Welcome To My Web Site!
My youngest son (in his Yankee uniform!) and I near the White House. He had just commanded the detachment welcoming the King of Morrocco.
I AM VERY PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT THE THIRD EDITION OF "MOSBY'S KEYDET RANGERS" IS NOW AVAILABLE. THE NEW EDITION INCLUDES 60 MORE PAGES OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE 58 BRAVE MEN WHO MATRICULATED AT THE VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE (VMI) AND RODE WITH THE FAMED 43RD BATTALION VIRGINIA CAVALRY - MOSBY'S RANGERS. THE THIRD EDITION ALSO FEATURES 40 MORE PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE MEN.
"A small force moving with celerity and threatening many points on a line can neutralize a hundred times its own number." COL John S. Mosby
John Singleton Mosby
By Eric W. Buckland
Biography of Confederate Ranger John Singleton Mosby
The Essential Civil War Curriculum is a Sesquicentennial project Virginia Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech. It is sponsored by two eminent Civil War scholars and authors, Dr. James I. (Bud) Robertson and Professor William C. (Jack) Davis both Professors at Virginia Tech.
The Executive Director and Editor of the website is Mr. J.L.D. (Laurie) Woodruff of Toronto Ontario.
The site content is subject to rigorous quality control with all essays and resources peer reviewed by a member of our Board of Historians who are today's foremost Civil War scholars:
Professor William C. Davis Virginia Tech
Professor Paul Quigley Virginia Tech
Professor James I. Robertson Virginia Tech
Please click on the link, look for “Browse Topics”, click “M” and then click on “John Singleton Mosby”.
The 43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry - "Mosby's Rangers" - is one of the most famous units of the Civil War. Colonel John Singleton Mosby, the 43rd's only commander, has had several books written about him and he remains the "face" of the command. There is no doubt that he was an exceptional leader and that his personal story is both fascinating and compelling. As a tribute to his remarkable success as a leader of men fighting against the United States, John S. Mosby became a member of the first group of men inducted into the United States Army Ranger Hall of Fame located in FT. Benning, GA. His inclusion in that select collection of distinguished and heroic men speaks volumes about the respect the United States Army continues to have for Mosby.
However, it must be remembered that there would never have been a "Mosby" had it not been for the men - Mosby Men - who rode with him.
No military leader achieves greatness without having singularly outstanding and talented subordinates executing his orders - such was the case with Mosby. If the individual excellence of the men was not clearly demonstrated by their actions during the war, it was most certainly displayed as they matured and moved forward with their lives once the war ended.
My books have evolved through almost ten years of research. They provide in-depth biographical material (anecdotes, personal accounts, letters, news articles, obituaries) on select Mosby Rangers. While reading any of the books, it becomes clear that COL Mosby was extremely fortunate in the quality of the men - men who went on to become noted physicians, lawyers, ministers, lawmen and millionaires - who joined his command. Each book provides the reader with a remarkable amount of never before published information about the men. Additionally, biographical details found in rare newspaper clippings and long out-of-print books enhance each Ranger's chapter.
When combined, the contents of the books give the reader an intimate view of the triumphs, and tragedies, of some of the men who rode with Mosby.
I do not know of any other books that focus on the junior officers and men of a famed military unit to the extent that mine do.
Of course, many of the best known fights of Mosby's Rangers are woven into the fabric of each book, but they are described from the perspective of the individual Rangers who took part in them. That unique "boots on the ground", or perhaps more correctly "in the saddle", perspective is what sets my books apart from others.
A Short Bio
I was born in Kansas City, KS. My family moved shortly after my birth to Connecticut and that is where I was raised. After graduating from the Hotchkiss School in 1973, I attended the University of Kansas from which I graduated in 1977 with a B.A. in English and a commission as a 2LT in the United States Army.
Following an initial assignment as a Platoon Leader in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), I began my career in Special Forces. With the exception of commanding a company in the 82nd Airborne Division and the aforementioned time with the "Screaming Eagles", my entire 22-year military career was spent in Special Operations (Special Forces, Psychological Operations and Civil Affairs). I had multiple deployments to Panama, Honduras and El Salvador in the 1980's. I believe that my military experience in both insurgency and counter-insurgency provides me with a unique understanding of Mosby's Rangers.
Some of my awards include the Special Forces and Ranger Tabs, Master Parachutist Badge, Combat Diver Badge and the Combat Infantryman's badge. I retired in 1999 as a Lieutenant Colonel.
My interest in Mosby's Rangers began when I was a young boy and increased during my time in the military. My first book, Mosby's Keydet Rangers, began as a tribute to both the Rangers and my youngest son, who was then a Rat at VMI. While working on that book, I constantly found bits and pieces of information on other Rangers (not affiliated with VMI) and all of those became the genesis for my next books.
On June 6th, 2011, it was my distinct honor and privilege to have been presented the prestigious United Daughters of the Confederacy's Jefferson Davis Historical Gold Medal for: Historical research on the 3rd Arkansas Infantry; writing Mosby's Keydet Rangers; and editing The Millionaire Mosby Ranger, Charles Broadway Rouss.
What fascinates me most about the War Between the States are the stories about the men who fought in it. Since I was young, I have had an affinity for the men who fought for the South and the exciting, surprising and rivetting stories of the men in my books have deepened my interest in them.
The stories I have found about the men who rode with Mosby have put a "face" to the war and to the America that developed after it. They are stories that must be told......and remembered.
“The Federal cavalry generally fought with sabres; at any rate they carried them, and Mosby used to say they were as useless against a skillfully handled revolver as the wooden swords of harlequins. As the Mosby tactics became better known, scouting parties from the Northern army began to develop an affection for the pistol, with increasing success I might add. In stubborn fights I have seen the men on both sides sit on their restless horses and re-load their pistols under a galling fire. This was not a custom, however; someone generally ran to cover after the revolvers were emptied. We both did this a good many times but, I believe, without bragging at the expense of truth, that we saw the back seams of the enemy's jackets oftener than they saw ours. . . Revolvers in the hands of Mosby's men were as effective in surprise engagements as a whole line of light ordnance in the hands of the enemy. This was largely because Mosby admonished his men never to fire a shot until the eyes of the other fellow were visible. It was no uncommon thing for one of our men to gallop by a tree at full tilt, and put three bullets in its trunk in succession. This sort of shooting left the enemy with a good many empty saddles after an engagement.”