Mosby, John Singleton (1833 to 1916)

John Singleton Mosby (1833 to 1916)

John Singleton Mosby (1833 to 1916) enlisted in a Virginia cavalry unit at the outbreak of the Civil War. He and one other in his unit were ready to re-enlist at the end of their year of service. He was head of his regiment for only two months, but long enough to get the attention of J.E.B. Stuart. Stuart invited him to serve as a scout, and throughout the remainder of the war, with his guerrilla unit of irregulars, including deserters, civilians, and temporary men (often cavalry on furlough who needed new mounts and decided to get them from the Federals), harassed Federal troops, destroyed supply and communication lines, and attacked the rear of many units, earning him the sobriquet the “Grey Ghost.” He eluded all detachments sent to capture him. After the war, he returned to the practice of law and was involved in politics as well. He was always grateful to Grant for including protection of the irregulars in the surrender, but refused any favors from the administration. He did serve as consul to Hong Kong under Hayes, was a land agent for the Interior Department and served as a Justice Department attorney.

Information courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions, Inc.

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