Vienna in Fairfax County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Terror by the Tracks
Read was a spy for the Union and a well-known abolitionist. Mosby had warned him to confine his activities to church business or face dire consequences. Despite the threat, Read chose to follow his convictions.
Mrs. Read was grief-stricken when notified that her husband had been taken away and shot near Hunter's Mill. She could not get a guard of either Union Army soldiers or Home Guard members to go with her to recover her husband's body due to their fear of encountering Mosby's forces. While she was searching for help, a note arrived from Mosby giving Mrs. Read his personal guarantee of her safety
Following retrieval of Read's body, Major John Birdsall, 13th New York Cavalry, reported to his Brigade Headquarters that there was no doubt concerning Read's execution-style murder based on an examination made by an Army surgeon. The surgeon also noted an attempt to kill the black man. Having shot him in the head, the Rangers, supposing him dead, left him in the woods. Later he escaped with his life but with the loss of an ear.
Col. Mosby was both hated and respected by his enemies. He is once known to have said, "Being a terror to my enemies is an honor."
For many years after the war local legend held that children jumping rope would chant:
"Isn't any school,
Isn't any teacher;
Isn't any church,
Mosby shot the preacher."
Erected 2009 by Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, Friends of the W&OD Trail, and Hunter Mill Defense League.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad marker series.
Location. 38° 55.555′ N, 77° 17.326′ W. Marker is in Vienna, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker can be reached from Hunter Mill Road (County Route 674), on the right when traveling north. Located along the W&OD Trail, Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Vienna VA 22182, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Springhouse (approx. 0.9 miles away); Strategic Junction (approx. one mile away); Hunter’s Mill (approx. one mile away); Hunter Station (approx. one mile away); Crossroads to War (approx. one mile away); Cavalry Engagement near Hunter's Mill (approx. 1.2 miles away); Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts (approx. 1½ miles away); Civil War Star Fort (approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Vienna.
More about this marker. The marker features portraits of Reverend Read, Capt. Montjoy, and Col. Mosby.
Also see . . . Hunter's Mill Defense League. The League sponsored this marker. One of the organization's goals is to protect the scenic and historic character of the Hunter's Mill Road community. (Submitted on November 26, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
More. Search the internet for Terror by the Tracks.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 26, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,433 times since then and 175 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on November 26, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2. submitted on January 22, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 3. submitted on November 26, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 4, 5. submitted on January 22, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.