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Anderson Zouaves Research

New York Eating House

First Tennallytown Methodist Church - 1862
firsttennalleytownmethodistchurch1862.jpg
Sketch from "History of the 9th & 10th Rhode Island Volunteers"

Built in 1840, the first church (and Sabbath School) in Tennallytown was the Mt Zion Methodist Church pictured above, on the corner of River Road and Murdock Mill Road, about 100 yards from the intersection with the Rockville Road.

Early in 1862 "rough New York troops" (the Anderson Zouaves) took the church over and the Methodist congregation were forced to resume worshipping in each others' homes. The Anderson Zouaves had posted a hand-made sign above the door which read "New York Eating house".

The Anderson Zouaves used the church as a guardhouse and in the process "...tore out the pulpit, and destroyed the Sabbath School library..." On taking over the building in June 1862, the Rhode Island regiment's Quartermaster-Sergeant Lysander Flagg sent to the Methodist Sabbath School in Pawtucket R.I. and the Baptist Sabbath School in Central Falls who immediately sent a large collection of their own books to the little Sabbath School in Tenallytown.

Interestingly, R.W. Chappell of the 9th R.I. Volunteers passed on a local story (unconfirmed) that the old church which the Anderson Zouaves had rechristened "New York Eating house" was the last building in which John Brown preached in on his way to Harper's Ferry in October 1859!

Source: Helm, J.B. (1981). Tenleytown, D.C.: Country Village into City Neighborhood. Tenally Press, Washington D.C., pp. 92, 125-127.