Skirmish at St. Mary's

Skirmish at St. Mary's (HMJX)

Location: Fairfax Station, VA 22039 Fairfax County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 48.156', W 77° 19.633'

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Victory or Death

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. 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.
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByCivil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 26th, 2014 at 7:35am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 297911 N 4297443
Decimal Degrees38.80260000, -77.32721667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 48.156', W 77° 19.633'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 48' 9.36" N, 77° 19' 37.98" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 11001-11099 Fairfax Station Rd, Fairfax Station VA 22039, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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