Since this week is the anniversary of Colonel John Singleton Mosby’s birthday — the real-life Confederate officer that the main character in my Civil War novel Shades of Gray is based upon — I wanted to post a few snippets about him.

The following excerpts from newspapers in April of 1865, show that the Yankees were no less interested in this Confederate hero just because the war had ended.

New York Times – April 14, 1865
Mosby Does Not Recognize Lee’s Surrender
Col. Gambel, commanding the Union forces at Fairfax Station, has
received a message from Mosby in which the latter says he does not
care about Lee’s surrender, and that he is determined to fight so long
as he has a man left.

New York Herald – April 17th, 1865
Mosby volunteers to surrender
It is reported on good authority that the freebooter Mosby has offered
to surrender his command if the same terms are accorded to him as to
General Lee’s army. It is not known whether this offer will be
accepted or whether it will be considered that the interests of
society require the extermination of him and his infamous band of
highwaymen.

The Adams (PA) Sentinel – April 25th, 1865
Moseby, the guerrilla, has not surrendered, although nearly all of his
officers did A reward of $2;000 has been offered for him by General
Hancock, and some of Moseby’s own men are hunting him for the reward.

Mosby actually never surrendered his troops. He disbanded them, giving the following address in Fauquier County on April 21, 1865.

SOLDIERS: I have summoned you together for the last time. The vision
we have cherished of a free and independent country has vanished, and
that country is now the spoil of a conqueror. I disband your
organization in preference to surrendering to our enemies. I am no
longer your commander. After an association of more than two eventful
years, I part from you with a just pride in the fame of your
achievements and grateful recollections of your generous kindness to
myself; and now at this moment of bidding you a final adieu, accept
the assurance of my unchanging confidence and regard. Farewell.
J. S. Mosby,
Colonel Commanding Battalion

 

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