A Little Justice, Please ("Underwear" Mosby)

By Jonah Begone

Confederate heroes like Col. John "Gray Ghost" Mosby are extolled to the heavens by neo-Rebs.  

From virginiaplaces.org:

"When Col. John Mosby raided the town of Fairfax during the Civil War and captured General Stoughton, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Johnstone of the 5th New York evaded capture by hiding in the outhouse. Today that location is the Bailiwick Inn bed-and-breakfast, across the street from the historic Fairfax County courthouse.

As described in Mosby's memoirs, the colonel fled out of his bedroom and "hid in the garden." The Confederates failed to notice him there. According to local tradition, however, the colonel hid underneath the toilet seat in the outhouse. (Imagine you were on Mosby's raid. Would you think to look below the toilet seat in an outhouse to find a Yankee officer? At last report, no Civil War history buff has re-enacted that particular drama.)"

As a result of this incident, Col. Johnstone was forever after nicknamed "Outhouse Johnstone."

And yet…

From Civil War Curiosities - Strange Stories, Oddities, Events and Coincidences by Webb Garrison


When attorney John S. Mosby decided to become a Confederate partisan ranger, he knew that members of irregular units were in far greater danger than conventional soldiers. Very early, Federal actions had made it clear that rangers not shot on sight would be relentlessly hunted. Undeterred by danger, Mosby's wife frequently stayed close to him even during his famous raids in the Loudoun Valley of Virginia.


Federal soldiers once broke into the house where the pair was sleeping, but found no one there but Mrs. Mosby. Warned by her to get out quickly, Mosby had climbed into a tree wearing only his underwear. He remained in his perch and kept very quiet until the Federals departed, enabling him to return to bed with his wife.


I want to know why he isn't known as "Tree" Mosby, or "Underwear" Mosby. A little justice, please.