Mosby’s Rangers in the Civil War

 

 

 

Cpt. John Singleton Mosby

 

 

Welcome to guest blogger, Special Collections History Intern Joshua Kane.  Today he presents a book review of, “Mosby’s Rangers.”

This book, “Mosby’s Rangers” is a compilation of information from James J. Williamson about the exploits and methods of John Singleton Mosby. This book has information as well about the men he was commanding.

John Singleton Mosby, a Confederate States of America Army Calvary Battalion commander, was the Ranger who “made the first circuit around the Federal army while in front of Richmond, thereby enabling General (J.E.B) Stuart to make his celebrated raid around the entire army of General McClellan.” (Page 15) This book gives detailed information on both Mosby and his Rangers’ deeds and hardships.

There is an entry that shows Confederate States of America President Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee giving Special Order No. 82 to Mosby. These orders gave Mosby the rank of Captain in light of his exploits and deeds. With this, they mention at the very start men that had joined Mosby after their exchange as prisoners. These men were volunteers and started the term “Mosby’s Men”. The men he had been given by upper command were sent back after he gained enough volunteers. His first detail of men had been 15, names of which are given on page 18.

Many other interesting things had been written down, including how these men set up while off duty. They had no tents and so they would use the farm homes and other structures that were near the Potomac River. When they needed to meet, they had rendezvous at set locations. If none were set, then couriers would be sent out as needed when they saw an opportunity for an operation. When it was done, they would scatter, making it difficult to catch them! From the Union side, it was “like chasing Will-o’-the-wisp.” (Page 19)

You can find this book (E581.643d.W5) and others, “Mosby’s War Reminiscences and Stuart’s Calvary Campaigns” by John S. Mosby (E581.643d.M51887a), (E581.643d.M5) (two versions), and “Partisan Life with Mosby” by John Scott (E581.643d.s41867a), at the Special Collections Thomason Room on the 4th floor of the Newton Gresham Library.

To view more Civil War materials come visit the Newton Gresham Library Special Collection in the Thomason Room.  The Thomason Room is opened M-F, 8-5.

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