John Singleton Mosby rose from private to colonel in command of the 44th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry in the Civil War. The unit became known as Mosby’s Raiders and he as the renowned Gray Ghost, for their quick-strike guerrilla tactics, often against superior forces. Tactics Mosby developed continue to be taught today at the U.S. Army War College.
Fairfax and Warrenton, 30 miles apart in Northern Virginia, are the county seats of Fairfax and Fauquier counties respectively. Both were occupied by Union and Confederate forces in the Civil War as the armies struggled back and forth. Fairfax changed hands 5 times, Warrenton 67 times. Both reserve a central place for Mosby in their histories.
1. Mosby was shot at many times and severely wounded twice. In which town was he wounded, Fairfax or Warrenton?
2. Not all shots fired at Mosby were in wartime. In which town was an attempt made on his life in 1877, Fairfax or Warrenton?
3. Where did Mosby’s independent partisan command begin, Fairfax or Warrenton?
4. In perhaps Mosby’s most daring action he captured a Union general in his bed. Was this in Fairfax or Warrenton?
5. Mosby’s Ice Cream Raid captured a trove of sweets and other supplies destined for Union troops in which town, Fairfax or Warrenton?
6. Where did Mosby settle immediately after the war, in Fairfax or Warrenton?
7. Which town erected a monument to Mosby on its county courthouse grounds, Fairfax or Warrenton?
8. Mosby died on May 30, 1916 in Washington, DC. Where is he buried, Fairfax or Warrenton?
9 (extra credit). In an 1873 election campaign, Mosby countered an opponent’s charge with a challenge to meet him in a duel. Which town was chosen as the site for the duel?