This etext was produced from True: The Man's Magazine, December 1950. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.
was so delighted with the success of Mosby's brief activity that he gave him fifteen men, all from the First Virginia Cavalry, and orders to operate until recalled. On January 18, Mosby was back at Middleburg, ready to go to work in earnest.
As before, he scattered his men over the countryside, quartering them on the people. This time, before scattering them, he told them to meet him at Zion Church, just beyond the gap at Aldie, on the night of the 28th. During the intervening ten days, he was not only busy gathering information but also in an intensive recruiting campaign among the people of upper Fauquier and lower Loudoun Counties.
* * * * *
In this last, his best selling-point was a recent act of the Confederate States Congress called the Scott Partisan Ranger Law. This piece of legislation was, in effect, an extension of the principles of prize law and privateering to land warfare. It authorized the formation of independent cavalry companies, to be considered part of the armed force
Rebel Raiders is a very quick read, being a short historical story first published in the magazine True: The Man’s Magazine which has an interesting history itself. True was the first men’s magazine to sell over a million copies a month back when men shaved with ax blades and wrestled bears. And being called “The Man’s Magazine”, you can expect a real man’s tale and that’s what you get.
The story chronicles the service of the Confederate Colonel John Singleton Mosby, aka “The Grey Ghost”. Mosby came up with the idea that an enemy battle front could be pushed back with mounted raids. He quickly proved his point with excursions into northern Virginia, causing Union defense forces to be increased and more patrols to be assigned.
Mosby had a numerous accomplishments. In 1863, he captured Brigadier General Stoughton along with 58 horses. President Lincoln later commented on hearing the news that he was sorry to lose the horses; after all, he could make all the generals he wanted. Even in the waning days of the war when some Confederate states had surrendered, Mosby was raiding cities fully fortified by Union soldiers. His final plan was to sneak into Richmond and capture General Ulysses S. Grant! But just before entering the city, he learned that General Robert E. Lee, his commander, had surrendered. After the war, he supported Grant for president, because, as he said, he had been a soldier. This was not socially acceptable by many Southerners at the time.
Bravery, honor, smarts, grit. Rebel Raiders is a nice read for any red-blooded American boy or anyone who appreciates a good war story.
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