Mosby Heritage Area Tour Page48
August 2007 photos/text courtesy of Richard Edling, PA

View of Front Royal from Prospect Hill Cemetery Enlarge

Front Royal
In this area, the Mosby Rangers, led by Sam Chapman, attacked a Union ambulance train traveling into Front Royal from the south


Criser's Bottom
Here in Criser’s Bottom occurred much of the fighting when Ranger Sam Chapman and his men attacked a Union Army ambulance train on September 23,1864. Through this area Mosby’s men fought desperately to escape a large Union cavalry force which moved up to defend the ambulance train guard detail


Oak Hill
Ranger Thomas E. Anderson was shot in this area at the foot of the hill leading to the Perry Criser House, Oak Hill


Lieutenant Charles McMaster of the 2nd U.S. Cavalry
Here, in their attempt to escape, Mosby’s men mortally wounded Lieutenant Charles McMaster of the 2nd U.S. Cavalry. Comrades of McMaster claimed he was shot after attempting to surrender. Mosby’s men stated he was shot during the heat of combat. Bitterness over this incident only aided the drama about to befall Front Royal, the execution of six of Mosby’s Rangers. Four were to be shot and two to be hanged


Guard Hill, north of Front Royal

On May 21st 1864 at Guard Hill was a Union picket post. Stopping at a house near by, Mosby questioned Mrs. Joshua McKay regarding the position, numbers, etc., of the picket. She tried to persuade him to give up the idea of attack, saying that the force was too heavy, that they had been reinforced; that there were 250 cavalry and 50 or 60 infantry at the post, and that the cavalry were well mounted. " That is so much the better," said Mosby " two horses apiece and good ones at that." The post was in the pines, but the Rangers did not know its exact position. Lieutenants Samuel Chapman and Nelson went in to reconnoiter and were twice fired on. Dismounted men were then sent in advance, and moving cautiously in the rear until near enough to charge, the order was given. Firing a volley, they dashed into the camp. The Federals fled on foot, taking refuge in the thick woods. They were heard talking at a short distance, when another volley silenced and scattered them. The horses tied around were driven off, and the men helped themselves to the spoils of the camp. Some horses were left on the road, but 66 horses were brought away. The Rangers suffered no casualties and the Union had 1 killed, 1 wounded and 16 prisoners taken including Captain Michael Auer of the 15th N.Y. Cavalry who was staying, along with most of the officers, at the Stinson house at the bottom of the hill and upon hearing the shooting arrived at the scene in time to be captured by the departing Rangers

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