Ambush At Anker's Shop - Sterling, Virginia
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member flyingmoose
N 39° 01.600 W 077° 23.584
18S E 292845 N 4322461
Quick Description: Civil War site located in front of the Loudoun campus of Northern Virginia Community College
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 8/2/2020 10:17:17 PM
Waymark Code: WM12XTG
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 3

Long Description:
Samuel and Henrietta Anker lived at this site during the Civil War. On the morning of February 22, 1864, just outside their front door, about 160 of Confederate Lt. Col. John Singleton Mosby's horsemen ambushed 150 of Union Capt. J. Sewall Reed's cavalrymen. During the previous two days, Reed and his men - primarily the 16th New York Cavalry and Californians in the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry - had ridden from Vienna west through Middleburg and Rector's Crossroads hunting unsuccessfully for Mosby. Reed was returning eastward along the Dranesville Turnpike (present-day U.S. Route 7) to your right when Mosby sprang his trap.

Mosby's men were hidden in a pine thicket south of the road, below the ridge line of Bridges Hill near Anker's blacksmith shop. As the advance guard rode by, Mosby blew his whistle, and his men opened fire and then charged into the road. The Federals rallied, but the surprise and ferocity of the attack broke their column. Some fled to the nearby Potomac River.

One Confederate was killed and 5 were wounded. Reed was killed, as were at least 12 other Federals, while 25 were wounded and more than 50 were captured.
Map of the Action image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 11, 2011
2. Map of the Action
Some of the dead were buried in the Anker's family cemetery, and some of the wounded were tended to in the house. Later, about 35 of the captured Union soldiers died of illness or disease at the infamous prison camp at Andersonville, Georgia. Mosby and his men continued to harass the Federals until war's end.

"It was a complete surprise, and would have confused the best organized soldiers in the world."
- Pvt. Charles P. Briggs, Co. A, 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry

Johnathan Edwards Anker's, son of Samuel and Henrietta Anker's, was a youth during the war. According to family tradition, he was told to stay away from the windows of his house to avoid being shot during nearby engagements.
Type of site: Battlefield

21200 Campus Drive
Sterling, Virginia United States of America

Admission Charged: No Charge

Website: [Web Link]

Phone Number: Not listed

Driving Directions: Not listed

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