Actions
Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Mosbys in:
 • Warrenton Cemetery
 • Warrenton
 • Fauquier County
 • Virginia
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
John Singleton Mosby
Birth: Dec. 6, 1833
Powhatan County
Virginia, USA
Death: May 30, 1916

American Civil War Confederate Army Officer. Nicknamed "The Gray Ghost' he achieved the rank of colonel in the Confederate Army and served as a cavalry battalion commander. His command, the 43rd Battalion, 1st Virginia Cavalry, known as Mosby's Rangers or Mosby's Raiders, was a partisan ranger unit noted for its lightning quick raids and its ability to elude Union Army pursuers and disappear, blending in with local farmers and townsmen. His father was descended from English settlers who came to the American Virginia Colony in the early 17th century. He began his education at a school called Murrell's Shop and when his family moved to Albemarle County, Virginia (near Charlottesville) around 1840, he attended school in Fry's Woods before transferring to a Charlottesville school at the age of ten. He was small and sickly as a child and was often the target of bullying and would respond by fighting back. In 1847 he enrolled at Hampden-Sydney College in Hampden Sidney, Virginia but left after two years when he could not pass his mathematics class. In October 1850 he entered the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, Virginia but was expelled in 1853 after shooting another student who was bullying him and was arrested, convicted, and spent some time in jail. There he managed to study law and in December 1853 he obtained a pardon from the Virginia governor. The following year he was admitted to the bar and he established a law practice in Howardsville, Virginia. After marrying in December 1857 he and his bride lived with his parents before settling in Bristol, Virginia. He was outspoken against slavery and secession but joined the Confederate Army as a private at the outbreak of the American Civil War. After impressing Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart with his ability to gather intelligence, he was promoted to the rank of 1st lieutenant and assigned to Stuart's cavalry scouts. He helped the general develop attack strategies and was responsible for Stuart's "Ride around McClellan" during the Peninsula Campaign. Captured by Union cavalry, he was imprisoned in the Old Capitol Prison in Washington DC for ten days before being exchanged. In January 1863, General Stuart, with Lee's concurrence, authorized him to form and take command of the 43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry which was later expanded into Mosby's Command, a regimental-sized unit of partisan rangers operating in Northern Virginia. In March 1863 he was promoted to the rank of captain and then to major. That same month he carried out a daring raid far inside Union lines at the Fairfax County, Virginia courthouse where his men captured three Union officers, including Brigadier General Edwin H. Stoughton. In January 1864 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. The following September Union forces executed seven of his men who had been captured out of uniform in Front Royal, Virginia. The following November he retaliated and ordered seven Union prisoners to be executed, but only three were actually hung. From then on, both sides treated all captured prisoners as "prisoners of war" and no more executions were carried out. In December 1864 he was promoted to the rank of colonel and in the same month was shot by Union forces through a window while having dinner in a family in a Southern home. He managed to hide his coat, which would have revealed his rank, and when the Union commander entered the home, he did not recognize him and declared his wound mortal and left. He miraculously recovered from the wound and returned to his unit two months later. After General Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox, Virginia on April 9, 1865, he refused to surrender and disbanded his unit, travelling southward in hopes to meet up with Confederate General Joseph Johnston's forces in North Carolina. With a $5,000 bounty on his head, he managed to elude capture around Lynchburg, Virginia until the end of June, when Union General Ulysses S. Grant intervened and pardoned him. After the war, he became an active Republican and was a campaign manager in Virginia when Grant ran for the US presidency. In 1878 he was appointed US consol to Hong Kong, serving until 1885. After returning to the US, he worked as a lawyer in San Francisco, California with the Southern Pacific Railroad and later the Department of the Interior. From 1904 until 1910 he was an assistant attorney in the Department of Justice. He died in Washington DC at the age of 82. The John Singleton Mosby Museum is located in Warrenton, Virginia, at the historic Brentmoor estate where he lived from 1875 until 1877. The John Mosby Highway, a section of US Route 50 between Dulles Airport and Winchester, Virginia is named in his honor. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Pauline Mariah Clarke Mosby (1837 - 1876)*
 
 Children:
  May Virginia Mosby Campbell (1858 - 1904)*
  Beverly Clarke Mosby (1860 - 1946)*
  John Singleton Mosby (1863 - 1915)*
  Lincoln Mosby (1865 - 1924)*
  Victoria Stuart Mosby Coleman (1866 - 1946)*
  Pauline V. Mosby (1869 - 1951)*
  Ada B. Mosby (1871 - 1937)*
  George Prentiss Mosby (1873 - 1874)*
  Alfred McLaurine Mosby (1876 - 1876)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Warrenton Cemetery
Warrenton
Fauquier County
Virginia, USA
Plot: Take your first right after turning in the gate. Grave is on the left near the Confederate Memorial
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jun 16, 1998
Find A Grave Memorial# 3080
John Singleton Mosby
Added by: John Wesley "Jack" Donner, Sr.
 
John Singleton Mosby
Added by: BigFrench
 
John Singleton Mosby
Added by: Stonewall
 
There are 3 more photos not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

You were a great military strategist in terms of partisan warfare. It was admirable that you did not hold a grudge against the Union after the end of the Civil War. May you rest in peace.
- William Bjornstad
 Added: Oct. 7, 2014
Such heroism is never forgotten. God bless you sir.
- Jean Mary
 Added: Sep. 19, 2014

- Darlene T.
 Added: Sep. 9, 2014
There are 255 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.4 after 131 votes)
 

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service