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1484Re: [mosbysrangers] Re: Col. John S. Mosby vs. Col. William H. Boyd - Post War

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  • Valerie Protopapas
    Mar 1, 2009
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      Re: [mosbysrangers] Re: Col. John S. Mosby vs. Col. William H. Boyd - Post War What I thought interesting is that the Yankees considered a fistfight to be the equivalent of an honorable duel and that’s why the correspondent asked Mosby why he didn’t “settle the matter” with Boyd there in the road. Mosby, however, is honest enough in his appraisal of his chances in a fist fight with the much larger Boyd (he would have crushed me like an eggshell...) to point out to the correspondent why he chose the more time-honored Virginia tradition of settling affairs of honor.

      The simple fact is that this type of encounter always favors the larger man but seems not to dawn on the rather dull-witted Yankee correspondent or, in the alternative, it merely proves that the Yankees actually believed that “might makes right”. It’s an interesting concept to ponder and make into a “thesis” regarding the mindset of both sides in the war. For if the “defenders of the Union” actually believed that God granted victory to the virtuous - and that “virtue” belonged to the larger, stronger, richer and more powerful – well, that answers a hell of a lot of questions about why nobody in the North had problems with the barbarism committed not only on Southern prisoners of war, but on Southern civilians as well. Hell, if you’re virtuous, noble and right by virtue of the fact that you are strong enough to be able to do those things, then who can believe that you are wrong when, in fact, you actually do them!

      I may be altogether wrong, but this particular mindset answers a lot of troubling questions about Yankee behavior and what seems to be incongruous self-righteousness when, in fact, their behavior would have “shamed the devil” as they used to say.


      On 3/1/09 5:39 PM, "writefromthepast" <writefromthepast@...> wrote:
              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 <mailto:mosbysrangers%40yahoogroups.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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