“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/newsstand/magazine/did-molly-ride-confederate-paul-revere-lives-on-in-southwest/
Molly TynesFor 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.
Did she or didn’t she? SHE DID!
Did she or didn’t she? SHE DID!
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