N0. 365 CIW CHAPTER 17 VIRGINIA MOBBERLEY’S CONFEDERATE GUERRILLA COMMAND

Commanding officer: Captain John W. Mobberley

As Northern Virginia guerrilla leader Mobberly earned a reputation as the “meanest” Confederate east of Missouri. Originally a member of White’s 35th Battalion Virginia Cavalry, Mobberly ended up leading an independent unit in his own home neighborhood during the war’s last 2 1/2 years.

With Union deserter French Bill and an elusive band of “ruthless horsemen”, he fought irregularly in Loudoun County and the Harpers Ferry area with lightning raids from their mountain hideouts. Mobberly was known for miraculous feats of horsemanship, a very full social life, foolhardy risk-taking and narrow escapes. A comrade wrote in “Prince of the Daredevils”, XXVII Confederate Veteran 288, that this young man was the bravest of the brave, and probably personally killed more Yankee soldiers than any man in Lee’s army. Though reviled by Unionists as an illiterate, illegitimate bandit, no gentleman, and perhaps a Jew, Mobberly was “mourned as a romantic hero” by impressive crowds of Confederate ladies when “assassinated” at the war’s end.

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