Who Was Major William Hibbs?
Mosby's eye rested on a grizzled, hardened little man well past his fiftieth birthday. He had given his name as William Hibbs, Loudoun County blacksmith. Some of the Partisans said he had two sons off fighting with the regular army.
His hat, a faded felt riddled by sparks from the forge, rested sideways on his head, above a matting of gray hair that hung low over his forehead like a fetlock. ...The only part of his raiment that represented the army was an old gray military coat, held together by a strange array of buttons, only two of which bore the initials of the Confederacy" (Jones, 106). "Mosby eventually dubbed him "Major", and the nickname stuck. Hibbs, said a comrade, was the most excitable of men" (Wert, 43)."On March 23, , Mosby's conglomerates...near Chantilly...Mosby dismounted his men, formed a line behind some fallen trees and fired into the oncoming column.
The gunfire stalled the New Yorkers long enough for the Confederates to remount and charge...the Northerners fled in a wild horse race. In the forefront of the Southerners rode ‘Major' William Hibbs, uncontrollable in his joy" (Wert, 49)."Mosby had continued sending what the men dubbed ‘Corn Details' [to forage from the farmers] into Loudoun throughout May. On occasions an entire company performed the duty; at other times ‘Major' William Hibbs and a few men hauled the grain.
Hibbs, stated John Alexander, possessed an unerring instinct for locating a Union sympathizer's barn in the dark of night. Hibbs was equally adept at finding a local distillery" (Wert, 165).
Jones, Virgil Carrington. Ranger Mosby. McLean: EPM. 1972.Wert, Jeffry D. Mosby's Rangers. New York: Simon/Shuster, 1990.