A Sampler of Civil War Literature
»Guerrilla Action

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"Two Days with Mosby" (46)
Harper's Weekly, January 21, 1865

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Synopsis

1864

A cavalry captain travels along picket lines with his contraband servant. Along the way, they are captured by the Confederate guerrilla, Mosby. Though he banters with Mosby, the captain is impressed with the man’s manners and treatment of his prisoners. After the captain has been relieved of his valuables, he and ten other captured Union men are taken on a march towards Richmond. Mosby eventually leaves the group. That, combined with bad weather, allows the men a chance to escape. By getting hold of the weapons being carried on the march, the Union men are able to shoot the remaining Confederate guards and escape. Five remain together, including the contraband servant. Together, they make their way carefully through the woods and mountains, until they are able to cross the river that leads to Union territory.

Harper's Text

"Two Days with Mosby"
January 21, 1865, page 43 (1-4)

History

"The Fate of Guerrillas"
May 17, 1862, page 307 (1)

Military Background

"The Rebel Colonel Mosby"
January 21, 1865, page 43 (4)

Illustrations


"Mosby’s Guerrillas Destroying Sutler's’ Train"
September 5, 1863, page 561 (1-4)


"Guerrilla Depredations—Seizing Horses"
December 24, 1864, page 829 (1-4)


"Guerrilla Depredations—Your Money or Your Life!"
December 24, 1864, page 829 (1-4)

Commentary

"Moseby’s Guerrillas"
September 5, 1863, page 567 (2-3)

Instead of "Stonewall Jackson" with his dashing achievements, the rebel cavalry in Virginia have now nothing better to show than the performances of Moseby and his guerrillas, "citizens by day and soldiers by night." Aided by a perfect knowledge of the country and by information furnished by their sympathizers, they have succeeded in capturing quite a number of sutlers’ trains, and escaping with a portion of their booty. These guerrilla enterprises, while they exert no influence upon the issue of the war, are annoying, and must be prevented. They are only possible through the connivance of the inhabitants of the region where they take place, and these should be held accountable for all the damage done by their friends. If this rule is strictly enforced, the aiders and abettors of these marauding gangs will find that they are carrying on a losing business.

 

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