John Mosby

Lieutenant Prentiss, awakened by shouts that there were dispatches outside for General Stoughton, was foolish enough to open the door to the raiders. Six men strode in, but it was the smallest of them, the wiry one with the plume in his hat, who stuck a revolver in the lieutenant’s ribs while he stood in the entranceway in his nightclothes holding high a smoking oil lamp.

Upstairs the beplumed intruder walked into the bedroom of Brigadier General Edwin H. Stoughton and pulled down the covers. The brigadier was laying on his side, snoring, but he roused up stupidly, still somewhat intoxicated from his evening’s soiree, when Mosby lifted his nightshirt and slapped him on the behind announcing, “Get up General, and come with me!”

The sound of the voice brought Stoughton more fully awake and, when he realized the man bending over him was a stranger, he shouted, “What is this! Do you know who I am, sir?”

“I reckon I do, General. Did you ever hear of Mosby?”

“Yes, have you caught him?”

“No, but he has caught you.”

— Fairfax Court House, Virginia [March 8, 1863]