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Is It Mosby

Originally published by Civil War Times magazine. Published Online: December 06, 2011 
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Reader James T. Johnson bought this image at a Gettysburg antique shop in 2010. He believes it is a previously unknown image of John S. Mosby. What do you think?
Reader James T. Johnson bought this image at a Gettysburg antique shop in 2010. He believes it is a previously unknown image of John S. Mosby. What do you think?

12 Responses to “Is It Mosby”

  1. 1
    John Kennington says:

    That is Mosby. No doubt. The expression alone says John Mosby.

  2. 2
    William Allen says:

    It does look a lot like him.

  3. 3
    Phil Katcher says:

    In a Union foot soldier's frock coat? Very similar, but I recall another image thought to be Mosby that ran on a cover of Military Images Magazine some years ago, but turned out to be someone else.

  4. 4
    Barry Hill says:

    Doesn't look like Mosby to me.

  5. 5
    Joe says:

    Not only is it probably not Mosby, it is probably not a Confederate. Looks like federal issue trousers, shirt and frock coat to me. Higher resolution scan of the buttons may help with that, too.

  6. 6
    Larry Leon says:

    May be Federal issue but that doesn't mean he's not Confederate. Many wore Fed issue at the beginning, there weren't enough CSA uniforms available. Must be easy to confirm if Mosby though, just do a direct comparison of a known picture…somebody in Missouri must have one.

    • 6.1
      Joe says:

      Larry, "many" did not wear fed issue at the beginning. Very few might have done so. If they were short uniforms it was more likely to wear something like a battleshirt or some civilian clothing. In the early war, some CS troops had uniforms BASED on US uniforms perhaps, but not absolute copies.

      • 6.1.1
        Larry Leon says:

        Yes, early on not 'many' perhaps, and not copies. Some state militias wore dark blue til later. Many had none and wore civs. They wore what they had until General Order 9 June1861. Richmond Depot Quartermaster didn't start up til 1862. Many Trans Mississippi outfits wore fed uniforms even til 1864.
        Anyway DW apparently makes it moot for this pic.

  7. 7
    DW says:

    It is his younger brother, Lieutenant William "Willie" Mosby, according to Loudoun County historian Steve Meserve. He says this picture was taken before Willie joined his brother's command. He was then a member of the 3rd Virginia Local Defense Light Artillery in Charlottesville.

    • 7.1
      The CIvil War Podcast says:

      @DW so it *is* Mosby, it's just not *the* Mosby. Love it! :)

  8. 8
    Phil Hopersberger says:

    Looks like it could be Willie Mosby…doubt it's John. Either way, a great find. I know of one picture of Mosby when he was much, much older that I've never seen anywhere else, and never published. You can see a shot of it on my FB page.

  9. 9
    Phil Hopersberger says:


    I need some help.

    I've written a book about Mosby (converted from the screenplay SOMETHING GRAY) and the cover shot is a famous one of Mosby and I believe Stoughton's captured frock coat and gloves a s atrophy of his kidnapping. Can anyone cite a source confirming that is indeed what's on the floor at Mosby's feet?


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