no office within his gift that I desired or would 
accept. I told him that my motives in supporting 
him had been assailed, and my accepting a position 
under his administration would be regarded as a con- 
firmation of the truth of the charge that I was governed 
by selfish motives. But my principal reason for not 
accepting anything from him was that I would have 
far more influence for good by taking nothing for 
myself." . . . 

Reporter: "Colonel, I have heard that you are 
now promoting claims against the Government, — is 
that a fact?" 

Colonel Mosby : "It is not. I have filed one claim 
for a citizen before the Southern Claims Commission. 
I shall turn this over, however, to a claim agent. I 
have had hundreds of claims of all sorts for prosecu- 


tion against the Government offered me, but have 
declined them all, as I have no idea of bartering my 
political influence. ... I do not think that any 
man nominated at Lynchburg will stand the most 
remote chance of success, because he will only be sup- 
ported by the negroes of the State, led by a few white 
men. No matter what my relations to the adminis- 
tration may be, I wouldn't assist in putting this set in 

I had strong personal reasons for being friendly 
with General Grant. If he had not thrown his 
shield over me, I should have been outlawed 
and driven into exile. When Lee surrendered, 
my battalion was in northern Virginia, on the 
Potomac, a hundred miles from Appomattox. 
Secretary of War Stanton invited all soldiers in 
Virginia to surrender on the same conditions 
which were offered to Lee's army ; but I was 
excepted. General Grant, who was then all- 
powerful, interposed, and sent me an offer of the 
same parole that he had given General Lee. 
Such a service I could never forget. When the 
opportunity came, I remembered what he had 
done for me, and I did all I could for him. 

Early one morning, a few days after the elec- 
tion of 1872, I had to go to the Treasury Depart- 
ment on business, The Secretary, Mr. Bout- 


well, had not come, and I was waiting in an ante- 
room. To my surprise, General Grant walked 
in. He shook hands with me, and said, "I heard 
you were here, and came to thank you for my 
getting the vote of Virginia." That is the only 
time I ever saw a President in any of the depart- 
ments. Of course, I appreciated General Grant's 
compliment, although he gave me credit for a 
great deal more than I deserved. 

General Grant had also done another thing 
which showed the generosity of his nature. A 
few weeks before the surrender, a small party 
of my men crossed the Potomac one night and 
got into a fight, in which a detective was killed. 
One of the men was captured and sent to Fort 
McHenry. After the war he was tried by a 
military commission and sentenced to be impris- 
oned. The boy's mother went to see President 
Johnson, to beg a pardon for her son ; but John- 
son repelled her roughly. 

In her distress, she went over to the War De- 
partment to see General Grant. He listened 
patiently to her sorrowful story, then rose and 
asked her to go with him. He took her to the 
White House, walked into the reception room, 
and told the President that there had been suf- 
fering enough, and that he would not leave the 


room without a pardon for the young Southerner. 
Johnson signed the necessary paper. 

In spite of the parole that I had taken, after 
I had settled down to the practice of law, I was 
several times arrested by provost-marshals sta- 
tioned at the court houses where I went on the 
circuit. This was both annoying and unfair. 
My parole was a contract with the government 
that was binding on both parties. To arrest me 
before I had violated it was a breach of it. 

As my wife passed through Washington on 
her way to Baltimore, she determined to go to 
the White House, not to ask for a pardon, but 
to make a complaint. She had not intimated 
her purpose to me. Her father and President 
Johnson had served in Congress together, and 
had been friends ; so she told Johnson whose 
daughter and whose wife she was. Instead of 
responding kindly, he was rude to her. 

She left him and went to see General Grant 
at the War Department. He treated her as 
courteously as if she had been the wife of a Union 
soldier, and then wrote the following letter, which 
he gave to her. He did not dictate the letter 
to a clerk; the whole is in his small, neat hand- 
writing. It gave me liberty to travel anywhere 
unmolested as long as I observed my parole. 


Headquarters of the Armies of the United States, 
Washington, D. C, Feb'y 2nd, 1866. 

John S. Mosby, lately of the Southern Army, will, 
hereafter, be exempt from arrest by military author- 
ities, except for violation of his parole, unless directed 
by the President of the United States, Secretary of 
War, or from these headquarters. 

His parole will authorize him to travel freely within 
the state of Virginia, and as no obstacle has been 
thrown in the way of paroled officers and men from 
pursuing their civil pursuits, or traveling out of their 
States, the same privilege will be extended to J. S. 
Mosby, unless otherwise directed by competent 

(Signed) U. S. Grant, 
Lieutenant General. 

When General Ewell was captured by the 
Federal forces, on the retreat from Richmond, 
he was sent to Fort Warren. Mrs. Ewell — who 
had married the general during the war — was 
from Nashville, and had known Johnson when he 
was Governor of Tennessee. She, too, called on 
the President, presuming on their old acquaint- 
ance, to ask that her husband be released on 
parole. Ewell was in a feeble condition ; he had 
lost a leg in the war. Johnson treated her just 
as he had treated my wife, and asked her why she 
had "married a one-legged man." 


Mrs. Ewell then went to see General Grant, 
who expressed great pleasure at being able to 
do something for "my old friend Ewell", and 
ordered that the poor fellow should be released 
from prison. He did hundreds of similar things. 

As I have said, my first interview with Gen- 
eral Grant was in May, 1872, when I was in- 
troduced to him by Senator Lewis of Virginia. 
He immediately began telling me how near I 
came to capturing the train on which he went 
to take command of the Army of the Potomac 
in 1864. I remarked, "If I had done it, things 
might have been changed — I might have been in 
the White House and you might be calling on me." 

"Yes," he said. 

In our talk I became convinced that he was 
not only willing but anxious to lift the Southern 
people out of the rut they were in, but he couldn't 
help them without their cooperation. If they 
insisted on keeping up their fire on him, he had 
to return the fire. I knew that he was in favor 
of relieving Southerners of the disabilities imposed 
by the Fourteenth Amendment, as he had recom- 
mended in his message. Such a bill had passed 
the House, but in the Senate, Sumner had in- 
sisted on tacking to it his Civil Rights Bill, which 
made it odious, and the measure was defeated. 


I suggested that if he could get such a bill 
passed, it would be construed as an olive branch, 
and would create such a reaction in his favor in 
Virginia that we could carry the State for him. 

"We will see what can be done," he replied. 

As I was under no disability myself, it would 
have been hard to discover a selfish motive in 
what I urged Grant to do. A few days after- 
wards, a bill removing political disabilities was 
reported in the House ; the rules were suspended, 
and the bill passed. It was sent to the Senate ; 
there was a night session ; Sumner went to his 
committee room to take a nap, and while he was 
asleep, the bill was called up and became a law. 
He was furious when he awoke and found out 
what had been done. Many Confederates who 
had been excluded from public position were 
then sent to Congress or received appointments 
from Washington. Among them was the Vice- 
President of the Southern Confederacy. 

I crossed the Rubicon when I paid my first 
visit to the White House, and I never recrossed 
it. My son Beverly, who was about twelve years 
old, was with me. He had been with his mother 
six years before, when she called on Andrew 
Johnson. That night, when he knelt by her to say 
his prayers, after getting through the usual form, 


he turned to her and said, "Now, mamma, may I 
pray to God to send old Johnson to the devil?" 

I told the story to Grant. 

"A great many would have joined in Beverly's 
prayer," he said, laughing. 

As many people in the South regarded me as 
a connecting link between the administration 
and themselves, I had to pay frequent visits 
to the White House, either to ask favors or to 
carry complaints. Such a duty is a shirt of Nessus 
to any one who wears it. Although I declined 
to take office from General Grant and exerted 
all the influence I had with him for the benefit 
of the Virginia people, this did not save me from 
the imputation of sordid motives. 

It is generally believed that Grant appointed 
me consul at Hong Kong. He did not ; I was 
appointed by Mr. Hayes. 

Often as I went to the White House during 
Grant's second term, I never failed to see him 
except once, when he was in the hands of a den- 
tist. In those days hundreds went to him for 
appointments, who would now be sent to the 
Civil Service Commission. In spite of all this 
pressure, he never seemed to be in a hurry. He 
was the best listener I ever saw, and one of the 
quickest to see the core of a question. 


I once called at the White House about seven 
o'clock in the evening, with a telegram I had 
received from General Hampton. The door- 
keeper said that the President was at dinner. 
I gave the man my card and told him I would 
wait in the hall. He returned with a message 
from General Grant, asking me to come in and 
take dinner with the family. I replied that I 
had already dined. Then Ulysses S. Grant, 
Junior, came out and said, "Father says that 
you must come in and get some dinner." 

Of course, I went in. At the table, the Gen- 
eral spoke of having called that evening on Alex- 
ander Stephens, who was lying sick at his hotel. 
It looked as if our war was a long way in the past 
when the President of the United States could 
call to pay his respects to the Vice-President 
of the Confederate States. 

A few weeks before the close of Grant's second 
term, I introduced one of my men to him. 

11 1 hope you will not think less of Captain Glass- 
cock because he was with me in the war," I said. 

"I think all the more of him," the President 
promptly replied. 

I once said to General Grant, "General, if 
you had been a Southern man, would you have 
been in the Southern army?" 


"Certainly," he replied. 

He aways spoke in the friendliest manner of 
his old army comrades who went with the South. 
Once, speaking of Stonewall Jackson, who was 
with him at West Point, he said to me, "Jackson 
was the most conscientious being I ever knew." 

I saw Grant on the day when he signed the 
Electoral Commission Bill to decide the Hayes- 
Tilden dispute. He was in an unusually good 
humor, and said that the man in whose favor the 
commission decided should be inaugurated. He 
talked a good deal about his early life in the army 
and gave a description of his first two battles — 
Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma. 

A few days after he left the White House, I 
called on General Grant at the home of Mr. 
Hamilton Fish, where he was staying. I did 
not ask him to recommend me to the new adminis- 
tration, as some members of the Cabinet were 
not friendly to him. 

President Hayes, however, appointed me United 
States Consul at Hong Kong ; and it was there, 
in 1879, during Grant's tour of the world, that I 
last saw him. I went in a boat to meet him, and, 
as I was the official representative of the United 
States, the other craft that surrounded the steam- 
ship as soon as it anchored gave me the right of 


way. As I went up the gangway, I recognized 
him, with his wife and eldest son, standing on 
the deck. It did look strange that I should be 
there representing the government, while Gen- 
eral Grant was a private citizen. 

There was with me an old Virginian who had 
gone to Hong Kong before the war. When I 
introduced him, I told General Grant that when 
I arrived I had found this fellow countryman 
of mine in about the same temper that I was in 
when the general was fighting in the Wilderness ; 
but that he was willing to surrender to the man 
to whom General Lee had surrendered. Mrs. 
Grant spoke up and asked liberal terms for him, 
and Grant said that he paroled him, and hoped 
he would be a loyal citizen. 

The Governor of Hong Kong met General 
Grant's party at the wharf, and they went to 
the Government House. Next morning the gen- 
eral paid his respects to me at the American Con- 
sulate. He was the guest of the governor for 
about ten days. On several days I breakfasted 
with him, and we had many free and informal 
talks. Once he was giving a description of his 
ride on donkey-back from Jaffa to Jerusalem. 

"That," he said, "was the roughest road I 
ever traveled." 


"General," I replied, " I think you have traveled 
one rougher road than that." 

"Where?" he inquired. 

"From the Rapidan to Richmond," I answered. 

"I reckon there were more obstructions on 
that road," he admitted. 

I went with the general, Mrs. Grant, Colonel 
Fred Grant, and the governor, in a launch, to 
the United States man-of-war which carried his 
party up the China coast, and bade him my last 
farewell. When we started ashore, the ship 
began firing a royal salute of twenty-one guns, 
in honor of the governor, and the launch stopped. 
When the firing was over, General Grant lifted 
his hat, and we responded. I never saw the great 
soldier again. 

Some time afterwards, I sent the general a 
Malacca cane which I had had lacquered for 
him. It bore the inscription, "To General U. S. 
Grant from John S. Mosby, Hong Kong." 

He was in very poor health when he received 
it, but Colonel Fred Grant wrote me that his 
father was pleased at my remembrance of him. 

When I heard that President Cleveland had 
removed me as consul, in 1885, I wrote to General 
Grant and asked him to secure me employment 
from some corporation, by which I could make 



a living. I did not then know how near he was 
to his end. My letter was forwarded to him at 
Mount McGregor, and on the day before I sailed 
from Hong Kong a dispatch announced his death. 
I felt that I had lost my best friend. 

I did not suppose that my letter would have 
any result, but on arriving in San Francisco, I 
learned that he had dictated a note to Governor 
Stanford, of the Southern Pacific, asking him, as 
a personal favor, to take care of me. I was made 
an attorney in the company and held that posi- 
tion for sixteen years. 

I have given as faithful an account as ^neas 
did to Dido of events — all of which I saw and 
part of which I was. No one clung longer to 
the Confederacy than I did, and I can say with 
the champion of another lost cause that if Troy 
could have been saved by this right hand even by 
the same it would have been saved. 


Abingdon, Virginia, n, 14, 15, 27. 

Adams, Charles Francis, 13. 

Aldie, Virginia, 159, 160. 

Aldridge, West (Mosby's com- 
pany), 317. 

Alexander, General, in battle of 
Manassas, 63, 81, 82, 83; 
quoted, 65, 72, 75, 76-77, 78, 82. 

Alexandria, Virginia, 55, 306, 379. 

Alexandria pike, 50. 

Alexandria State Journal, quoted, 

363- ■ - 

Amelia County, Virginia, 29. 

Ames, Sergeant, adventure in 
Mosby's company, 1 70-1 71, 
172-174; deserted from Fifth 
New York Cavalry, 168. 

Amy Warwick, The, seized, 96. 

Anderson, Major Robert, at Fort 
Sumter, 18. 

Appomattox, 252, 388 ; Lee's 
surrender at, 28, 84, 356, 381. 

Aquia Creek (on Potomac), 130. 

Archer's brigade in Gettysburg 
campaign, 249, 250. 

Arlington, Lee's home, 55. 

Army of Potomac, at Frederick 
City, 224; commanded by 
Meade, 86, 223 ; finest regi- 
ment in, 286. 

Ashby's Gap (Blue Ridge), Vir- 
ginia, 212. 

Ashby's regiment in battle of 
Manassas, 57, 85. 

Ashland, Virginia, 28, 112. 

Augur, General C. C, 307, 310; 
at Washington, 286, 290; dis- 
patch to Lazelle, 295 ; dispatch 
to Sheridan, 287, 288, 294, 350 ; 
dispatch to Waite, 288, 289. 

Averell, General W. W., 25. 

Ball's Ford, 47. 

Baltimore, Maryland, 85, 209, 

224, 227, 233, 325, 326, 390. 
Baltimore Sun, quoted, 6-8, 

Banks, General N. P., 59, 
Barker, Captain, capture of, 174, 


Bartow's brigade at Manassas, 
71, 78. 

Bealeton Station, Virginia, 106. 

Beattie, Ab., Major, 27. 

Beattie, Fount (Mosby's com- 
pany), 30, 48, 99, 320. 

Beauregard, General P. G. T., 39, 
43, 46 ; address by, 97 ; dis- 
patch to D. R. Jones, 70, 73 ; 
dispatch to War Department, 
62 ; in battle of Manassas, 
56-58, 60-68, 72-79, 81-85; 
quoted, 75 ; report on battle, 
68 ; strength of army, 84. 

Beaver Dam Station (Chesapeake 
and Ohio R. R.), 126, 136. 

Beckham, Mr. (citizen), 182. 

Beckham's battery in battle of 
Manassas, 79. 

Bee, General B. E., at Manassas, 
71, 78. 

Bell and Everett Meeting, 16. 

Bernhardi, General, quoted, 208, 

Berryville, Virginia, 290. 

Beverly's Ford, 204, 205, 207. 

Blackburn's Ford (Bull Run), 70, 

Blackford, Captain William, 11, 


Blackstone's "Commentaries", 8. 
Black well, Joe, visited by Mosby, 




Blazer, Captain, attempts to 

capture Mosby, 319-320. 
Blountville, Tennessee, 22. 
Blue Ridge Mountains, 33, 47, 56, 

61, 156, 171, 202, 208, 212, 214, 
215, 218, 230, 240, 245, 283, 
290, 298, 299, 305, 320, 324, 328. 

Boiling, Bartlett, 4. 

Bonham, General, in battle of 
Manassas, 63, 70, 71. 

Boutwell, George S. (Secretary of 
Treasury), 388. 

Braddock road, 161. 

Brandy, Virginia, 182, 203, 205 ; 
cavalry combat at, 208, 220. 

Breckenridge, General, quoted, 

Bristol, Virginia, II, 16, 22. 

Broadwater, Guy (Mosby's com- 
pany), 298. 

Brooklyn 14th, Mosby's en- 
counter with, 94. 

Brougham, Lord, 13. 

Brown, John, 33. 

Buchanan, ex-President, 12. 

Buckner, General S. B., surrender 
of, 103, 104. 

Buford's division in Gettysburg 
campaign, 203, 205, 207, 208, 

Bull Run, 25, 26, 43, 48, 49, 57, 

62, 63, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72, 82, 84, 
85, 100, 220, 250 ; battle of, 
see Manassas, battle of. 

Bull Run Mountain, 159. 

Bunker Hill, West Virginia, 30-31. 

Burnside's troops at Hampton 
Roads, 129, 130, 131, 132; in 
battle of Manassas, 79 ; re- 
enforcement of Pope, 374; re- 
pulsed at Fredericksburg, 148 ; 
sent to Washington, 44. 

Butler, General M. C., quoted, 

Calhoun, John C, 13, 14. 
Campaign of i860, 12-17. 
Campbell, Doctor Edward, 65, 81. 

Carlisle, West Virginia, 37, 227, 
228, 231, 235, 240, 241, 242, 243. 

Cashtown, Pennsylvania, 231, 235, 
236, 238, 242, 243, 244, 247, 
249, 250. 

Cashtown Pass, 245, 251. 

Cedar Mountain, 133. 

Cedar Run, 105. 

Central Railroad, 289. 

Centreville, West Virginia, 61, 63, 
66, 67, 68, 70, 71, 72, 74, 75, 
81, 94, 99, 105, 173, 177, 178, 
179, 180, 181. 

Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, 24, 
25. 37, 234; Hooker at, 245; 
Lee at, 219, 221, 223, 224, 225, 
226, 231, 238; Patterson at, 

40, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244. 
Chancellor, Colonel, 172. 
Chancellorsville, Virginia, 201, 251. 
Chantilly, 172, 178. 
Chapman, General George H., 

299 ; report quoted, 299-300. 

Chapman, Sam (Mosby's com- 
pany), 291, 356. 

Chapman, Captain William 
(Mosby's company), 271, 290, 
291, 298, 325, 334, 336, 356, 360. 

Charleston, South Carolina, 92. 

Charles Town, West Virginia, 

41, 42, 47, 62, 220. 
Charlottesville, Albemarle County, 

1, 5. 6, 305- 
Cheney, Lieutenant P. C. J., 

letter to Mosby, 189. 
Chesapeake, the, 129. 
Chickahominy River, no, 116, 

117. 125. 
Cincinnati, Ohio, 38. 
Civil Rights Bill, 392-393. 
Clarke's Mountain, 138, 142. 
Clendenin, Colonel, 343. 
Cleveland, ex-President, 398. 
Cocke, Colonel, in battle of 

Manassas, 67, 69, 71, 75. 
Cold Harbor, Virginia, 60. 
Coleman, Mr. (citizen), 217. 
Coles, Lieutenant- Colonel, 319. 



Colt's revolver, use of, 285. 
Confederacy, depression in, 96, 


Confederate Conscription Act, 98. 

Confederate newspaper, quoted 
regarding hanging of Mosby's 
men, 300-301 ; quoted regard- 
ing attack on railroad, 331, 332 ; 
quoted regarding Mosby's com- 
pany, 354-355- 

Congress, act of, regarding com- 
merce with South, 95-96. 

Cooke, John Esten, quoted, 216- 

Cooke, Mr. (Jackson's biographer), 

Cooke, General St. George, 116. 
Couch, General, in Gettysburg 

campaign, 228, 229. 
Critcher, Judge John, 379. 
Cub Run, 82, 84, 180. 
Culpeper, Virginia, 138, 166, 183, 

202, 209. 
Culpeper Court House, 175, 182, 

Cumberland River, 103. 
Cumberland Valley, 223, 225, 235. 

Dabney, Mr. (Jackson's biogra- 
pher), 57, 142 ; quoted, 143. 

Davis, "Grimes", death of, 205. 

Davis, Jefferson, 19, 39, 60, 81, 
83, 104, 213, 224; dispatch to 
General Johnston, 60 ; message 
to Congress, 97-98. 

Dear, Charlie (Mosby's company), 


Deas, Major, quoted, 35-36. 

Dispatches, Augur to Lazelle, 
295 ; to Sheridan, 287, 288, 294, 
350 ; to Waite, 288, 289 ; to 
A. A. G. Taylor, 328 : Beaure- 
gard to War Department, 62 ; 
to D. R. Jones, 70, 73 : Davis 
to Johnston, 60; Edwards to 
Neil, 297 ; Gamble to Augur, 
349 ; Gansevoort to Augur, 
295-296; Halleck to Meade, 

225 ; to Sheridan, 306 : Harri- 
son to Kelly, 294 ; Hooker to 
Halleck, 207 ; Lawrence, A. A. 
G., to Halleck, 325 ; Lazelle to 
Augur, 293-294, 294-295, 296 ; 
to De Russy, 294 : Lee to Ewell, 
241, 242; to Seddon, 321: 
Lincoln to McClellan, 59-60 ; 
Neil to Stanton, 298 ; Pleasan- 
ton to Hooker, 207 ; Seward to 
Stevenson, 322 ; Sheridan to 
Augur, 287, 288, 289, 296, 369 ; 
to Emory, 350 ; to Grant, 309 ; 
to Halleck, 311: Slough to Tay- 
lor, 327 ; Smith, Prescott, to 
President Garrett (B. & O. Ry.), 
326 ; Stanton to Stevenson, 322 ; 
Stevenson to Averell, 293 ; to 
Edwards, 307 ; to French, 325 ; 
to Halleck, 324 ; to Sheridan, 
292, 324, 350, 369 ; to Stanton, 
296-297, 323 : Stuart to Ran- 
dolph, 121 ; Taylor, A. A. G., to 
Augur, 288 ; to De Russy, 327 ; 
to Slough, 327 : Winship to 
A. A. G. Taylor, 328. 

Douglas, S. A., 12. 

Dover, Loudoun County, Virginia, 
172, 228. 

Drake, Doctor, anecdote of, 169- 

Dranesville, fight at, 188, 270. 

Dumfries, raid to, 148. 

Dunn, Doctor Will (Mosby's 
company), 334. 

Early, General, 21, 24, 46, 283, 
303. 307, 33 2 ; in battle of 
Manassas, 69, 70, 71, 79; in 
Gettysburg campaign, 227, 228, 
231, 232, 241, 242, 250. 

Edmonson, Sergeant Tom, 22. 

Edwards, General, dispatch to 
Neil, 297. 

Eighteenth Virginia Regiment at 
Manassas, 79. 

Eighth Illinois Cavalry, 286, 287, 
328, 343- 



Eighth Virginia Regiment at 
Manassas, 79. 

Eley's brigade in battle of Manas- 
sas, 50. 

Ellsworth, Colonel, 55. 

Elzey's brigade in battle of 
Manassas, 79. 

Emory and Henry College, 23. 

England's attitude toward Con- 
federacy, 92, 93, 94, 95. 

Evans, General, in battle of 
Manassas, 63, 67, 69, 71, 73, 
75, 78. 

Ewell, General, 40, 66, 69, 70, 
72, 74, 107 ; capture of, 391 ; 
in Gettysburg campaign, 202, 
204, 208, 210-216, 218, 219, 
221, 223, 224, 226-228, 230- 
232, 234, 235, 238-244, 249, 
250, 252 ; quoted, 243 ; release 
of, 392 ; report on Gettysburg 
campaign, 241, 243. 

Eylau, Prussia, 285. 

Fairfax, Virginia, 94, 148, 177, 
286, 298, 328, 345, 349; 
Mosby's attacks on, 150-156, 
162-164, 170-171, 172-174; 
skirmish at, 29. 

Fairfax Court House, 40, 50, 83, 

99, 172, 173- 

Fauquier County, Virginia, 335. 

Fifth New York Cavalry, 168, 

First Vermont Cavalry, 160, 161, 

First Virginia Cavalry, 47, 182; 
organized by Stuart, 30, 31. 

Fisher's Hill, battle at, 303. 

Fitzhugh, Major, 136, 139; cap- 
ture of, 140. 

Five Forks, 381. 

Floyd, Governor (General), 14, 18, 
39; at Fort Donelson, 18-19, 
24, 103-104; fate of, 18-19. 

Foote, Commodore, 103. 

Forbes, Major, capture of, 278 ; 
report of capture, 279-282. 

Fort Donelson, 18, 24; fall of, 

Fort Mason, Texas, 378. 
Fort McHenry, 389. 
Fort Sumter, surrender of, 18. 
Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, 13, 

92, 39i- 

Fortress Monroe, Mosby at, 129, 


Frankland, Walter (Mosby's com- 
pany), 169, 170. 

Frazar, Major, 343 ; report of 
wounding of Mosby, 346- 

Frederick City, Maryland, 223, 

224, 226, 227, 233, 237, 244, 

246, 248. 
Fredericksburg, Virginia, 59, 127, 

148, 183, 202, 211. 
Freemantle, Colonel, quoted, 247. 
Fremont, Colonel, defeated, 60. 
Front Royal, 305, 306, 310. 
Fry's Woods, Virginia, 2, 3. 
Fulkerson, Colonel (Judge), 26. 
Furse, Colonel, quoted, 253. 

Gamble, Colonel, dispatch to 
Augur, 349. 

Gansevoort's dispatch to Augur, 

Gaps of South Mountain, Mary- 
land, 221, 224, 235, 240, 245. 

Garnett, General, 39. 

Gettysburg, 85, 162, 165, 374. 

Gettysburg campaign, discussion 
of, 201-257 ; Ewell's report on, 
241, 243; Heth's report on, 
337, 250, 251 ; Hill's report on, 
236, 237; Lee's report on, 218, 
219, 232, 235, 236, 237, 238- 
240, 243, 244, 246, 247, 248; 
Stuart's report on, 200, 235- 

Gibraltar, Virginia, 1 . 

Gibson, Mr. (Mosby's company), 
136, 137- 

Gibson, Captain, in Gettysburg 
campaign, 205. 



Gibson, Major, 349, 350. 
Gilmer, Major, search for Mosby's 

company, 157-162. 
Glade Spring Church, 28. 
Glasscock (Mosby's company), 

Glen Welby farm, Mosby visits, 

335, 343- 

Gordon, General George, quoted, 

Gordon, General John B., 353. 

Gordon's brigade in Gettysburg 
campaign, 232. 

Gordonsville, Virginia, 133, 138, 
305. 308, 346. 

Grafton, Virginia, 40. 

Grant, Colonel Fred, 398. 

Grant, Mrs., 397, 398. 

Grant, General Ulysses S., 19, 
68, 306, 307, 310 ; attack on Ft. 
Donelson, 103 ; at theatre, 383 ; 
attitude towards South, 392, 
393 ; bars Lee's retreat at 
Appomattox, 252 ; capture of 
Ft. Donelson, 104; conduct at 
Appomattox, 383 ; description 
°fi 399 ; first two battles, 396 ; 
generosity of, 389, 392 ; gives 
Mosby parole, 388, 390, 391 ; 
intent to cut Lee's communica- 
tions, 283 ; intuition of, 123 ; 
misunderstood, 384; policy of, 
353 ; quoted, 303, 304, 389, 394- 
395. 39 6 » 397. 39 8 ! secures 
Mosby position, 399 ; signs 
Electoral Commission Bill, 396 ; 
telegram to Early, 303 ; tele- 
gram to Sheridan, 305 ; tour 
of world, 396 ; visit to Hong 
Kong, 396-398. 

Grant, Ulysses S., Jr., 395. 

Gregg, in Gettysburg campaign, 
207, 208. 

Greeley, Horace, nominated for 
President, 383, 384. 

"Greenback Raid ", 327. 

Green Village, 242. 

Greenwood, Virginia, 237. 

Grimsley, Captain, in Gettys- 
burg campaign, 205. 

Grogan, Charlie (Mosby's com- 
pany), 317, 320. 

Groveton, Pennsylvania, 181. 

Hagerstown, Maryland, 46, 210, 

211, 239. 
Hall, Charlie (Mosby's company), 

Halleck, General, 138, 139, 207, 

226, 227, 310 ; dispatch to 
Meade, 225 ; dispatch to Sheri- 
dan, 306 ; quoted, 306. 

Hamilton, Alexander, 376. 

Hampton, General Wade, 131, 
216, 395; in battle of Manas- 
sas, 78, 79 ; in Gettysburg 
campaign, 207. 

Hampton Roads, 129. 

Hancock, General Winfield S., 
excludes Mosby from parole, 
358 ; notice of Lee's surrender, 

Hanover, Virginia, 135, 140. 

Hanover County, 124. 

Harper's Ferry, 56, 57, 59, 225, 
283, 286, 307, 310, 321-322, 
325 ; abandonment of, 29, 33- 
46; base in Gettysburg cam- 
paign, 46 ; situation of, 33 ; 
value of, 33-34, 41, 43, 45. 

Harris Cavalry (New York), cap- 
ture of Mosby, 127 ; history of, 
quoted, 128. 

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 212, 

227, 228, 229, 232, 233, 235, 
237, 238, 242, 243, 244. 

Harrison, Captain, dispatch to 

Kelly, 294. 
Harrisonburg, 304. 
Hatton, Ben, episode of, 153-156, 

Hayes, ex-President, appoints 

Mosby consul at Hong Kong, 

394. 396. 
Heidlersburg, Pennsylvania, 242. 
Heintzelman, General S. P., in 



battle of Manassas, 73 ; quoted, 

Henderson, Colonel, 57 ; quoted, 

Heth (officer), in Gettysburg 
campaign, 231, 237, 246, 247, 
249, 250, 251 ; report on Gettys- 
burg campaign, 237, 250. 

Hill, General A. P., in Gettys- 
burg campaign, 202, 209, 210, 
213, 220-222, 231, 234-237, 
239, 243, 245-247, 249-251 ; 
report on Gettysburg cam- 
paign, 236, 237. 

"History of Civil War in 
America", quoted, 134-135. 

Holmes's brigade in battle of 
Manassas, 69, 70. 

Hong Kong, Grant visits, 396, 
397 ; Mosby consul at, 394, 
396, 399- 

Hooker, General Joseph, 150; 
dispatch to Halleck, 207 ; in 
Gettysburg campaign, 202-204, 
207, 208-211, 213, 215, 218, 219, 
220-225, 231-233, 235, 239- 
241, 243-245, 248-249, 251, 252 ; 
quoted, 203. 

Horsepen Run, 170. 

Howard's brigade in battle of 
Manassas, 74-75. 

Hunter, General David, account 
of, 24-25 ; in battle of Manas- 
sas, 73. 

Hunter, Sergeant, in raid on 
Fairfax, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 

Hunton, Colonel Eppa, at Lees- 
burg, 40 ; in battle of Manassas, 

Hutchinson, Curg, anecdote about, 

314. 315- 

Imboden (officer), in Gettysburg 
campaign, 213, 237, 238, 245. 

Jackson, Mr. (civilian), shoots 

Colonel Ellsworth, 55. 
Jackson, Andrew, 12. 

Jackson, T. J. (Stonewall), 33, 
66, 123, 126, 127, 202; at 
Harper's Ferry, 34, 36 ; in 
battle of Manassas, 56-61, 71, 
72, 78, 79, 81, 84; in campaign 
against Pope, 133, 138, 140, 
143 ; incident regarding, 144- 
145; quoted, 34. 

James River, Virginia, no, 117, 
123, 129, 130. 

Janney, Mr., incident regarding, 

Jefferson, Thomas, 2, 3, 14. 

Johnson, President, 389, 390 ; 
visited by Mrs. Ewell, 391 ; 
visited by Mrs. Mosby, 390, 


Johnson, General J. E., 47, 50, 
74, 84, 94 ; army of, 30, 38 ; 
at Harper's Ferry, 33, 38-45 ; 
headquarters at Centreville, 99 ; 
in battle of Manassas, 56-58, 
60-66, 68, 75-76, 78, 79, 85; 
Lee's comment on, 375 ; praised 
by Mr. Davis, 104; quoted, 
37, 61, 162 ; report on battle of 
Manassas, 78, 84 ; retired from 
Centreville, 105 ; strength of 
army, 56, 58, 84, 85 ; urges 
reenlistment, 96-97. ■ 

Johnson's (Edward) division in 
Gettysburg campaign, 242, 243. 

Johnston, Colonel (Fifth New 
York Cavalry), 162-180; inci- 
dent regarding, 177, 187. 

Johnston, General A. S., blunder 
of, 103. 

Jones, Brigadier-General, head- 
quarters of, 99 ; in battle of 
Manassas, 66, 69, 72, 74, 94; 
in Gettysburg campaign, 205, 
206,207,214; made colonel, 99. 

Jones, Captain William E., n, 
22, 27, 30, 32, 48-49, 106; 
quoted, 49. 

Jones, Colonel, 102. 

Jones, Lieutenant Roger, at 
Harper's Ferry, 34. 



Kanawha Valley, 39. 

Kelly's Ford, 204, 207. 

Kemper, Dell, battery of, 45, 49 ; 

in battle of Manassas, 82, 84. 
Kenly's brigade, 292. 
Kentucky lost to Confederacy, 

Kernstown, battle at, 28. 
Kershaw (officer) in battle of 

Manassas, 82. 
King, General, 127. 
King, Sergeant Jim, account of, 


Lake, Ludwell, incident at house 

of, 33&-345- 

Latan6, Captain, combat with 
Captain Royall, 112. 

Lavender, Jake (Mosby's com- 
pany), 335. 

Lawrence, A. A. G., dispatch to 
Halleck, 325. 

Lazelle, Colonel, 298 ; dispatch 
to Augur, 293-294, 294-295, 
296; to De Russy, 294. 

Lee, Colonel Fitzhugh, 94, 109, 
118, 166, 175, 182, 183, 184, 
185, 216; in expedition against 
Pope, 135, 136, 139, 140. 

Lee, General Robert E., 36, 118, 
124, 127, 131, 283, 304, 307; 
army, condition of, 353 ; notice 
of surrender of, 358 ; organiza- 
tion of, 202 ; surrender of, 356, 
388 ; authorizes attack on Mc- 
Clellan, 112; becomes colonel 
First Cavalry, 377 ; comments 
on Johnston's movements, 375 ; 
commissioned by Lincoln, 377 ; 
conference with Mosby, 334; 
crosses Potomac, 202 ; dis- 
patch to Ewell, 241, 242; dis- 
patch to Seddon, 321 ; expedi- 
tion against Pope, 135, 137, 
140, 141 ; headquarters of, 105, 
in; home of, 55 ; in Gettys- 
burg campaign, 201-204, 208- 
316, 218-234, 237-249, 251- 

253 ; instructions to Mosby, 
289 ; interview with Mosby, 
132 ; letter to Davis, 185 ; 
last order to Mosby, 376 ; 
made commander-in-chief Vir- 
ginia forces, 379 ; mentions 
Mosby in report, 125 ; Mosby's 
report to, 321 ; offered com- 
mand of U. S. army, 377 ; opin- 
ion about Harper's Ferry, 33, 
34, 39 ; opinion on secession 
and slavery, 378 ; president of 
Washington and Lee College, 
5; quoted, 39, 210, 211, 214, 
219. 237-238, 239, 308, 375, 378, 
379, 380, 382 ; report on Gettys- 
burg campaign, 218, 219, 232, 
235, 236, 237, 238-240, 243, 
244, 246, 247, 248 ; resigns 
commission, 378 ; selects Ma- 
nassas Junction as concentra- 
tion point, 56 ; stationed in 
Texas, 377. 

Lee, "Lighthorse Harry", 374, 

Lee, W. F. H., in Gettysburg 
campaign, 207. 

Leesburg, Virginia, 40. 

Letcher, Governor, 15, 27 ; com- 
missions Mosby captain, 183. 

Letters, Cheney, Lieutenant P. C. 
J., to Mosby, 189 ; Lee to Stuart, 
141 ; Morgan to Mosby, 359 ; 
Mosby (Colonel) to his sister, 
89 ; to General Sheridan, 302- 
303 ; to Hancock, 359-360 ; 
to Mrs. Mosby, 49-50, 51-53, 
53-54, 86-92, 102, 104-105, 
108-109, 1 19-120, 122, 128-129, 
143, 146, 147, 152, 263-264, 
308-309, 312, 330-33I, 361-362, 
363-364; to Russell, 365-373; 
to Seddon, 355-356; to Mrs. 
Stuart, 254-257 ; Peck, T. S., 
to Mosby, 189-190 ; Sheridan 
to Grant, 304 ; Stanton to ex- 
President Buchanan, 83 ; Tay- 
lor, W. W., to Mosby, 192. 



Lewis, Senator (of Virginia), 392. 
"Life of Alexander Stephens", 

"Life of Jackson ", 58. 
"Life of Marion ", 4. 
Lincoln, Abraham, 92 ; anecdote 

of, 181; assassination of, 25; 

call for troops, 1 8 ; Congress 

called by, 95 ; inaugural quoted, 

20; proclamation of, 19, 376; 

dispatch to McClellan, 59-60 ; 

dispatch to Hooker, 209. 
Long (Lee's biographer), ail, 

218, 219, 220. 

Longstreet, General James, 66, 
I 36, 138, 141 ; in battle of 
Manassas, 70, 71 ; in Gettys- 
burg campaign, 202, 204, 209, 
212, 213, 220, 221, 239, 240, 
245, 246, 247 ; Mosby meets, 
375; quoted, 212, 213. 

Loudoun County, 150, 156, 245, 

Louisa Court House, 140. 

Love, Tom (Mosby's company), 
298, 335, 336, 339, 3451 cap- 
ture of, 343. 

Lowell, Colonel Charles R., Jr., 
278 ; report of Major Forbes's 
capture, 279-282. 

Lynchburg, Virginia, 298, 305, 
346 ; paper quoted regarding 
Mosby's parole, 362-363. 

Maddux, Cab, incident regarding, 

Manassas, discussion of battle of, 

47-85, 95, Hi- 
Manassas Gap Railroad, 305, 306, 
307, 310, 328; attacks on, 307, 

Manassas Junction, Virginia, 40, 

41, 56, 57, 59, 60, 61, 62, 83, 305. 
Marion, Virginia, 23. 
Marr, Captain, death of, 29. 
Marshall, Colonel Charles, 218, 

219, 220, 225, 234, 236, 238, 
248; quoted, 233-234. 

Martha Washington College, 
Abingdon, 22. 

Martinsburg, West Virginia, 31, 
32, 220, 321, 323. 

Maryland, 34, 221, 222, 223, 232, 
245, 248, 286, 325; invaded, 
46; line crossed, 4, 210, 239. 

Maryland Heights, 34, 220. 

Mason, Senator James M., 13 ; 
capture of, 13, 92-94. 

McCausland, General, 24, 25. 

McClellan, General George B., 
59; at Chickahominy, 110- 
113, 116, 117; at Cold Harbor, 
60; driven from Virginia, 148; 
estimate of ability, 117; head- 
quarters of, 38 ; movements of 
army, 105, 123, 130, 135; 
Stuart's ride around, 125, 132, 

McDowell, General Irvin, 44; 
dispatch from Fairfax Court 
House, 83 ; in battle of Manas- 
sas, 50, 55-57, 59, 60-64, 66- 
69, 74-76, 79, 81, 83, 84; loca- 
tion of army, 35, 38, 46; quoted, 
67, 80; strength of army, 55, 

84, 85. 

McGowan, General, 70. 

McLaurine, James, 1 ; Robert, 1. 

McLean's Ford (farm), 69, 71, 74. 

Meade, General George G., 68 ; 
in Gettysburg campaign, 225- 
228, 241, 243, 244, 246-250; 
quoted, 226 ; takes command 
Army of Potomac, 223. 

Middleburg, Virginia, 156, 158, 
170, 343- 

Middletown Valley, Maryland, 

Miles 's brigade in battle of Manas- 
sas, 74. 

"Military Memoirs ", 65. 

Millwood, West Virginia. 220. 

Milroy (officer) in Gettysburg 
campaign, 202, 208, 209. 

Mitchell's Ford, Bull Run, 71. 

Monongahela River, 161. 



Montcalm, General, tomb at 
Quebec, 382. 

Monteiro, Doctor, 334, 346, 360. 

Montgomery, Alabama, 36. 

Monticello (home of Jefferson), 2. 

Moore, Major, 321. 

Moorefield, 25. 

Moran, Dick (Mosby's company), 

Morgan, General C. H., letter to 
Mosby, 359. 

Mosby, Alfred D., 1. 

Mosby, Colonel John S., activi- 
ties, 1863-1864, 258-259; ad- 
venture with John Underwood, 
163-164; anecdote of son 
Beverly, 393-394 ; anecdote 
regarding name, 166-167; ap- 
pointed attorney of Southern 
Pacific Railroad, 399 ; ap- 
pointed consul at Hong Kong, 
394. 396 ; attacks on Fairfax 
outposts, 150-156, 170-184; at- 
tacks on railroad, 308, 309, 313- 
3 J 7i 3 2 5 I begins partisan war- 
fare, 148-149; called "bush- 
whacker ", 285 ; captured and 
wounded at Lake's house, 336- 
343 ; captured by Harris's 
New York Cavalry, 127 ; cap- 
ture of Major Forbes, 278, 279- 
282 ; capture of Sheridan's 
paymasters, 317, 320, 321 ; cap- 
ture of Sheridan's supplies, 292 ; 
capture of General Stoughton, 
1 75-1 8 1 ; captures two cavalry- 
men, 217; carries information 
to Lee, 131-133 ; commissioned 
colonel, 356 ; commissioned cap- 
tain by Governor Letcher, 183; 
conversation with a German 
lieutenant, 318; conversation 
with Grant, 395-396 ; con- 
versation with General Pickett, 
381 ; death reported, 346, 349, 
350; description of, 149 note; 
destroys supply train, 308, 313- 
318, 320 ; dinner with Lee, 105, 

375 ; discards use of sabre, 152, 
284; discovers destination of 
McClellan's army, 129-130; 
discussion of battle of Manas- 
sas, 47-85, 98 ; discussion of 
Gettysburg campaign, 201-257 ; 
discussion with Grant, 392- 
393 ; efforts to start campaign 
against Pope, 123-126; en- 
counter with Major Gilmer's 
company, 157-162; escape from 
Lake's house, 344-346 ; ex- 
changed, 131 ; farewell address 
to his command, 360-361 ; feel- 
ing towards Grant, 383-385, 
388 ; first meeting with Grant, 
383, 392 ; first meeting with 
Lee, 374; goes to Richmond, 
355 ; hanging of Mosby's men, 
300-302 ; last meeting with 
Grant, 396-398 ; last meeting 
with Lee as commander, 376; 
last order from Lee, 376; let- 
ters from Lieutenant Cheney, 
189; Morgan, C. H.,359; T. S. 
Peck, 189-190; W. W. Taylor, 
192 : letters to his sister, 89 ; 
to General Hancock, 359-360; 
to Mrs. Mosby, 49-50, 51-54, 
86-92, 102, 104-105, 108-109, 
109-110, 119-120, 122, 128- 
129, 143, 146, 147, 152, 263- 
264, 308-309, 312, 330-331, 
361-362, 363-364; to John S. 
Russell, 365-373 ; to Seddon, 
355-356 ; to General Sheridan, 
302-303 ; Lynchburg paper 
quoted regarding his parole, 
362 ; made adjutant, 102 ; meet- 
ing with Lee after war, 380-381 ; 
meeting with Stuart, 100-101 ; 
newspaper comment on, 114- 
115 ; omitted from parole, 358; 
parole given by Grant, 338, 390, 
391 ; put in command of 
Northern Virginia, 356 ; quoted 
re Barbara Frietchie incident, 
114; re Stonewall Jackson inci- 



dent, 144-145 : recommended 
by Stuart, 121 ; recollections 
of General Grant, 383-399 ; 
recollections of General Lee, 
374-382 ; rejoins army, 135 ; 
removed as consul, 398 ; report 
of a raid, 187-188; to Secre- 
tary Seddon, 308 ; to General 
Stuart, 192-195, 197-199, 259- 
263, 264-270 ; to Lieutenant- 
Colonel Taylor, 271-278: re- 
ports of capture and wounding, 
quoted, 346-348, 35<>, 351-352 ; 
scouting for Stuart, 106-108, 
109, 110-112, 113-114, 118-119; 
sent to Old Capital Prison, 127 ; 
Sheridan harassed by, 283, 
284, 289, 290-292, 312, 313, 

319, 320, 323, 324, 332-333; 
use of Colt's revolvers, 152, 285- 
286 ; wounded at Fairfax, 298 ; 
wounded at Lake's house, 338- 

346, 353- 
Mosby, Mrs. Alfred D. (Colonel 

Mosby's mother), extracts from 

diary, 354, 357~358. 
Mosby, Mrs. John S. (Colonel 

Mosby's wife), secures Mosby's 

parole, 390-391. 
Mosby, Victoria, 2. 
Mosby, William H., 360. 
Mountjoy (Mosby's company), 

320, 327. 

Mount McGregor, 399. 
Mount Zion, battle at, 278. 
Muddy Branch, 286. 
MurreU's Shop (post office), 2. 

Napoleon at Austerlitz, 74 ; at 
Marengo, 215; at Rivoli, 208. 

Nashville, Tennessee, 391. 

Nassau, Bahama, 92. 

Neil's dispatch to Stanton, 298. 

Nelson, Aleck, 5. 

Nelson, Joe (Mosby's company), 
174, 178. 

Nelson County, Virginia, 1, 2. 

New York City, 50. 

New York Herald, quoted, 351- 

New York Zouaves (Ellsworth's), 

55. 80, 84. 

Ninth Virginia Cavalry, 112. 
Norfolk Navy Yard seized, 21. 

Occoquan River, Virginia, 62. 
O'Connor, Lieutenant, 185, 187; 

dispatches quoted, 186. 
Ogg, Tom, anecdote of, 328-330. 
Ohio River, 38. 
Old Capital Prison (Washington), 

Old Church, Hanover, 112. 
Omens of war, 11-12. 
Orange and Alexandria Railroad, 

137, 305 ; attacks on Manassas 

Gap section, 307, 309, 313-317- 
Orange County, Virginia, 138, 374. 

Pamunkey River, no, in, 113, 

114, 117, 123. 
Paris, Comte de, quoted, 119, 


Patrick, Captain, in battle of 
Manassas, 47. 

Patterson, General Robert, 40, 
41, 43, 44, 47; crosses Mary- 
land line, 42 ; in battle of 
Manassas, 56-57, 59, 61, 62; 
location of army, 31, 32, 38, 40, 
44, 46, 47, 62 ; quoted, 44 ; 
retired from Harper's Ferry, 
44; strength of army, 39, 55, 

56, 58. 

Patton, John S., quoted, 7-8. 

Pawnee, The, 55. 

Peck, T. S., letter to Mosby, 189- 

Pelham, Major John, 183. 
Pender's division in Gettysburg 

campaign, 249, 250. 
Pennsylvania, 201, 210, 211, 221, 

225, 232, 239. 
"Peter Parley" schoolbooks, 4. 
Peters, Professor William E., 23 ; 

captured, 25 ; refusal to burn 

Chambersburg, 24-25. 



Petersburg, Virginia, 105, 307, 

332, 334. 374- 

Peterville, 1. 

Pettigrew's brigade in Gettysburg 
campaign, 249. 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 235. 

Pickett, General George E., meet- 
ing with Lee, 381 ; quoted, 381. 

Piedmont region, Virginia, 283. 

Pierpont, Governor, 38. 

Pillow, General G. J., escape from 
Fort Donelson, 103-104. 

Pipe Creek, 227, 250. 

Pleasanton, General Alfred, at 
Gettysburg, 204-206, 208, 209, 
222 ; dispatch to Hooker, 207. 

Point Lookout, 337. 

Point of Rocks, Maryland, 36. 

Pope, General John, 123, 138, 139, 
143 ; attacked by Jackson, 133 ; 
campaign against, 125-126; 
driven from Virginia, 148 ; loca- 
tion of forces, 137-138 ; organi- 
zation of army, 123 ; proclama- 
tion of, 124; reenforced by 
Burnside, 129, 132; saved from 
Stuart by "comedy of errors", 

Porter (officer at Bull Run), 
quoted, 81. 

Potomac River, 23, 33, 34, 35, 36, 
40, 41, 42, 43, 46, 55, 56, 57, 
59, 60, 85, 86, 95, 105, 129, 
150, 201, 202, 209, 210, 211, 
213, 214, 215, 220, 221, 222, 224, 
225, 231, 232, 239, 240, 248, 
284, 286, 324, 325, 388, 389. 

Powhatan County, Virginia, 1. 

Prentiss, Lieutenant, capture of, 
174; escape, 177. 

Pryor, Roger A., reply to Yancey, 

Putnam, Israel, 4. 

Raccoon Ford, 140. 

Rapidan River, 105, 126, 135, 136, 

137. 138, 139, 141, H2, 203, 207, 


Rappahannock River, 105, 106, 
138, 142, 148, 149, 182, 201, 202, 
203, 204, 209, 305. 

Rectortown, Virginia, 309, 335, 

Reid, Captain, death of, 271. 
Reports : Lowell, Colonel Charles 

R., Jr., 279-282 ; Mosby to 

Stuart, 259-263, 264-270 ; 

Mosby to Lieutenant- Colonel 

Taylor, 271-278. 
Revolutionary War, 374. 
Reynolds, General John F., in 

Gettysburg campaign, 227, 

228, 250. 
Richards, Captain Adolphus E., 

286, 291, 320, 327, 334, 336, 349. 
Richards, Major, 373. 
Richardson, General, in battle of 

Manassas, 74, 75. 
Richmond, Virginia, 15, 27, 33, 

38, 42, 43, 59, 60, 96, 103, 105, 

112, Il6, Il8, 123, 124, 125, 
129, I33, I35, I38, I70, 283, 284, 

328, 335, 349, 355, 375, 379, 

380, 391. 
Richmond Enquirer, quoted, 385- 

Richmond Examiner, quoted, 93, 

Rio, 96. 

Rives, Tim, 14, 15. 
Robertson (brigade commander) 

in Gettysburg campaign, 207, 

Robertson, Judge William J., 8. 
Rodes's division in Gettysburg 

campaign, 241, 242, 243. 
Romney, West Virginia, 41. 
Royall, Captain, 112. 
Ruggles, Major, capture and 

death of, 321. 
Russell, John S. (Mosby's scout), 

290, 291 ; letter from Mosby, 


Sabres, use of, 30, 284. 
Salem, Virginia, 309, 335. 



San Francisco, California, 399. 

San Jacinto, The, 92. 

Schenck, General R. C, 44, 209 ; 
account of, 45. 

Scott, General Winfield, 41, 43, 
59. 62, 377; quoted, 44. 

Secession Ordinance, 55. 

Seneca, Virginia, 85, 223, 286. 

Seven Days' Battle, 123. 

Seventh Virginia Cavalry in 
Gettysburg campaign, 206. 

Seward, William H., Secretary, 
92, 93 ; dispatch to Stevenson, 

Shenandoah River, 33, 61, 290, 
292, 299, 319, 320. 

Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, 13, 
24, 29, 30, 34. 35, 40, 43, 47, 56, 
57, 59, 60, 8 4, 123, 166, 202, 
208, 213, 283, 286, 324, 326, 

Shepardstown, West Virginia, 214, 

Sheridan, General Philip H., 283, 
386, 287, 289, 290, 310, 333; 
begins retreat, 305 ; campaign 
against, 283-311; capture of 
supply train of, 313-318, 319; 
defeats Early, 303 ; dispatch to 
Augur, 287, 288, 289, 296, 369 ; 
dispatch to Grant, 309; dis- 
patch to Halleck, 311 ; dis- 
patch to Emory, 350 ; harassed 
by Mosby, 283, 284, 289, 290- 
292, 3 r 2, 313, 319, 320, 323, 
324, 327, 332-333; expedition 
against Mosby's men, 298-299, 
349 ; letter to Grant, 304 ; 
line of supply in danger, 307 ; 
quoted, 304, 310; telegram, 
333-334; winter quarters of, 

Sherman, General William I., at 
theatre, 383. 

Shields, General James, in battle 
of Manassas, 60. 

Sixteenth New York Cavalry at 
Rectortown, 343. 

Skinner, Mrs., 337, 338, 339, 340, 

Slater, George (Mosby's com- 
pany), 181, 344, 345. 

Slidell, John, 13 ; capture of, 92, 

93, 94- 

Smith, Boyd (Mosby's company), 


Smith, General Edmund Kirby, 
in battle of Manassas, 79. 

Smith, Prescott, dispatch to Presi- 
dent Garrett, 326. 

"Snicker's Gap ", Blue Ridge, 290, 

Snodgrass Springs, Virginia, 32. 

South Carolina, 16; bombard- 
ment by, 18. 

South Mountain, 221, 231, 244, 

Southside Railroad, 307. 

Southwick, Miss Abby, 5-6, note. 

Sperry, J. A., quoted, 16-17, note. 

Stahel, General, report on Miskel 
Farm affair, 190-191 ; report 
on Mosby's raid, 196; telegram 
to Heintzelman, 197. 

Stanford, Governor, 399. 

Stanton, Secretary Edwin McM., 
388 ; dispatch to Stevenson, 322 ; 
letter to ex- President Buchanan, 

States' Rights Resolutions, 376. 
States' Rights theory, 21. 
Stevens, Colonel, quoted, 74. 
Stevenson, General, dispatches : to 

Averell, 293 ; to Edwards, 307 ; 

to French, 325 ; to Halleck, 

324 ; to Sheridan, 292, 324, 

35°, 3 6 9 : t0 Stanton, 296, 297, 

Stone Bridge (Bull Run), 62, 63, 

69, 71, 73, 81, 82. 
Stoughton, General, 171, 176, 178, 

181; capture of, 174-181, 184; 

exchange of, 187; headquarters 

of, 150; quoted, 180. 
Strassburg, Virginia, 305. 
Strother, Colonel, 25. 



Stuart, General J. E. B., 11, 85, 
125, 135. 139. 183 ; account of, 
31 ; commands First Virginia 
Cavalry, 30 ; dispatch to Secre- 
tary of War, Randolph, 121 ; 
escape from capture, 137; ex- 
pedition against McClellan, 
106-119; expedition against 
Pope, 135-143 ; general order, 
quoted, 184 ; in battle of Manas- 
sas, 47-48, 49. 50, 57. 59, 79, 80, 
84 ; in Gettysburg campaign, 
202, 204, 207-219, 212-216, 218- 
223, 226, 228-230, 232, 237-240, 
245, 246, 252, 253 ; killed, 374 ; 
location of headquarters, 183, 
205 ; made brigadier-general, 
99 ; Mosby's report to, 192- 
I 95. I 97 -I 99 ; quoted, 106, 143 ; 
raid to Dumfries, 148 ; report 
on Gettysburg campaign, 200, 
235-236 ; ride around McClel- 
lan, 125, 229, 230; strength of 
army, 85 ; wounded, 344. 

Stuart, Mrs. J. E. B., Mosby's 
letter to, 254-257. 

Sudley, Virginia, 25, 49, 62, 63, 
67.69, 73. 74. 75. 80,81, 181. 

Sumner, Charles, 392, 393. 

Sumner, Colonel Edwin V., 31, 

Surratt, Mrs., 25. 
Susquehanna River, 211, 213, 215, 

218, 219, 224, 227, 228, 230, 
231, 234, 235, 238, 240. 

Swan, Major, account of, 48-49. 

Taggart, Major, 165. 

Taylor, A. A. G., dispatch to 
Augur, 288 ; dispatch to De 
Russy, 327 ; dispatch to Slough, 

Taylor, Colonel Walter W., 218, 

219, 220, 236, 237, 238; letter 
to Mosby, 192. 

Tennessee, 103. 

Thirteenth New York Cavalry at 
Rectortown, 343. 

Thirty-seventh Virginia Infantry, 

Thomas, Colonel George H., 42. 

Toombs, General Robert, 142 ; 
account of, 141. 

Torbert, General, 345. 

Totopotomy (creek), no. 

Trent, The, 92. 

Turner, Lieutenant, 261. 

Twiggs, General David E., con- 
duct of, 377. 

Tyler's division in battle of 
Manassas, 73. 

Underwood, John, adventure with 

Mosby, 162-164. 
Union Mills (Bull Run), 62, 72. 
United States Armory (Harper's 

Ferry) seized, 2 1 . 
University of Virginia, 5, II, 24, 

38 1 ; episode in Mosby's life at, 


Venable, Professor, 381. 

Verdiersville, 135, 139. 

Vienna, Virginia, 44. 

Virginia, 201, 210, 211, 212, 213, 
214, 215, 225, 232, 238, 240, 
245, 248 ; secession of, 19, 20, 

31, 55- 

Virginia Convention, 19, 20, 376. 
Virginia Military Institute, 38. 
Von Massow, Baron, incident 
regarding, 270-271. 

War Department, 45 ; quoted, 

"War Diary" (Weld), quoted, 217. 

Warren, General, quoted, 116. 

Warrenton, Virginia, 360, 383. 

Warrenton Pike, 79, 173. 

Washington, D.C., 16, 34, 35, 
41, 43, 44, 46, 59, 67, 85, 107, 
123, 130, 131, 139, 148, 150, 
174, 202, 209, 210, 215, 218, 
223, 224, 232, 235, 284, 286, 
289, 305, 324, 326, 327, 328, 



375, 377, 383, 390, 393 ; Mosby's 
attacks on outposts of, 156. 

Washington, George, 19, 161 ; 
proclamation of 1794, 376. 

Washington and Lee College, 5. 

Washington Star, 94. 

"Wearing of the Gray ", quoted, 

Weld, General, 217. 

Wells, Major, capture of, 165. 

Westmoreland, 379. 

Westover, Virginia, 118. 

West Point, 11, 31, 175, 182. 

Wheat, Betsy, 3. 

Whiskey Insurrection, 19, 376. 

White, James, 5. 

Whiting, Major, 37. 

Wilkes, Captain Charles, 92. 

Williams, Frank (Mosby's com- 
pany), 176. 

Williamsburg, Virginia, 375. 

Williamsport, Maryland, 36, 220. 
Wiltshire, Doctor Jim, 312. 
Winchester, Virginia, 29, 30, 41, 

44, 56, 57, 60, 61, 62, 208, 307, 

332 ; battle of, 298, 303. 
Wise, General, 39. 
Withers, Colonel, in battle of 

Manassas, 79. 
Wolfe, General, 4. 
Woodstock, Virginia, 309. 
Wyndham, Colonel Percy, 151, 

171, 173, 174, 177, 187. 
Wytheville, Virginia, 28, 29. 

Yancey, William L., debate with 
Rives, 1 5 ; disruption of Demo- 
cratic party by, 14-15. 

York, Pennsylvania, 227, 228, 
232, 235, 241. 

York River Road, 116. 

Yorktown, 109, 375.