John Mosby's Amnesty Oath
- Not too long ago, the original oath taken and signed by John Mosby was
offered for auction with the following description:
Confederate Personages, Col. John Singleton Mosby.
His signature on this document ended his remarkable military career as
the fabled Confederate "Gray Ghost". 4" X 73⁄4", printed form filled
out in ink script.
Excellent sound condition with some very old paper reinforcements to
the folds on the back, bright and crisp. An old pencil notation at the
top, "John S. Mosby Guerilla Chief of Va. 1862 3 & 4" Filled out in
ink with "No. 175 (Sub-District of) Fauquir (sic) (Va. ) July 26th
(1865) John S. Mosby" probably by A. H. Russell the Provost. Entirely
in Mosby's hand, however, is his accession to the oath, "26th, July,
Age 31, Ocupation (sic) Lawyer, Residence Fauquire (sic) and his
signature" Jno S. Mosby" tied together without the pen leaving the page.
The document is countersigned by "A. H. Russell Capt. & Acting Provost
Marshal." Russell's archive, as a member of the 19th Wisconsin Inf. is
listed elsewhere in this catalog. Included with this document,
however, is the original 71⁄2' X 10" manuscript order dated "July 23d
1863" "Hd Qrs Sub District of Fauquier Warrenton, Va." assigning
Russell to the position of acting Provost Martial(sic).
Also included is an 8" X 91⁄2" manuscript letter, undated, from Thomas
B. Barton of Fredericksburg, Va. to Charles Chilton of Warrenton,
stating that Russell has "won Golden Opinions from our citizentry by
his uniform courtesy and gentlemanly conduct " and that he has
observed Russell's "praiseworthy" department (Provost Marshal) in
Fredericksburg and "now as they are removing to your locality he goes
with all the good wishes of our citizens."
In a letter dated May 27, 1865 Mosby stated "I want to find out what
will be the course of the Yankees toward me before I return to
Fauquier).." It is highly likely that the high regard Mosby's fellow
Virginians held for Russell, led directly to Mosby's formal surrender.
Simply disbanding his command on April 20 rather than formally
surrendering, this document was previously unknown, having been held
by the Russell family since the end of the war and offered here for
the first time. A great Civil War document of immeasurable historic
import. Estimate: $20,000 - $25,000.
TEXT OF THE OATH:
I John S. Mosby do solemnly swear in the presence of Almighty God that
I will henceforth faithfully support and defend the Constitution of
United States and the Union of the States thereunder; and that I will
in like manner abide by and faithfully support all laws and
Proclamations which have been made during the existing rebellion with
reference to the emancipation of slaves So Help Me God.