1 9 5 7 (USA)
39 x 30 minute episodes
The Gray Ghost was based on the fascinating life and legend of Condeferate Ranger and guerilla fighter John Singleton Mosby and his exploits during the American Civil War.
As the first TV series to delve into the fertile field of drama and heroism surrounding the War Between the States, it concentrated specifically on the activities of the rangers or “irregular army” that Mosby commanded.
In real life, Mosby was practising law in Bristol, Virginia, when the Civil War began. He offered his services to the Confederacy on the condition that he be allowed to lead a band of cavalry raiders.
Within a short time, Mosby had 300 daredevils on horseback at his command. The record that Mosby and his men made – operating around and behind the Union lines, stealing horses and ammunition, and harassing the Federal forces in general – formed the basis for the series.
The producers hired Virgil Carrington Jones (one of the South’s most respected reporters and author of Ranger Mosby and Gray Ghosts and Rebel Raiders) as the historical advisor for the series. Much of the series was filmed on location around Jackson, 40 miles from Sacramento, standing in for the rolling hill country of Virginia.
Broadway veteran Tod Andrews portrayed Mosby.
Described as “The First TV Adult Southern Civil War Series”, The Gray Ghost, for the first time, gave the Southerners a chance to get even with the usually victorious “damn Yankees.”
The series was originally intended for the CBS-TV network, but potential sponsors backed out three times, so the show was syndicated.
“We took our men from Texas, Kentucky, Virginia, the mountains and the backwoods and the plains.
We put them under orders – guerilla fighting orders – and what we lacked in numbers we made up in speed and brains.
To the Rebs and Yankee strangers, they called us Mosby’s Rangers.
Both North and South, they knew our fame. “Gray Ghost” is what they called me, John Mosby is my name.”
Colonel John Singleton Mosby
Sgt. Myles Magruder
General Jeb Stuart