The Mosby Myth
A Confederate Hero in Life and Legend
ISBN10: 084202929X ISBN13: 9780842029292 Contributors: Caudill, Edward Publisher: Scholarly Resources Inc Published: Oct 1 2001 Weight: 0.85lbs. Height: 8.50" Width: 5.50" Depth: 0.75" Language: English
Confederate Colonel John Singleton Mosby (1833-1916) was only one of a number of heroes to emerge during the Civil War, yet he holds a singular place in the American imagination. He is the irrepressible rebel with a cause, the horseman who emerges from the forest to protect the embattled farmer and his household and bring retribution to the invader. Mosby was the fabled 'Gray Ghost' of the Confederacy, a mythic cavalry officer who operated with virtual impunity behind Union lines near Washington, D.C. Within his lifetime, and continuing to the present, Mosby has been appropriated as a cultural symbol. Mosby has regularly appeared in various genres of popular culture throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, becoming a creation of novelists, poets, Hollywood screenwriters, and biographers. But why has Mosby become a figure of our collective imagination while other heroes of the conflict have not? The Mosby Myth: A Confederate Hero in Life and Legend by Paul Ashdown and Edward Caudill is the first book devoted to explaining Mosby's place in American culture, myth, and legend. Through the story of John Mosby, the authors examine how the Civil War becomes memory, history, and myth through experience, art, and mass communication. The Mosby Myth provides not just a biography of John Mosby's life, but a study of his legacy. Ashdown and Caudill present depictions of Mosby in fiction, cinema, and television, and offer a revealing analysis that explains much about American culture and the way it has been affected by the lingering impact of the Civil War. Well-written and informative, this book is sure to provoke new thought about the effect of the memory of Mosby-and the memory of the Civil War-on American society and culture. The Mosby Myth is an excellent resource for courses on the Civil War.