Military Wiki
John W. Mobberly
Military Portrait of John Mobberly
Born (1844-06-01)June 1, 1844
Died April 5, 1865(1865-04-05) (aged 20)
Place of birth Loudoun County, Virginia
Place of death Loudoun County, Virginia
Place of burial Neersville, Virginia
Allegiance United States of America
Confederate States of America
Service/branch Confederate Army
Years of service 1862–65
Rank Private
Unit Co. A 35th Battalion of Virginia Cavalry
Battles/wars American Civil War
-Battle of Brandy Station
-George's Schoolhouse Raid

John W. Mobberly, also known as John Mobley or Morbly, (C. 1844 – April 5, 1865) was a Confederate guerrilla who operated in the Loudoun Valley and Between the Hills region of Loudoun County, Virginia during the American Civil War. He also served as regular soldier in Elijah V. White's 35th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry, nicknamed the "Comanches." Mobberly is sometimes reported as serving under John Mosby, although this is not grounded in fact. His legacy is surrounded in controversy as Federal soldiers and Union sympathizers in Loudoun County accused him of committing war atrocities, including slave-rustling, while pro-Southern Loudoun residents claimed him to be a hero, second only to Mosby in local popularity.


Mobberly was born near Neersville, Virginia around the year 1844 [1]. At the start of the American Civil War Mobberly enlisted in Company A of the 35th Battalion at Hillsboro on September 15, 1862. He saw his first significant combat action at the Battle of Brandy Station on June 9, 1863 where he had a horse shot out from under him.

Mobberly, with Mosby's Rangers, fought a May 17, 1864 skirmish with the Loudoun Rangers at Waterford, Mobberly shot a wounded Ranger Charles Stewart several times execution style, drawing ire from Federal sympathizers. Eight days later, he raided Berlin, Maryland (present day Brunswick). On November 10, in what became known as the Halltown Raid, he attacked a supply wagon en route to Halltown from Charles Town. On the 19th, Mobberly led a charge of the 35th against the pro-Union Swamp Dragoons in central West Virginia.

On January 17, 1865, while serving as a scout, Mobberly led the advance guard in the George's Schoolhouse Raid. His luck ran out on April 5 when Charles Stewart, who survived the wounds inflicted by Mobberly in 1864, and a group of locals and Loudoun Rangers ambushed and killed Mobberly at Luther H. Potterfield's barn outside of Lovettsville.


  • Crouch, Richard E. Rough-Riding Scout: The Story of John Mobberly, Loudoun's Own Civil War Guerrilla Hero. Elden Editions: Arlington, Va., 1994.
  • 1850 Federal Census
  • 1860 Federal Census
  • Confederate Civil War Service Records, Record No. 537: John W. Mobberly.
  • Joseph Barry, The Strange Stories of Harper’s Ferry: with Legends of the Surrounding County, Martinsburg, WV: Thompson Brothers, 1903.
  • E.A. Paul, The Recent Capture – Mobley, Payne, and Mackenzie – Promotions – Deaths, New York Times, Feb. 16, 1865.
  • Stevan Meserve, The Civil War in Loudoun County, Virginia: A History of Hard Times.

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