"The Thrilling Ride of Mollie Tynes"

Molly Tynes main page | song

The story of Molly (spelled "Mollie" by the author of the piece) Tynes is based mostly on oral accounts. Some say she made her heroic ride, and others say the event is fictitious. That Tynes was a real person is a fact, and the entertaining legend continues.

In the summer of 1863 during the Civil War, the Union army was camped a few miles from Tynes' home. Tradition has it that she overheard a messenger describe a planned attack on the town of Wytheville. Tynes gathered supplies, jumped on her horse, and rode through the night telling everyone on her route, "The Yankees are coming." As a result, the Northern forces were defeated.

So persistent is the story, the Molly Tynes ride is celebrated every summer in Wytheville. The town of Jeffersonville, Tynes' birthplace in Tazewell County, has also erected a monument at her gravesite.

"The Thrilling Ride of Mollie Tynes" was written by John Milton Newton. He sent it to song collector James Taylor Adams in 1934. No tune is known, and it is doubtful that the piece ever went into oral tradition.

Molly Tynes main page | song

Deathly Lyrics:
Songs of Virginia Tragedies


Audio Credits


Breeding Mill

Caty Sage


Dewey Lee


Freeda Bolt

Great Kanawha

Kent Steffie

Mollie Tynes

Old 97

Poor Goins

Roanoke Riot

Rye Cove

Talt Hall

Vance Song

Wreck of the 1256