Littleberry Mosby

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Littleberry C. Mosby Jr.
Born (1757-01-28)January 28, 1757
Cumberland County, Virginia
Died October 26, 1821(1821-10-26) (aged 64)
Powhatan County, Virginia
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch Continental Army
Virginia Virginia militia
Years of service 1776–1815(?)
Rank US-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier general[1][2]
Battles/wars American Revolutionary War (Battle of Blanford, Siege of Yorktown), War of 1812

Littleberry C. Mosby Jr. (January 28, 1757 – October 26, 1821) was an American military officer. During the American Revolutionary War, he served in the Continental Army as a captain in the 2nd Georgia Regiment, and was captured at the Siege of Savannah in 1778. After his release, he served as a major commanding a cavalry battalion in the Virginia militia. During the War of 1812, he was a brigadier general in the Virginia militia.[1][2] The son of Colonel Littleberry Mosby Sr.,[3] he lived his entire life at Mosby Tavern in Cumberland County, Virginia/Powhatan County, Virginia, Powhatan County having been created from the eastern portion of Cumberland County in May 1777.[4]

Military service[edit]

In October 1776, serving as a captain, Mosby led the Virginia Line company recruited at Mosby Tavern in Cumberland County, Virginia. In the winter of 1776–77, they marched to Savannah, Georgia, remaining in the area under the command of Robert Howe until the capture of Savannah by Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell in December 1778.[5]

In April 1780,[6] Mosby, again serving as a captain, raised a volunteer company of cavalry, which included his brother Wade as second lieutenant, and Horatio Turpin as first lieutenant.[7] Records show that in 1780 and 1781 Mosby was captain of a cavalry company in service at Petersburg, Virginia.[8]

Soon after, Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson wrote Mosby[9] to raise all the cavalry he could and go to the aid of General Lafayette. Mosby called on his former lieutenants, Wade Mosby and Horatio Turpin, to each raise a company, while Littleberry led the battalion as major.

A typed summary in Mosby's pension application summarizes his Revolutionary War service:

Littleberry Mosby, Junior, was a captain and paymaster of Colonel Samuel Elbert’s 2" Regiment of Georgia troops; he was captured at Savannah, Georgia, in December, 1778, held a prisoner twelve months, then furloughed home to Virginia. While on furlough, at the request of Mr. Jefferson, the Governor of Virginia, he raised about sixty men and joined General Baron Steuben at Petersburgh [Petersburg], and after the battle of Petersburgh, he was under General Lafayette until the siege of York.[10]

Mosby also served throughout the War of 1812, reaching the rank of brigadier general in the Virginia militia.[1][2] He retired in late 1815 or early 1816.[11]


In 1779, Mosby married Hannah "Eliza" Scott, the daughter of General Charles Scott. They had five children: Elizabeth, Littleberry III, John Wade, Robert C., and Dewitt Clinton. On November 23, 1789, Mosby married Mary Page Haskins. They had six children: Elbert Edward, Sally Sarah, Martha Finney, Mary Page, Lucy Ann, and Benjamin Clinton.[12]

Mosby, a lifelong Virginian, was disappointed that many of his children left the area. In his will, he left his estate to his oldest son, Littleberry III, on the condition that he return to Virginia to claim it. Littleberry III died in Columbia, Tennessee, and so the estate instead passed to Mosby's brother, Edward.[2]


  1. ^ a b c McAllister. p 156, 160
  2. ^ a b c d Mosby (1975). p 212
  3. ^ According to Mosby (1975), Littleberry Sr. generally spelled his first name "Littlebury"; Littleberry Jr. adopted the spelling now commonly used for both.
  4. ^ Mosby Tavern NHRP listing, p 9
  5. ^ Pension Application of Thomas Baker
  6. ^ McAllister. p 81
  7. ^ Pension Application of Wade Mosby
  8. ^ McAllister. p 29, 40
  9. ^ Sources disagree as to whether Jefferson's correspondence was with Littleberry Mosby Jr. or Littleberry Mosby Sr. The National Register of Historic Places listing for Mosby Tavern indicates that Littleberry Sr. was the correspondent ("Littleberry Mosby, Sr. also served political appointments including sheriff, Justice of the Peace, Representative in the General Assembly, House of Delegates, and member of the Committee of Safety. Littleberry later oversaw the county militia during the Revolutionary War and corresponded with Thomas Jefferson on the state of his command."), while the Pension Application of Wade Mosby indicates that it was Littleberry Jr.
  10. ^ Pension Application of Littleberry Mosby
  11. ^ Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Commonwealth of Virginia, p. 167 
  12. ^ Mosby (1975)