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Blazer's Scouts ("The Broom of Destruction")
in the Shenandoah Valley

provided by A Heritage Enterprise-Your History Connection

Richard Blazer John Mosby Shenandoah
The Formation of Blazer's Scouts

The brigade consisted of the 9th West Virginia Infantry and the 12th and 91st Ohio Infantries. Captain John White Spencer of the 9th WVA was chosen to command the scouts and Lieutenants Harrison Gray Otis of the 12th Ohio and Richard Blazer of the 91st Ohio were also assigned as well. There was no shortage of volunteers for the unit. Harrison Otis spoke not only for himself but many of the other men when he wrote, " I suffered nothing from the lethargy of garrison life, but had free play to indulge my penchant for doing audacious things in war." Assertions in the Mosby accounts that these men took on the designation "Legion of Honor" almost certainly have no basis in fact. Not one of the men assigned ever used this term in an article, pension record or had it attributed to them in their obituaries. They were proud to be "Independent Scouts" or call themselves "Blazer's Scouts" after the man who would command them in 1864.


Orders creating Blazer's Scouts

General Orders No. 2

The regimental commanders of this division will select one man from each company of their . . . regiments to be organized into a body of Scouts . . .
Officers will be particular to select such persons only as are possessed of strong moral courage, personal bravery, and particularly adept for this kind of service . . . The men selected who are not already mounted will mount themselves in the country by taking animals from disloyal persons in the proper manner. The regimental quartermaster giving conditional vouchers for the animals thus taken, provided however, that sufficient stock is left these people to attend their crops with. Commanders may send out expeditions for the purpose of obtaining these animals.

Web Pages Regarding Blazer's Scouts

Broom of Destrustion, Blazer's Scouts
Blazer's Scouts by Darl Stephenson
Back to the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley

Blazer's Adversaries

1st Maryland Cavalry Battalion CSA
Confederate Irregular Units
Colonel John S. Mosby
Books About Blazer's Adversaries
Back to the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley

More Research Pages

Jessie Scouts
Back to the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley


Blazer Civil War
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