Molly Pitcher

molly.jpg (33984 bytes)Molly Pitcher was a famous woman in history. She was born in 1754 in Trenton, New Jersey. She grew up most of her life in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and her real name was Mary Ludwig.

She worked as a servant girl and married a young barber named William Hays when she was sixteen. When her husband went to fight in the Revolutionary War, Molly went along. Molly followed her husband to the battle of Monmouth on July 28, 1778. It was an extremely hot day and the soldiers were falling from the heat. Molly carried pitchers of water to the men. That's how she got her name.

She also tended to the wounded and when her husband was overcome by the heat, she took his place and manned the cannon. This was important because the cannon crew was so exhausted they were about to be withdrawn. Molly stayed at her post in the face of heavy enemy fire acting as a gunner. Without her, the battle would have been lost. General Washington made her an officer and afterwards, she was called "Sergeant Molly." In 1822, in recognition of her heroism, she was given a pension by the Pennsylvania legislature.

In 1789, William died and Molly married George McCauley. Molly died in 1832 when she was 78 years old. A flag staff and cannon stand at her gravesite in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and a sculpture on the battle monument commemorates her courageous deed.

Molly was one of the great women who changed our lives. Her actions helped prove that women and men are equal.


1999, by Taylor, third grade