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Molly Pitcher

1744 - 1832

Revolutionary War Heroine

MOLLY, Captain, born about 1756; died near West Point, New York, about 1789. She was the wife of a cannonier, and was at ]Port Clinton when it was captured by the British in October, 1777. As the enemy sealed the parapet, her husband dropped his port-fire and fled, but Molly caught it up and discharged the last gun fired by the Americans on that occasion. She was also conspicuous at the battle of Monmouth, 28 June, 1778, where she carried water from a neighboring spring to her husband while he was serving a gun. A shot killed him at his post, and Molly seized the rammer and filled his place at the gun. After the battle, covered with dirt and blood, she was presented by General Nathanael Greene to Washington, who commended her bravery and made her a sergeant. On his recommendation, her name was placed upon the list of half-pay officers for life. 

She continued with the army, and after the war resided at Buttermilk Falls, New York Mrs. Alexander Hamilton describes her as "a stout, red-haired, freckle-faced young Irish woman, with a handsome, piercing eye." She was a favorite with the army, and generally wore an artilleryman's coat over her dress, and a cocked hat. She has been erroneously called Molly Pitcher.


Student Paper

Molly Pitcher (1754-1832) was born near Philadelphia and later moved to Carlisle Pennsylvania. Later on she married William Hays, who was a young barber. William Hays was also a Gunner in the first Pennsylvania Artillery in 1775.

In 1822 the Pennsylvania legislature passed on an act "for the relief of Molly McKolly, for her services during the Revolutionary War. "She was awarded $40 annually for the rest of her life. But she died in Carlisle Pennsylvania on January 22, 1832.

Her husband William Hays Fought in the battle of Monmouth in the Revolutionary War. During the battle her husband fell from heat stroke, she took his place and helped his crew fire the cannon. After his death in 1789 she later married George McCauley.
By  Anyia S. - Gotha Middle School, Windermere, Florida.


Sources:
Encyclopedia Americana
World Book Encyclopedia
The New Book of Knowledge
New Standard Encyclopedia


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