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09 Nov

A Thousand Points of Truth: The History and Humanity of Col. John Singleton Mosby in Newsprint. by V. P. Hughes

Kevin R. Pawlak, Director of Education, Mosby Heritage Area Association

How the present remembers the past stems from many different viewpoints, interpretations, and facts in the length of time between the historians and the stories they study. In V. P. Hughes’ study of John Singleton Mosby’s life through the Civil War to his death in 1916, she tackles the topic of the Gray Ghost’s character through the sole media of newspapers.

Hughes certainly did her homework to compile such a study, combing through thousands of newspapers to bring many points of view to her topic. In the book, the reader will find many heretofore unknown references to the personality of John Mosby.

A Thousand Points of Truth also packs a punch as a historiographical tour de force. Refuting Mosby historians like Jones, Siepel, and Ramage among others, Hughes takes the most in-depth look at John Mosby’s postwar life through the lens of how the news media covered the Gray Ghost. Her findings shed new light on the personality of the man as well as the importance of Mosby, his Rangers and their exploits.

By point of sheer research and compilation of newspaper articles, no student of Mosby can afford to miss this new volume. An abundance of sources shows the author’s connections to Mosby and interest in her topic. The Gray Ghost eluded his Federal pursuers on many occasions during the war, and he has always been a tough figure to nail down historically. Hughes’ tome brings us perhaps closer than we have ever been to meeting Mosby himself, more than one hundred years following his death.

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