Civil War Home Guard Defends Falls Church

Dublin Core


Civil War Home Guard Defends Falls Church


October 17-18, 1864


In October 1864, a contingent of Confederate John S. Mosby’s raiders entered Falls Church to steal horses. A member of the Home Guard sounded an alarm alerting Falls Church residents and the Union pickets about the presence of the raiders. During the raid, two members of the interracial Home Guars, an African American and lay minister John Read, were captured, shot, and presumed dead. John Read died. The African American survived being shot but lost an ear.
Today, the two historic markers in Falls Church that describe the raid differ in certain details. For example, who sounded the alarm, the names of the captured, and the name of the African American who was shot and survived. Two African Americans are named in the text of the markers. Frank Brooks and Jacob Jackson.


The Historical Marker Database:
Jim Lewis (and the Hunter Mill Defense League) – Sept. 27, 2021, online history tour.
A Virginia Village Goes to War: Falls Church During the Civil War, Bradley E. Gernand, Donning Company Publishing, 2002.  Fairfax County Public Library

Event Item Type Metadata


Falls Church, Virginia



Historical Marker

Living in Fear - Mosby’s Falls Church Raid.

Marker is located on West Broad Street.

Terror by the Tracks 

located on West Broad Street.



“Civil War Home Guard Defends Falls Church,” Fairfax County African American History Inventory, accessed May 19, 2024,