Fulton County,PA 372

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  • ID: I025713
  • Name: William Leslie Moseby
  • Sex: M
  • Name: William Ellis
  • Name: William Leslie
  • Birth: 22 JUN 1836 in Ulster, Ireland (likely County Armagh)
  • Death: 9 APR 1921 in Wells Tannery, Fulton Co., PA
  • Burial: United Methodist Cemetery, Wells Valley, Fulton Co, PA
  • Note:

    Household Record 1880 United States Census

    Search results | Download Previous Household Next Household
    Household:

    Name Relation Marital Status Gender Race Age Birthplace Occupation Father's Birthplace Mother's Birthplace
    William L. MOSBY Self Male W 39 VA Farmer VA VA
    Margaret E. MOSBY Wife M Female W 35 PA Keeping House PA PA
    Margaret L. MOSBY Dau S Female W 9M PA VA PA
    Eliza CLIPPINGER Niece S Female W 16 PA PA PA

    Source Information:
    Census Place Wells, Fulton, Pennsylvania
    ====================================================
    from Tracy Moseby 3/2008

    Fulton County, Copperhead Country, Deserters, Draft Resisters, and Confederate Sympathizers in Civil War Fulton County by John H. Nelson was published by the Fulton County Civil War Re-enactment Advisory Committee.


    WLM claimed to have served in the Civil War in various capacities for much of his adult life. WLM sat down in 1920 and wrote a “narrative” of his experiences in connection with CSA activities in and around Poney Mountain in 1864. The narrative was published after his death in both the Fulton County News and the Fulton Democrat in 1929. WLM mentions John FORNEY, Julius Caesar WADDELL, and Dr. Townsend CLAYTON in this article as being in Front Royal, Virginia. A transcription of the article follows

    The Fulton County News McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania

    Vol. XXXI, no. 10

    December 12, 1929

    Confederate Scout's Personal Narrative

    Reprinted from and pictures by courtesy of Altoona, Pa., Times Tribune

    The following letter, written to S. T. Moore, who has the distinction of being the first native born Altoonan tells the experiences of the late William L. MOSEBY, a member of the 43rd battery, Confederate army, acting under the suggestion of General Robert E. LEE, Confederate commander, near the Rapidan river, Va., to do scout duty on Poney mountain.

    The letter was written by Mr. MOSEBY 56 years after the thrilling experiences therein described, while he was a well known citizen of Fulton county, Pa., and was transcribed especially for The Tribune by Mr. Moore, who now resides in Harrisburg.

    In an introduction to the letter Mr. Moore writes:

    "William L. MOSEBY was born June 21, 1836, and died April 9, 1921.



    "In reading the ‘Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. LEE, as collected by his son, Captain Robert E. LEE, and published by the Garden City Publishing Company, we note that the general locations of MOSEBY's movements coincide with the movement of General LEE in the Shenandoah valley, especially around Camp Rappahannock and Camp Rapidan in 1863 and 1864. It also confirms MOSEBY's statements that General LEE was the beloved idol of his army.

    "During a very delightful friendship of many years with "Colonel" MOSEBY, as he was known, I have always found him one of the old style southern gentlemen, and he and his family the most generous and hospitable citizens of Wells Valley, Fulton county. "Colonel" was exceptionally well versed in the practical side of unseated land law and titles, and tax sale rights and titles were his hobby. In fact, there were few lawyers that could hold an argument with him on high court decisions on those points. He had a wonderful memory to retain even the date, book and page number of many Supreme court decisions. He was a great help to many attorneys in those cases in Fulton and surrounding counties."

    Wells Tannery, Penna.

    April 30, 1920

    Capt. S.T. MOORE,

    Dear Sir;

    Permit me to tell you of the important and brief mess I was engaged in 56 years ago when I was 28 years old.

    You are aware of the fact that I was defending the Stars and Bars at home.



    After the battle of Gettysburg, General LEE fell back to Orange Court House. The federal army followed up and strung their army along the Orange and Alexander Railroad as far as Culpepper Court House. The Rapidan river divided the two armies, Lee expected General GRANT to cross the Rapidan south of Stevensburg. All the ground was one level plain, devastated houses, fences and timber being wiped out by the contending armies. The only cavalry fight of the whole war was fought at Brandy Station which stands in the middle of the plain, west of Stevensburg and south of Culpeper and north of the Rapidan. North of the Rapidan is located a high knob known as Poney mountain.. There the "Yanks" had their signal station, which overlooked the low plain and the Rapidan and the wilderness. My command was stationed on the north of the federal army along the Hazel river. The federals were inside of the Rapidan, the Hazel river on the plain, while the confederates were on the outside holding the raiders in.

    Summoned by LEE

    About the middle of April, 1864, I was summoned to appear at General LEE's headquarters at Orange Court House, and I reported at once to General J. E. B. STUART, and he took me to General LEE's headquarters. There I found my friend General Jubal A. EARLY, to whom I had reported at York, Pa. He had informed me that he had recommended me for two good jobs. General LEE was engaged in conversation with his staff. After the council ended, EARLY introduced me to General LEE and his staff. I was in fine shape, for EARLY had already introduced me to his corn whiskey rations, General LEE examined me as to my knowledge of the surrounding country, particularly as to Poney mountain and the area around Rapidan river, and also if I could locate the position of the different federal headquarters. I made a map of nearly the whole of the federal positions but I could not give them the positions east of Rappahannock station as I had done no duty in that region.



    I found that the council were just discussing that very matter, and they began the job again and attentively listened to my explanation. I showed the road to the Rapidan, also the points that GRANT would probably take and where he would cross the Rapidan east of the old highway. I showed where GRANT would march his different corps and locate them in squares ready to march them all between Stevensburg and Poney mountain. I also told them the way we would know that the advance would begin, depending on whether GRANT's headquarters would move up in the morning.

    Poney mountain was situated west of Stevensburg, south of Culpeper, and north of the Rapidan. The road from Brandy Station to Burr Hill and across the Rapidan went south between Stevensburg and Poney mountain, and south of Burr Hill and across the Rapidan.

    Faced Nathan Hale's Fate

    General LEE asked me if I would undertake to enter the enemy lines and report my opinion as to when GRANT would move. I promptly told him I would obey any orders from him. His answer was "I would not order you to undertake the hazard as I cannot defend you if you are captured." He asked me if I knew the penalty if captured and I replied that there would be another Nathan Hale.

    At the close of the interview, I was handed over to the officer that would arrange and manage the signaling, and we agreed upon two methods. One was that if the sun shone brightly to use a bright shining diamond shaped piece of tin, and the other was a dark lantern at night with a slide and reflector, and he supplied me with the lantern filled, and an extra flask of oil for it. After the conference I was put in charge of General Jubal A. EARLY. Next morning I received my pass and returned home where I left my horse and prepared for the trip. I put on a suit of changeable green gray clothes, English make, that General LEE ordered for me and helped put it on me. I have never had such a good suit since the war. I also wore a wool "Tucker" hat, and found later that this would correspond in color with the timber I went through.



    It was now about April 25th and the streams were bank full of cold water. I loaded two navy revolvers and packed some caps and cartridges in greenish paper, filled a haversack with bacon and corn bread and started on my perilous journey. When I returned to our lines I found the boys had just halted two Yank deserters and received information they were from the Second corps and had moved in the picket lines. That afternoon I moved down to a bend in the Hazel river but heard no band playing at the John POTTS plantation where General WARD's headquarters were located. I provided myself with two good poles for wading with, took a good dram of liquor and started to wade the stream. I made a ford all right, and when I reached the bank I could see the picket line plainly, but I had no trouble in crawling between pickets.

    I was wet and cold and crossed Mud Run on their foot log and was out of danger when I reached the plain, and made a straight line for Poney mountain that night and found the Second corps just where I expected to find GRANT's army. South of Poney mountain I found the Yanks had their grand picket reserves, ready to supply pickets for the Rapidan lines. About 80 rods west of this was located a farm house which seemed all right.

    Old Burying Ground

    "On my way back I went thru an old burying ground grown up with thick growth of sumac. This was located between the Yankee camp and the house and the upper side of the road. In the grave yard there were a number of brick cribs or vaults, some with high sides and some with low, with the large marked slab, on the top giving the dates of death, etc. I noticed that some of the bricks had fallen out leaving a hole that one could crawl thru into the grave but I concluded it was too close to the reserves for me to risk it.



    After I had located their lookout, I went to the west of Poney mountain and selected a hiding place, as by then my clothes were fairly dry and I could snatch a few cat naps during the day. The Yanks had cut considerable timber up the side of the mountain for cabins and fuel, and this made a good hiding place for me. In the evening I found the visibility good, but could detect nothing going on. About 8 P.M., I could locate all the headquarters by there different bands as some of them were playing Lannigans Ball, and other camps were playing Star Spangled Banner, hence were easily located.

    Water Lacking

    The second day I suffered very much from lack of water, as I had wholly neglected to provide for drinking. As soon as it became dark I crawled down to the farm house and soon located the spring. The Yanks coming, off picket duty were like a swarm of bees around the spring. I waited until they all left, and made good time in getting full of the good water by means of a large gourd dipper that was there. "It had clouded up and soon began to rain, so thinking of the holes in the graves under the marble slabs, I made a trip thru the hog path in the sumac and arrived at the grave only to find it occupied by an old sow and her brood of shoats, but I soon routed her out and took possession. It was now raining hard and I felt happy that I had good shelter, but my slumber was disturbed frequently by that old mother and her brood. I had to skirmish for some hours before I convinced her that they could not share my abode.

    "About daybreak I heard such a hullabaloo down in the camp, and found that the Yanks were shooting and chasing the pigs and they started for the graveyard with the Yanks in full bayonet charge after them. I was on my knees with a brick in my hands under the marble slab, and when the old mother came to the hole, I made good use of the brick on her snout, and she soon turned, thus saving my discovery by the Yanks. When the coast was clear, I crawled thru the sumac for Poney Mountain going to my former hiding place and found my corn bread so wet that I could eat it without water to drink."

    Prepared to advance



    Every evening I was on the move in full marching order, and would crawl to as good a position for viewing the camps as possible and as prudence would allow, and when dark would use my dark lantern for signaling the results of my observation. The next day GRANT moved his headquarters up and took position in the middle of the army. They came so late that I thought sure he would send some of his army to the river but the next morning they prepared the entire army for the advance. That night and next morning I found the signal station was being packed up, and an old darkey was busy emptying cooked beans and a pot of fish. When I thought it was safe I crawled up to the pile of beans and stuffed myself, and then hung my signal lantern for the last time saying that GRANT had advanced. I was answered by three signals, one from the south and one from the south east, so I knew that General LEE was ready and the Stars and Bars fully entrenched. That night the signal station was entirely abandoned, and toward morning I again visited the bean pile and found that a deer had carried away about all the beans, but when daylight came I found on close investigation almost a barrel of good pork, another partly filled with beef, plenty of salt, sugar, spices and coffee, and after a good fill, I hid myself and took a good sound sleep.

    After waking up I found to my surprise that I had company, as about fifteen Yanks occupied the hiding places with me. I soon found out they were deserters and bounty jumpers that had escaped that night in the army moving. They had their canteens filled with whiskey and their haversacks filled with boiled ham, crackers, sardines and light bread. I found I was just the man they wanted for a guide and after sampling their canteens and haversacks, they told me the woods were full of them and I told them there would be a cavalry squad covering those woods all day hunting for them, and that we must go to the west and watch the events until about midnight so that we could cross the Hazel river early in the morning, and we would soon get our clothes dry tramping.

    Gets Medicine Outfit



    Along about noon the battle was in full blast. Pouring so much spirits down raised my spirits up and we soon started down the south side of the mountain, and saw them bring the wounded soldiers toward Brandy Station, and when I got down the road I met a young Negro boy leading a medicine outfit and called for him to halt, but he became scared and left the outfit and ran as fast as he could. It was a splendid chance to get a medicine outfit as a prize. I led the mules to the farm house and introduced myself to the madam, and gave her a brief sketch of my late experiences. She helped to unload the packs as I told her what I had found at the signal station, and she said the Yanks had treated her all right all winter, but a few days since her pig and shoats had wandered into their camp and bothered them so, and they run them out with bayonets. She had lost three shoats and the old sow was running around with a bayonet

    wound.

    I then took my captured mule and hunted up the deserters and found they had increased their number to about fifty, so we all went to the lookout signal station and gathered up the scattered coffee, sugar, potatoes, onions and other food in old camp kettle and each took one piece of meat and down we went. We hung the meat in her smoke house, made a kettle full of coffee, drank it, made another full and took it back to the hiding places.

    We were all aware of the fact the General GRANT found that General LEE's artillery fire was not so terrific as at Gettyburg. When we reached our rendezvous we prepared to make our getaway about midnight as to reach the Hazel river about dawn. This plan we followed to the letter. The water in the river was very cold but we made the fording all right, and were dry about the time we reached Flint Hill. When we got there the ladies cheered us. Here we made more coffee and I lined up the men as they made up a good purse for me, I wrote down the course for them to take for Front Royal, and to inquire for John Forney who would get them across the Shenendoah river, then they were to flank Winchester, strike for Black Creek, across the mountains to Capon Springs and inquire of Julius Waddell who would give them further guidance. Then to break up and into smaller groups after crossing the Potomac river, changes clothes and go home.



    After parting with them I went back to Flint Hill where I left my mule, and after taking a good rest I started for my home where I found a note from General EARLY to report to Dr. CLAYTON at North River bridge, Hampshire county, Va.

    Respectfully yours,

    W.L. MOSEBY

    43rd Battery, C.S.A.


    Household Record 1880 United States Census

    Search results | Download Previous Household Next Household
    Household:

    Name Relation Marital Status Gender Race Age Birthplace Occupation Father's Birthplace Mother's Birthplace
    William L. MOSBY Self Male W 39 VA Farmer VA VA
    Margaret E. MOSBY Wife M Female W 35 PA Keeping House PA PA
    Margaret L. MOSBY Dau S Female W 9M PA VA PA
    Eliza CLIPPINGER Niece S Female W 16 PA PA PA

    Source Information:
    Census Place Wells, Fulton, Pennsylvania
    ====================================================
    from Tracy Moseby 3/2008

    Fulton County, Copperhead Country, Deserters, Draft Resisters, and Confederate Sympathizers in Civil War Fulton County by John H. Nelson was published by the Fulton County Civil War Re-enactment Advisory Committee.


    WLM claimed to have served in the Civil War in various capacities for much of his adult life. WLM sat down in 1920 and wrote a “narrative” of his experiences in connection with CSA activities in and around Poney Mountain in 1864. The narrative was published after his death in both the Fulton County News and the Fulton Democrat in 1929. WLM mentions John FORNEY, Julius Caesar WADDELL, and Dr. Townsend CLAYTON in this article as being in Front Royal, Virginia. A transcription of the article follows

    The Fulton County News McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania

    Vol. XXXI, no. 10

    December 12, 1929

    Confederate Scout's Personal Narrative

    Reprinted from and pictures by courtesy of Altoona, Pa., Times Tribune

    The following letter, written to S. T. Moore, who has the distinction of being the first native born Altoonan tells the experiences of the late William L. MOSEBY, a member of the 43rd battery, Confederate army, acting under the suggestion of General Robert E. LEE, Confederate commander, near the Rapidan river, Va., to do scout duty on Poney mountain.

    The letter was written by Mr. MOSEBY 56 years after the thrilling experiences therein described, while he was a well known citizen of Fulton county, Pa., and was transcribed especially for The Tribune by Mr. Moore, who now resides in Harrisburg.

    In an introduction to the letter Mr. Moore writes:

    "William L. MOSEBY was born June 21, 1836, and died April 9, 1921.



    "In reading the ‘Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. LEE, as collected by his son, Captain Robert E. LEE, and published by the Garden City Publishing Company, we note that the general locations of MOSEBY's movements coincide with the movement of General LEE in the Shenandoah valley, especially around Camp Rappahannock and Camp Rapidan in 1863 and 1864. It also confirms MOSEBY's statements that General LEE was the beloved idol of his army.

    "During a very delightful friendship of many years with "Colonel" MOSEBY, as he was known, I have always found him one of the old style southern gentlemen, and he and his family the most generous and hospitable citizens of Wells Valley, Fulton county. "Colonel" was exceptionally well versed in the practical side of unseated land law and titles, and tax sale rights and titles were his hobby. In fact, there were few lawyers that could hold an argument with him on high court decisions on those points. He had a wonderful memory to retain even the date, book and page number of many Supreme court decisions. He was a great help to many attorneys in those cases in Fulton and surrounding counties."

    Wells Tannery, Penna.

    April 30, 1920

    Capt. S.T. MOORE,

    Dear Sir;

    Permit me to tell you of the important and brief mess I was engaged in 56 years ago when I was 28 years old.

    You are aware of the fact that I was defending the Stars and Bars at home.



    After the battle of Gettysburg, General LEE fell back to Orange Court House. The federal army followed up and strung their army along the Orange and Alexander Railroad as far as Culpepper Court House. The Rapidan river divided the two armies, Lee expected General GRANT to cross the Rapidan south of Stevensburg. All the ground was one level plain, devastated houses, fences and timber being wiped out by the contending armies. The only cavalry fight of the whole war was fought at Brandy Station which stands in the middle of the plain, west of Stevensburg and south of Culpeper and north of the Rapidan. North of the Rapidan is located a high knob known as Poney mountain.. There the "Yanks" had their signal station, which overlooked the low plain and the Rapidan and the wilderness. My command was stationed on the north of the federal army along the Hazel river. The federals were inside of the Rapidan, the Hazel river on the plain, while the confederates were on the outside holding the raiders in.

    Summoned by LEE

    About the middle of April, 1864, I was summoned to appear at General LEE's headquarters at Orange Court House, and I reported at once to General J. E. B. STUART, and he took me to General LEE's headquarters. There I found my friend General Jubal A. EARLY, to whom I had reported at York, Pa. He had informed me that he had recommended me for two good jobs. General LEE was engaged in conversation with his staff. After the council ended, EARLY introduced me to General LEE and his staff. I was in fine shape, for EARLY had already introduced me to his corn whiskey rations, General LEE examined me as to my knowledge of the surrounding country, particularly as to Poney mountain and the area around Rapidan river, and also if I could locate the position of the different federal headquarters. I made a map of nearly the whole of the federal positions but I could not give them the positions east of Rappahannock station as I had done no duty in that region.



    I found that the council were just discussing that very matter, and they began the job again and attentively listened to my explanation. I showed the road to the Rapidan, also the points that GRANT would probably take and where he would cross the Rapidan east of the old highway. I showed where GRANT would march his different corps and locate them in squares ready to march them all between Stevensburg and Poney mountain. I also told them the way we would know that the advance would begin, depending on whether GRANT's headquarters would move up in the morning.

    Poney mountain was situated west of Stevensburg, south of Culpeper, and north of the Rapidan. The road from Brandy Station to Burr Hill and across the Rapidan went south between Stevensburg and Poney mountain, and south of Burr Hill and across the Rapidan.

    Faced Nathan Hale's Fate

    General LEE asked me if I would undertake to enter the enemy lines and report my opinion as to when GRANT would move. I promptly told him I would obey any orders from him. His answer was "I would not order you to undertake the hazard as I cannot defend you if you are captured." He asked me if I knew the penalty if captured and I replied that there would be another Nathan Hale.

    At the close of the interview, I was handed over to the officer that would arrange and manage the signaling, and we agreed upon two methods. One was that if the sun shone brightly to use a bright shining diamond shaped piece of tin, and the other was a dark lantern at night with a slide and reflector, and he supplied me with the lantern filled, and an extra flask of oil for it. After the conference I was put in charge of General Jubal A. EARLY. Next morning I received my pass and returned home where I left my horse and prepared for the trip. I put on a suit of changeable green gray clothes, English make, that General LEE ordered for me and helped put it on me. I have never had such a good suit since the war. I also wore a wool "Tucker" hat, and found later that this would correspond in color with the timber I went through.



    It was now about April 25th and the streams were bank full of cold water. I loaded two navy revolvers and packed some caps and cartridges in greenish paper, filled a haversack with bacon and corn bread and started on my perilous journey. When I returned to our lines I found the boys had just halted two Yank deserters and received information they were from the Second corps and had moved in the picket lines. That afternoon I moved down to a bend in the Hazel river but heard no band playing at the John POTTS plantation where General WARD's headquarters were located. I provided myself with two good poles for wading with, took a good dram of liquor and started to wade the stream. I made a ford all right, and when I reached the bank I could see the picket line plainly, but I had no trouble in crawling between pickets.

    I was wet and cold and crossed Mud Run on their foot log and was out of danger when I reached the plain, and made a straight line for Poney mountain that night and found the Second corps just where I expected to find GRANT's army. South of Poney mountain I found the Yanks had their grand picket reserves, ready to supply pickets for the Rapidan lines. About 80 rods west of this was located a farm house which seemed all right.

    Old Burying Ground

    "On my way back I went thru an old burying ground grown up with thick growth of sumac. This was located between the Yankee camp and the house and the upper side of the road. In the grave yard there were a number of brick cribs or vaults, some with high sides and some with low, with the large marked slab, on the top giving the dates of death, etc. I noticed that some of the bricks had fallen out leaving a hole that one could crawl thru into the grave but I concluded it was too close to the reserves for me to risk it.



    After I had located their lookout, I went to the west of Poney mountain and selected a hiding place, as by then my clothes were fairly dry and I could snatch a few cat naps during the day. The Yanks had cut considerable timber up the side of the mountain for cabins and fuel, and this made a good hiding place for me. In the evening I found the visibility good, but could detect nothing going on. About 8 P.M., I could locate all the headquarters by there different bands as some of them were playing Lannigans Ball, and other camps were playing Star Spangled Banner, hence were easily located.

    Water Lacking

    The second day I suffered very much from lack of water, as I had wholly neglected to provide for drinking. As soon as it became dark I crawled down to the farm house and soon located the spring. The Yanks coming, off picket duty were like a swarm of bees around the spring. I waited until they all left, and made good time in getting full of the good water by means of a large gourd dipper that was there. "It had clouded up and soon began to rain, so thinking of the holes in the graves under the marble slabs, I made a trip thru the hog path in the sumac and arrived at the grave only to find it occupied by an old sow and her brood of shoats, but I soon routed her out and took possession. It was now raining hard and I felt happy that I had good shelter, but my slumber was disturbed frequently by that old mother and her brood. I had to skirmish for some hours before I convinced her that they could not share my abode.

    "About daybreak I heard such a hullabaloo down in the camp, and found that the Yanks were shooting and chasing the pigs and they started for the graveyard with the Yanks in full bayonet charge after them. I was on my knees with a brick in my hands under the marble slab, and when the old mother came to the hole, I made good use of the brick on her snout, and she soon turned, thus saving my discovery by the Yanks. When the coast was clear, I crawled thru the sumac for Poney Mountain going to my former hiding place and found my corn bread so wet that I could eat it without water to drink."

    Prepared to advance



    Every evening I was on the move in full marching order, and would crawl to as good a position for viewing the camps as possible and as prudence would allow, and when dark would use my dark lantern for signaling the results of my observation. The next day GRANT moved his headquarters up and took position in the middle of the army. They came so late that I thought sure he would send some of his army to the river but the next morning they prepared the entire army for the advance. That night and next morning I found the signal station was being packed up, and an old darkey was busy emptying cooked beans and a pot of fish. When I thought it was safe I crawled up to the pile of beans and stuffed myself, and then hung my signal lantern for the last time saying that GRANT had advanced. I was answered by three signals, one from the south and one from the south east, so I knew that General LEE was ready and the Stars and Bars fully entrenched. That night the signal station was entirely abandoned, and toward morning I again visited the bean pile and found that a deer had carried away about all the beans, but when daylight came I found on close investigation almost a barrel of good pork, another partly filled with beef, plenty of salt, sugar, spices and coffee, and after a good fill, I hid myself and took a good sound sleep.

    After waking up I found to my surprise that I had company, as about fifteen Yanks occupied the hiding places with me. I soon found out they were deserters and bounty jumpers that had escaped that night in the army moving. They had their canteens filled with whiskey and their haversacks filled with boiled ham, crackers, sardines and light bread. I found I was just the man they wanted for a guide and after sampling their canteens and haversacks, they told me the woods were full of them and I told them there would be a cavalry squad covering those woods all day hunting for them, and that we must go to the west and watch the events until about midnight so that we could cross the Hazel river early in the morning, and we would soon get our clothes dry tramping.

    Gets Medicine Outfit



    Along about noon the battle was in full blast. Pouring so much spirits down raised my spirits up and we soon started down the south side of the mountain, and saw them bring the wounded soldiers toward Brandy Station, and when I got down the road I met a young Negro boy leading a medicine outfit and called for him to halt, but he became scared and left the outfit and ran as fast as he could. It was a splendid chance to get a medicine outfit as a prize. I led the mules to the farm house and introduced myself to the madam, and gave her a brief sketch of my late experiences. She helped to unload the packs as I told her what I had found at the signal station, and she said the Yanks had treated her all right all winter, but a few days since her pig and shoats had wandered into their camp and bothered them so, and they run them out with bayonets. She had lost three shoats and the old sow was running around with a bayonet

    wound.

    I then took my captured mule and hunted up the deserters and found they had increased their number to about fifty, so we all went to the lookout signal station and gathered up the scattered coffee, sugar, potatoes, onions and other food in old camp kettle and each took one piece of meat and down we went. We hung the meat in her smoke house, made a kettle full of coffee, drank it, made another full and took it back to the hiding places.

    We were all aware of the fact the General GRANT found that General LEE's artillery fire was not so terrific as at Gettyburg. When we reached our rendezvous we prepared to make our getaway about midnight as to reach the Hazel river about dawn. This plan we followed to the letter. The water in the river was very cold but we made the fording all right, and were dry about the time we reached Flint Hill. When we got there the ladies cheered us. Here we made more coffee and I lined up the men as they made up a good purse for me, I wrote down the course for them to take for Front Royal, and to inquire for John Forney who would get them across the Shenendoah river, then they were to flank Winchester, strike for Black Creek, across the mountains to Capon Springs and inquire of Julius Waddell who would give them further guidance. Then to break up and into smaller groups after crossing the Potomac river, changes clothes and go home.



    After parting with them I went back to Flint Hill where I left my mule, and after taking a good rest I started for my home where I found a note from General EARLY to report to Dr. CLAYTON at North River bridge, Hampshire county, Va.

    Respectfully yours,

    W.L. MOSEBY

    43rd Battery, C.S.A.



    Household Record 1880 United States Census

    Search results | Download Previous Household Next Household
    Household:

    Name Relation Marital Status Gender Race Age Birthplace Occupation Father's Birthplace Mother's Birthplace
    William L. MOSBY Self Male W 39 VA Farmer VA VA
    Margaret E. MOSBY Wife M Female W 35 PA Keeping House PA PA
    Margaret L. MOSBY Dau S Female W 9M PA VA PA
    Eliza CLIPPINGER Niece S Female W 16 PA PA PA

    Source Information:
    Census Place Wells, Fulton, Pennsylvania
    ====================================================
    from Tracy Moseby 3/2008

    Fulton County, Copperhead Country, Deserters, Draft Resisters, and Confederate Sympathizers in Civil War Fulton County by John H. Nelson was published by the Fulton County Civil War Re-enactment Advisory Committee.


    WLM claimed to have served in the Civil War in various capacities for much of his adult life. WLM sat down in 1920 and wrote a “narrative” of his experiences in connection with CSA activities in and around Poney Mountain in 1864. The narrative was published after his death in both the Fulton County News and the Fulton Democrat in 1929. WLM mentions John FORNEY, Julius Caesar WADDELL, and Dr. Townsend CLAYTON in this article as being in Front Royal, Virginia. A transcription of the article follows

    The Fulton County News McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania

    Vol. XXXI, no. 10

    December 12, 1929

    Confederate Scout's Personal Narrative

    Reprinted from and pictures by courtesy of Altoona, Pa., Times Tribune

    The following letter, written to S. T. Moore, who has the distinction of being the first native born Altoonan tells the experiences of the late William L. MOSEBY, a member of the 43rd battery, Confederate army, acting under the suggestion of General Robert E. LEE, Confederate commander, near the Rapidan river, Va., to do scout duty on Poney mountain.

    The letter was written by Mr. MOSEBY 56 years after the thrilling experiences therein described, while he was a well known citizen of Fulton county, Pa., and was transcribed especially for The Tribune by Mr. Moore, who now resides in Harrisburg.

    In an introduction to the letter Mr. Moore writes:

    "William L. MOSEBY was born June 21, 1836, and died April 9, 1921.



    "In reading the ‘Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. LEE, as collected by his son, Captain Robert E. LEE, and published by the Garden City Publishing Company, we note that the general locations of MOSEBY's movements coincide with the movement of General LEE in the Shenandoah valley, especially around Camp Rappahannock and Camp Rapidan in 1863 and 1864. It also confirms MOSEBY's statements that General LEE was the beloved idol of his army.

    "During a very delightful friendship of many years with "Colonel" MOSEBY, as he was known, I have always found him one of the old style southern gentlemen, and he and his family the most generous and hospitable citizens of Wells Valley, Fulton county. "Colonel" was exceptionally well versed in the practical side of unseated land law and titles, and tax sale rights and titles were his hobby. In fact, there were few lawyers that could hold an argument with him on high court decisions on those points. He had a wonderful memory to retain even the date, book and page number of many Supreme court decisions. He was a great help to many attorneys in those cases in Fulton and surrounding counties."

    Wells Tannery, Penna.

    April 30, 1920

    Capt. S.T. MOORE,

    Dear Sir;

    Permit me to tell you of the important and brief mess I was engaged in 56 years ago when I was 28 years old.

    You are aware of the fact that I was defending the Stars and Bars at home.



    After the battle of Gettysburg, General LEE fell back to Orange Court House. The federal army followed up and strung their army along the Orange and Alexander Railroad as far as Culpepper Court House. The Rapidan river divided the two armies, Lee expected General GRANT to cross the Rapidan south of Stevensburg. All the ground was one level plain, devastated houses, fences and timber being wiped out by the contending armies. The only cavalry fight of the whole war was fought at Brandy Station which stands in the middle of the plain, west of Stevensburg and south of Culpeper and north of the Rapidan. North of the Rapidan is located a high knob known as Poney mountain.. There the "Yanks" had their signal station, which overlooked the low plain and the Rapidan and the wilderness. My command was stationed on the north of the federal army along the Hazel river. The federals were inside of the Rapidan, the Hazel river on the plain, while the confederates were on the outside holding the raiders in.

    Summoned by LEE

    About the middle of April, 1864, I was summoned to appear at General LEE's headquarters at Orange Court House, and I reported at once to General J. E. B. STUART, and he took me to General LEE's headquarters. There I found my friend General Jubal A. EARLY, to whom I had reported at York, Pa. He had informed me that he had recommended me for two good jobs. General LEE was engaged in conversation with his staff. After the council ended, EARLY introduced me to General LEE and his staff. I was in fine shape, for EARLY had already introduced me to his corn whiskey rations, General LEE examined me as to my knowledge of the surrounding country, particularly as to Poney mountain and the area around Rapidan river, and also if I could locate the position of the different federal headquarters. I made a map of nearly the whole of the federal positions but I could not give them the positions east of Rappahannock station as I had done no duty in that region.



    I found that the council were just discussing that very matter, and they began the job again and attentively listened to my explanation. I showed the road to the Rapidan, also the points that GRANT would probably take and where he would cross the Rapidan east of the old highway. I showed where GRANT would march his different corps and locate them in squares ready to march them all between Stevensburg and Poney mountain. I also told them the way we would know that the advance would begin, depending on whether GRANT's headquarters would move up in the morning.

    Poney mountain was situated west of Stevensburg, south of Culpeper, and north of the Rapidan. The road from Brandy Station to Burr Hill and across the Rapidan went south between Stevensburg and Poney mountain, and south of Burr Hill and across the Rapidan.

    Faced Nathan Hale's Fate

    General LEE asked me if I would undertake to enter the enemy lines and report my opinion as to when GRANT would move. I promptly told him I would obey any orders from him. His answer was "I would not order you to undertake the hazard as I cannot defend you if you are captured." He asked me if I knew the penalty if captured and I replied that there would be another Nathan Hale.

    At the close of the interview, I was handed over to the officer that would arrange and manage the signaling, and we agreed upon two methods. One was that if the sun shone brightly to use a bright shining diamond shaped piece of tin, and the other was a dark lantern at night with a slide and reflector, and he supplied me with the lantern filled, and an extra flask of oil for it. After the conference I was put in charge of General Jubal A. EARLY. Next morning I received my pass and returned home where I left my horse and prepared for the trip. I put on a suit of changeable green gray clothes, English make, that General LEE ordered for me and helped put it on me. I have never had such a good suit since the war. I also wore a wool "Tucker" hat, and found later that this would correspond in color with the timber I went through.



    It was now about April 25th and the streams were bank full of cold water. I loaded two navy revolvers and packed some caps and cartridges in greenish paper, filled a haversack with bacon and corn bread and started on my perilous journey. When I returned to our lines I found the boys had just halted two Yank deserters and received information they were from the Second corps and had moved in the picket lines. That afternoon I moved down to a bend in the Hazel river but heard no band playing at the John POTTS plantation where General WARD's headquarters were located. I provided myself with two good poles for wading with, took a good dram of liquor and started to wade the stream. I made a ford all right, and when I reached the bank I could see the picket line plainly, but I had no trouble in crawling between pickets.

    I was wet and cold and crossed Mud Run on their foot log and was out of danger when I reached the plain, and made a straight line for Poney mountain that night and found the Second corps just where I expected to find GRANT's army. South of Poney mountain I found the Yanks had their grand picket reserves, ready to supply pickets for the Rapidan lines. About 80 rods west of this was located a farm house which seemed all right.

    Old Burying Ground

    "On my way back I went thru an old burying ground grown up with thick growth of sumac. This was located between the Yankee camp and the house and the upper side of the road. In the grave yard there were a number of brick cribs or vaults, some with high sides and some with low, with the large marked slab, on the top giving the dates of death, etc. I noticed that some of the bricks had fallen out leaving a hole that one could crawl thru into the grave but I concluded it was too close to the reserves for me to risk it.



    After I had located their lookout, I went to the west of Poney mountain and selected a hiding place, as by then my clothes were fairly dry and I could snatch a few cat naps during the day. The Yanks had cut considerable timber up the side of the mountain for cabins and fuel, and this made a good hiding place for me. In the evening I found the visibility good, but could detect nothing going on. About 8 P.M., I could locate all the headquarters by there different bands as some of them were playing Lannigans Ball, and other camps were playing Star Spangled Banner, hence were easily located.

    Water Lacking

    The second day I suffered very much from lack of water, as I had wholly neglected to provide for drinking. As soon as it became dark I crawled down to the farm house and soon located the spring. The Yanks coming, off picket duty were like a swarm of bees around the spring. I waited until they all left, and made good time in getting full of the good water by means of a large gourd dipper that was there. "It had clouded up and soon began to rain, so thinking of the holes in the graves under the marble slabs, I made a trip thru the hog path in the sumac and arrived at the grave only to find it occupied by an old sow and her brood of shoats, but I soon routed her out and took possession. It was now raining hard and I felt happy that I had good shelter, but my slumber was disturbed frequently by that old mother and her brood. I had to skirmish for some hours before I convinced her that they could not share my abode.

    "About daybreak I heard such a hullabaloo down in the camp, and found that the Yanks were shooting and chasing the pigs and they started for the graveyard with the Yanks in full bayonet charge after them. I was on my knees with a brick in my hands under the marble slab, and when the old mother came to the hole, I made good use of the brick on her snout, and she soon turned, thus saving my discovery by the Yanks. When the coast was clear, I crawled thru the sumac for Poney Mountain going to my former hiding place and found my corn bread so wet that I could eat it without water to drink."

    Prepared to advance



    Every evening I was on the move in full marching order, and would crawl to as good a position for viewing the camps as possible and as prudence would allow, and when dark would use my dark lantern for signaling the results of my observation. The next day GRANT moved his headquarters up and took position in the middle of the army. They came so late that I thought sure he would send some of his army to the river but the next morning they prepared the entire army for the advance. That night and next morning I found the signal station was being packed up, and an old darkey was busy emptying cooked beans and a pot of fish. When I thought it was safe I crawled up to the pile of beans and stuffed myself, and then hung my signal lantern for the last time saying that GRANT had advanced. I was answered by three signals, one from the south and one from the south east, so I knew that General LEE was ready and the Stars and Bars fully entrenched. That night the signal station was entirely abandoned, and toward morning I again visited the bean pile and found that a deer had carried away about all the beans, but when daylight came I found on close investigation almost a barrel of good pork, another partly filled with beef, plenty of salt, sugar, spices and coffee, and after a good fill, I hid myself and took a good sound sleep.

    After waking up I found to my surprise that I had company, as about fifteen Yanks occupied the hiding places with me. I soon found out they were deserters and bounty jumpers that had escaped that night in the army moving. They had their canteens filled with whiskey and their haversacks filled with boiled ham, crackers, sardines and light bread. I found I was just the man they wanted for a guide and after sampling their canteens and haversacks, they told me the woods were full of them and I told them there would be a cavalry squad covering those woods all day hunting for them, and that we must go to the west and watch the events until about midnight so that we could cross the Hazel river early in the morning, and we would soon get our clothes dry tramping.

    Gets Medicine Outfit



    Along about noon the battle was in full blast. Pouring so much spirits down raised my spirits up and we soon started down the south side of the mountain, and saw them bring the wounded soldiers toward Brandy Station, and when I got down the road I met a young Negro boy leading a medicine outfit and called for him to halt, but he became scared and left the outfit and ran as fast as he could. It was a splendid chance to get a medicine outfit as a prize. I led the mules to the farm house and introduced myself to the madam, and gave her a brief sketch of my late experiences. She helped to unload the packs as I told her what I had found at the signal station, and she said the Yanks had treated her all right all winter, but a few days since her pig and shoats had wandered into their camp and bothered them so, and they run them out with bayonets. She had lost three shoats and the old sow was running around with a bayonet

    wound.

    I then took my captured mule and hunted up the deserters and found they had increased their number to about fifty, so we all went to the lookout signal station and gathered up the scattered coffee, sugar, potatoes, onions and other food in old camp kettle and each took one piece of meat and down we went. We hung the meat in her smoke house, made a kettle full of coffee, drank it, made another full and took it back to the hiding places.

    We were all aware of the fact the General GRANT found that General LEE's artillery fire was not so terrific as at Gettyburg. When we reached our rendezvous we prepared to make our getaway about midnight as to reach the Hazel river about dawn. This plan we followed to the letter. The water in the river was very cold but we made the fording all right, and were dry about the time we reached Flint Hill. When we got there the ladies cheered us. Here we made more coffee and I lined up the men as they made up a good purse for me, I wrote down the course for them to take for Front Royal, and to inquire for John Forney who would get them across the Shenendoah river, then they were to flank Winchester, strike for Black Creek, across the mountains to Capon Springs and inquire of Julius Waddell who would give them further guidance. Then to break up and into smaller groups after crossing the Potomac river, changes clothes and go home.



    After parting with them I went back to Flint Hill where I left my mule, and after taking a good rest I started for my home where I found a note from General EARLY to report to Dr. CLAYTON at North River bridge, Hampshire county, Va.

    Respectfully yours,

    W.L. MOSEBY

    43rd Battery, C.S.A.





    Father: Patrick Leslie
    Mother: Bridget Beresford b: ABT 1803 in Ireland

    Marriage 1 Harriet Noyes Brown b: 16 MAY 1855 in Somers, Winchester Co, NY
      Children
      1. Has Children Stacy Brown Barcroft b: 15 JAN 1879 in Lower Windsor Twp, York Co, PA

      Marriage 2 Anna Elizabeth Ensminger b: 17 NOV 1831 in Franklin Co, Pennsylvania
        Children
        1. Has Children Leslie Wallace Seylar b: 9 AUG 1872 in Peters Twp, Franklin Co, Pennsylvania

        Marriage 3 Sarah Abel b: NOV 1855 in South Wales
          Children
          1. Has No Children Elizabeth May Meredith b: JAN 1878 in Scranton, Lackawanna Co, PA
          2. Has No Children Norma Abel Meredith b: 3 OCT 1879 in Scranton, Lackawanna Co, PA
          3. Has Children Ruth K. Meredith b: 1898 in Scranton, Lackawanna Co, PA

          Marriage 4 Sarah Margaret Giffin b: 26 NOV 1858 in Wells Twp, Fulton Co, PA
            Children
            1. Has No Children Jane Doe Giffin b: 1 OCT 1880 in Huntingdon Co, PA

            Marriage 5 Nancy L. Knapp b: 3 JUN 1837 in Dutchess Co, NY
            • Married: BET 1853 AND 1860
            Children
            1. Has No Children Eldora Ellis b: NOV 1860 in Carmel, Putnam Co, NY
            2. Has No Children William Leslie Ellis , Jr b: 1863 in Carmel, Putnam Co, NY
            3. Has No Children George Edward Ellis b: 22 JUL 1866 in Carmel, Putnam Co, NY

            Marriage 6 Margaret Elizabeth Clippinger b: 23 MAY 1844 in Willow Hill, Franklin Co., PA
            • Married: 6 SEP 1864 in Presbyterian Church, Huntingdon, PA
            Children
            1. Has No Children Elizabeth Agnes Moseby b: 13 SEP 1865 in Wells Tannery, Fulton Co, PA
            2. Has Children Margaret Leslie Mosebey b: 17 AUG 1879 in Wells Tannery, Fulton Co, PA
            3. Has Children Robert E. Lee Moseby b: 23 MAR 1882 in Wells Tannery, Fulton Co, PA
            4. Has Children Mary Elizabeth Mosebey b: 30 NOV 1885 in Wells Tannery, Fulton Co, PA
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