Confederate Partisan Ranger Colonel John Mosby ALS. Wounded seven times, the combative Mosby disbanded his troops, rather than surrender, on April 21, 1865.
One page ALS, dated August 31st, 1901, and written from Akron, Colorado. In fine condition with wear as shown. A copy of the original auction page with full description is included.
$750.00 plus shipping
"...In early 1863, he was authorized to recruit a group of partisans. Both Stuart and Robert E. Lee wanted the horsemen Mosby recruited to be under the command of the 1st Virginia Cavalry, but Mosby preferred operating outside the traditional military structure and argued that guerrilla actions would be useful in defense of Virginia and the Confederacy. He sought and received permission from Confederate Secretary of War James Seddon to organize a partisan unit; Company A, 43rd Virginia Cavalry Battalion, became part of the Provisional Army of Confederate States (PACS). Mosby was promoted to major, rising to full colonel before war’s end.
Since his men were not a traditional army unit, they could be called together to strike a selected target, then disperse afterward, making them hard to run to ground. This ability to strike quickly and then “disappear” gave rise to Mosby’s nickname, “Gray Ghost” (which was used as the title of a television series about him in 1957-58, starring Tod Andrews, and of a 1980s board game based on his exploits). Mosby himself, wearing a disguise, would often reconnoiter an area for a raid.
Mosby and his partisan rangers leaped to fame in a raid on the town of Fairfax Court House on March 9, 1863. With just 29 men, he captured Union brigadier general Edwin H. Stoughton, along with a number of horses. He also came close once to capturing a train on which General Ulysses S. Grant was a passenger. His primary area of operations in Northern Virginia became known as “Mosby’s Confederacy,” but he and his men raided as far north as Pennsylvania.
Mostly, Mosby’s Rangers (also called Mosby’s Raiders) disrupted supply lines, captured Union couriers, provided intelligence to the regular Confederate army, and generally became a thorn in the side of Federal officers operating in northern Virginia—so much so that some started executing guerrillas and Mosby retaliated by executing prisoners. He wrote to Gen. Phil Sheridan, commanding in the Shenandoah Valley, proposing that both sides end the executions, and Sheridan agreed. Mosby was still a wanted man, however. As a partisan, he was devoid of the protection under military law that he would have enjoyed as a member of the regular army..."