September 23, 1864, Six of Mosby’s Rangers Murdered
September 23, 1864 in Front Royal, Virginia – The famous Confederate raider Lt. Col. John S. Mosby and his 43rd Virginia Cavalry Battalion were terrorizing the Federals all throughout Maj. Gen. Phil Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign. Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant had ordered Sheridan to “hang without trial” any of Mosby’s men who might be captured.
On September 23, Mosby’s men were near Front Royal when they ran into a Union cavalry brigade. The two sides clashed with each other. The Federals managed to capture 6 Confederates and brought them to Front Royal. The Federals shot 2 men behind a Methodist church, 2 more were shot later, and the last 2 Confederates were strangled. They dead Confederates were left at Front Royal with a placard on one of the Confederates’ chest that said, “Such is the fate of all Mosby’s men.”
Mosby would soon learn that his 6 men were murdered by Sheridan’s troops and immediately sought retribution. This was part of Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign.