I've always suspected this but have never seen any concrete proof. Was the fictitious Edgar Rice Burroughs character John Carter based on the civil war hero/villain John S. Mosby?
Mosby was arguable the most famous enlisted man (became an officer during the war) of the United States Civil war. In the South his dashing exploits made him one of the great heroes of the "Lost Cause." In the North he was painted as the blackest of scoundrels, the boogie man, a fact explained by his amazing successes during the war. So great became the fame of Mosby's partisan exploits that soldiers of fortune came from Europe to share his adventures. Among his daring exploits:
- Mosby was the chief scout for JEB Stuart when Stuart rode a circle around the attacking Union Army commanded by Gen. George B. McClellan outside of Richmond.
- Operated behind Union Lines, captured the Payroll of the Army of the Potomac several times. In Virginia there is still talk of finding some of Mosby's hidden gold.
- Captured the Union General in charge of the occupation of N. Virginia from his bed at his head quarters in Fairfax City, including his staff.
- Required the Union to commit as many as 10,000 calvary to pursue and protect against his raids, Mosby himself never commanded more than 200 men throughout the war, sometimes as few as a handful.
- It is said the planks of Chain Bridge connecting Northern Virginia and Washington DC were pulled up every night to protect the Union's capital from John Mosby's Partisan rangers.
- After President Lincoln was shot, the Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton issued orders to arrest Mosby. So great was his fame, Stanton just knew he was behind the assassination. Mosby was found innocent as he was having dinner that evening with the Union General occupying Virginia.
- Honored by General Robert E. Lee, Mosby was chosen to command his personal escort detail which accompanied Lee to Appomattox Court House April 9, 1865 where Lee surrendered to General Grant.
- Mosby's manual on cavalry tactics would be used for decades at West Point after the war.
- Mosby's autobiography would become a best seller in the post civil war United States in the early 20th century.
- In his autobiography, Mosby counts some of his former Union captives, as among his best friends.
Back to my Question. Edgar Rice Burroughs, the future author of Tarzan, would begin writing about the fictitious John Carter in 1912( A Princess of Mars). The fictitious John Carter being a famous Virginian Cavalryman who lost faith, left the south and went prospecting in the west after the civil war. Burroughs' John Carter was a discredited man who ultimately overcame himself to again display decisive thinking and a flare for military action and bravery, this time in the martian civil war also about slavery. This also paralleled Col. Mosby who also left the South in disgrace just ahead of death threats and attempts on his life, after becoming a Republican and endorsing General Grant for the Presidency.
Anyway, any hard evidence that Boroughs based John Carter on Mosby or is it all in my head?