"Click here to read a sample chapter from this book Confederate John Singleton Mosby forged his reputation on the most exciting of military activities: the overnight raid. Mosby possessed a genius for guerrilla and psychological warfare, taking control of the dark to make himself the ""Gray Ghost"" of Union nightmares. For more than twenty-seven months Mosby led daring raids behind Union pickets and created false alarms up and down the Potomac. Although he never commanded more than four hundred men, his forces were regularly overestimated, once by a factor of forty. Union officials dispatched more than seventy search and destroy missions against him, but he retained the tactical advantage until Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox ended the war. Mosby's dynamic personality, forged in childhood, was the foundation for his success as a guerrilla chief, but it was also his greatest weakness. Attempting to repeat patterns of heroic conflict after the war, he threw away his status as a leading southern hero and sacrificed a lucrative law practice to support the Republican party and U.S. Grant's campaign for the presidency. Forced into exile from his native Virginia, Mosby again charged into controversy. During his service as U.S. consul in Hong Kong, he worked to reform the office and single-handedly exposed the corruption of his predecessors. When his bosses in the State Department balked, Mosby sent information directly to President Hayes and, eventually, exposed the wrong-doing to the Washington Post. In retirement, Mosby continued in his well-worn role of underdog by authoring the first defense of Jeb Stuart's actions at Gettysburg, exposing Lee's role in the debacle.