Gray Ghost: The Life of Col. John Singleton Mosby

Gray Ghost: The Life of Col. John Singleton Mosby

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by James A. Ramage

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Confederate John Singleton Mosby forged his reputation on the most exhilarating of military activities: the overnight raid. Mosby possessed a genius for guerrilla and psychological warfare, taking control of the dark to make himself the "Gray Ghost" of Union nightmares. Gray Ghost, the first full biography of Confederate raider John Mosby, reveals new


Confederate John Singleton Mosby forged his reputation on the most exhilarating of military activities: the overnight raid. Mosby possessed a genius for guerrilla and psychological warfare, taking control of the dark to make himself the "Gray Ghost" of Union nightmares. Gray Ghost, the first full biography of Confederate raider John Mosby, reveals new information on every aspect of Mosby's life, providing the first analysis of his impact on the Civil War from the Union viewpoint.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Gray Ghost is a comprehensive biography of the renowned Confederate partisan ranger, who possessed a genius for irregular warfare and became an expert at using fear as a weapon." —Kentucky Monthly" —

"According to Gray Ghost, Mosby was one of the war's most intriguing personalities." —Courier-Journal" —

"[An] entertaining and informative biography... reveals in vivid prose why Mosby became such an effective raider in the Virginia theater." —Bowling Green Daily News" —

"A small wisp of a man, always restless and absolutely fearless, Mosby raised guerrilla warfare to a sophisticated level.... Ramage's book is the best biography we have of Mosby... a deserved tribute to both the subject and author." —Roanoke Times" —

"[This book] is mainly about his Civil War period but includes his life before and after the war. He was a rare rebel who after the Civil War worked with and supported Republican national leaders. The book is a joy to read." —Benet Exton," —

"This book was a joy to read and it was hard to put it down. One can easily lose their self in the story and forget the outside world. This book is highly recommended to Civil War enthusiasts and anyone wanting to know more about unique personalities in American history." —Benet Exton," — Benet Exton,

"[Gray Ghost] tells the fascinating story of the leader who not only revolutionized the art of the night raid during the Civil War, but who set the precedent for exploiting the psychology of fear to gain essential victories." —civilwar,com" —

"Down through the years, several books have been written about the life of Mosby. For the first time author James A. Ramage has gathered all of the loose threads of Mosby's life together and woven a complete portrait of the guerilla commander and his contributions to the Confederate cause. This thoroughly researched and documented biography will be the standard reference on John Mosby for years to come." — The Lone Star Book Review" —

"This is the first comprehensive biography of the renowned Confederate guerilla fighter from Viginia's eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge."— Appalachian Heritage" —

Product Details

University Press of Kentucky
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Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

James A. Ramage, Regents Professor of History at Northern Kentucky University, is the author of John Wesley Hunt: Pioneer Merchant, Manufacturer, and Financier and Rebel Raider: The Life of General John Hunt Morgan. He lives in Highland Heights, Kentucky.

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Gray Ghost: The Life of Col. John Singleton Mosby 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book starts out well going through Mr. Mosby's childhood. A good history lesson on how some people grow up to do what they do. But after the Civil War starts the book gets very tiresome. It seems like every third page says the same thing. Telling how many horses, mules, and enemies were captured and how much they were all worth. It's interesting for the first 10 times but by the 50th it gets very boring. Put the book down half way through it and have no plans to pick it back up. It's a shame - could have been an excellent book had it been written better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Author Ramage does a wonderful job of brining to life the hero of Southern guerilla warfare, John Mosby. Adeptly weaving the military history with Mosby's earlier years, Ramage portrays the terror of Mosby's psychological warfare with his enemy and his unconventional war practices. A must read.
AHostetler More than 1 year ago
Dr. Ramage has successfully unveiled one of the mystical characters of the Civil War. The reputation of Mosby grew almost daily during the War as the events of every daring raid took on a life of their own adding fuel to a fire creating Mosby into a stealth and merciless god in conflict and a charming southern gentlemen when not. Even during his life, Mosby was confronted almost daily to substantiate an action that had alledgedly occured. Ramage takes one on a journey that separates fiction from truth and then breaks down the why by develing into Mosby's upbring and childhood maladys, his youthful struggles with self and analysing the Zen warrior qualities of the individual in combat.
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James_Durney More than 1 year ago
John Singleton Mosby is not a major player in the American Civil War. He is not a major player in the Eastern Theater of the war either. However, Mosby has captured our imagination as few historical figures can. Within a defined area, Mosby was a major problem. Using a combination of good intelligence, detailed planning, some good luck and daring his men pulled off one spectacular raid after another. His mission was never to stand and fight, he avoided fights whenever possible. However, when it came to fighting, he did not hold back creating a reputation as a fighter that created fear in his opponents. He was the personification of what the Confederacy had in mind when they authorized partisan rangers. There is no denying the amount of problems he caused in "Mosby's Confederacy" and the impact he could have on operations in the Shenandoah Valley. A search in books on for "John Mosby" returns over 200 entries. This book is in the "best of the lot" category. This is a well-researched work, fully footnoted with a "Bibliographic Essay" making it a serious history. However, the author has a good lively writing style producing a fun and easy to read text. This converts Mosby's exploits into both an exciting read that is a history lesson. The book spends little time on Mosby's childhood, covers his war experiences in detail and spends a good deal of time on his post war life. In presenting a good balanced picture of the man, we get a real look at his times with a good deal of politics and personalities. Mosby managed to make firm friends and bitter enemies with equal ease. His "conversion" to the Republican Party is done without upsetting the "Lost Cause" group allowing him to stay in both camps. The post-war 100 pages is one of the strengths of the book providing an absorbing look at Reconstruction and American politics. The last chapter is a look at Mosby in film and television. In addition to how legends are built, this chapter talks about the end of his life and his children and grandchildren. The author tends to overstate his case at some points. In addition, he has a small amount of psychoanalysis that is misplaced. Neither of these are serious flaws or a reason to not consider this book. The author assumes a basic understanding of the war that most buyers book will have. If you are interested in Mosby or the development of guerrilla warfare, this is an excellent book.