“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fairfax Station in Fairfax County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Skirmish at St. Mary’s

Victory or Death

Skirmish at St. Mary's Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, March 18, 2006
1. Skirmish at St. Mary's Marker
Inscription. Monday, August 8, 1864, was a hot and sultry day. Capt. John McMenamin of the 15th New York Volunteer Cavalry and Capt. James Fleming of the 16th New York Volunteer Cavalry had stopped at St. Mary's Church on the Ox Road (now Fairfax Station Rd.), Fairfax. Their Command of 60 troppers was resting, eating supper and feeding their horses.

Shortly after 5 p.m., vedettes sounded the alarm that Confederate cavalry were approaching, coming north on the Ox Rd. (now Vogue Rd.). The Union troopers mounted their horses and formed a line of battle. The left wing was at the front door of the church, and the line extended across the Ox Rd. facing south. The Confederates proved to be 39 Partisan Rangers of the 43rd Battalion of Virginia cavalry led by Col. John S. Mosby. Mosby's men crosses the railroad tracks and rose toward the church, forming a line 150 yards south of the Federals.

Mosby rode back and forth in front of his men shouting, "Come on men, victory or death!" The Federals fired their carbines sporadically, causing several of their horses to bolt and disrupt their line. Seeing this, Mosby and his men charged with pistols blazing. None of Mosby's men carried carbines or sabers, only six-shot revolvers. All had two, and some had four. The Union line broke and fled in disorder and was chased as far as Fairfax Courthouse.
Closeup of the Map Reproduced on the Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats
2. Closeup of the Map Reproduced on the Marker
When it was over, five Union troopers were dead, including Capt. Fleming, eight were wounded and twenty were captured. Mosby also captured 39 horses. Three of Mosby's Rangers were reported wounded. Capt. Fleming is buried in an unmarked grave at the Falls Church Cemetery, Falls Church.

St. Mary's Church was built in 1858 by Catholic immigrants from Ireland.
Erected by Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 38° 48.156′ N, 77° 19.633′ W. Marker is in Fairfax Station, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker is on Fairfax Station Road west of Ox Road (Virginia Route 123), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at the corner of the property, facing the road and parking lot. Marker is in this post office area: Fairfax Station VA 22039, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. St. Mary’s Catholic Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Clara H. Barton (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fairfax Station (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Fairfax Station
St. Mary's Catholic Church image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, March 18, 2006
3. St. Mary's Catholic Church
(approx. 0.3 miles away); Fairfax Nike Missile Site (approx. 1.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fairfax Station.
More about this marker. One of the "Mosby's Confederacy" series of Virginia Civil War Trails markers.
Categories. War, US Civil
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 19, 2006, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,796 times since then and 86 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 19, 2006, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.
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