Fully handwritten transcript of his farewell speech given on April 21, 1865, signed “Jno. S. Mosby,” one page, 7.75 x 11.75, penned in 1905 as a souvenir, when he was serving as an assistant attorney in the Department of Justice. Mosby writes, in full: “Soldiers—I have summoned you together for the last time. The vision we cherished of a free and independent country has vanished, and that country is now the spoil of a conqueror. I disband your organization in preference to surrendering to our enemies. I am no longer your commander. After an association of more than two eventful years, I part from you with a just pride in the fame of your achievements and grateful recollections of your generous kindness to myself. And now, at this moment of bidding you a final adieu, accept the assurance of my unchanging confidence & regard. Farewell!” A block of toning and a few staple holes to the upper left and light creases to corners, otherwise fine condition. Accompanied by the original Department of Justice mailing envelope addressed in Mosby’s hand.
Formed on June 10, 1863, the 43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry—more commonly known as Mosby’s Rangers—comprised roughly 400 men by the close of the war. Their unpredictable and speedy method of executing small raids and dispersing resulted in significant gains for the Confederacy, including over a thousand men captured, killed, or wounded; and the capture of over 1500 horses and mules, over 200 beef cattle, and nearly a hundred wagons and ambulances. Immediately following Robert E. Lee’s surrender on April 9, 1865, Mosby attempted to negotiate a surrender with the Union commander in Winchester, Virginia; unable to agree on the terms, he instead disbanded his men twelve days later. This speech remains one of the most famous of the Civil War. Only a handful of copies of this speech written in Mosby’s hand are known to exist; the Library of Congress holds a similar souvenir copy to this one. An absolutely remarkable and highly desirable piece of Civil War history. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.