tv The Civil War CSPAN January 17, 2015 10:00pm-11:16pm EST
when i think about headphones what is that going to do for us? what is the impact on so many different items that may come before us? i get to learn a number of different products that may come to market at some point that might involve us in the future. >> monday night at 8:00 on c-span2. >> david goetz author talks about john singleton mosby and ulysses s. grant and the connection they shared for the rest of their lives. during reconstruction, goetz discussed about them working as unlikely allies. grand help mosby help him get
positions. this hour is the top and 10 minutes. -- this talk is an hour and 10 minutes. >> mr. david goetz is our speaker tonight. he owns the mosby leadership tours. he has published the "hell is being a republican in virgina: the post-war relationship between john mosby and ulysses s. grant." he is the descendent who served the general johnson and army of virginia in 1861-1862. he is the past commander of the black wars can 780 sons of the -- camp 780 sons of the confederate veterans and logic
county. he has a professional background in public relations, sales, and marketing. he holds undergraduate degrees in english from bellarim university, and a masters of science degree in community development from the university of louisville. he is a u.s. army veteran and lives in warrenton, virginia. let's give a hand for dave goetz. [applause] >> thank you. it is a joy to be back here. it is a joy to see these faces. i am so happy so many of you came out tonight. i am grateful. i'm going to do a little bit of "saturday night live." this is my third visit here. i have been here 12 times. but it's muy third.
one of your members here was kind enough to bring me the washington post 2014 election results, which proves hell is not being a republican in virginia anymore except fairfax county. [laughter] i am just parroting this gentleman. shoot him. i publish this book in 2012. hell is being a republican in virginia. i brought with me tonight, these cool bumper stickers. hell is being a republican in virginia. you can put this on your car. let me get started by talking about where the title for this book comes from. when john mosby was an old man he lived to be 82 years old.
this was 1914, 1915. he was 81 years old by this point. living in washington. when a minister knocked on the door and wanted to talk with him about his future, his spiritual future, if you know anything about john mosby you know he was not religious. he did not go to church. he probably did not believe in the hereafter. there was this minister talking about his soul. if you know some of the things about mosby you would know he was an irascible old man. more often than not, if he was born with you he would get up and walk out of the room. yet he sat there and listened to this creature talk about his soul. mosby listened. he probably did not respond well. he just sat there. this minister, who must've been terribly frustrated said don't you even believe in hell?
he looked back with those eyes and said yes, hell is being a republican in virginia. [laughter] that story was overheard by mosby's grandson. some of you met him. he was a teenager, a young teenager, maybe 14 years old. he was born in 1899. bev coleman overheard the story. he passed the story down through generations. to tom evans, who some of you know as well. tom told me that story. when i heard that i thought there is the title for your book. the postwar relationship between mosby and grant, this is a little sexier. let's get into some of the weeds here.
this book is primarily about what happened after the war. you can't get there until you understand what happened before this time during the war. john mosby, as many of you know, was a guerrilla operator. he ended up commanding 800 men 2000 2100 altogether served with him over the course of years they were any in existence. his little band held down 30,000 troops for two years. keeping them away from petersburg, richmond, other battlefields. his operations were behind the lines. they lived off the federal largess. mosby did away with the cavalry as an innovator. he believed the calvary saber
was an outdated, worthless romantic weapon that had no place in modern warfare. he preferred a pair of colds. he required his men come to serve with him with a mount and weapons. he had two orders. mount and follow me. if you can do those things we will get along great. by men, what we would say were kids. some as young as 14 years old. some of the best officers are 20 years old. just like today. these are men who had not heard the song of the bullet. they were not afraid. to them it was an adventure. by the end of the war it was not an adventure anymore. these men joined because they love their homes and families, and were protecting their homes and families from the blue boards.
his men were daring. he was an innovator in many ways. he perfected the need to know. if you did need to know something, don't ask. his childhood hero was francis marion, the swamp fox, who tormented the british during america's war for freedom. mosby was a sickly child. he was confined to bed. his fertile imagination picked up francis marion, and the deeds marion performed. these deeds stayed with him as an adult. mosby was picked on as a child because he was frail, fragile, delicate. you look at his pictures, his shoulders are tapered. this boy found a way to grab some dirt, pick up a rock, and get the bully off of him. for the rest of his life, he used his brain to figure out how to defeat his enemies. they were always better armed,
better equipped, better financed, whatever. you can trace this all the way through his life. so, in 1865, as the war was winding down, the south was a disaster. there was no rule of law. the banks were broken. the money was no good. 4.5 million slaves were gone. the railroads did not work. it was an absolute depression. there was no food. there were hundreds of thousands of wounded and maimed soldiers who carry the scars of war back home with them. there was nothing there. nothing left. probably one of the greatest things the federal government did was to impose martial law on the south.
military commanders went in and stabilized the situation. the south would have devoured herself had it not be for that. grant was the architect for that. in 1865, as the war ended, mosby disbanded his rangers on april 21 that year. during the math, general lee surrendered april 9. lincoln was shot on the 14th. died on the 15th. on the 18th, mosby had met with a federal commander, george kaplan in virginia, under a flag of truce. the purpose of the meeting was to discuss whether he was surrender or not. the meeting was set at for 11:30 the morning, or at noon, the truce would end at noon. he shows up at 11:30. he says what are you doing here?
mosby said i'm not going to surrender. what's the matter with you? he said i want to have a 10 day true so i can prepare myself and talk to my commanders. chapman said there is no commander to talk to. the war is over. mosby said i need to confirm that. i'm not going to take the word from you. i have to find on my own. they reset the timetable. he says i will give you two days. see you back on the 20th. mosby went back on the 20th and basically said i'm not surrendering. there was an incident that happened that day or one of his men, and mosby brought 15 officers, close to 20. they sat in this room in there was a young man named hern referred to as an idiot, whose
job it was guard the horses. [laughter] while he was there, some chipset, let's see what you can do on that horse. he said, let's take some bets. they ran up and down the street. at one point, one of them took down a longer road where he saw a brigade of calvary in the pines. he races back and bursts into this meeting. he says i'm going to ambush. mosby says the meeting is over. we have to protect ourselves. he walks out with his men. they ride out of there. mosby, the next day, the 21st of april this landed his command. this was important. he disbanded his command rather than surrender. he himself knew that he was a wanted man.
he was on the run. he ran. he and his brother and some other men finally broke up a few days later. they try to get to their parents house outside of lynchburg. they traveled at night and slept during the day. it took weeks to get down there. when they arrived at lynchburg they stay with their parents for a few days. mosby negotiated with federal officers to come in and turn himself in. it was approved by grant that mosby would turn himself in. grant wanted no more bloodshed. we are not going to hang anyone, not going to do any trials. a clean break. but we want him in. mosby dresses in his best
colonel's uniform. they ride into lynchburg. he struts around for a little bit. he goes inside the provost marshal's office. he was somewhere else. there was a young lieutenant there and says i need to wire to find out what they want to do with you. he comes back a few minutes later and said i'm sorry. i have to arrest you. mosley stands up and says i came in here in good faith to turn myself in. here you are in your going to -- here you are. you're going to arrest me? he looks at the man and says i am the last soldier. the last citizen. the last one. he puts his pistols on his hits and said there are 12 bullets in here. everyone will be fired before
you leave and hand on me. he turned around and left. before he got in the buggy he made a deal with the yankees they would not pursue him until the next morning. that is power. the next morning, 50 yankees show up at his mother's house and scare have to death to know where johnny is. she doesn't know. to make a long story short, it was general halleck who countermanded grant. and ordered mosby's arrest. when grant finds out what happened he goes ballistic. he says i want him in. they bring mosby back in. he signs his parole. it is not honored. he is arrested three times over the next several months. he sets up, he is a lawyer as many of you know.
he sets up his law practice in warrington. there is a lot of legal work to be done. we have not had a legislature, not any law for four years. there is a lot of legal work to be done. he is successful at that. he observes his people, the virginia people, the southern people are suffering under the boot of reconstruction. he wonders what he can do to help with that suffering. he has a vision where one day, the southern people will be free, and well-to-do. and not hungry anymore. in february of 1866. pauline tells him she is going to take their oldest son beverly, the baltimore to buy furniture. he says fine. have a great trip. she doesn't go to baltimore. she goes to washington. she gets off the train, she goes
to the white house. there is anecdotal evidence that president andrew johnson, then a senator from tennessee, attended their wedding. pauline was the daughter of a kentucky congressman. john and pauline were married in nashville, tennessee. protocol that tell you if your daughter is being married in another state or district, you would want to invite that person to come to your daughter's wedding. there was a good chance he was there. she pleads her case to the president. when is the war going to end? my husband can't get a break. he has been arrested despite the fact that he has parole.
johnson says, if it was up to me your husband would be stretching hemp, get out of my office. she burst into tears. a federal officer comes up and says, what i do to help you. she tells of her story. he says, come with me. they walked down the street to general of the army grant's office. it is grant who welcomes her into his office. have a seat. can we get you some water? how can i help you? she tells him the same story. when is the war going to end? my husband has been arrested. it is grant who takes a piece of paper, his own letterhead from
his desk, and writes mosby's parole. it is pauline who gets the parole, not john. she is quite a woman. so now she has john's parole. mosby is a free man. only the president and grant can undo that parole. he can go anywhere he wants to practice law, without being harassed. mosby is really affected by this. not only has grant thrown a shield over him, he has done it again. in 1872, grant is running for a second term. mosby is on a train with a representative from out in the valley. he says some kind words about grant. what a fine officer he was. what a humane man he was to not punish the south by executing its leadership.
this representative tells that story to grant. grant says, i want to talk to this man. i want to see what he has to say about the southerners. on may 8, 1872, mosby and his 12-year-old son is on the way to the white house for the second time. this representative rides into washington. they go into the white house. they see the president. the president is there with a number of cabinet officers and people who are currying favor with the president, industrial leaders and so on. instantly there is tension in the air. grant picks up on it.
the great ghost of the confederacy, his 12-year-old son. this guy was a bad dude. grant leans back in his chair and takes a draw off of that stogie, blows the blue smoke into the air and says colonel, did you know in 1864 you were in five minutes of capturing me? mosby said no, i'm sorry. he says, i had just come from seeing the president who made me general in chief of the army. i was on the train heading back to headquarters at culpepper. i just had my security staff and my staff officers with me. i didn't have a large contingent of soldiers. just a train engine and us. one of my officer saw a cloud of dust on the rails ahead of us. i had to stop the train and see what had caused that cloud of
dust. major jones came back within five minutes and said he talked with the station master, and colonel mosby had been chasing our guys a few moments before. he said, what you think about that? he looks back at grant without blinking and, said mr. president, if i had been five minutes earlier, maybe i would be sitting in your chair and you would be sitting in mine. [laughter] they all did the same thing you just did. they laughed. the level of tension dropped. they got down to business. the business was this. mr. president, i'm sure you're aware there is a bill being held up as senator charles committee. the amnesty act of 1872. i'm sure you know that act has 14 classes of amnesty.
mr. president, if you can get that bill out of committee on to your desk and sign up there are a lot of people who cannot vote who will come to your side. grant looked at him and said i will see what i can do. grant calls his old friend benjamin butler. they called him spoons. stealing silver. he calls butler, the junior senator from massachusetts and says, i want you to help me out. he tells them he wants this bill out of committee on his desk to sign it read the sooner the better. -- sign it.
the sooner, the better. charles sumner, charles sumner was a radical republican. if you go back in your history books, you will recall seeing an image on the floor of the senate in 1856. charles sumner was the caney. he was beating this not out of him, and beat him so badly charles sumner could not go back to work for three years. when he did, when he did, he was a terror. he help make sure the french and british didn't come out on the side of the confederacy. charles sumner was a loyalist to president lincoln. charles sumner did not like grant.
charles sumner was blocking his bill, which was led to keep him from being reelected. butler waits until old man sumner goes back and takes a nap. he calls the committee together, gets a quorum, and passes the bill out of committee, waits until the floor of the senate, and under the suppression of rules, they pass this bill. because it works with the house version, a race to the white house. grant signs it into law. sumner goes nuts when he wakes up. this bill, this allows former confederates to vote and hold office. do you have any idea what that means to restoring a person's dignity? undoing it. they can now vote and hold office. big deal. when the election is held, grant wins by more than 20,000 votes. a landslide.
in 1872 that was a landslide. mosby is grant's new best friend. he is allowed to see the president every time, except wants. only when he was in the hands of a dentist. every other time, he would say then i want to talk with you. he advised president grant on lots of things. one thing that attracted grant to mosby was the fact that mosby did want anything from him. everybody else wanted something. they wanted something from the president. mosby didn't want any of that. what he did what was patronage or his men. he asked the president to help his men get appointments as
postmasters. working at the navy yard whatever. grant made sure those men had appointments. he made sure they got jobs. grant took a lot of heat for this. getting rid of good union men for these old rebels, how dare you. they said mosby had a quarry that was mining stone to be used in union cemeteries. he was selling stone to the federal government, making tons of money. these were lies. mosby was a very calm, very, around grant. he respected grant and grant respected him. they were soldiers. they were soldiers. he respected grant because grant was not nasty to the southern people. he respected grant because he was an honest man in his heart and core. grant had a vision.
of a truly united country. a truly united country that would be powerful in the world powerful, strong, assertive in the world. that was his vision. he could not do it until there was healing between north and south. this was what got them together. they had this vision of a stronger southern people. the only way that was going to happen was if the federal government played an active role in helping make that happen. that is how they work together. once mosby became a republican he was out. once the people who were already democrats, southern democrats, not like today. they are the opposite of today. the people turn their backs. it was so bad, mosby went to one reunion in 1895.
it was so bad he never went back to another one. not because of what he said it was. he said he didn't because it was all very strange. they would sit around and talk about the war. that is what he lived for. he loved that. that was the time when he was in control. he was in charge. he was respected and feared. he didn't go back because some of his men literally turned their backs on him. it was so bad, after mosby was on the run, there was a $2000 reward for his head or his hide. some of mosby's men went to grant, and said they could get him, but it would cost $5,000. grant says do it. one guy is not going to do it.
take a bunch of guys. these rangers, his own men went after him. they didn't get him. this is the kind of thing they were up against. conservatives put his family out his children were beaten at school. his wife was a pariah. people across the street from having to speak to him. he was an outside man. he was left to whether on the vine. he got into trouble over politics. both duels failed because they would not face him. one guy, mosby proposed they
would have a shoot out with shotguns. with one ounce balls at 20 paces. the guy says no way i would do that. he was a good shot by the way. in case you haven't figured that out. his life was in the tank. he was hurting. in 1876, pauline dies. as a result of complications from childbirth of her eighth child. 39 years old. eight kids. 18 years. the baby is born in march of 1876. 18hauling dies in may of 76. the baby dies in june. their seventh child died at age 11 months, cause unknown. mosby has six children, no wife, no mother for his children. he sells the house on main street and warrington. he moves to alexandria.
he has some law clients in warrington. he goes out to warrant in one night in the fall of 1877. as he is getting off the train someone takes a shot at him. tries to assassinate him. they don't know who they were why they missed. was it a warning shot? we don't know. mosby believes his life was in mortal danger. on the other hand, you have grant, who has finished his second term in 1877. rutherford b. hayes becomes president. and, grant says to julia, honey, we are going on a trip. he said, i have been fighting wars, i've been president, i have had it. i need a break. they book this tour around the
world that lasts for two years. when mosby sends this telegram to grant, grant is visiting europe. everywhere he went he was praised, throngs of people would turn out to see this man. mosby sends a telegram saying his wife is in terrible danger. grant's in the telegram. hayes sends mosby to hong kong. mosby puts his children with friends and relatives. sends to a convent. they cannot go to china with
him. he boards a ship in san francisco in december 1877. it takes six weeks to get a hong kong. probably uphill. [laughter] he arrives in february of 1878. after he is installed, he is like what am i doing here? but he is in hong kong. within 2-3 months he looks of the books. he sees there were two sets of books. one for the state department and one for them. these guys were charging, if a prostitute, and prostitution was legal, chinese prostitutes were legally immigrating to the united states. if a prostitute did not want to have a medical exam for a few extra yuan, she could avoid that. these guys would just kind of let that go. it would make 15 extra dollars. u.s. flag sailors, merchant
marines who wanted three nights, they would charge two dollars. he would make money off of that. opiumm, license for opium. $10,000. a lot of money. mosby being mosby, he sends a dossier back to the state department advising the state department they have a real problem on their hands. you cannot imagine what happened next. the state department lost it. it disappeared. can you imagine? [laughter] can you imagine? so, he just did not hear from them. then, he started to find out that these guys were in something called a consular ring.
it wasn't just the hong kong consulates. it was the entire american consulate system in the far east that was involved. if the guy was changing duty stations, he would go to pay king or bangkok, or the philippines. they were all doing this. they were all doing this. they were making money hand over fist. one set of books for the state department, one for themselves. imagine. mosby put together a second dossier. he told the editor of the china daily mail in hong kong, and he had a friend who was the publisher of the washington star. he told these guys, just like the old days, with my signal. if i tell you to publish, then publish. he sent this dossier to the
state department and said you fix this, or i will. it wasn't long after that some of these men were retiring because they wanted to spend more time with their families. [laughter] they were sick. it was time to go home. they cleaned it up quietly. it was mosby's hand all over it. i should tell you in 1979, the -- 1970 -- 1879, the grants were on their world to her and stopped in hong kong. imagine if you will, john singleton mosby, the former
guerrilla chief of the confederate states of america, now the senior diplomat welcoming former president and private citizen ulysses grant. grant and mosby were like two peas in a pod, joined at the hip. mosby was with him everywhere introducing him everywhere they went. they had breakfast every morning for 10 days. what they said is lost to history. you can bet it had a lot to do with politics. at the end of their visit they are getting back on their ship. she had a 21 gun salute. mosby rode out on the launch with them to make sure they could get on the ship safely and waits. grant goes to the stern of the ship, he sees mosby on the launch below, he takes his hat off and salutes mosby. mosby returns his salute to grant, and later rates in his
memoirs he was afraid that was the last time he would see his old friend. it was. in 1884, mosby was invited to visit lee hung chang. he was the most powerful warlord in china. granted visited chang in 1879. chang had a vision for china like grant had a vision for america. chang wanted to see china as a world leader. he wanted grant to help china by sending technology and teachers, and all the things that would help them become a great power. chang has invited mosby to visit. mosby goes to see lee hung chang. after some pleasantries they get down to business. chang says we are having problem
with these french in indochina. he said they are just travel. he said if you will raise an army of 350 men, i know you were a guerrilla chief. i will pay for it. mosby says, your lordship, that is the greatest honor i've ever had in my entire life but i'm not going to do it and here's why. the french supported my people in our struggle for independence. i cannot in conscience fight the people who supported my ancestors. he turned them down. you know what happened to the french in indochina. in 1885, mosby in april gets a telegram from the state department said he is about to be relieved. the new president? grover cleveland. new president grover cleveland wanted to put in good democrats.
we're calling you back home in july. get ready. they had three months to get ready. mosby shut down his affairs over there. he was packed up and ready to go. he had his last parties. he was given marvelous gifts. the day before he was set sailing or america he gets a telegram from the state department. i should go back before i tell that story. as soon as he got word from the state department he was to be leaving hong kong, he sends a telegram to grant. i have been relieved. i will leave in july. i don't have any contacts in the states. nobody knows me anymore. can you help me find a job? he doesn't know that grant has
throat cancer and is dying. he is writing his memoirs as fast as his hands will move. the day before mosby sails for america, he gets a telegram from the state department said grant has died. he writes in his memoirs later on i have lost my best friend. it takes six weeks for the ship to get from hong kong to san francisco. as he is coming down the gangplank, a young man on the dock is going john mosby, hi mosby. he hands of the envelope. it is a note from leland stanford. leland stanford was now senator from california.
he was also president of the southern pacific railroad. be in my office tomorrow morning at 10:30. mosby has no clue what this is about. let's go. he shows up at 10:30. after some pleasantries, stanford opens his desk drawer pulls out an envelope and hands it to mosby. he opens it. it is a telegram from grant the day before grant died. the day before he dies from throat cancer taking his life. it says, mosby is returning from hong kong. please help them find a job. stanton looks at mosby, who is just aghast and says i have a job in my law department if you want. he says yeah, you bet. he stays with the southern pacific railroad for 16 years.
1885-1901. leland stanford has a little place for the weekends where he has little parties. some of the neighbors out there have a patent from virginia. they have a son named george. mosby is introduced to the little george patton. because patton's parents are know mosby reputation. they trust him to take their son out horseback riding. it is not mosby teaching the kid. it is the kid peppering mosby with questions. what do you do if you are low on ammunition?
how do you retreat? it is the kid who peppers mosby with questions. the old guerrilla chief. mosby does his best to answer them. when george grows up, he puts pistols on his hips just like mosby. so, he is now at the southern pacific railroad. he argues before the supreme court a couple of times. the supreme court was a welcoming court in those days. many justices for industrialists, and they got favorable readings from the supreme court. he attends the first reunion in 1895 back in virginia. in 1897, mosby's mother dies. his mother was his rock. his mother was the person who took care of young johnny when he was so sick as a child. when her son would come home from school, bruised and bloodied, it was his mother that
basically told him he was going to be ok and shoved him back out the door the next morning. don't let them do this to you. it was his mother who was his rock. she died, and it crushed him. in 1901, leland stanford had died. as had huntington, the brains behind the southern pacific railroad. he was the chairman of the board. stanford was just the president. you can bet that grant and huntington had a relationship. these two men out of the way there is no one left to keep mosby safe. he is thrown out, reduction in force. he is put out on the street.
he ends up getting a job with the interior department. they sent him out to nebraska, to prosecute cattle barons who are grazing cattle on federal lands. these guys are finding ways to cut off water so the farmers can't get water. they have estates the size of vermont. they are grazing cattle on federal land. mosby is very successful in court. he is a brilliant lawyer. he prosecutes these men. several go to jail. some people don't like that. sure enough, he gets another assignment to colorado. they are waiting for him in colorado. they have senators in their back pocket. they have judges in their back pocket.
when they go to court, mosby is humiliated in court. the court goes against mosby and in favor of the cattle barons. he is so humiliated. the interior department is so humiliated, they send mosby to alabama, chase squatters off of federal lands. he is in exile. he writes to his brother-in-law, charles russell, the men edited his memoirs, he's a big gun with the federal government. he has come back from france negotiating a treaty with france. his brother-in-law says i will help you. he helps him get a job with the justice department as an assistant attorney. this is in 1904. for six years, from 1904 to 1910, he has a desk, and his chair has nothing to do. things have never changed. [laughter]
nonetheless, here is mosby with nothing to do. during this time, the six years, he goes on speaking tours where he does his best presentations. he finishes his book. he is not letting dust collect on his feet. he is out there working and doing good things. he retires for good in 1910. he visits samuel colt at the colt arms factory in hartford, connecticut. colt gives him a colt pistol as a way to thank him for being there. mosby has had four bullets go through his body over the course of the war. i have a mosby letter. the letter that mosby wrote the
night that he had met with samuel colt. two years ago, i was on a committee that opened the mosby house for one night for the citizens of the community to come in at no charge to see the mosby house. one of the people on the committee, he is descendent of mosby. he had the pistol that samuel colt gave to mosby. for one night we had the pistol and the letter in the same room, 102 years later. it was now about 1916. mosby was fine. he'd had a good long life. in early 1916, he started feeling poorly. he told his daughters, i've
needed a vacation. she hooked up with a sanitarium, or a place where it was run by nuns were you go for a few weeks. he could rest and be cared for by ladies and breathe the sea air. he went down to norfolk, felt great after 4-5 weeks. he goes back to washington after few weeks he feels really poorly again. he goes to the doctor. the doctor says there is something wrong with you and i don't like it. mosby goes to a georgia hospital and the guy says you have cancer.
you have to get it out. he sets up an appointment for mosby to have surgery at garfield hospital. does anyone them member that? garfield hospital. if you were a person of note in 1916, the washington star might say something like john siegal mosby will have surgery on thursday, may 30 at 8:00. so the surgery was all set. mosby was lying on a gurney the day of the surgery. there were nurses in the operating room cleaning it up for his surgery. things were getting together there. three well-dressed men walk up the stairs. one of them walks over into a nurse and says i'm looking for johnson wilson mosby. he says that is him. he walks over to the man who says a few words. the words are lost to history. he goes back to the nurse and says is the family here? that is them over there. he walked the mosby family. one of the doctors says he takes a car from his pocket and says madam, if you or your father or
anyone in your family needs anything, i want you to contact me. she says well, that is generous. he bows, joined the other men, and disappears down the stairs. she looks at the card. it is that ulysses grant the third. what i'm telling you hear is, i think of this as a completion of a circle. these two men who were nobodies. if there had not been that war john mosby would be a country lawyer in the middle of nowhere. the same could be said for grant. grant was a nobody. that war may ulysses grant. here were these two men who were warriors, who fought like demons for their country. who at the end sought peace and reconciliation between the sections. that is what it is all about. looking for peace and reconciliation. i hope you find in your own lives as well. with that, i will conclude. thank you. [applause] >> i think we have time for questions. we have a gentleman here with a microphone.
if you want to stand up and ask questions, wait for the gentleman to come with you with the microphone. sir? >> i understand mosby was a shy public speaker. later on you said he went out on speaking tours. how did he overcome that? >> excellent question. he was very shy. there was even a reunion, an opportunity for mosby to meet with some people at one of the better clubs in richmond. he became, i guess you would call it stage struck. he became so frightened and terrified of having to go out and speak on his own, he refused to go out on stage. he was actually carried back to his room. he was absolutely freaked out by that.
mosby was shy. he had a story to tell. i think that fact that he was a lawyer and had presented in court, had worked up his confidence over the years. the fact that he had been a commander, that helped as well. it is almost like two people here. the shy guy who cannot stand public scrutiny versus this other guy who was very confident and bold. i'm not sure i can reconcile those for you. i just know they existed. there were two pieces here. i daresay many of us in this room who at certain points in our lives have no fear of standing in front of an audience, and other times we are terrified. so, that is the human side of the man.
sir? wait for this gentleman to come up. >> what are your thoughts about the dichotomy with sheraton? he did not like them. sheraton. that grant pretty much did between that saying hey, he is paroled like anyone else. he is not a war criminal. >> sheridan and mosby were at each other's throats. mosby was a thorn in sheridan's side. sheridan got his first real taste of mosby in august of 1864 with what was called the wagon train raid. that is when mosby, with the largest number of troops he mounted during the war, 350 men attacked a wagon train.
it stretched for miles outside of virginia. he attacked them in the morning. they used artillery and the surprise of these 350 maniacs running over the hill with guns blazing. the federals fired one shot and ran. he captured 600 cattle, several hundred horses and mules. 200 prisoners. it was an incredible thing. in late november, early december 1864, sheridan had enough of this man and ordered the burning of the valley. >> he scorched earth. >> yes. mosby always called sheridan a liar. he was a little man who tried to impress people. i don't have a high opinion of
sheridan either, obviously. it is coming out. i do my best to stay neutral. it is coming out. i'm sorry. bill sheridan was not kind to mosby and mosby's rangers. sheridan, there was this back-and-forth series of executions in the fall of 1864. mosby's sheridan letter saying what we have done is immoral. it is against any moral code of civilized nations. if that is even considered moral. but if you stop, i will stop. sheridan never responded. the killing stops. the killing of unarmed soldiers stops. these two were at each other's throats even after the war. sheridan had it bad for mosby for years and years. mosby had no respect for this man. he considered him a liar and a man with no soul. i don't know if that answers your question.
>> what i have come to understand, i feel that sheridan could never beat mosby. therefore he went after the weaker unarmed civilians to get at mosby. >> that makes perfect sense. another question? yes? >> you said that mosby went to an alexandria city reunion and it was in 1895? how was he received? >> extremely well by most people, by most of the men. i believe the vast majority of his men worshiped him, adored him, respected him. there were a few who could not hold their sentiments back. i believe they literally turned their backs on him and it broke his heart. he could not tolerate and accept that. it was not the way he envisioned the way would be.
he never went back to another reunion. he gave a speech like none other that night. it is in a couple of books that are out there.he talked about how the men in his command will meet at the table in valhalla, and how they will share a meal with all of the great soldiers throughout history, and they will be accepted among the throng of soldiers in valhalla. and that's how he saw it. the fact there were men who turned their backs on him broke his heart. he couldn't take it. >> a very short story, one of my favorite stories about mosby was he took over a house of somebody in the north. the woman who was living in the
house told him, if you were my husband, i would give you poison. he responded with, madam, if i were your husband i would gladly take it. >> vintage mosby. that's great. thank you for sharing that. >> what caused mosby's reputation to turn around? he is a local hero now in local virginia. when did that happen and why did that happen? >> i think it took place with the publication in 1944 of "ranger mosby." the author died in 1998, 1995
somewhere in there. he was a newspaper reporter in richmond. he wrote the first modern work on the life of mosby. the first modern mosby. -- the first modern biography of mosby. and he went through the records, he talked with descendents. he read letters and diaries everything he could get to paint a wonderful picture of mosby. his narrative style is so good , it is as if he is telling stories. he tells one story after the other and it blends one into the next. the title of the book is "ranger mosby." i highly recommend it. it has been reproduced many times. it is available on amazon.com for $15, 10 or $15. it's an absolutely wonderful work. if you want to know anything about mosby, read "ranger mosby. " yes, sir. in the back. >> back in the early days of the
first year here, pat jones was one of our speakers. at the very second meeting of our roundtable. >> by the time i met him, they would basically stand him up. and he would say "if the yankees had tried to take washington, we would have stopped them." then they would set him back down again. [laughter] he was brilliant. he was one of the top people top reporters of that time. and a brilliant biographer. absolutely brilliant. people like me stand on the shoulders of giants. they did all the work, we just tell the stories. nancy? >> i have two questions. although mosby did not attend other reunions, members of his family did go, as far as i know.
i guess with his consent. the other question is you said mosby wasn't religious, but his wife was an ardent catholic. i have heard stories that when he was close to death his daughter had him baptized. is that all true? >> pauline was a roman catholic. john was baptized but he was not a practicing christian. the mosbys were scots. the scots were possibly presbyterians. many of them settled around richmond and his group ended up in nelson county. not near a church, not near anything, they were just out in the woods. mosby probably grew up with almost no faith at all, put that
on the other side you have pauline clarke, who was raised catholic. in those days, and i can remember even met -- in my own lifetime, protestants and catholics were not permitted to marry. it just wasn't going to happen. they knew that the other guy had a horn on their head or tail under their dress. it's true, they really believe that. the fact that john and pauline met and had this wonderful chemistry between them, and they were in love, they were not going to be denied, and they decided to get married. his family went along with it. but they were married. part of the deal was mosby had to agree to raise his children in the catholic faith. that applies to even some churches today. there's that. what was the second part of your question?
>> his sons or grandsons would attend these reunions. they are inquisitive about what -- mosby must have been inquisitive about what happened there. >> who was there? who did you sit with? >> he probably was actively interested. >> i think the fact that his men turned their backs on him -- that was too much. it was too hurtful, too painful to experience. too much so he avoided it. >> an amazing character, about a thousand people over time. to what caused people to turn on him so suddenly at the end of the war? what caused people to turn fat
that rapidly on a guy who had been their god for three years? >> they were broke. they were destitute, they were broke, they had nothing going for them. 5000 bucks was big money. $5,000 you could retire on build a house and recent family. -- raise a family. i guess if you are hungry and desperate, you will do anything to stay alive. most of mosby's men thought he was, not a god but they thought he was this fabulous leader. they figured if i can just make a few extra bucks here i'm going to do it. i am going to find this cat because i know where he hates out -- hangs out. i hope that answers your question.
i think that is more what happened. they were desperate and hungry. and they were scared. serve. wait for the gentleman with the microphone. >> my daughters go to john mosby elementary school in fairfax county. >> excellent. >> one thing that really struck me about that school is the racial diversity there. children from all around the world. what would john mosby have thought about the school and now the racial diversity in northern virginia? >> i'm not sure what he would have thought. i can tell you he was against slavery. his parents had slaves. he had a manservant.
but after the war that man was free. mosby would send him money until the day he died. aaron was his name. aaron had many chances to leave mosby. she was as faithful and friend and a manservant as he could get. when it was over, mosby took care of aaron. aaron was probably 15 years old when john was seven. aaron was the guy who was assigned by john's mother to take him to school through the woods. the very first day of school when john was seven, they went to school and there were some kids at school and they saw this
slave kid. they auctioned him off to the highest bidder. a seven-year-old is not going to understand that that was just fun. the slave boy was pretty upset about it, too. when he would take john to school, he would wait in the woods. he would bring him food. when john was -- years later when he had joined the washington rifles, they had marched to richmond to be part of the first virginia cavalry. accompanying the first virginia cavalry. john's parents took aaron to richmond and gave him to john to be his manservant and he served faithfully throughout the war. i'm sure he had a job. it probably did not pay very
much whatever it was. john helped his friend for the rest of his life. yes, dear. janet? >> was mosby able to go to grant's funeral? >> no. that's another sad story. grant died in 1985. -- 1885. mosby was not able to go. there was a time in 1897 when there was a reunion for grants 's anniversary. mosby had gone to -- he had been on the east coast. he was going to argue a case before the supreme court. he stopped for a while in charlottesville to see his old friend and mentor, robertson.
robertson had mentored mosby in the study of law. he went to visit william robertson. robertson had a 32-year-old daughter and mosby was taking her out to the campus to show her where he had gone to school. somehow the reins from the horse got tangled up. mosby leaned down. i think it is called a -- the little piece of wood. what is that called? the little borard, the step board? the horse became panicked and kicked him. it gave him a concussion. that man. -- he was taken to the hospital.
a man named hunter maguire -- that man. hunter mcguire was brought to attend to mosby. hunter mcguire walks in, rolling up his sleeves. there is a young intern sitting next to mosby. he says how are you doing? the intern says, what is your name? he says, none of your business. mcguire says, he's tired, leave him alone. mosby lost the eye. he became blind. mark is standing up, which is my cue i should have stopped 10 minutes ago. [applause] the civil war airs here every saturday at 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. eastern time. you're watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend, on c-span3.
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