Mosby's Rangers

43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry

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The rebirth of Mosby's Rangers took place on June 25, 1957 consisting of the following members:

  • Robert E. Hundley – Sgt. Maj.
  • Phillip W. Daoygherty – 1st. Sgt.
  • Joe O. Smithley, Jr. -Corpl.
  • John T. Parks
  • Paul H. Keene
  • Charles M McDaniel
  • Olin K. Rockley

Application for membership to the North-South Skirmish Association was submitted on August 26,1957, thus becoming team number twenty nine in seniority and assigned to the Tidewater Region.

Since the rebirth of Mosby’s Rangers, they have won the Association’s highest achievement, 1st place Musket Team at the 1981 Fall Nationals in Winchester, Virginia. On the Regional level of competition, Mosby’s Musket Team has placed 1st in 17 Regional Skirmishes. Their Carbine Team has placed 1st in 19 Regional Skirmishes and their Repeater team has placed 1st in one Regional Skirmish.

Presently our team consist of twenty eight members including three father and son teams, one father and daughter team and one father, son and wife team. In addition to musket, carbine, repeater competition, we also compete in mortar and cannon.

Our team is well balanced in being serious when we have to be, but also willing to party when time permits.


Mosby’s Rangers Civil War History

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In January 1863 Confederate Major General J. E. B. Stuart, with the approval of General Robert E. Lee detailed one of Stuart’s best scouts, John Singleton Mosby, and fifteen men to operate within Union lines in northern Virginia. From this original nucleus, the unit evolved into the 43rd Battalion of Virginia Cavalry or Mosby’s Partisan Rangers. During a span of roughly twenty-eight months, the 43rd Battalion was a matchless body of guerrillas, in turn becoming probably the most renowned combat unit of the Civil War.

Their leader, a Virginia lawyer-turned-cavalryman named Colonel John Singleton Mosby, was a wisp of a figure -just over five feet tall and weighted about 130 pounds whose daring forays earned him the nickname Gary Ghost of the Confederacy. The men who rode with him usually numbered about 200, but so completely did they control their two home counties of Loudoun and Fauquier in Northern Virginia that a 20-square-mile area there became known as Mosby’s Confederacy.

Controversy swirled around Mosby and his men. Confederate regulars resented their free and easy ways and the prizes they kept from their raids. but that pillage was perfectly legal. The Confederate Congress had authorized the Rangers to keep all the booty they captured, except for cattle, mules and artillery, which were to be turned over to the government. Mosby’s unit, organized in the spring of 1863, carried out its mission with spectacular success. In one six-month period the Rangers inflicted 1,000 Federal casualties at a cost of only 20 of their own men.

Mosby’s horsemen formed a loose but loyal organization. Their military exploits were destructive, but had it not been for Mosby’s patrols in the disputed territory of Northern Virginia, defenseless inhabitants would have been at the mercy of roving bands of marauders who followed in the wake of both armies. By war’s end, Mosby was the best-known partisan leader in the East. Mosby disbanded his troops, rather to have them surrender.

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