Jack Jouett's Ride Historic Marker

On 4 June 1781, John "Jack" Jouett Jr. arrived at the Albemarle County Courthouse to warn the Virginia legislature of approaching British troops. The state government under Governor Thomas Jefferson had retreated from Richmond to reconvene in Charlottesville because of the threat of British invasion during the Revolutionary War. Jouett had spotted Colonel Banastre Tarleton and his 180 dragoons and 70 cavalrymen 40 miles east at Cuckoo Tavern in Louisa County, and rode through the night to reach here by dawn. Jouett's heroic ride, which allowed Jefferson and all but seven of the legislators to escape, was later recognized by the Virginia General Assembly, which awarded him a sword and a pair of pistols.