Did Molly Tynes, Southern Heroine aka the Confederate Paul Revere, Ride the Night of Col. Toland's Raid?

Joined
Oct 25, 2017
Messages
1,870
Location
44022
#1
1548859191433.png

“The only difference between Paul Revere and Molly Tynes was a poet,” is the way a store owner from the area puts it. And whether she rode alone or accompanied through the night to deliver a warning of the coming Union soldiers, she remains an enduring and appealing legend.

In Virginia’s Wythe and Tazewell counties, Molly Tynes is a Civil War heroine, a brave young woman who chased the night over five mountains to warn Wytheville of a Yankee raid. The story that passed down through generations features a lovely young woman riding a gray horse over a moonlit trail, fording streams, dodging cougars and tearing her dress as she raced to Wytheville ahead of Union Col. John Toland’s troops.

Tynes arrived just in time to give Wytheville citizens the advance warning they needed to fend off Union destruction of the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad, the lead mines and the Saltville salt works, the story goes. The ensuing Battle of Wytheville was a Confederate victory, all because of Molly Tynes.

A lovely story. But probably not true. Or not entirely true. Accounts of Molly Tynes’ Paul Revere-like ride contain gaps, ambiguities and outright mistruths. The Austinville lead mines and Saltville salt works, for instance, weren’t in immediate jeopardy, being 21 miles southeast and 45 miles west, respectively.
Molly’s age has been reported as 19, 20, 22 and 26.
REST of Article: https://blueridgecountry.com/newsst...onfederate-paul-revere-lives-on-in-southwest/


MORE:

1548859452318.png
1548859470082.png

Molly Tynes
Did she or didn’t she? SHE DID!
By
Janice Busic

For over 120 years, the story of Mary Elizabeth “Molly” Tynes has lain unnoticed and unrecognized beyond the mountains and smoky “hollers” of southwest Virginia. Part of the reason the story has not been portrayed in film and grandiose publications was because Molly herself did not see her action as anything less than expected. Like so many strong, southern women of her day, Molly saw what needed to be done and she did it.

According to local legend, as written about in numerous local newspapers and historical society newsletters, Molly Tynes was instrumental in saving the town of Wytheville and the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad tracks leading from Saltville into the Valley of Virginia. Molly lived with her father and invalid mother near the town of Tazewell, VA.


Mary Elizabeth Tynes had attended Hollins College but had moved back home during the war to help her ailing and elderly parents. Her brother, Captain Achilles J. Tynes, was serving in the Confederate Army.


On July 13, 1863, Col. J.T. Toland of the 34th Ohio Infantry with 1000 Union soldiers left Huntington, WV and headed toward Wytheville with the intention of destroying the train tracks. Destruction of the tracks would stop lead, salt petre, and salt from reaching Lee’s army and other Confederate units throughout Virginia. When the Union troops stopped to camp for the night near the Tynes farm, Molly’s father, Samuel Tynes, learned of their plans. The Union encampment was near what is now known as Ben Bolt and is currently owned by local pharmacist, historian, and author, Scott Cole. Since Molly was the most able-bodied person in the Tynes household, she mounted her horse, Fashion, and rode out to warn her neighbors and the residents of Wytheville that the Union army was coming. Some say she waved her bonnet and shouted the warning as she rode through the mountains.


Longfellow never wrote a poem about Molly as he did about Paul Revere. There were no newspapers headlines on the following day to record Molly’s brave ride. Nonetheless, very few children who grew up in or near Tazewell County did not hear the story of Molly Tynes and her courageous ride. Most people knew someone, or had a family member who remembered when Molly made her ride. Oral history does record what written words may not
REST of Story: http://scv840jb.tripod.com/mollytynes.htm

Another brave horsewoman in Molly! @Equestriangirl93
 
Last edited:

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
17,656
Location
Central Pennsylvania
#3
Since Molly was the most able-bodied person in the Tynes household, she mounted her horse, Fashion, and rode out to warn her neighbors and the residents of Wytheville that the Union army was coming. Some say she waved her bonnet and shouted the warning as she rode through the mountains
It doesn't sound unlikely- in fact sounds likely, doesn't it? You just know sure, this kind of story would get embellished over the years. It's what gets these stories pitched into the apocryphal pile- and IMO we're a little swift to do that.

Hadn't heard of her, thank you Belle!
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2017
Messages
1,870
Location
44022
#6
It doesn't sound unlikely- in fact sounds likely, doesn't it? You just know sure, this kind of story would get embellished over the years. It's what gets these stories pitched into the apocryphal pile- and IMO we're a little swift to do that.

Hadn't heard of her, thank you Belle!
Embellished or not, must be something to it like many old CW stories are , it's still nice to read about another female who rose to the occasion in her beliefs in a time when women were supposed to be demure passive participants in a man's world! :wink:
 

byron ed

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
2,179
Location
Midwest
#8
...Molly Tynes was instrumental in saving the town of Wytheville and the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad tracks leading from Saltville
I have a little issue with the phrasing of that. Wytheville and its people were not in danger, it was the tracks and maybe the saltworks the Union troops were after. Paul Revere was warning against British investment of the town itself, the residents themselves were in danger.

I see Wytheville is in Western Virginia, and though not in what became West Virginia, it was an area that trended Unionist. Could it be that Molly is considered more traitor than hero to many descendants there, the reason her story hasn't been widely touted?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 25, 2017
Messages
1,870
Location
44022
#9
I have a little issue with the phrasing of that. Wytheville and its people were not in danger, it was the tracks and maybe the saltworks the Union troops were after. Paul Revere was warning against British investment of the town itself, the residents themselves were in danger.

I see Wytheville is in Western Virginia, and though not in what became West Virginia, it was an area that trended Unionist. Could it be that Molly is considered more traitor than hero to many descendants there, the reason her story hasn't been widely touted?
When enemy troops came they did more than just destroy the tracks etc. Things like taking food/belongings from the residents and burning houses and businesses etc. Winner gets the spoils kind of thing.
 

byron ed

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
2,179
Location
Midwest
#10
When enemy troops came they did more than just destroy the tracks etc. Things like taking food/belongings from the residents and burning houses and businesses etc. Winner gets the spoils kind of thing.
Whatever "enemy troops" is supposed to mean, Confederate and Union troops regularly took food/belongings from the residents of those areas they passed through. Life in a contested war zone sucks. In this instance the account does not specify residents were targeted.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 25, 2017
Messages
1,870
Location
44022
#11
Whatever "enemy troops" is supposed to mean, Confederate and Union troops regularly took food/belongings from the residents of those areas they passed through. Life in a contested war zone sucks. In this instance the account does not specify residents were targeted.
I suppose opposing troops aren't considered the enemy? Hmmmm. -"does not specify" …are you kidding me? According to all the Southern women's first hand diary accounts I've read...they mostly always were targeted. After all, taking away food/livestock from women who needed to feed their hungry children would "suck" now wouldn't it? Women and the old men left behind are easy targets. The North "passed through" the South. That's why many Southerners call the American Civil War "the war of northern aggression" .
 

byron ed

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
2,179
Location
Midwest
#12
I suppose opposing troops aren't considered the enemy? Hmmmm.
Why would anyone suppose that? It goes against reason. Anyway this incident took place in western Virginia, where one neighbor's enemy was another neighbor's liberator. The history of the region is available, you know.

-"does not specify" …are you kidding me?
I'm not kidding you; the account does not specify that civilians were attacked. If you look into it, quite the opposite, the civilian militia attacked the Union column! Quite bravely and successfully, I might add.

According to all the Southern women's first hand diary accounts I've read...they mostly always were targeted.
Which is it then? "all" or "mostly always" ?

After all, taking away food/livestock from women who needed to feed their hungry children would "suck" now wouldn't it? Women and the old men left behind are easy targets.
Agreed. Being in an active war zone sucks, which had already been established in this thread.

The North "passed through" the South.
The North is a direction. I'm pretty sure it stayed where it was for the entire war.

We're going to assume you meant that the Union army passed through the Southern states on campaign, in the same way that secession forces had first "passed through" Federal fort and armory land in order to steal it, and in the same way the Confederate forces subsequently "passed through" Pennsylvania or even Ohio as they invaded those states.

Let's not be naive, that is what armies do in a war.

That's why many Southerners call the American Civil War "the war of northern aggression" .
Or is it, rather, why many Northerners call the American Civil War "the war of rebellion"? There's no big difference in exaggeration in either compass direction. Not a hard thing to understand. Are you familiar with the expression "having a chip on your shoulder"? Just think what it would be like if were still Confederates around!!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 25, 2017
Messages
1,870
Location
44022
#13
Which is it then? "all" or "mostly always" ? How could I possibly say all when I can't read or talk to "all" these women left defenseless in an "occupied" battle zone struggling to survive, especially with a blockade to boot? Many even became refugees and had to leave all behind and were left with nothing after the war, including the knowledge of where their husband's/son's etc. corpse was.
Bottom line, Southern civilians were attacked in their homes, not army bases, thus innocent civilians died and/or suffered. Not pretty considering we are suppose to be a "civilized" nation...not third world.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 25, 2017
Messages
1,870
Location
44022
#14
Why would anyone suppose that? It goes against reason. Anyway this incident took place in western Virginia, where one neighbor's enemy was another neighbor's liberator. The history of the region is available, you know.



I'm not kidding you; the account does not specify that civilians were attacked. If you look into it, quite the opposite, the civilian militia attacked the Union column! Quite bravely and successfully, I might add.



Which is it then? "all" or "mostly always" ?



Agreed. Being in an active war zone sucks, which had already been established in this thread.



The North is a direction. I'm pretty sure it stayed where it was for the entire war.

We're going to assume you meant that the Union army passed through the Southern states on campaign, in the same way that secession forces had first "passed through" Federal fort and armory land in order to steal it, and in the same way the Confederate forces subsequently "passed through" Pennsylvania or even Ohio as they invaded those states.

Let's not be naive, that is what armies do in a war, they pass through.



Or is it, rather, why many Northerners call the American Civil War "the war of rebellion"? There's no big difference in exaggeration in either compass direction. Not a hard thing to understand. Are you familiar with the expression "having a chip on your shoulder"? Just think what it would be like if were still Confederates around!!
Whether you agree or disagree with what some call it, it's a fact. Call it a chip or whatever you like...the Yankees were down South when the first shot was fired. No one likes to be told how to live and/or change how one is already living aka be dictated to ...that's why wars start in the first place.
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2017
Messages
1,870
Location
44022
#15
Why would anyone suppose that? It goes against reason. Anyway this incident took place in western Virginia, where one neighbor's enemy was another neighbor's liberator. The history of the region is available, you know.



I'm not kidding you; the account does not specify that civilians were attacked. If you look into it, quite the opposite, the civilian militia attacked the Union column! Quite bravely and successfully, I might add.



"mostly always" is not "always" is it? So why leave out those you found that did not feel targeted? Anyway both are supposition. What would you expect Southern or Northern women in a war zone would be putting in their diaries?



Agreed. Being in an active war zone sucks, which had already been established in this thread.



The North is a direction. I'm pretty sure it stayed where it was for the entire war.

We're going to assume you meant that the Union army passed through the Southern states on campaign, in the same way that secession forces had first "passed through" Federal fort and armory land in order to steal it, and in the same way the Confederate forces subsequently "passed through" Pennsylvania or even Ohio as they invaded those states.

Let's not be naive, that is what armies do in a war, they pass through.



Or is it, rather, why many Northerners call the American Civil War "the war of rebellion"? There's no big difference in exaggeration in either compass direction. Not a hard thing to understand. Are you familiar with the expression "having a chip on your shoulder"? Just think what it would be like if were still Confederates around!!
"The history of the region is available, you know." Thanks for telling me. My mother in law is from Bristol Va. and her family was from Wythe.
 

byron ed

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
2,179
Location
Midwest
#16
Whether you agree or disagree with what some call it, it's a fact. Call it a chip or whatever you like...the Yankees were down South when the first shot was fired.
?? Yankees had been living in the South for decades, the British fought Carolinian and Virginian Yankees in the Rev War. We realize you actually mean "Northerners" but perhaps you did not find that term spiteful enough.

Notice how folks here refrain from using the counter-equivalent spiteful term for "white Southerners," and you're welcome.

No one likes to be told how to live and/or change how one is already living aka be dictated to ...that's why wars start in the first place.
That does describe the attitude of Antebellum slaves in the South, and yes slavery was the cause of the war. I agree on both.
 
Last edited:

byron ed

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
2,179
Location
Midwest
#17
..."all" these women left defenseless in an "occupied" battle zone struggling to survive, especially with a blockade to boot? Many even became refugees and had to leave all behind and were left with nothing after the war, including the knowledge of where their husband's/son's etc. corpse was...Bottom line, Southern civilians were attacked in their homes, not army bases, thus innocent civilians died and/or suffered. Not pretty considering we are suppose to be a "civilized" nation...not third world.
Yes, life in an active war zone sucks wherever it is. Northern civilians were attacked as well. Meh.
 

byron ed

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
2,179
Location
Midwest
#18
"The history of the region is available, you know." Thanks for telling me. My mother in law is from Bristol Va. and her family was from Wythe.
...then you were already aware of the politics of western Virginia at that time. What are you defending then, if anything?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 25, 2017
Messages
1,870
Location
44022
#19
...then you were aware of the politics of western Virginia at that time. What are you defending, if anything?
Look, I'm not trying to keep arguing with you . You're mind is made up. However when you said "Wytheville and its people were not in danger" is up for debate...especially a female. Besides, if you truly believe that the residents weren't in danger than why in the Sam Hill would Molly subject herself to that ride? Anytime who one hears "the Yankees are comin'"
?? Yankees had been living in the South for decades, the British fought Carolinian and Virginian Yankees in the Rev War. We realize you actually mean "Northerners" but perhaps find that term not quite spiteful enough to suit you.

Notice how folks here refrain from using the counter-equivalent spiteful term for "white Southerners," and you're welcome.



That does describe the attitude of Antebellum slaves in the South, and yes slavery was the cause of the war. I agree on both.
Do me a favor and knock off the "holier than thou" attitude please. Besides I'm born, raised and residing in a suburb of Cleveland Ohio and considered a "Yankee" and I don't take offense to the term. My POV on this subject is from a woman at their mercy down South. Obviously yours is not. You seem to be trying to "defend" those who took advantage of civilians, especially defenseless women, under the guise of war.
 



(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Top