Mosby and Sneden: The Gray Ghost and the Artist

Location: St. Paul’s Cemetery, Route 618 (Hawlin Road), quarter mile west of U.S. 522, Woodville

Photo by John R. Tole; inset portrait of Sneden, Virginia Historical Society
Photo by John R. Tole; inset portrait of Sneden, Virginia Historical Society

New York City native Robert Knox Sneden was an architect and engineer who enlisted in the 40th New York Volunteers in 1861. During the war, Sneden wrote a 5,000-page diary and produced more than 400 watercolors that were published by the Virginia Historical Society in 2001 in “Eye of the Storm” and “Images of the Storm.”

In November 1863, Sneden, several of his comrades, and a number of mules were captured at Brandy Station by Col. John S. Mosby and his partisan rangers. The captives were led through Woodville, then south and east to Gordonsville, a route later mapped by Sneden.

There, they boarded a train for Richmond. Sneden survived confinement in the Confederate capital’s prisons as well as the infamous stockade at Andersonville, Ga. He was released in December 1864.

Staff/Contributed
About Staff/Contributed 4352 Articles

The Rappahannock News welcomes contributions from any and all members of the community. Email news and photos to editor@rappnews.com or call us at 540-675-3338.