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1483Re: Col. John S. Mosby vs. Col. William H. Boyd - Post War

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  • writefromthepast
    Mar 1, 2009
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      Finally got around to reading this post. Fantastic!
      Really enjoyed it as I have always found the subject of dueling
      intriguing - and the notable Virginia slant on the subject is
      fascinating. Thanks for sharing!!!
      Jessica James

      --- In mosbysrangers@yahoogroups.com, "richmondtiggergray"
      <vaproto@...> wrote:
      > Colonel William Boyd was the Yankee officer who interrogated Pauline
      > Clarke Mosby in her bed during an attempt to apprehend her husband
      > whose clothing (minus his boots) were strewn about their bedchamber
      > the home of James Hathaway. Mosby had brought Pauline and their two
      > children to the Hathaway home in 1863 so that he could visit with
      > in between harassing raids upon the Yankees. Apparently, then
      > Boyd had learned of one such visit and determined to pay a visit to
      > The Plains and see if he could bag a bushwhacker in his bed. Alas,
      > though all of Mosby's clothing was present save his boots, there was
      > no sign of the quarry and Pauline made it quite clear - as Boyd
      > reported - that his presence was most unwelcome.
      > Eventually, the soldiers and their dissatisfied leader were forced
      > depart minus the prize for which they had come. When they were out
      > sight of the house, Mosby swung in through an open window from the
      > tree limb in which he had taken shelter during the search; an
      > acknowledged Mosby expert believes that he had managed, before the
      > room was breached, to don his boots (the tree's bark was very rough)
      > but little or nothing else in his haste. It was fortunate for him
      > the night was not unduly cold!
      > In any event, that was John Mosby's first encounter with William H.
      > Boyd, but not his last. In fact, after the war, Mosby and Boyd
      > bitter enemies as the following newspaper accounts testify.
      > Interestingly enough, apparently Mosby's intense dislike of Boyd was
      > not occasioned by his treatment of Pauline. There is nothing in the
      > records to indicate that Boyd was anything but proper and polite in
      > his dealing with the lady, which is more than can be said for
      > Yankee whose diary contains an account of his rudeness to Mosby's
      > when he learned the identity of her husband. Whether or not it is to
      > be believed is beside the point as Boyd was never charged with being
      > ungentlemanly in his treatment of the lady.
      > For your consideration, below is at least the newspaper saga of
      > v. Boyd in Warrenton, Fauquier county, Virginia. Although the matter
      > is left hanging without any conclusion being presented, the fact is
      > that Boyd departed for his home in Pennsylvania not long after the
      > matters presented here. It can be said, according to that same Mosby
      > expert, that the little lawyer "ran Boyd out of Dodge".
      > -------------------------------------
      > New York Herald, Thursday, October 7, 1869
      > A Duel on the Table –
      > Mosby, the Raider, Challenges Colonel Boyd, of the Pennsylvania
      > A duel is in prospect over in Warrenton, Va., between Colonel John
      > Mosby, the famous rebel guerrilla and Colonel William Boyd, of the
      > Twenty-first Pennsylvania cavalry. The latter is Sheriff of Fauquier
      > County, Va., by appointment of General Canby, but is bitterly
      > by Mosby, who has used every effort to obtain his removal. Mosby, it
      > is said, caused very grave charges to be preferred against Boyd, and
      > an investigation was ordered by General Canby. Colonel Lee made an
      > examination, which resulted in favor of Boyd. Last Saturday Mosby
      > Boyd met. Boyd approached Mosby in a threatening manner. Mosby said,
      > "Sir, I am unarmed and a smaller man than you, but I am willing to
      > meet you where life can be periled equally against life." It is
      > alleged that Boyd, instead of desisting when he heard Mosby was
      > unarmed, attacked the Confederate chieftain in an unjustifiable
      > manner. The result has been that Mosby has challenged Boyd and the
      > latter is said to be in trouble about a second. The people of
      > Alexandria are much excited over the affair.
      > ++++++++++++++++++
      > New York Herald – October 15th, 1869
      > Mosby and Boyd.
      > Interview with the Ex-Rebel Leader – His Account of the Recent
      > with a Carpet-Bagger – How General Canby Appointed Sheriffs – the
      > Duello Not Acceptable to Boyd – Mosby's Opinion of Reconstruction –
      > Boyd's Story – Why He Did Not Fight – The General Feeling and
      > Impression of the People.
      > Washington, Oct. 13, 1869.
      > The quiet, sleepy little village of Warrenton, Va., is the last
      > in the world where you would expect to find duelists and dueling.
      > Before the war it was a place of some business pretensions,
      > during court week, but just now it seems as if it were under the
      > influence of a perpetual Sunday. There is so little to contribute to
      > excitement, and everybody you meet is so civil withal, that it must
      > require considerable effort to make the "angry passions rise." But
      > even Warrenton has had its sensation. It would hardly have been
      > noticed in New York, but here it set everybody by the ears, as much
      > the late war between the bulls and bears to Wall street did the
      > Previous to the war duels were not novelties in Virginia, but there
      > was such a splendid opportunity for shooting and killing from 1860
      > 1864 that the amusement has been at a discount ever since. Still the
      > "code" is the recognized thing among the gentlemen of the Old
      > – those "to the manner born" - who have grievances to redress or
      > differences to settle. Your "carpet-bagger" bringing the customs of
      > his section with him has no time to go through the formalities of a
      > duel but will "settle" on the spot after the most approved style of
      > the prize ring. The Virginia gentleman prefers the old
      method "pistols
      > and coffee for two."
      > In a village like Warrenton, which, in respect to gossip, is like
      > every other village, anything like a duel, even between two ordinary
      > individuals, would naturally excite interest. But when Colonel Jack
      > Mosby happens to be one of the principals and an ex-federal colonel
      > named Boyd the other, the affair grows in interest far beyond the
      > limits of Warrenton, or even of Fauquier county. With a view to
      > ascertain the origin of the difficulty I stepped into Colonel
      > law office to-day, and after introducing myself and making known my
      > business I was cordially received by the celebrated partisan
      leader. I
      > found him sitting in a small room in a building oppose the principal
      > hotel of the village, looking more like a young country parson than
      > dashing cavalry colonel or a hot-headed duelist. His pantaloons were
      > tucked inside his boots, but otherwise, his dress indicated taste
      > neatness. His hair was cut short, and his beardless face and genial,
      > lively manner, make him look much younger than he really is. On the
      > table before him a number of papers, pamphlets and books were
      > scattered; but the most prominent object was a six-barrelled Colt's
      > army revolver, loaded and ready for instant use. In a couple of
      > bookcases around the room were enough books to constitute a decent
      > library for a country lawyer. On the mantelpiece were several
      > specimens of different varieties of marble found in this
      > and for which Mosby is the agent. The other furniture of the room
      > scanty, that is for a lawyer's office; but I presume Mosby has had
      > worse quarters.
      > Colonel Mosby commenced the conversation by informing me in a
      > jocular manner that he had once captured a couple of Herald
      > correspondents during the war; but he found them good fellows, and
      > treated them well. Having little time and less disposition to listen
      > to war reminiscences, I said: -
      > "Colonel Mosby, what was the origin of the difficulty between
      > Boyd and yourself?"
      > Mosby – Well, I will tell you; and I am glad to do, because I
      > people outside will think that it arose out of political
      > which it did not. I had and have nothing personal against Colonel
      > Boyd. He was sent here last April by General Canby to act as sheriff
      > of Fauquier county. It was soon discovered that his bond was
      > worthless, those who had agreed it not being worth anything. There
      > a meeting of the members of the bar here relative to the subject. At
      > this meeting a memorial addressed to General Canby was drawn up and
      > adopted. It set forth the fact that Colonel Boyd had failed to give
      > satisfactory bond, and that the members of the bar felt it to be
      > duty in the interest of their clients to protest against Colonel
      > Boyd's performing the duties of sheriff without giving bond. I was
      > selected to carry the memorial to General Canby, which I did.
      > Correspondent – What did General Canby say to you?
      > Mosby – He said he would look into the matter; but instead of doing
      > he sent Colonel Boyd here to institute an investigation into alleged
      > conspiracy among the members of the bar of this place to defeat the
      > reconstruction laws.
      > Correspondent – Was there a conspiracy for that purpose?
      > Mosby – Not a bit of it. We had no more notion of interfering with
      > reconstruction laws than you have. We simply wanted a man for
      > who would not run away with the revenues of the county, or if he did
      > run away we wanted to have some bondmen that had something to take
      > hold of.
      > Correspondent – Were Colonel Boyd's bondsmen persons of property?
      > Mosby – No; they had nothing. I believe that altogether they did not
      > pay more than twenty cents Internal Revenue Tax. So you can judge
      > much property they had. One of them named Cannon appeared to be
      > released from the bond shortly after Boyd qualified.
      > Correspondent – Why did he do that?
      > Mosby – Well, Cannon is the editor of a little paper here called the
      > Southern(?). Colonel Boyd went to him and said: - "Cannon, if you go
      > on my bond I'll give you the advertising patronage of the sheriff's
      > office." Cannon agreed to this and became one of Boyd's secretaries.
      > Cannon soon discovered, however, that Boyd had no advertising, and
      > patronage of any sort, and so he petitioned to be released.
      > Correspondent – Then it was a sort of bargain between Boyd and
      > for their mutual benefit.
      > Mosby – Precisely. The matter came up in court before Judge Hill. He
      > decided that the bond was worthless and Cannon was released. What do
      > you think Canby did? He appointed Colonel Boyd over again without
      > bond at all, although we told him he would be satisfied if he would
      > detail General McKibbon(?) or any other regular army officer to act
      > sheriff, because their commission would be some security.
      > Correspondent – Did General Canby assign any reason for appointing
      > Boyd over again?
      > Mosby – No, he did not. I don't like to question a man's motives,
      > it was a little singular that Canby should hang on to this man Boyd
      > when he knew he had no bond and was insolvent besides.
      > Correspondent – You don't mean to intimate that there was any
      > purpose on the part of General Canby?
      > Mosby – Well, it looks as if there was something wrong. I think
      > is the Fagin of the business and Boyd is the Artful Dodger.
      > Here Colonel Mosby laughed, whether at the idea of his being well up
      > in Dickens "Oliver Twist" or at the respective roles of General
      > and Colonel Boyd was not apparent.
      > Correspondent – Well, how does the case stand now?
      > Mosby – Colonel Boyd is still sheriff, but he has given no bond. He
      > has, however, "farmed out" the office to Mr. Hume, who was sheriff
      > before the war.
      > Correspondent – What do you mean by "farming out the office?"
      > Mosby – Mr. Hume can't take the "iron-clad", but Boyd can. Hume
      > Boyd $500 for the privilege of acting as sheriff. Boyd signs the
      > writs, but Hume does the work, and gets the perquisites or fees.
      > That's what we call "farming out".
      > Correspondent – Is that a common thing here?
      > Mosby – Yes; it's done with nearly every office. It's the effect of
      > the "iron-clad." Here's one of my boys, Chilton, who is Commonwealth
      > attorney for this county. He gave some fellow a couple of hundred
      > dollars to take the "iron-clad" for him, and he fills the office.
      > Correspondent – Is General Canby aware of this "farming out"
      > Mosby – Of course he is. I tell you it's done all over Virginia by
      > men whom Canby appoints to fill the offices.
      > Correspondent – How did all this difficulty about Colonel Boyd's
      > lead to the correspondence about the duel?
      > Mosby – I took a very active part in having Colonel Boyd's bond
      > broken, and when the matter was up in court I pronounced it a Peter
      > Funk affair, and gave it as my opinion that Boyd came here to
      > the county. I was also employed as counsel to collect a bill of over
      > $400 which Colonel Boyd owed a lady in Washington named Miss Smith
      > board or rent. He said I was persecuting him. One day I was coming
      > from the country and happened to meet Colonel Boyd on the road. I
      > spoke to him in a friendly way, for I had nothing personal against
      > him, when he turned his horse around and said, "Colonel Mosby, if
      > don't stop interfering with my business I will make it a personal
      > matter with you." I said, "You can do so as soon as you please, and
      > any manner or at any time." He then said, "Mosby, if you will go
      > me to Pennsylvania I will prove you to be a damned highway robber."
      > replied that I would hold him responsible for those words when he
      > to town.
      > Correspondent – Why didn't you fight it on the road?
      > Mosby – Well, I don't' think that it is quite the thing for two
      > gentlemen who have served as colonels of cavalry to make bruisers of
      > themselves. Besides, Colonel Boyd is a man of about 175 pounds and
      > very athletic, while I don't weigh over 125 pounds. He could have
      > crushed me in a fist fight like an egg shell.
      > Correspondent – On what terms did you agree to fight?
      > Mosby – at ten paces, with Colt's army revolver, the parties to
      > advance as close as they pleased after the word was given to fire,
      > keep firing until all the barrels were emptied.
      > Correspondent – If the thing had come off somebody would have been
      > hurt, I suppose?
      > Mosby – It would have settled the sheriff business, I think. I am a
      > pretty good shot with an army pistol.
      > Correspondent – Do you keep that thing on the table all the time?
      > (pointing to the Colt's revolver already alluded to).
      > Mosby – No. I carried that pistol all through the war with me. I
      > brought it out when this trouble occurred because I expected to be
      > assaulted in the street, and I wanted to be ready.
      > Correspondent – What's the general impression here about Colonel
      > Boyd's conduct?
      > Mosby – Well, you have seen the correspondence. I wrote the last
      > and he replied to it. First I accepted what I presumed he meant as a
      > challenge. He backed out of that, and then I challenged him for
      > calling me a "highway robber." He has refused to accept my
      > and there's where the matter stands. I saw in the Herald that there
      > was some difficulty in Colonel Boyd getting a second. Now, the
      > with him was to get a principal. He could have got plenty of
      > to act as his second. Why, half a dozen of my friends volunteered to
      > wait on him if he couldn't secure any of his own.
      > Correspondent – then you think Boyd won't fight?
      > Mosby – Well, he had a chance, and he didn't accept it. You can draw
      > your own inference. The truth is, this is the first time one of
      > carpet-baggers has been brought to that. They are accustomed to ride
      > rough shod over our people and nobody calls them to account.
      > Correspondent – What do you think of reconstruction?
      > Mosby – Haven't we done all we were asked to do? I am in favor of
      > doing anything to get back into the Union, so that we may get rid of
      > these carpet-baggers.
      > Correspondent – What do you call a carpet-bagger?
      > Mosby – These adventurers that come her to prey on us, and roam
      > through the State after offices under Canby. I don't want to be
      > understood as objecting to Northern people coming here to settle. On
      > the contrary, I wish we had more of them; I mean people who come to
      > settle down. I want to sell them land and marble quarries and treat
      > them well; but these harpies are a scourge to us. They have no
      > interest in the State.
      > Taking a farewell glance at the formidable weapon which lay upon the
      > table, and which looked as if it might be able to settle the
      > of half a dozen sheriffs, I took leave of Mosby.
      > Colonel Boyd was out of town when your correspondent visited
      > Warrenton, having gone to Washington. Learning that a Herald
      > correspondent had been designated to the scene of action, he called
      > the herald bureau here to give his version of the affair. Colonel
      > hales from Pennsylvania, and served as a volunteer officer during
      > rebellion. He is a large, athletic man, about forty-five years of
      > and looks as if he could whip half a dozen men like Mosby in a
      > fisticuff engagement. After introducing himself, he stated "I want
      > tell you exactly how this thing occurred. I suppose you have Mosby's
      > version of it."
      > Correspondent – Yes; but I want to hear what you have to say.
      > Boyd – Well, three days after I qualified as sheriff of Fauquier
      > county, Mr. Cannon, one of my bondsmen, petitioned to be released. I
      > ascertained afterwards that he had advised with Mosby and that Mosby
      > told him it was better for him to be released. He acted on that
      > and there's where the trouble began. General Canby was informed of
      > matter and he issued an order to the effect that if it should appear
      > that any two persons had conspired to break the bond, Mr. Cannon
      > should not be released. When the matter came up to court Colonel
      > was the only one who testified to having advised Cannon to withdraw,
      > so there was no proof of a conspiracy.
      > Correspondent – Was Cannon an ex-Confederate?
      > Boyd – Yes, he was influenced by Mosby to withdraw from my bond.
      > I had been thrown out by the decision of the court I commenced to
      > settle up my affairs as sheriff. One day a man was paying his
      > tax to one of my deputies, when Mosby came up and said: - "You ought
      > not to pay that money. There is no longer a sheriff of Fauquier
      > Correspondent – How did the difficulty originate which led to the
      > correspondence?
      > Boyd – I was coming from a place called Salem and met Mosby on the
      > road. I said to him, "Colonel Mosby, why do you interfere with my
      > business; I never injured you in any way?" Mosby mumbled something
      > reply, when I said, "Colonel Mosby, do you know my opinion of you?
      > are a d—d highway robber; and if you go with me to Pennsylvania I
      > prove it on you by men and women whom you robbed."
      > Mosby replied, "I'll see you when you get back to Warrenton." I
      > "you can see me now or at any time you please." When I got back to
      > Warrenton I received Mosby's first note, and the other
      > followed.
      > Correspondent – Mosby says you have not given a good bond yet.
      > Boyd – I have given a bond for $30,000, the amount required by
      > Canby.
      > Colonel Boyd's friends say that the men who signed his first bond
      > turned out to be worth nothing, but he was not aware of this fact at
      > the time. With regard to the duel, Colonel Boyd's friends say he
      > intended to fight one, for the reason that by so doing he would have
      > violated his oath of office. The sheriff of Fauquier county, it
      > appears is required to swear, among other things, the he has never
      > been engaged in dueling, nor will be in any way connected with a
      > Besides, Colonel Boyd was probably aware of the fact that if he
      > accepted Colonel Mosby's challenge he would be instantly arrested by
      > General McKibben, who commands the district and divested of his
      > office. His friends also say he is a man of undoubted courage.
      > Be that as it may, there is no disguising the fact the community of
      > Warrenton regard Colonel Boyd as a coward. To live in Warrenton or
      > anywhere else in Virginia and refuse to fight when challenged is to
      > called a coward, no matter what a man's courage may be. General
      > is evidently under the impression that a conspiracy existed to keep
      > Colonel Boyd from acting as sheriff, but Mosby and his friends
      > disclaim this. Colonel Boyd's friends say that Mosby induced Cannon
      > withdraw from Colonel Boyd's bond. The story is that Mosby told
      > his paper would lose subscribers, and he had better get himself
      > released. It appears, however that Cannon's first reason for going
      > the bond was to get the sheriff's patronage, and when he found there
      > was none he had no reason for remaining as on of the bondsmen.
      > Colonel Mosby's second was Colonel Thomas Smith, formerly of the
      > Confederate army, and a son of "Extra Billy" Smith. Like Mosby, he
      > has the reputation of being a fighting man. The phrase about this
      > of men is that "they would as soon fight as eat." A shrewd Yankee on
      > learning this observed the he believed they would go at the eating
      > with a greater good will than at the fighting. Colonel Smith, who
      > quite lavish in his admiration of Mosby, said "Boyd got hold of the
      > wrong man when he undertook to frighten Mosby." Everybody at
      > believes in Mosby. I suppose a majority of Virginians do the same. I
      > am told that during "the season" at Warrenton this summer the
      > of the men was to take Mosby by the hand, while the women thought it
      > the highest honor to be permitted to promenade with him. And yet,
      > Mosby is not ambitious for fame. He told me he never would have
      > allowed the correspondence between himself and Colonel Boyd to have
      > seen the light but for the fact that Boyd boasted around town that
      > Mosby had backed down. He is not anxious for a fight.
      > ++++++++++++++++++
      > New York Herald - Wednesday, October 20, 1869
      > A NEWSPAPER DUEL - The Boyd and Mosby Fight
      > WARRENTON, VA., Oct. 16, 1869
      > I have just read an article in your paper of yesterday, which
      > certain statements made by Colonel Mosby to your correspondent that
      > are utterly false. The origin of the trouble with Mosby was in the
      > fact that I did not belong to the set he was mixed up with, and I
      > should be sorry if I did. But Mosby says that the bar of Fauquier
      > county objected to my acting as sheriff on the ground that my bond
      > good for nothing. This is not so. The action taken by the bar was to
      > memorialize General Canby to increase the amount of my bond on the
      > ground that as there would probably pass through my hands some
      > $250,000 a bond of $30,000 would not be sufficient. General Canby
      > thereupon directed Colonel Lee to investigate the necessity of
      > increasing the bond, but the report showed that not over a fifth of
      > the amount would be handled by the sheriff, and that in no case
      > the latter have over one-fifth of that in his hands at any one time,
      > and consequently it was unnecessary to increase the bond.
      > I deny Mosby's statement that I agreed to give Mr. Cannon any of the
      > patronage of my office in consideration of his acting as a bondsman.
      > Cannon did ask my assistance to get the appointment of Postmaster
      > a friend of his; but this I declined to give. Cannon went on my
      > but, being a weak man and easily influenced, it was not long before
      > Mosby and his party succeeded in bullying him into withdrawing.
      > Mosby's assertion that Judge Hill, or the Ninth Judicial Circuit,
      > decided my bond to be worthless is false. Upon that withdrawal of
      > Cannon as bondsman Judge Hill required me to file a new bond, but I
      > concluded to settle up my affairs and quit, and therefore did not
      > comply; so the office was declared vacant. At this juncture Mosby
      > renewed his annoyance, interfered with my deputies and myself in
      > closing up the business, lay in wait to prevent people coming to my
      > office, and in every way embarrassed us. I then determined, it
      > possible, to remain, and at once wrote to General Canby asking my
      > reinstatement. In due tune 1 received the following order:
      > ******************************************************************
      > STATE OF VIRGINIA, RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 9, 1869
      > SPECIAL ORDERS – No. 215
      > (Extract)
      > Upon the recommendation of the Military Commissioner of the
      > division of Virginia, William H. Boyd, late Sheriff of Fauquier
      > county, suspended by the judge of the Ninth Judicial Circuit, from
      > inability to give the requisite bonds, is hereby reinstated in the
      > office as Sheriff of Fauquier county, upon (illegible) bonds, with
      > sufficient security thereon in the amount named in his former bond.
      > By command of Brevet Major General CANBY
      > Louis V. Caziaro, Aid-de-Camp, Acting Assistant Adjutant General
      > Mr. W. H. Boyd, through Military Commissioner Eighteenth division of
      > Virginia.
      > *****************************************************************
      > I immediately complied with this order, gave the required bonds and
      > resumed my duties as sheriff.
      > The above order shows the falsity of Mosby's assertion that General
      > Canby appointed me without my giving any bonds. The slurs and
      > insinuations made against General Canby by Mosby will be properly
      > appreciated by the people of this county who are familiar with the
      > records of both. The praise of this class would be more injurious
      > their blame. Their slanders are the best evidence that an official
      > doing his duty. They hate the government and its faithful
      > representatives, and are using all their efforts to break them down.
      > Mosby denies being engaged in persecuting me. The fact is I had
      > entered the town before he commenced attempting to annoy, impede and
      > thwart me, and this he has continued to do in many different ways
      > until the present time. Had he attacked me personally, in an open,
      > manly way, I should have known how to meet him, but he has resorted
      > everything that is petty and mean, even to the setting at enmity our
      > children.
      > Mosby's sole object has been to have me removed from the office of
      > sheriff and to get one of his own stripe in my place. This attempt
      > get me to fight a duel, had it succeeded, would have accomplished
      > he desired. Had I accepted his challenge I should have been arrested
      > at once, and under the code of Virginia, removed from my office,
      > sentenced to a year's imprisonment and probably fined $1,000
      > Mosby knew this, and therefore never expected to fight the duel. But
      > apart from this, Mosby's character has been such as, in my opinion,
      > (illegible) him to associate with respectable men, and according to
      > his code I could not lower myself to meet him. He was notorious
      > the war as a marauder and plunderer, the scourge of the helpless and
      > defenseless, never daring to meet his enemy in open, fair fight.
      > Whether he was a highway robber or not I leave you to judge from his
      > past acts (illegible) his Baltimore and Ohio Railroad raid; his
      > present denial is of no weight.
      > I have necessarily, Mr. Editor, been brought into contact with this
      > class of men a good deal since my official career here began and I
      > know them pretty well. I deny that they desire Northern men here.
      > have no use for them. They would undoubtedly be glad to sell them
      > lands and quarries, as Mosby says, but Mosby and the rest would do
      > they could to prevent their being worked by them. They have not yet
      > learned wisdom from their punishment and losses and I fear never
      > They are as full or the same absurd notion about chivalry and the
      > as before the war, and it requires the supervision and strong arm of
      > the government to restrain them from their former practices of
      > murdering on sight, lynching and dueling. I do not refer to the more
      > sensible class of this county, but to the inferior element, of which
      > this Colonel Mosby is a representative.
      > In regard to my own courage Mosby and his clique are incompetent to
      > judge. It is a matter that is safe in the hand of my friends. But
      > much I may say, that I did not sneak through the country, plundering
      > and marauding among the innocent and noncombatants. My character as
      > soldier is well known and understood through the Shenandoah valley,
      > Fauquier and the adjoining counties. Mosby himself swore in open
      > he knew nothing against me, but has frequently heard me well spoken
      > by the people of that section, even though I was in arms against
      > The assertion of Mosby that he never would have suffered the
      > publication of the letters but that I boasted about town that he had
      > backed down, is a base lie, and Mosby knows it. I defy any man to
      > I did so. I considered him too contemptibly small fry to talk about,
      > and treated the subject with disgust. I had nothing to gain in
      > associating my name with such scum.
      > I am, sir, with much respect, your obedient servant,
      > WILLIAM H. BOYD.
      > Sheriff Fauquier county, Va., late Colonel Twenty-first Pennsylvania
      > cavalry.
      > ++++++++++++++++++
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