Rebecca Wright and Thomas LawsIn September 1864, U.S. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan heard rumors that Confederate forces had left the Shenandoah Valley to rejoin Gen. Robert E. Lee's army at Petersburg. Wanting to confirm this information before attacking Gen. Jubal A. Early's army, Sheridan concocted a dangerous and intriguing scheme. He had learned that a loyal Quaker named Rebecca Wright lived in Winchester on this site. Also, a slave named Thomas Laws often passed through Confederate lines to sell vegetables in town. On September 16, 1864, just three days before the Third Battle of Winchester, Sheridan wrote to Wright, "I learn...that you are a loyal lady and still love the old flag. Can you inform me of the position of Early's forces? Have any more troops arrived from Richmond?" In closing he wrote, "You can trust the bearer." Laws rolled the note in tin foil and placed it in his mouth. During the Civil War the penalty for spying was death.
|Series||This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series|
|Placed By||Virginia Civil War Trails|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Sunday, August 31st, 2014 at 5:47pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||17S E 744921 N 4341374|
|Decimal Degrees||39.18713333, -78.16428333|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 39° 11.228', W 78° 9.857'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||39° 11' 13.68" N, 78° 9' 51.42" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 50 E Fairfax Ln, Winchester VA 22601, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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