Saturday, March 19, 2011

Colonel John Singleton Mosby

Colonel John Singleton Mosby Marker B-16 (Click to Enlarge)Frederick County, VA

Marker No. B-16

Marker Text:  This road, along which many of his skirmishes took place, is named for Colonel John Singleton Mosby, commander of the 43rd Battalion of Confederate Partisan Rangers. Their activities in this area helped keep the Confederate cause alive in Northern Virginia toward the end of the Civil War.

Location:  On U.S. Routes 50 & 17 (Millwood Pike or John Mosby Highway) north of Route 723 (Carpers Valley Road), east of Winchester. Erected by the Department of Conservation and Historic Resources in 1987.

  If you live in or visit northern Virginia, you can not escape seeing the names of some of the more popular southern individuals from the American Civil War, Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Jubal Early, J.E.B. Stuart, and John S. Mosby are some of the main characters. Today's marker tells the traveler that this highway they are driving is named for John Singleton Mosby. When you travel U.S. Route 50 between Winchester and Fairfax County, VA you are taking a journey through some of the same country side that John Mosby and his 43rd Battalion of Confederate Partisan Rangers operated during the Civil War.

  This marker is the western Virginia companion marker on Route 50 with another identical marker located in eastern Virginia on U.S. Route 50 in Chantilly, VA in Fairfax County and is marker B-12.

  John Mosby started out as a lawyer, but like other Virginian's Mosby, age 27 at the start of the Civil War was drawn into the conflict. In the spring of 1862, that Mosby took the opportunity to become a scout for Confederate cavalry General J.E.B. Stuart.

Mosby Marker B-16 on Route 50  John Mosby HighwayPhoto taken looking west on U.S. Route 50. Marker located next to the east bound lane.

  During the war Mosby earned the praise of General Robert E. Lee. Mosby and his men used deception, fear and pure audacity to offend, out smart and outwit Union troops on numerous occasions. Mosby and his men had countless stories told of their daring and escape, of honor and courage and pride. While famous among his confederate comrades, Mosby was infamous among the Union troops he encountered. Mosby worried them and made them wary that at any minute they would encounter the "Gray Ghost."

  The story of Mosby's life and his service in the Confederate Army during the Civil War in an interesting story into the life of a Confederate officer. There are many historical road markers in Virginia related to John Mosby and his Rangers and through these markers you learn of the operations and lives of these men that joined Mosby's rangers. I don't have all of the markers, but I have photographed the majority of these markers and I will use them to tell the interesting and fascinating story of this group of men and their leader.

Closer view of Mosby Marker B-16 from above photo   As you travel Route 50, you will come across many of these locations, not all are remembered by a metal state marker, but the stories are recorded on other markers. You will drive through the towns of Aldie, Middleburg, Atoka and Upperville, each with its own stories of Mosby and his men. You will come across the Caleb Rector House at Rector's Cross Roads in Atoka, where Captain Mosby swore in his first officers for the newly-created Co. A, 43rd Battalion on June 10, 1863. You can view the Goose Creek Bridge which lies just off Route 50, but was a crossing for the original road when it was built in 1810 and liking used by Mosby many times and is still standing. You can visit Aldie Mill a site used by both sides and the site of several encounters between Mosby's men and Federal troops. You can view the Red Fox Inn in Middleburg, where Mosby met with Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart prior to Lee's advance toward Gettysburg. Or pass by Welbourne, the wartime home of Col. Richard Henry Dulaney, who personally equipped a company of mounted riflemen in 1861. John Mosby and numerous Rangers visited this place often during the war.

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