Molly Tynes


The Civil War proved to be a trying time for our country. Within Appalachia, the War seemed ever-present, as the battle lines divided the region in half. Moreover, many events that are said to have taken place during the War have been passed on throughout the years and have evolved into legends. One of these legends is of a young heroine from Tazewell, Virginia. Mary E. “Molly (Mollie)” Tynes (Tines) is known by locals throughout southwestern Virginia for her hand in preventing Union forces from destroying the Confederate salt supply in Saltville, Virginia. Though accounts of her ride vary, it must be sufficed to say that Molly Tynes’ impact on local culture and history was immense. This pathfinder examines the historical and cultural contexts of Molly’s ride.

Introductory Text: 

Kegley, Mary B. “The Encrusted Legend of Molly Tynes.” I Like Molly Tynes, Whether She Rode or Not: And Twenty-Five Other Tall Tales and Cherished Myths. Wytheville, VA: Kegley Books, 2003. 1-20. F226.6.K43

Library of Congress Subject Headings: 

Highly Relevant:

  • Legends – Virginia, Southwest
  • Tazewell County (Va.) -- History
  • Tazewell County (Va.) – Biographies
  • Virginia, Southwest – History – Errors, inventions, etc
  • Virginia, Southwest – History – Anecdotes
  • Wythe County (Va.) – History
  • Saltville (Va.) – History
  • Saltville (Va.) – History – Civil War, 1861-1865

Also Relevant:

  • Tazewell County (Va.) – Genealogy
  • Registers of births, etc. – Virginia – Tazewell County
  • Cemeteries – Virginia – Tazewell County
  • Jeffersonville Cemetery (Tazewell County, Va.)
  • Epitaphs – Virginia – Tazewell County
Clipping Files Subject Headings – W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection: 
  • Tazewell County, Virginia
  • Wythe County, Virginia
Library of Congress Call Numbers: 
  • F232.T2
  • F232.W9

Daniel, J.R.V.Jack Jouett and Paul Revere in Petticoats: The Heroine of the Battle of Wytheville. Virginia Cavalcade 1.1 (1951): 33-35. F221.V74

Kegley, Mary B. Civil War. Wythe County, Virginia: A Bicentennial History. Wytheville, VA: Wythe County Board of Supervisors, 1989. 195, 207. F232.W9 K45

Leslie, Louise. Molly Tynes. Tazewell County. Radford, VA: Commonwealth Press, 1982. 717-723. F232.T2 T37

Lonn, Ella. Salt As a Factor in the Confederacy. New York: W. Neale, 1933. 196-197. E487.L65 (ASU Main stacks)

Marvel, William.Chapter Six. The Battles for Saltville: Southwest Virginia in the Civil War. The Virginia Civil War battles and leaders series. Lynchburg, VA: H.E. Howard, 1992. 50-60. E470.2.M37

Vickery, Dorothy S. Mollie Tynes, Civil War Heroine. Commonwealth (April 1938): 14-15. HF1.C85

Weeks, Ross.Helping Keep Freedom. Virginia’s Tazewell County: A Last Great Place. Tazewell, Va: Blue Ridge Concepts, 2000. 133-134. F232.T2 W45


The most complete bibliography on this topic can be found in the endnotes of Mary B. Kegley’s, I Like Molly Tynes, Whether She Rode or Not: And Twenty-Five Other Tall Tales and Cherished Myths. (Citation given in “Introduction”)


Confederate Veteran, monthly, 1893-1932. Nashville, TN. E482.C744

Tazewell County Historical Society Newsletter, quarterly. 1988- . Tazewell, VA. F232.T2 T39 (ASU holds only 1988-1994, 1996, 1999, and 2000)

Virginia Cavalcade, quarterly. 1951- . Virginia State Library. Richmond, VA. F221 .V74


“Big Walker Mountain Scenic Byway.” Virginia Fall Foliage 2009 Virginia Tourism.

“Molly Tyne’s Ride.” Molly Tyne’s Ride – Virginia Historical Markers.

Newton, John M. “The Thrilling Ride of Mollie Tynes.” Molly Tynes Song.

Busic, Janice. “Molly Tynes: Did she or didn’t she? SHE DID!.” Molly Tynes. 30 Nov. 2006.

Hart, Carol. “Heroes, then and now.” Roanoke Times. Web. 20 July 2004.

Compiled by: 

Compiler: Jameson H. Jones, 2 November 2011