Group Portrait Showing Col. John Singleton Mosby And Some Members Of His Confederate Battalion-The Confederacy had its share of heroic cavalry officers, including J.E.B Stuart and Nathan Bedford Forrest, but none had quite the mystique of “The Gray Ghost.”
John Singleton Mosby was an unlikely hero. Born in 1833 in Powhatan County, Virginia, he was a sickly child and was often picked on at school. Being bullied did not seem to bother Mosby, however, as he had exceptional self-confidence, and he learned to fight back at an early age.
- In 1849, he attended the University of Virginia, excelling in Classical Studies, but once again he ran up against bullies. During a confrontation with a fellow student, Mosby pulled a pistol and shot his adversary in the neck. He was promptly arrested, sentenced to one year in jail, and issued a $500 fine. He was also expelled from the university.
After the war, Mosby became the target of ridicule and even received death threats from some Southerners, as he became not only a Republican, but also a campaign manager for President Grant. The two men became great friends. In 1878, Rutherford B. Hayes appointed Mosby as the U.S. Consul to Hong Kong. Later he worked for the Department of the Interior and as assistant Attorney General.
John Mosby died in 1916 at the age of 82. Of his exploits in the war, he wrote “It is a classical maxim that it is sweet and becoming to die for one’s country; but whoever has seen the horrors of a battlefield feels that it is far sweeter to live for it.”
- Digital ID: (digital file from original item) ppmsca 35436 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.35436
- Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-35436 (digital file from original item) LC-B8184-10224 (b&w film copy neg.)
- Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print
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