From Library Journal
The extraordinary life of Confederate guerrilla John Singleton Mosby defies belief. Ramage (Northern Kentucky Univ.; Rebel Raider: The Life of General John Hunt Morgan) casts Mosby, whose raiders harassed Union rear columns and supply trains in the Shenandoah Valley, as the stoic icon of the Lost Cause who never hesitated to employ stealth, terror, and pillage against an equally resolute foe. Mosby never had more than 400 irregulars under his command, yet his raids occupied an enemy force many times that number. As an attorney in postwar Virginia, Mosby attempted to unite state conservatives behind Republican presidents Grant and Hayes and was spurned as a turncoat. He then took a number of Republican appointments, including U.S. consul in Hong Kong and assistant attorney in the Justice Department. In his later years, he lectured and wrote about his wartime experiences before passing away in 1916 at 82, fully redeemed on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. Painstaking research, dramatic illustrations, and a useful bibliographic essay add to this absorbing biography. Highly recommended.AJohn Carver Edwards, Univ. of Georgia Libs., Athens
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ramage can reasonably claim to have produced the first full-scale biography of legendary Confederate raider John Singleton Mosby. And a readable, comprehensive portrait of the 80-year life of a gifted, thoroughly combative man it certainly is. Before the war, Mosby shot a fellow student at the University of Virginia. During the war, he was an extraordinarily effective master of guerrilla tactics. Leading comparative handfuls of men, he did far more damage to the Union than the Union did to him. Only regular antiguerrilla measures were effective against him. After the war, Mosby's adherence to the Republican party made him persona non grata in the South, and he had to spend the rest of his career as a diplomat and federal attorney. Ramage has researched thoroughly--including interviewing one of Mosby's surviving grandchildren--and written clearly, making the book accessible to a wide range of readers. Slight pro-Confederate and psychobiographical elements do not seriously weaken this valuable addition to Civil War literature. Roland Green