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.

A Letter from George Pickett to Thomas J. Goree

















This is a letter from George Pickett to Thomas J. Goree of Huntsville, TX. George Pickett, famous for leading Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg, wrote to Goree, discussing a disagreement the two had concerning the assignment of rifles to a certain battery.

It reads:


                        Your note of this date in reference

to the Rifle guns taken from Macon’s Battery is

received.  In reply I must state that I am

more than surprised at its purport and the

apparent censure contained therein.

       I had two conversations with the Lt Genl Comdg.

on the subject of the Batteries in this Division

in, which, he not only agreed with me about

the necessity of having the rifled guns in the Art’y

Battalion consolidated but feel confident that in

the first conversation suggested it.       In our last

conversation which took place the day before we

crossed the Blackwater, and while on the subject

of the Art’y on the Division I told him Blunt had

two rifled pieces and Macon two, he said he

thought it would be much more effective to have

them all in one battery.    I then said to him Genl

I will order those two pieces of Macon’s to Blunt

giving him then a Battery of Rifle guns to which

he replied yes. Without his acquiescence and advice

I should have made no change.  If an order

did not come directly from the Lt. General it was

virtually one.  Had he have had any objections

to it a simple word or intimation from him

would have been sufficient to have prevented its

publication.  On the contrary I thought I was

carring [sic] out his wishes distinctly and plainly

expressed.   I have ordered Maj Dearing to report

to Genl. Longstreet in person and should be happy

if the Lt. Genl. Will give him such instructions as he

may deem necessary for the efficiency of his Battalion.

The copy of the order referred to is enclosed and it does


not appear that the Lt. Genls name is mentioned.

                                                 I am Captain

                                                      Very Resply You Obt Serv

                                                                       GE Pickett

Captain T.J. Goree                                            Maj Genl

A.D.C.                                                                            Comg

Hd Qrs Dept N.C. & Va.

See a higher quality version here: Letter from G.E. Pickett to Thomas J. Goree

To see other examples of the Goree Collection, go here: Goree Family Papers

Sexton Family Papers, 1844-1985


Franklin Barlow Sexton (1828-1900) was a successful lawyer, planter and member of the Texas Legislature in the 1850s. When the Civil War broke out, he served a time as a Confederate soldier before being selected as a representative of the Fourth Congressional District in the First Confederate House of Representatives. He served on various committees including: Commerce, War, Military and Tax. He was re-elected in August of 1863. This made him one of two Texans to have served on both terms of the Confederate Congress. After the war he relocated to San Augustin, Texas to continue  practicing law and served as attorney for the T. & P. Railway. His daughter, Loulie, married Harry F. Estill, a very popular and well-respected President of the Sam Houston State University who served in that office for 28 years.

The Sexton Family Papers comprises of correspondence, notes, business transactions and ephemera representing a part of the history of the life of Confederate Legislator, Franklin Barlow Sexton. The correspondence represents a wide range of personal and business communication. Some of the most common are in in regards to issues of deeds, receipts, requests for payment and memoranda. Newspaper clippings spanning a variety of topics, some of which are: agriculture, national defense, oil in Texas, poems and poets, churches and the history of Texas.

View a detailed finding aid of his collection at Sam Houston State University’s Archon page and see just what materials are in the collection.


Tuition record for the Marshall Masonic Female Institute where two of Franklin Sexton’s daughters attended school.