Cover image for The Mosby myth : a Confederate hero in life and legend
The Mosby myth : a Confederate hero in life and legend
Ashdown, Paul, 1944-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Wilmington, Del. : Scholarly Resources, 2002.
Physical Description:
xxxvi, 231 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
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Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E467.1.M87 A83 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
E467.1.M87 A83 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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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.

Author Notes

Paul Ashdown (Ph.D., Bowling Green State University) and Edward Caudill (Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) are professors of journalism at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Table of Contents

Paul AshdownEdward Caudill
Forewordp. xiii
Forewordp. xvii
Introductionp. xxi
Part 1 Satyr's Childp. 1
Chapter 1 Phantoms of the Pastp. 3
Chapter 2 The Name on the Wallp. 39
Chapter 3 Smoke and Shadowsp. 79
Part 2 Mythmakersp. 111
Chapter 4 The Idea of a Mythp. 113
Chapter 5 Bohemian Fables: Mosby in the Pressp. 131
Chapter 6 Mosby in Popular Literature and Biographyp. 145
Chapter 7 Mosby on Television and in Popular Artp. 177
Bibliographyp. 211
Indexp. 223