How Did The Grey Ghosts Get Their Name?

You asked, now Patch answers.

John Mosby (credit: Library of Congress)
John Mosby (credit: Library of Congress)

Recently we got a question from a reader asking how the Westford Academy Grey Ghosts became, well, the Grey Ghosts… Have no fear (even of Ghosts), we’ve got an answer for you.

The original Grey Ghost was Colonel John Mosby, a Confederate officer who led a partisan cavalry unit known as Mosby’s Rangers during the Civil War.

Mosby was fiercely loyal to Virginia, but also disliked slavery, becoming involved in politics after the war, eventually becoming the U.S. Ambassador to Hong Kong in the Ulysses S. Grant administration.

His exploits were turned into a television show in the late 1950s that was apparently popular with Westford Academy students of the time, who chose Mosby’s nickname as the replacement nickname during a contest to replace the school’s former one: the Black Knights. 

Prometheus December 05, 2013 at 12:06 PM
Very cool...and good to know.
Cori Ryan December 06, 2013 at 11:19 AM
My neighbor told me it was that Roudenbush was haunted by a woman in a gray dress and they named the team after her. Oh drat on a good ghost story, but good to know the real story. Interesting article
Andrew Sylvia (Editor) December 06, 2013 at 11:54 AM
Maybe the lady in the grey dress inspired the students too! I've heard the John Mosby story from a few places though.
Tammy Fannon December 06, 2013 at 12:27 PM
Lots of folks believed it was after the story of the grey lady, and it would indeed be a great origin. However Andrew is correct about how the mascot came to be. We have a picture of the Black Knight on a hat from one of the alumni that brought it to the WA Alumni Annual Banquet that we hold every June. You can see the hat on our Facebook page Westford Academy Alumni Association.
Cori Ryan December 07, 2013 at 05:58 PM
Tammy, I must say I am doubly pleased then to find out Andrew's story is right, as it was interesting, but I am also happy to know that there really is a "grey lady" story as well.


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