Washington DC – Day Trip 1 – Virginia Hunt Country Sights – F

John Stuart Mosby was an effective local Confederate commander in the Civil War. He trained as a lawyer before the conflict, after being imprisoned, and when he entered the Confederate Army, rose to the rank of colonel, as the result of his audacious bravery.

In addition to fighting in Manassas 1, on a field very close to Washington DC (so much so that people drove out in carriages to watch it!), Mosby fought a guerilla war with the nearby Union forces throughout Northern Virginia and the areas around Washington DC, into Maryland.

Colonel John S. Mosby, The Grey Ghost, said: “My purpose was to weaken the armies invading Virginia, by harassing their rear … To destroy supply trains, to break up the means of conveying intelligence, and thus isolating an army from its base, as well as its different corps from each other, to confuse their plans by capturing their dispatches, are the objects of partisan war. It is just as legitimate to fight an enemy in the rear as in the front. The only difference is in the danger.”.

He not only interrupted their lines of supply and gained supplies for his side, but he forced the Union Army to have to hold-back forces to defend Washington DC from his probable attacks. Mosby ranged unfettered throughout the Northern Virginia countryside, aided by Confederate spy, Laura Ratcliffe, (we’ll learn more about her next time), and Mosby probably lengthened the war by about 3 months due to his avante-garde tactics.

When Union General Sheridan sent out a large force to do battle with Mosby’s Raiders, the Southerners promptly triumphed. Mosby was definitely an effective cog in the Confederate wheel, and after the war ended, he surprised everyone by supporting Union General Ulysses Grant for President!

Returning to Warrenton, Virginia, Mosby continued to practice law after the “War between the States”. There are several monuments in town to him (near the courthouse) and his home still exists at 173 Main Street, Warrenton, VA. The home was turned into a museum for a brief time, but there is a local battle over whether it should be funded by city dollars, so the facility is closed at the moment, (best I can tell). If you decide to visit Poplar Springs Inn, this would be an addition to that trip.

You can visit the Manassas battlefield, also, along with that of Bull Run, both of which are very close to Washington, DC (see a special outing there, next time).

And, in 1995, the State of Virginia designated its first historic area, The Mosby Heritage Area, to increase awareness of the historic, cultural and natural qualities of a unique part of Northern Virginia. The Heritage Area retains much of the landscape and landmarks of three centuries of our Nation’s history.

More info:
John Stuart Mosby

Washington, DC Travel – Archived Articles

©2011 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

Leave a Reply