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Accession number 1996.016
Catalog Number 1996.016
Collection Pearce Civil War Collection
Object Name Letter
Title Mosby (John S.) Papers, 1906
Creator Mosby, John S.
Date January 27, 1906
Dates of Creation January 27, 1906
Scope & Content This document, addressed to Virginia Court of Appeals Judge James Keith, is typewritten on Department of Justice letterhead, dated January 27, 1906 and signed by the author. It is a carbon copy and represents Mosby's recollections of and interpretations concerning the circumstances leading up to the events at Gettysburg. The letter first discusses a serendipitous 1870 meeting with General Lee and a meeting later that same day with Lee that included General George Pickett. "The meeting was cold and formal: We only staid a few minutes. As soon as we got out of the room Pickett spoke very bitterly of General Lee: called him "that old man" - said that he had his division "massacred" ---- at Gettysburg."

Rich with detail, this account effectively communicates Mosby's irritation at those officers who would unilaterally blame Generals Lee and Stuart for the Confederate defeat. He also admits that this effort to change existing perceptions will be fruitless. "I do not expect that anything I may write will make the least impression in Virginia. That would be as hopeless as trying to persuade a High churchman that Henry the Eighth was not a good husband." Mosby maintains that this account of the events at Gettysburg is prompted by the desire "to do justice to a man to whom I owe all that I was in the war."

Lastly, Mosby discusses his interest in and ideas concerning two recently published volumes on economic issues. He writes, "I have always contended that nobody has discovered a political principle: I mean a universal law to govern men in all circumstances and conditions. I think that government is made for man; not man for government."
In this letter, Mosby refutes the attack on "Jeb" Stuart, who was blamed for the failure of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, and offers a different scenario after getting hold of Robert E. Lee's letterbook.
Finding Aids Available in the archives or online at
People Mosby, John S.
Lee, Robert E.
Stuart, J. E. B. (James Ewell Brown)
Subjects Battle of Gettysburg
Credit line Pearce Civil War Collection
Copyrights The copyright of these materials is managed by the Navarro College Archives on behalf of the Navarro College Foundation, 3100 W. Collin St., Corsicana, Texas 75110 Phone: 903-875-7438. Internet:

Reproductions of original materials and transcriptions may be available. Please contact the archivist for further information.