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    Mosby Reports Home: "The people threw open their doors to us... Mr. Palmer says ours is the finest Company that has come to Richmond, not in dress (for I can tell you we look like savages) but in fighting qualities..."

    John Singleton Mosby Writes Home to His Mother During the Opening Days of the War Early war-dated ALS "Jno S. Mosby", 4 pages, 5" x 7.75", Richmond, June 18, 1861, to his mother recounting his march to Richmond. He writes, in part: "Dear Ma -- I reached this place yesterday evening. We had been 18 days on the road. We generally slept on the ground at night & I never before had such luxurious sleeping. I had no sign of a cold although it rained a good deal of the time. I fattened every day, our march was a perfect ovation. The people threw open their doors to us. I don't know how long we will stay here - about a week I think & from this place to Ashland 16 miles from here to Camp of Instruction. Virginia & McKendric Jefferies are there in a Co. The first person I met was Dick Wyatt - belongs to the Goodland Artillery - Willey Eppes treated the Company - he introduced me to his family & said he knows you very well - I sent all my clothes on here by railroad & have not been able to find them... I wish you would send me something to eat. the food here is very rough - nothing but fat salt meat & cold hard bread." In postscripts he adds: "I am writing in Mr. Palmer's store - he is very anxious for me to go home with him, but I have nothing but dirty clothes - a blue jeans hunting shirt over a blue flannel one... [and on the fourth panel of the integral sheet] always address me Capt. Jones Washington Mounted Rifles. Mr. Palmer says ours is the finest company that has come to Richmond, not in dress (for I can tell you we look like savages) but in fighting qualities..." As he notes in his letter, Mosby was mustered into service as a private with the Washington Mounted Rifles. Prior to the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) on July 21, Mosby and his company were absorbed into J.E.B. Stuart's 1st Virginia Cavalry, portions of which accompanied Stuart to aid Beauregard at First Manassas. Mosby would soon gain the attention of his young commander and be appointed an adjutant of Stuart's staff before embarking on his illustrious career as a partisan ranger in 1863.

    Letter has some wear and moderate toning, with professional restoration at folds, including minor replacement of some paper loss, However, ink remains bold and very legible. War-date letters by Mosby are extremely rare and the romance still evident in his impressions of the early days of the war make this letter particularly desirable and exciting.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    24th-25th Sunday-Monday
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