“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Woodville in Rappahannock County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Mosby and Sneden

The Grey Ghost and the Artist

Mosby and Sneden Marker image. Click for full size.
June 15, 2010
1. Mosby and Sneden Marker
Inscription.  If you had been standing here at dawn on November 27, 1863, you would have seen Col. John S. Mosby and his partisan rangers herding a string of mules bearing dejected-looking Union prisoners. Among the captives was Pvt. Robert Knox Sneden, 40th New York Infantry, seized near Brandy Station in Culpeper County. The Army of the Potomac had broken camp on November 26 and marched south toward the Rapidan River in what would become the Mine Run Campaign, leaving Sneden and a few others behind to follow with the wagon train. Sneden had suspected something was wrong at Brandy Station when he spotted unknown cavalrymen lurking in the thick fog near the house that he and his comrades occupied. When men burst in about 3:45 A.M., Sneden discovered too late that they were Mosby’s He believed that “Mosby had been here [Woodville, in Rappahannock County] for a week or more only a short distance in our rear where he had made the place his headquarters” undetected. Sneden was frightened but in a foul mood as he passed through Woodville, because if he had acted on his suspicions and left with the main army, he would have avoided capture.

Mosby and Sneden Marker image. Click for full size.
June 15, 2010
2. Mosby and Sneden Marker
Civil War Trails marker colocated with a another historical marker on the approach into Woodville.
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Confederate officer pistol-whipped Sneden when he refused to reveal the Union army’s movements. Mosby then led him and the other captives west through Woodville and Rappahannock County, then south and east to Gordonsville. There, they boarded a train for Richmond. Sneden survived confinement in the Confederate capital’s prisons as well as the infamous stockade at Andersonville, Georgia. He was released in December 1864.

New York native Robert Knox Sneden was an architect and engineer who enlisted in the 40th New York Volunteers in 1861. Because of his skills as an artist and mapmaker, he began preparing maps and sketches for Union Gen. Samuel P. Heintzelman, and soon other commanders vied for his services. In October 1863, after six months of trying, Gen. David B. Birney had Sneden transferred to his division near Brandy Station. There, Sneden mapped and sketched the surrounding area before he was captured. During the war, Sneden wrote a 5,000-page diary and produced more than 400 watercolors. Several dozen sketches were published in Battles and Leaders of the Civil War in the 1800s, but most of his work remained unknown. In 1994, the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond purchased his diary and drawings, then published them in 2001 in Eye of the Storm and Images of the Storm.
Erected by
Mosby and Sneden Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Linda Lavender, February 23, 2012
3. Mosby and Sneden Marker
The marker was moved from its original location on Sperryville Pike to the St. Paul's Episcopal Cemetery on Hawlin Rd.
Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is October 1863.
Location. 38° 36.33′ N, 78° 10.537′ W. Marker is in Woodville, Virginia, in Rappahannock County. Marker is on Hawlin Road (County Road 618) 0.1 miles west of Sperryville Pike (U.S. 522), on the left when traveling west. The marker was moved from its original location on Sperryville Pike to the St. Paul's Episcopal Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 914 Hawlin Rd, Woodville VA 22749, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Milroy's Camp (here, next to this marker); Woodville (here, next to this marker); John Jackson—Traditional Musician (approx. ¼ mile away); Advent of the "German" Corps (approx. 4.2 miles away); Rehearsals for Fame (approx. 4.2 miles away); Rappahannock County / Culpeper County (approx. 4.2 miles away); Pope’s Army of Virginia (approx. 4.4 miles away); Sigels' Corps (approx. 4½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Woodville.
More about this marker. On the lower left of the marker is a sketch captioned Sneden's sketch of the Miller House where he was captured at Brandy Station – Courtesy Virginia Historical Society. On the upper middle of the marker is a photo captioned Col. John S. Mosby – Courtesy Library of Congress and a sketch captioned Sneden's map of the route taken after his capture – Courtesy Virginia Historical Society. The sidebar of the marker has a sketch captioned Robert Knox Sneden, self-portrait – Courtesy Virginia Historical Society.
Also see . . .  The Sneden Civil War Collection. Virginia Historical Society (Submitted on June 16, 2010.) 
Virginia Civil War Trails markers on display image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), April 17, 2021
4. Virginia Civil War Trails markers on display
Credits. This page was last revised on April 19, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 16, 2010. This page has been viewed 1,167 times since then and 20 times this year. Last updated on February 24, 2012, by Linda Lavender of Stafford, Virginia. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 16, 2010.   3. submitted on February 24, 2012, by Linda Lavender of Stafford, Virginia.   4. submitted on April 19, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 31, 2023