Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The Mosby Myth

"In retrospect, slavery seems such a monstorous thing that some are...trying to prove that slavery was not the cause of the war. Then what was the cause?"

                       -  John Singleton Mosby

I have just started reading The Mosby Myth: A Confederate Hero in Life and Legend by Paul Ashdown and Edward Caudill. My copy is part of the very handsome edition reprinted for The American Crisis Series published by SR Books.  I bought the book at Harper's Ferry over six years ago, but until last summer it remained lost in my parent's attic. Now seems like a perfectly good time to give it a go. 

I have always found John Singleton Mosby one of the most facinating characters of the Civil War. Dashing, daring, and with a harsh but strict code of honor, he always seemed a little closer to Robin Hood or one of the legendary Old West gunfighters than a Civil War officer.  Well, perhaps this book will help me decide if that image is true. While I have read at least one biography and many accounts of Mosby's activities during the war, this is the first (and almost certainly only) book that examines not only the true story of Mosby, but also places a large emphasis on the development of his legend through his portrayal in various media, most especially contemporary newspapers and his own post war writings.

It should be an interesting read.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that it was a cause of the war, but I disagree that it was THE cause.

    Let us know how the book is, I'm always looking for new books!