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Traces the activities of an elite Confederate guerrilla unit that operated with amazing success during the Civil War Confederate cavalry leader John Mosby is among the most romantic characters in the Civil War, and with good reason. From 1863 to the end of the conflict, Mosby's raiders were a constant headache for the North. Although more than 1,000 men served under Mosby, they usually acted in small detachments of several dozen, sacking supply depots, attacking railroads, and harassing federal troops. They seemed to move behind enemy lines almost at will, and in what is perhaps their most celebrated exploit, a handful of them led by Mosby himself rode into Fairfax Station, Virginia, in the dead of the night and kidnapped a Union general. When they were not on missions, Mosby's riders simply melted into the countryside, finding safe haven in the homes of sympathetic civilians. Theirs was a guerilla war. The frustrated North eventually assigned a special contingent of cavalry to combat them, and a price was ultimately put on Mosby's head. Nobody reined him in, however, and his command enjoyed the proud distinction of never having formally surrendered to the bluecoats. Shortly after Appomattox, Mosby simply disbanded his unit. This is another fine book from the prolific Civil War historian Jeffry D. Wert, who hardly could have picked a more intriguing subject. --John J. Miller
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