An Irregular Childhood

Missouri is famous for its teenaged bushwhackers, but this article reminds us that it didn’t hold a monopoly.  Virginia’s John McCue joined Mosby’s Irregulars, and had quite an eventful year of service, by the sounds of it.

His father, Judge John H. McCue, compromised with the boy and allowed him to “learn soldiering” at Virginia Military Institute. And so, young McCue went to VMI where he watched one class after another leave to join the Confederate army. In May 1864, all but 11 cadets marched off to New Market to fight an invading Union force.

Fifteen-year-old John W. McCue was one of the 11, left behind because of his small size.

He couldn’t stand it any more. McCue ran away from VMI and, a few weeks later, turned up in the camp of another man who was of small stature but enormous reputation — John S. Mosby. “The Gray Ghost” and his men were impressed with McCue’s fighting spirit and readily accepted him into their ranks.

via Youthful Staunton Civil War firebrand wrote of capture | The News Leader | newsleader.com.

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