BIBLE PRESENTED BY JOHN S. MOSBY TO A.D. PAYNE, A MAN HE LATER CHALLENGED TO A DUEL

$4,500.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 846-191

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

To Order:
Call 717-334-0347,
Fax 717-334-5016, or E-mail

A very interesting memento of two former Confederate cavalry officers who nearly turned politics into a blood sport.

The bible is octavo, roughly 6 by 10 by 2.5 inches, bound in worn bluish-black leather with impressed geometric designs and gilt blindstamped spine. The boards partially detached with gaps to the text block. Some of the front papers detached. Small tear at bottom to first pages of text block. Title page with 1865 publication date by the New York Bible Society. The flyleaf bears a wonderful ink inscription reading, “Presented by Col. Jno. S. Mosby / to Capt. A.D Payne.” The inscription is in Mosby’s hand and matches other books inscribed by him. The first letter of Payne’s rank is slightly blurred from Mosby first addressing it to “A.D. Payne” and then catching himself, to add Payne’s rank of captain.

Mosby and Payne were both lawyers based in Warrenton, Va., after the war. Mosby, of course, was one of the most famous Confederate cavalry and partisan leaders of the war. Alexander Dixon Payne (1837-1893) will be less familiar. Born into one of the First Families of Virginia, he graduated first in his class from William and Mary in 1856, studied law in Winchester and at the University of Virginia, and set up his law practice in Warrenton in 1858. At the outbreak of the war he joined the “Black Horse Troop” of Fauquier County (commanded at the time by W.H.F. Payne, a cousin several times removed,) which later became part of the 4th Virginia Cavalry in Fitz Hugh Lee’s division. Payne joined on April 25, 1861, apparently as 3rd lieutenant, and was promoted 2nd Lt. 19 September 1861 and made 1st Lt 25 April 1862. Commended by Jackson for his services at Second Bull Run and Antietam, he was promoted to the troop’s captain 1 September 1863, and was the regiment’s senior officer at Appomattox, though he did not sign a parole until late April and may have left before the surrender. (Some secondary sources credit him with saving the unit’s flag.) He fought at Bull Run, Williamsburg, the Seven Days, Second Bull Run, Chantilly, Harpers Ferry, Antietam, Gettysburg, Brandy Station, Cold Harbor, Haw’s Shop, White House, Trevilian Station, Wilderness, Yellow Tavern, Five Forks, “and the continuous and daily small engagements from that time till the one at Appomattox.” (Eminent and Representative Men of Virginia.) He had a horse shot out from under him at Waynesboro in 1864, and seems to have been captured in action twice. Resuming his law practice in Warrenton after the war, he was mayor of Warrenton three times, served in the Virginia state legislature and in 1880 was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. And, indeed, it was politics that nearly brought him into physical conflict with Mosby.

Mosby had it in mind to somehow overcome party divisions and align conservative Virginians with the Grant administration after Grant’s defeat of Greeley for his second term. Starting in 1872 Mosby publicly supported Grant, obtaining patronage appointments for old wartime comrades and Grant’s signature on an amnesty bill, in hopes it would change southern sentiment, and at the same time supported conservative Virginia candidates. Attitudes and party lines hardened, however, and Mosby was portrayed as a turncoat and grifter who must be getting kickbacks for political appointments. Matters came to a head in August 1874 when Mosby campaigned against Payne’s friend and political ally Eppa Hunton in a Congressional race. (To get an idea of how fluid the situation was, Mosby had previously arranged that no Republican candidate would oppose Hunton.) Payne publicized a document accusing Mosby of deceit and trying to peel away southern conservatives. Mosby sent a challenge, which was accepted, a time and place in Maryland were apparently arranged, but a judge stepped in to arrest the principle parties. Payne gained credit for appearing “on the field” and Mosby lost even further ground among conservatives and among the gentry, who saw Payne as one of their own. Mosby’s reputation sank so low that had difficulty finding clients and eventually moved to Washington, where he managed to obtain one of the patronage appointments that he had so far avoided for himself.

There is no date on the presentation, but it plainly dates between 1865 and 1874. Mosby and Payne supposedly settled their differences through the intercession of W.H.F. Payne, but it seems unlikely they became close. Backing up the assumption this is an early gift is an ink notation at the bottom of the table of contents reading, “Mr. A.D. Payne of warrenton Va. / Aug 6th 1874.” This is just as their conflict arose. The arrests that prevented their duel took place on August 20, in some reports the very day set for the meeting. The gift may have been a recent gesture on Mosby’s part to calm the situation and win over Payne, but it may just as well have been a notation by Payne indicating that while he hesitated to deface or destroy a bible, in the current situation he did not want it in his house and had relegated it to his law office.

This provides a fascinating look into Virginia society, postwar politics, and Reconstruction in Virginia through two former comrades in arms with very interesting wartime records.  [sr]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THIS ITEM, AS WITH ALL OTHER ITEMS AVAILABLE ON OUR WEB SITE,

MAY BE PURCHASED THROUGH OUR LAYAWAY PROGRAM.

FOR OUR POLICIES AND TERMS,

CLICK ON ‘CONTACT US’ AT THE TOP OF ANY PAGE ON THE SITE,

THEN ON ‘LAYAWAY POLICY’.

THANK YOU!

Inquire »

Inquire About BIBLE PRESENTED BY JOHN S. MOSBY TO A.D. PAYNE, A MAN HE LATER CHALLENGED TO A DUEL

should be empty

featured item

EARLY MARINE CORPS MAMALUKE WITH CARVED BONE GRIP

Manufactured: unmarked  Maker: unmarked  Year: C1820-25  Model: Mamaluke  Size: 29.25 inch blade 1.33 in. wide  Condition: Excellent+ Early Marine Officer Mamaluke with carved Ivory grip and eagle rivets to secure grip slabs. The blade is flat,… (870-75). Learn More »

Upcoming Events

23
Oct