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Great American Patriot
Molly Pitcher /
Mary Ludwig Hays

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Molly Pitcher at the Battle of Monmouth
Molly Pitcher at the Battle of Monmouth

 Mary Ludwig Hays' noble selfless actions in the Battle of Monmouth during American Revolution earned her the endearing name of Molly Pitcher by the American troops she was aiding . . . She was and remains a Great American Patriot!

And the best way to honor Molly Pitcher (1744–1832) is the following account of her efforts during the Battle of Monmouth...

Molly Pitcher's fame began two years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence by the American Colonies. The fight for independence had yet to take a favorable turn toward the Colonials. As the war continued, 28 June 1778 proved to be another day of fighting with stories of bravery.

Monmouth rocked with musket and gun fire. The colonial cannon line under General Stirling aimed the barrels of its guns straight down on the British Redcoats as they attempted to cross a causeway. Stirling's left-wing cannons bought time for General Washington to take command and regroup General Lee's scattered forces. The gun line met the demands of the mission.

The heat of June 1778 soared to 96 degrees as the guns barked at the British. The cannon barrels smoked, and men fell from heatstroke.

In this stifling heat, a woman, Mary Ludwig Hays, walked back and forth from a well (or possibly a nearby

creek) carrying water to the hot men and smoldering guns. Her husband, William Hays, manned one of the valuable cannons. They were making a difference by holding the causeway.

Great American Patriot Badge Sample - smallAs American men fell from wounds and heat, the woman's bucket of water (or "pitcher") became precious. The men among the cannons began to call her ... Molly Pitcher. A large woman, she reportedly carried wounded men away from the line to shade trees as she made her trip back to the well.

During one of her many returns to the line, she saw her husband fall. A Colonial officer ordered his gun moved to the rear to make room on the line; he had no one left to man it. But Molly Pitcher stepped forward to keep her husband's gun roaring - every cannon was important.

As if she had been trained for the task, Molly kept the cannon booming. The artillerymen around her noticed her swift, accurate action in keeping the gun firing. No longer were they asking for water from her; she had become one of them - a gunner. The tale of her efforts passed among the men that evening, and as each gunner spoke, the story's details changed.

Information about the Battle of Monmouth provided by the nominator.

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