FAREWELL ADDRESS OF THE "GRAY GHOST" (CIVIL WAR.) MOSBY, JOHN SINGLETON. Autograph Letter Signed, "Jno.S. Mosby / Colonel," a fair copy of his farewell address to his troops ("Soldiers!"). 1 page, 4to, ruled paper; mounted to a larger board, folds with horizontal one through signature (without loss). "Fauquier, April 21st 65" [Np, nd]
"I have summoned you together for the last time. The vision we have cherished of a free & independent country has vanished and that country is now the spoil of a conqueror. I disband your organization in preference to surrendering it to our enemies. I am now no longer your commander. After an association of more than two eventful years, I part from you with a just pride in the fame of your achievements & grateful recollections of your generous kindness to my self. And now, at this moment of bidding you a final adieu, accept the assurance of my unchanging confidence & regard. Farewell!" Mosby (1822-1916), a Confederate cavalry officer who, operating under partisan ranger law, organized his legendary Rangers in early 1863, enjoying successful raids south of the Potomac between 1863 and 1865, including the capture of General Edwin H. Stoughton at Fairfax Court House in March of 1863. Despite Robert E. Lee's surrender in April of 1865, Mosby continued fighting, electing to disband the Rangers so as to allow each man to choose whether to surrender. While many of his men did surrender, some remained with Mosby, who did not submit until he applied for parole at Lynchburg in June of 1865. The text of the present letter is identical to that published in Mosby's Memoirs of Colonel John S. Mosby, 1917, excepting that the published version includes the complete date and all ampersands are fully expanded.
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