City of Manassas, VA . . . Confederate Colonel John Singleton Mosby, known across the land for his Civil War exploits and surprise attacks, found many of his targets in nearby Fairfax County. Local historians Don Hakenson and Chuck Mauro will talk about their new book, which visits the more than 60 locations where Mosby was active, during a free Manassas Museum Book Talk on April 7 at 2 p.m.
The book, A Tour Guide and History of Col. John S. Mosby’s Combat Operations in Fairfax County, Virginia, not only offers a rich account of Mosby’s Fairfax raids, but visits the modern-day sites of the raids. The authors map the often hidden locations of the raids, historical markers dedicated to those raids, and the graves of Mosby’s Rangers who are buried in Fairfax County. It includes a map and the history of each raid, a description of participating troops, and all the locations in the county associated with Mosby, also known as the “Grey Ghost.”
Mosby began his operations one and a half years into the Civil War when he was given a small group of rangers from his former commander, General JEB Stuart, and asked to conduct independent partisan operations in Northern Virginia. These rangers would eventually become the Forty-third Battalion, Virginia Cavalry and would grow from nine to over 2,000 men.
Mosby’s mission was to attack and harass as many Union outposts, camps, and supply points he could find operating in Northern Virginia. By successfully raiding behind enemy lines Mosby would keep large numbers of Union soldiers guarding the city of Washington, and deny federal forces in the field from fighting against General Robert E. Lee and the Confederate army. Military historians considered Mosby the most successful leader of such partisan guerilla activities. A Tour Guide and History of Col. John S. Mosby’s Combat Operations in Fairfax County, Virginia is available at Echoes, The Manassas Museum Store at www.manassasmuseum.org.