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Lady Val
Mon May 04 2009, 08:13AM
Registered Member #75
Joined: Sat Nov 01 2008, 03:22PM
Posts: 475
Franklin Repository – May 4th, 1864
The Star to-day publishes a canard purporting to be the substance of messages sent by the Guerrilla Moseby (who claims to be a Major on Gen. Stuart’s staff,) to the President and Gov. Pierpont, signifying his intention to pay each of them a visit at an early day. This is about as credible as a story circulated of the same redoubtable Major in Alexandria a short time since, via: “that he enjoyed with great gusto, in the presence of several army officers, a dinner provided at the expense of one of said officers at the City Hotel in that town.”

This is an interesting aspect of Mosby's tactics. He very much loved to cause unease amongst the Yankees. Once when he met a Union woman going to Washington to sell her wares (vegetables, I believe), he called her to him - she and Mosby knew each other - and, borrowing the scissors she carried in a sash at her waist, cut a lock of his sandy hair. He gave it to her and told her to take it to Lincoln and tell the President that he would be in Washington soon to get one from the President. The woman did so and Lincoln laughed heartily. He then borrowed her scissors, cut a lock of his hair and gave it to her to give to Mosby advising that he had no need to come into the Capitol now.

The report about Mosby warning the bogus "Governor of Virginia", Pierpont is also well reported. He may in fact have done that. Mosby went to Alexandria to take Pierpont at Lee's instructions, but like Wyndham at Fairfax the year before, Pierpont was in Washington. Instead, in what has been called the Rose Hill Raid, Mosby and a few of his men captured Pierpont's second in command, Col. Dulaney and whisked him off to Richmond in broad daylight and in Confederate uniform. Dulaney thought that Mosby and the few men with him were Jessie's Scouts, Union guerrillas who wore Confederate uniforms. He found out differently when he discovered that one of the men was his own son, French, whom he knew rode with Mosby.

The story of Mosby having dinner in a large hotel in Alexandria is one of those tales that on the one had have definite proofs, but on the other cannot be proved beyond reasonable doubt. In another newspaper report, this matter is mentioned together with the claim that Mosby wrote his name prominently where it would be seen much as he had done on Stoughton's bedroom wall in Fairfax. He often did things like this to indicate that he could come and go among the Yankees without their being able to either recognize or stop him. Again, whether it is true or another "Mosby legend" there seems no way to determine. Mosby said he never went anywhere in disguise, but as a lawyer, he knew how to parse words. A disguise is presenting oneself as something that one is not (a doctor, a priest, a woman etc.). Mosby in mufti is hardly in disguise, just not in uniform and that's a big difference at least with regard of the truth of his contention that he never went anywhere in "disguise". The account of the Alexandria jaunt is below:

Portrait Monthly Volume: May 1st, 1864
Romance of the War—Adventures with Mosby's Guerrillas.
A correspondent with the Army of the Potomac, dating from Warrenton, October 22d, 1863, says:
“Last Sunday, October 16, I rode from Alexandria to Bull Run. It was my misfortune to meet with Mosby, and my good fortune not to be captured. I was gaily galloping along the turnpike thinking of this very individual, little imagining him to be the very devil that would soon appear. As I mounted my horse I observed on the newly whitewashed wall of the building, a notice written in great scrambling letters, similar to what a boy would compare the autograph of Jack Shephard, written upon the parlor wall of a plundered mansion. The writer `begged to inform the people of Alexandria' that he had this day `dined in the Marshall House.' On the same line with this date, `September 30, 1863,' was plainly written, `Major Mosby.'”

[ Edited Mon May 04 2009, 08:16AM ]
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