Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Take a Break: Learn About the Women of the American Revolution

Happy 4th of July!

The founding fathers we know and we even know about the signers of the Declaration of Independence, but what about the women in the Revolutionary War? For years I’ve stopped at the Molly Pitcher rest area on the Jersey Turnpike and knew she was connected to the Revolutionary War, but in what capacity?

Interestingly, the name “Molly Pitcher” was a nickname given to women who carried water to men on the battlefield during the War. However, in this case, Molly Pitcher is thought to be Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley who fought in the Battle of Monmouth. Originally serving as a water carrier, when her husband became injured, she took his place at the cannon. Joseph Pump Martin’s memoirs include the following description, "A woman whose husband belonged to the artillery and who was then attached to a piece in the engagement, attended with her husband at the piece the whole time. While in the act of reaching a cartridge and having one of her feet as far before the other as she could step, a cannon shot from the enemy passed directly between her legs without doing any other damage than carrying away all the lower part of her petticoat. Looking at it with apparent unconcern, she observed that it was lucky it did not pass a little higher, for in that case it might have carried away something else, and continued her occupation."

George Washington issued Mary Hays a “warrant” as a non commissioned officer for her courage. She became known as “Sergeant Molly,” a nickname she used the rest of her life.

The first American female to receive a soldier’s lifetime pension after the war was given to Margaret Corbin. She was severely wounded during the British assault on Fort Washington in Nov. 1776 and left for dead alongside her husband, an artillery man. Her injuries left her permanently disabled.

Interestingly, the one woman everyone knows is Betsy Ross. As it turns out, this was a case of a

Learn about other women and even check your local cemeteries to see if any of the women buried there have ties to the revolution.

Not interested in today’s activities, try the Take a Break Pinterest Board.

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