Sterling in Loudoun County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Ambush at Ankers's Shop
“It was a complete surprise”
Mosby's men were hidden in a pine thicket south of the road, below the ridge line of Bridges Hill near Ankers's blacksmith shop. As the advance guard rode by, Mosby blew his whistle, and his men opened fire and then charged into the road. The Federals rallied, but the surprise and ferocity of the attack broke their column. Some fled to the nearby Potomac River.
One Confederate was killed and 5 were wounded. Reed was killed, as were at least 12 other Federals, while 25 were wounded and more than 50 were captured. Some of the dead were buried in the Ankers family cemetery, and some of the wounded were tended to in the house. Later, about 35 of the captured Union soldiers died of illness or disease at the
"It was a complete surprise, and would have confused the best organized soldiers in the world."
- Pvt. Charles P. Briggs, Co. A, 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry
Johnathan Edwards Ankers, son of SAmuel and Henrietta Ankers, was a youth during the war. According to family tradition, he was told to stay away from the windows of his house to avoid being shot during nearby engagements.
Erected 2011 by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 1.608′ N, 77° 23.597′ W. Marker is in Sterling, Virginia, in Loudoun County. Marker is on Harry Byrd Highway (State Highway 7), on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Located on the grounds of Northern Virginia Community College (Loudoun Campus). Marker is in this post office area: Sterling VA 20165, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. "The Ankerage" (within shouting distance of this marker); Gettysburg Campaign (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Guilford Signal Station Vestal's Gap Road in the 1800s (approx. 0.8 miles away); Vestal's Gap Road (approx. 0.8 miles away); Lanesville Historic Area (approx. 0.8 miles away); Lanesville House and Vestal's Gap Road (approx. 0.8 miles away); The Braddock Campaign (approx. 0.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Sterling.
Also see . . . Second Dranesville. Also known as the Ankers' Shop fight. (Submitted on May 11, 2011, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,322 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.