Colonel John S. Mosby's Confederate Cavalry Rangers – A Civil War History

The 43rd Battalion, Virginia Cavalry, also known as Mosby’s Rangers, Mosby’s Raiders, or Mosby’s Men, was a battalion of partisan cavalry in the Confederate army during the American Civil War. Noted for their lightning strike raids on Union targets and their ability to consistently elude pursuit, the Rangers disrupted Union communications and supply lines. By the summer of 1864, Mosby’s battalion had grown to six cavalry companies and one artillery company, comprising about 400 men. The battalion never formally surrendered, but was disbanded on April 21, 1865 – after Lee’s Surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox.

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33 thoughts on “Colonel John S. Mosby's Confederate Cavalry Rangers – A Civil War History

  1. There is another less well known Confederate raider Col. Harry Gilmour 1st MD Calvary CSA, who was well known and adored in VA and MD by the locals. There's a portrait of him in Charlestown WV history museum. He's another one of my childhood favorites, next to Mosby. https://archive.org/details/fouryearsinsadd00gilmgoog

  2. Mosby, his rangers and everyone who fought for the Confederacy — from Robert E. Lee on down — were in fact traitors. I have no sympathy for them.

  3. After the war, he served in Grant's administration and portrayed himself in an early silent film.

  4. Custer started executing confederate prisoners, so Mosby said because the union was doing it, that he would.
    The executions ended.

    However, in the west my ggg grandfather was in the 53RD Alabama partisan Rangers and some of his comrades were executed.

  5. JohnHunt Morgan was the Mosby of the West,
    But I think McClausland was the finest officer of either side.

  6. History is never taught in school today
    A shame our children know nothing about our war against slavery.
    Truly great men from both sides fought with much.regret and humility.
    Sad thing is that this generation of soldiers and volunteers will never be remembered.
    My family was torn. Some fought for the south and some for the north.
    Our family cemetery in southern Kentucky reflects both.
    In those times men were men and fought for beliefs that reflected their lives and means of survival. They were not political or caring what others thought. Families came first.

  7. Roger's Rangers were in the French and Indian war…. Rogers fought with the British in the Revolution.

  8. I grew up hearing stories about Mosby and his Rangers. My brother in law's family owns property with his last barracks built onto the only iron furnace the Yankees never found just outside of Harper's Ferry. The payroll train raid was planned at this place. The upstairs barracks still has the racks they slept in, left untouched till this day.

  9. Is it possible that the original author of The Outlaw Josey Wales possibly based the characters in his story on these Rangers?

  10. By Year 2 of the war, the cavalry were used for nothing more than scouting. Most senior officers found they had no other value until dismounted and serving as infantry.

  11. After the war, Mosby became active in Republican Party politics and became the US Consul in Hong Kong (1878-1885). His Virginia neighbors turned on him for siding with Republican Presidents Grant and Hayes. He received death threats, his boyhood home was burned down, and at least one attempt was made to assassinate him. Later reflecting on the animosity shown to him by his fellow Virginians, Mosby stated in a May 1907 letter that "There was more vindictiveness shown to me by the Virginia people for my voting for Grant than the North showed to me for fighting four years against him."

  12. My gg grandaddy was Joseph H. Powell enlisted in Alabama in 1862. He was in Company H, 5th Alabama Cavalry. He survived the war, lost everything they had to carpetbaggers, and moved to Fulton Mississippi. He lived to the ripe old age of 92, passing away in 1923. He is buried there in Fulton.

  13. I'm glad it did not happen the way I'm going to describe, because the hard feelings would likely have kept the North and South from ever reuniting. However, the only way the South could have won is to run with its strengths immediately and go into the Northern heartland with fast riding, well armed, "Dragoon" units, destroying the political, industrial, agricultural, and stability of the Northern States. Dragoons are "Mounted Infantry" trained to move fast and fight as cavalry or infantry, and the South was blessed with untold tens of thousands of talented individuals capable of riding with the likes of Quantrill, Mosby, Forrest, etc. First order of business would be to kill Lincoln and his cabinet, as many of the Congress and Supreme Court as possible. Then begin killing Governors, Mayors and local legislative bodies as rapidly as possible, then knock out all industrial leadership, transportation and agricultural capacity as rapidly as possible. In a nutshell, decapitate the North and destroy its ability to produce goods and food rapidly, in order to bring the North to its knees with a starving population as fast as possible. In the first two to three years of the Civil War, the South would have been capable of inflicting such a horrific "Black Flag" guerrilla warfare on the Northern heartland. Stonewall Jackson himself urged such "Black Flag" warfare. The "Gentlemanly" war of attrition that actually developed under the likes of Davis, Lee, Longstreet, etc was a sure fire pathway to defeat for the South.

  14. In a book titled, "They called me the Grey Ghost," supposedly by Mosby himself, he stated he carried four revolvers, two were LeMat revolvers, and two were "Colt Designs."

  15. My great, great great grandfather was captured by them and escaped when they went asleep. Not the sharpest bunch.

  16. I can’t take the name Mosby seriously anymore, I’m always reminded of Mr. Mosby from the suite life of Zach and Cody whenever I hear about this guy. I always imagine him massacring a bunch of innocent union soldiers while shouting “WOULD YOU LIKE AM OR FM” in the content aware voice

  17. It's really important to remember history. Troops like Maj. Rodgers , Mosby's Rangers. Also the troops in the Marine Corps who conducted earlier raids. And the S.F. Troops in Afghanistan who rode into battle on horse back. Makes me wish I was young enough to ride with them. And let's not for get the Native Americans who taught the white man the battle tactics everyone uses today. That… You cannot deny. ALL THE WAY.

  18. Mosby's and his group were Cub Scouts when compared to Captains John and, later, Jessy McNeil, commanders of "McNeils Rangers". Do some real research.

  19. Cool video, I'm glad you shared it! It's good to see some history about confederate calvary. Most people always think about the artillery and infantry. The calvary had an important role as well.

  20. So you’re familiar with guerilla warfare then? How come you was so surprised of it during the Vietnam War? Have you forgotten…

  21. Mighty great history there. Many thanks for posting this video. Sure shows the importance of these partisan units bogging down entire enemy regiments.

  22. Mosby was one of my childhood heros.
    I was pleased to see a road sign in Northern Virginia marked "John Mosby Highway". I thought it was great that Virginia honored its history and heros.

  23. It would have been nice if Mosby's capture of General Edwin Stoughton had been mentioned. The link to modern Special Forces should have been made stronger, as well.

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