Hey, little buddies!

You may have heard of Col. John Mosby, the “Gray Ghost” of the Civil War. Mosby was a Confederate cavalry officer whose small force of mounted raiders caused endless damage and confusion to the Union Army and repeatedly whipped much larger forces. Mosby relied on speed and stealth to win his battles. Another quality that served him well was boldness.
Mosby often succeeded in his missions simply by doing things so very bold that they were unexpected by the enemy. He often caught the Yankees unprepared that way.
One of his most famous raids involved the capture of a northern general, Edwin Stoughton. It happened on the night of March 8, 1863. Stoughton was asleep in a house in Union-occupied Fairfax, Virginia. Surrounded by camps of loyal northern soldiers, the last thing the General had worried about as he retired that evening was being captured in his bed. But thanks to Mosby’s boldness, that’s exactly what happened.
Rain was turning the snow to muddy slush that night as Mosby’s Raiders approached Fairfax through a gap in the Yankee lines where pickets had been pulled in because of the rain. It was thought that there was little danger of an attack in such horrible weather. Mosby’s spies had alerted him to the location of the house where Stoughton was staying. He and his men rode daringly up to the house, seized the guard and made him take them to the general’s bedroom.
When Mosby woke the sleeping man he asked, “Do you know Mosby?” Stoughton replied drowsily, “Yes—have you caught him?”
“No,” Mosby replied. “But he has caught you.” And that’s how John Mosby captured a Yankee general without firing a shot.
Sometimes it pays to be daring when we’re trying to accomplish something that’s hard to do. You’ll get a lot farther by being bold than being timid.

If you’d like to read the story of Mosby’s capturing the Union general, it’s in our audio “Mosby-Gray Ghost of the Confederacy and also one of the stories in Uncle Rick Reads Portraits of Integrity. See the samples!

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