Edited by Charles Wells Russell. Little, Brown & Co., Boston, 1917. This is a 1987 reprint done by Olde Soldier Books, Gaithersburg, Md. of the original 1917 edition. Hardcover, dust jacket, 414 pages, index, illustrations. New condition. Essential for any Mosby collection.
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; J.E.B. Stuart, Nathan Bedford Forrest, and John Singleton 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 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 ineffective. So great became the fame of Mosby's partisan exploits that soldiers of fortune came even from Europe to share his adventures.
John S. Mosby: (1833-1916) The famous Partisan Ranger. A lawyer, he became a private in the 1st Virginia Cavalry and fought at 1st Manassas in 1861. Commissioned a 1st lieutenant in Feb. 1862, he began scouting for Gen. J.E.B. Stuart shortly afterward, guiding him on his famous ride around McClellan in June. In Jan. 1863 he organized his "Partisan Rangers" and engaged in guerrilla warfare around the Loudon Valley of northern Virginia, and area that became known as "Mosby's Confederacy." In March 1863 he captured Union General Edward H. Stoughton from his bed, uncovering the sleeping general he slapped him on his behind. A great deal of energy was spent by the Union army trying to track the elusive Mosby down, and many historians credit him for helping to prolong the life of the Confederacy. By war's end Mosby had attained the rank of colonel. Wearing a gray cape lined with scarlet, and a ostrich plume in his hat, he became one of the legendary figures of the Confederacy. After the war he returned to his law practice and became involved in Reconstruction politics.