In the American Civil War, or the War Between the States, three dashing cavalry leaders--Stuart, Forrest, and Mosby--so captured the public imagination that their exploits took on a glamour, which we associate--as did the writers of the time--with the deeds of the Waverley characters and the heroes of Chivalry. Of the three leaders Colonel John S. Mosby (1833-1916) was, perhaps, the most romantic figure. In the South his dashing exploits made him one of the great heroes of the "Lost Cause." In the North he was painted as the blackest of redoubtable scoundrels, a fact only to be explained as due to the exasperation caused by a successful enemy against whom all measures were worthless and ineffective. So great became the fame of Mosby's partisan exploits that soldiers of fortune came even from Europe to share his adventures.
losing such a dutiful playmate. We went home together, but he never spent another day with me at the schoolhouse.
The first drunken man I ever saw was my schoolmaster. He went home at playtime to get his dinner, but took an overdose of whiskey. On the way back he fell on the roadside and went to sleep. The big boys picked him up and carried him into the schoolhouse, and he heard our lessons. The school closed soon after; I don't know why.
It was a common thing in the old days of negro slavery for a Virginia gentleman, who had inherited a fortune, to live in luxury with plenty of the comforts of life and die insolvent; while his overseer retired to live on what he had saved. Mr. Jefferson was one example of this. I often heard that Jefferson had held in his arms Betsy Wheat, a pupil at the school where I learned to read. She was the daughter of the overseer and, being the senior of all the other scholars, was the second in command. She exercised as much authority as the schoolmistress.