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Fairfax Court House, after Mosby's capture of Stoughton If you had said “Mosby” to the Federal cavalrymen that this picture shows loitering before Fairfax Court House in June, 1863, they might have gnashed their teeth in mortification; for only a couple of months before, the daring Confederate partisan had entered the nearby headquarters of General Edwin H. Stoughton, and had “captured” him from the very midst of the army. When Lee retired behind the Blue Ridge and began to advance up the Shenandoah in the summer of 1863, Hooker's line was spread out from Fairfax Court House on the north to Culpeper on the south. Hooker followed up Lee closely on the other side of the Blue Ridge, leaving three corps, the Second, Fifth, and Twelfth, held in reserve at Fairfax Court House within twenty miles of Washington, for the protection of the Capital. The Federal cavalry sought and scouted in vain to locate the elusive partisan. It was at this time that Mosby performed one of the most audacious feats of his career. On March 8, 1863, with a small band of carefuly picked men, he rode safely through the Union picket lines, where the sentries mistook him for their own scouts returning from one of their vain searches for himself. Upon reaching the vicinity of Fairfax Court House, Mosby entered the house used as headquarters by General Stoughton, woke the general and demanded his person. Believing that the town had surrendered, Stoughton made no resistance.

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