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Lady Val
Tue Dec 29 2009, 04:38AM
Registered Member #75
Joined: Sat Nov 01 2008, 03:22PM
Posts: 475
On December 21st, 1864, Lt. Col. John Mosby left the wedding of his Quartermaster Jake Lavender and with one other Ranger - Tom Love - went on a scout to verify the presence of a large contingent of Yankee cavalry in the Rector's Crossroads area. Mosby found the federals camped. It was a miserable night - everything was frozen solid from weeks of below freezing temperatures. There was an ice-storm in progress and Mosby believed that the Yankees had bivouacked for the night. Being cold and hungry, he and Love stopped at the home of Ludwell Lake whose son rode with Mosby. Love wished to remain outside on guard, but Mosby would not permit it the weather being so awful and the Yankees camped for the night. Only this night, Mosby's usually correct judgment proved wrong and after dinner, the house was surrounded by the contingent of Yankee cavalry earlier noted. Federal officers entered the house, capturing Mosby and Love who had left their weapons on their horses outside. Mosby hid his rank as best he could and while being questioned, told the officers that he was "Lt. Johnson of the 6th Virginia Cavalry". The Yankees were a bit the worse for the drink which they had taken to stave off the cold and Mosby hoped that he could escape through one of the front windows in the confusion. However, shots were fired from outside the house, two bullets coming through the window. One - a Colt revolver bullet - took a button of Ludwell Lake's vest. The second - a Sharps-Hankin carbine bullet struck Mosby two inches below and to the left of his navel - and thus began a story which is stranger and better than any fictional account of danger and derring-do. Below are several newspaper accounts posted on the 28th and 29th of December:

The Daily Courier, Zanesville, Ohio - Wednesday December 28th , 1864
The Herald’s correspondent gives the details of Torbert’s cavalry expedition to Gordonville. A sharp fight occurred at Liberty Mills. The rebels were driven on coming within two miles of Gordonville, that place was found to be strongly defended, and reinforcements had arrived from Richmond, while our forces were reconnoitering. Torbert concluded it could not be taken, with his force and returned – On the march it was reported that Mosby had been mortally wounded by one of our troopers.
New York Herald - December 28th, 1864
Mosby Reported Killed
In Rappahannock, Madison and Culpepper counties I learned that Colonel Mosby was wounded about ten days ago, by a federal scout, while the former was eating his dinner at a house in Fairfax county. The party who did the shooting was not aware who it was he had wounded by was led to suppose by the lady of the house that he was a rebel lieutenant. The soldier took Mosby's boots, and then took a hasty departure. I have this statement with a slight deviation in detail form these different sources, all of which combined establishes the fact that Mosby is dead and buried.
The Richmond Dispatch - December 28th, 1864
Colonel Mosby.
We were unable to learn anything further from Colonel Mosby on yesterday, but believe him to be dangerously wounded. The Washington Chronicle has an account of the wounding of "a Confederate officer" and the capture of "one of Mosby's courier's" at a farm-house in Fauquier county. This officer was Mosby. If the enemy had recognized him, they would, we have reason to think, have left him, not wounded, but dead. The Chronicle says that the house in which he was at supper being surrounded by Yankees, he came to the door and attempted to shoot one of them, but his pistol missing fire, he withdrew a moment to put it in order, and then re-appeared, when he was shot by a Union trooper.
The Richmond Dispatch - December 29th, 1864
Colonel Mosby.
A private letter, received yesterday, states that Colonel John S. Mosby's wound is not mortal, the ball with which he was shot having coursed around, instead of entering, his abdomen.
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