An Amusing Anecdote in Far Off San Francisco

BONUS VIDEO! As an added bonus we trust you will enjoy this slideshow presentation  of some Stuart-Mosby relics and images, while Bobby Horton sings a song written by a member of Stuart's command entitled "Jine (Join) the Calvary."

An Amusing Anecdote in Far Off San Francisco

The Evening World~August 24th, 1891


The Old Guerrilla Chieftain Lays Out Two Cable Car Men.


San Francisco, Aug. 24.—Col. John S. Mosby, the old guerrilla chieftain, yesterday arose from his seat in a combination car to make room for a lady, and seeing vacant seats in the grip car, went out. The conductor refused to allow him to pass over to the dummy, and hot words followed.

The Colonel knocked the conductor down and hammered him. The gripman, who was large and powerful, attacked Mosby. Three lady passengers assisted Mosby by pulling the gripman’s hair. The gripman got up and bolted; so did Col. Mosby, and so did the battered conductor, who sought the police.

Mosby’s knees are peeled and his thumb is scratched, but the conductor’s face is unfit for publication.  Next is an image of the type of  Cablecar used in San Franciso untill 1895.                                                     
Fort Worth Gazette~August 25, 1891. At San Francisco, Cal., Col. John S. Mosby, an old guerrilla chieftain, hammered a streetcar conductor who had insulted him on a combination car. The gripman then attacked Mosby, who was rescued by three ladies in the car.            

At the time of this contretemps, John Mosby was fifty seven years old. One assumes that more took place than a mere refusal by the conductor to allow a passenger to move to another car while the vehicle was in motion. Mosby, a lawyer, certainly understood the legal responsibility of the conductor for the safety of his passengers. One supposes, even if his temper was not of the best that day, that a few placating words – especially regarding legal duties which devolved upon the cable car employees - would have resulted in the Colonel waiting (if not patiently) until the car had stopped moving in order to take a seat in the dummy. One has to wonder what the conductor said to the touchy little lawyer that resulted in what was clearly a brawl. Obviously, there was something said that Mosby accounted an insult and not merely an order that he not pass over into the other car until the vehicle had stopped. But the most amusing thing is the attack by the much larger gripman and those who came to the smaller man’s aid. Like the ladies of Virginia, Mosby found himself being defended by the ladies of San Francisco, much to his undoubted relief.

The police were obviously contacted, but as nothing further appeared in any newspaper subsequent to the story on August 25th – and surely anything of note would have been so carried - we must assume that the matter was quietly dropped. Still, it must certainly have been a first class donnybrook and worthy of press coverage at the time.

Valerie Protopapas

Editors Note: One might ask why a former Confederate guerrilla might relocate to San Francisco?

Well bear in mind we are talking about San Francisco circa 1861 not 1961, still most are quite surprised to learn how strong the Pro Confederate sentiment was in California especially San Francisco.

On December 21, 1860 Albert Sidney Johnston set sail to assume command of the Department of the Pacific of the United States Army.

In April as soon as Johnston learned the Southern states had begun to succeed he resigned his command. Bound by honor, he chose to remain in command until his successor arrived. He quietly relocated to Los Angeles where he had kin, somehow he managed to avoid capture by local authorities.  Albert Sidney Johnston then joined the "Los Angeles Mounted Rifles" as a private, participating in their trek to Confederate Territory of Arizona, which they reached on July 4, 1861.
Although his command was extremely short lived, Albert Sidney Johnston was so popular in San Francisco, after he was killed during the battle of Shiloh, thousands attended the public memorial service held in his honor in "The City." 

When abolitionist Thomas Starr King, often credited as "the man who saved California for the Union" arrived in San Francisco, he was so shocked to see Confederate flags proudly displayed while talk of succession filled the air that he helped organize pro-Union rally's often bolstering attendance by offering cash inducements, in the district at what is today known as "Union Square." 

Thanks to Duncan Hansen's and his book, "Reunion in Death Volume I, Gravesites of the Men Who Rode with William Clarke Quantrill, " we know that by 1892, another former Confederate Guerrilla Charles Fletcher (Fletch) Taylor, made "the city by the bay" his home.

One can only wonder what sort of tales John Singleton Mosby and Charles Fletcher Taylor might have shared if they met.
The management of quantrillsguerrillas.com wishes to thank Valerie Protopapas and the Southern Calvary Review (published by the Stuart Mosby Historical Society) for allowing us to share this wonderfully entertaining yet informative antidote about one brief victorious engagement Colonel Mosby enjoyed long after the original hostilities had ended.

If are interested in "preserving an accurate history while perpetuating the memory and deeds of General James Ewell Brown Stuart and Colonel John Singleton Mosby, " then I suggest you follow my lead, break out your checkbook and "join the Calvary."

BONUS: The first twenty core members of quantrillguerrillas.com who joins The Stuart-Mosby Historical Society by 08/31/12 will receive a limited production Quantrill collectable as a bonus gift. Simply join the The Stuart-Mosby Historical Society, then contact the website Administrator AKA Charley Hart via e-mail or our website Instant message, provide your mailing address. Below are the mission statement and membership information printed on the newsletter. We trust you will enjoy this previously unpublished image of Colonel Mosby.

General Society Mission Statement.

The object of The Stuart-Mosby Historical Society
shall be to further historical research, to preserve
accurate history and to perpetuate the memory and
deeds of General James Ewell Brown Stuart and
Colonel John Singleton Mosby.

The Southern Cavalry Review Membership Information

The Society membership year runs from July 1st to
June 30th; The schedule of dues are as follows:
Single member:
Seniors (60+) & Handicapped:
After January dues are pro-rated to

Make checks payable to The Stuart-Mosby Historical Society and return to: Mr. Maston Gray, 8718 Higdon Drive, Vienna, VA 22182-2311

Article©Valerie Protopapas, Southern Calvary Review 2011, presentation©Patrick R. Marquis, Quantrillsguerrillas.com."Permission should be requested and agreed to before using this copyrighted essay and or image."

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