Date of Award

8-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

History

Advisor

Anderson, Paul C

Committee Member

Andrew , Rod

Committee Member

Marks , Steven

Abstract

Fauquier County, Virginia, is an idyllic spot in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. However, it has seen its fair share of heartache and pain. It is better known to history as being an integral part of Mosby's Confederacy, the postage-stamped sized area of land in Northern Virginia. It was there in the foothills of the mountains, that one of the most famous guerilla outfits in the Confederate Army operated under the command of John Singleton Mosby. Mosby's men came from many of the leading families in the county and were used to a world of wealth and privilege. Many families in Fauquier had impressive linages; their fathers and grandfathers had helped to shape the fledging United States and controlled Virginia since its early days as a Commonwealth. These families had reluctantly left the United States, yet pledged their loyalty to the Confederacy, and subsequently to Mosby. They had given all they had during four long years of war.
With the war over, the Rangers returned home, eager to see their families, and the people of Fauquier were ready to begin rebuilding their lives. Yet, their last battle had not yet been fought. On May 29, 1865, President Andrew Johnson issued his Amnesty Proclamation, which contained a clause that required men worth over $20,000 in 1860 to file for a special amnesty pardon. The men of Fauquier County realized that while the bloodshed had ceased, the war was not over. Men who believed their United States citizenship was their birthright had to ask permission from a man they detested to regain it. They needed a pardon if they wished to carry on any type of legal business and, in the months following the end of a war, there was much business to be handled. Even more important, the men could not vote until they were pardoned. For men who were used to being in control of both local and state governments, who believed completely in republicanism and democracy, who above all wished to finally have some power in their own lives, that pardon was an absolute necessity. And they were willing to do whatever it took to get one.

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