Mar 9, 2013

Mosby Bags a General


(NYTimes) “On the bed we saw the general sleeping,” recalled the memoirist. “There was no time for ceremony, so I drew up the bedclothes, pulled up the general’s shirt, and gave him a spank on his bare back, and told him to get up.” This brief description captured the apex of one military career, and the nadir of another.
In the early morning hours of March 9, 1863, Lt. John Singleton Mosby led 29 Confederate partisans east along the Little River Turnpike in northern Virginia, quietly passing through a gap in the Union lines and soon arriving at Fairfax Courthouse. Mosby already had a fierce reputation for leading his “rangers” on stunning strikes behind enemy lines; most notably, he had helped plan J.E.B. Stuart’s famous 1862 ride around Gen. George B. McClellan’s army parked near Richmond, Va. Mosby’s Rangers would become so effective that the area of northern Virginia stretching east from the Shenandoah Valley along the Potomac River to Alexandria and south to the Rappahannock River would become known as “Mosby’s Confederacy.” Continued