Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 59

The sign that is no more: this historic marker
on Big Walker Mountain was replaced with one
that doesn't mention Molly Tynes.

dangerous and, well, just plain
improper in those times. If she
was in the company of a man,
that would have been even more
scandalous, although some say
she rode with Samuel Houston
Laird, 15-year-old substitute mailman who knew the route.

Now the Haller-Gibboney Rock House Museum, suffered damage in the thick of the Battle of
Wytheville on July 18, 1863.

"We love the legend of Molly Tynes,"
says Rosa Lee Jude, director of the
Wytheville Convention & Visitors
Bureau, "and that's what we call
it, a legend. Someone warned Wytheville, that's for certain."
In her 2003 book, "I Like Molly
Tynes Whether She Rode or Not,"
Wytheville historian and retired attorney Mary B. Kegley noted that
Wytheville received several documented warnings of approaching
troops and none of them came
from Molly Tynes.
Near dawn on the 18th, Confederate General John S. Williams
learned from Major A.J. May that
Union troops were marching toward Wytheville; he ordered May's
troops to harass the enemy and
asked for hourly reports. According
to a memoir by James Gibboney, a
young man who lived in the thick
of the fighting in what is now Wytheville's Hallery-Gibboney House
Museum, reports of the impending raid started coming in on July
17th and that a "refugee from the
Kanawha Valley" (now West Virginia), Joseph Smith, spent the entire

day of July 18th on the courthouse
steps, warning of the approaching
Union. The book suggests that if
Molly reached Wytheville, she arrived too late to be credited with
saving the town. This is what Kegley believes.
"I understand that I've killed
Mary Tynes," Kegley says. "The
Southwest Enterprise newspaper in
Wytheville even referred to me
as 'the assassin.' I'm afraid folks
around here don't like me very
well."
Kegley, now in her 80s, has
published more than 40 historical
books. Folks in Wythe County are
proud of their historian, but her
slim volume about Molly Tynes put
them in a hard place. They didn't
want to hear the troublesome
truths about their legend; they
could have done without a systematic examination of their beloved
story. If there were no documented
primary sources attesting to the 43mile ride, some didn't care.
Especially Ron Kime, who operates Big Walker store and observation tower on Tynes' probable

Tynes arrived
just in time to
give Wytheville
citizens the
advance warning
they needed to
fend off Union
destruction of
the Virginia
& Tennessee
Railroad,
the lead mines
and the Saltville
salt works, the
story goes.
November/December 2016 59



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016

Contents
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Contents
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 10
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 18
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 31
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover4
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