Exploits of the John Mosby Raiders:
John Moseby was a key innovator in the tactics of Guerilla warfare. By 1863 his exploits were becoming legendary in the South, and viewed as a less than honorable way to fight by the North. Regardless of perspective, his tactics had become important enough that Harper's Weekly featured his band of raiders on the cover of the September 5, 1863 issue.
For your consideration, we present a digital image of this original leaf on your right. (Newspaper
Thumbnail will take you to a detailed view of the page). The image is captioned, "Moseby's Guerrillas Destroying Sutlers' Train". The image shows Mosby on horseback, with his sword in the air commanding the raiders. The raiders are pictured helping themselves to the supplies, and harassing the former owners of the supplies.
The image shows a quick and daring raid, with the group making off with all types of spoils.
Mosby's Raiders Were Featured on the Front Page of the September 5, 1863 edition of Harper's Weekly
It should be remembered that Harper's Weekly was a New York newspaper, so they were not sympathetic to the gallant exploits of Mosby, but would prefer to portray his raiders as drunks and vandals. Below is a transcript of the news story accompanying the cover illustration above.
Harper's Weekly, September 5, 1863, Page 587
Instead of "Stonewall Jackson" with his dashing achievements, the rebel cavalry in Virginia have now nothing better to show than the performances of Moseby
and his guerrillas, "citizens by day and soldiers by night."
Aided by a perfect knowledge of the country and
by information furnished by their sympathizers, they have succeeded
in capturing quite a number of sutlers' trains, and escaping with a
portion of their booty. These guerrilla enterprises, while
they exert no influence upon the issue of the war, are annoying, and
must be prevented. They are only possible thorough the
connivance of the inhabitants of the region where they take place,
and these should be held accountable for all the damage done by