Today is the birthday of the Gray Ghost of the Confederacy, John Singleton Mosby, who was born in 1833. Fellow historian and emmy-award winning film maker Robert Lee Hodge commented this Southern icon:
Many years after the war, Mosby explained why, although he disapproved of slavery, he fought on the Confederate side. While he believed the South had seceded to protect slavery, he said, in a 1907 letter, that he had felt it was his patriotic duty to Virginia. "I am not ashamed of having fought on the side of slavery—a soldier fights for his country—right or wrong—he is not responsible for the political merits of the course he fights in ... The South was my country."
That says it all. In our book, The Day Dixie Died, we included an episode wherein shortly after the war had ended, a lone visitor was spotted at the grave of Gen. J. E. B. Stuart, and leaving a single flower upon his grave. The visitor was one John S. Mosby. His relationship with Stuart was the stuff of legend. He, after all, orchestrated the "Ride around McClellian, Ride around McClellian," yes boys, "Jine the Cavalry!"
Also from Rob,
Mosby is famous for carrying out a daring raid far inside Union lines at the Fairfax County courthouse in March 1863, where his men captured three high-ranking Union officers, including Brig. Gen. Edwin H. Stoughton. The story is told that Mosby found Stoughton in bed and roused him with a slap to his rear. Upon being so rudely awakened, the general shouted, "Do you know who I am?" Mosby quickly replied, "Do you know Mosby, general?" "Yes! Have you got the rascal?" "No but he has got you!" His group also captured about 30 to 50 sentries without firing a shot.
A toast, to the Gray Ghost!