I came home from the SHA with an armful of cheap books, one of which was a collection of postwar letters by John S. Mosby. Mosby’s letters are a real gem; he resisted the Lost Cause tenets that assumed the infallibility of Lee and denied the central role that slavery played as a cause of secession. In a letter dated January 21, 1910 Mosby wrote the following:
You know [William] Mahone rode a mule up to heaven one night & returned before daybreak but nobody but a prophet could do that. (p. 97)
Peter A. Brown, who edited the collection, acknowledges in a footnote that he cannot explain the reference. Any idea?