Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The press reports on a Mosby raid

Today at Gordonsville: November 30, 1863

It was reported from Gordonsville, in the Richmond Daily Dispatch, of an incident in Brandy Station.

-Gordonsville, Va., Sunday, Nov.29--1 P. M.
Major Mosby and his hand came upon the rear of Meade's wagon train, near Brandy Station, just before daylight Friday morning, capturing one hundred and twelve mules and twenty prisoners. --They also destroyed between thirty and forty wagons, and came very near capturing Gen. French, of the Yankee army. Mosby's men report the line of the Orange Railroad abandoned, and think Meade will go to Fredericksburg if defeated. The mules captured are all of the finest kind. X.

I do not know who X was, but he pretty much got the story correct. Mosby crossed the Hazel River and raided French's Headquarters (the Miller House atop Fleetwood Hill) and, while missing French, who was away, did nabbed a number of his detailed staff of enlisted. The most interesting capture was French's cartographer, Robert Sneeden.

Sneeden was an anonymous man until the 1990's when his diaries and more importantly his art, was uncovered in Arizona and Connecticut. Sneeden's work, published as "Eye of the Storm", and "Voices of the Storm" are must haves if you are interested in the 1862 Campaign around Richmond, the activities of the Army of the Potomac in the fall of 1863 and a inside look at the Confederate prison system.

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