One of the most famous and well loved historical figures of the American Revolution, Mary Ludwig Hayes, born on the 13th of October, 1754, was famous for carrying around pitchers of water for the men of the war. She is best known for her bravery when her husband succumbed to the heat and wounds that battle brought, and she quickly rushed to take charge of the canon he was manning. She continued to do so until the end of the grueling wars, where she was later commemorated as a hero. For more awesome facts about this brave soul, here are 10 facts all about the daring darling Molly Pitcher:
Fact 1: “Molly Pitcher” is not her real name. A generic name often given to women who served during warring times carrying around pitchers of water to the soldiers, her birth name was actually Mary Ludwig Hayes.
Fact 2: Her pitcher-totting wasn’t the only thing that launched her to fame. She is best remembered for taking her husband’s place during a battle when he collapsed. It was believed that after he had collapsed, she took control of the canon ball to victory.
Fact 3: Talk about too close for comfort! The enemy canon ball had launched a canon ball so deathly close to Mary Hayes, it actually landed right between her legs and ruined her long skirt! Miraculously, she survived the attack unscathed.
Fact 4: She enjoyed her alcohol, tobacco, and cuss words just as much as the men in the army did! One of the most well loved additions to the army, Mary and her husband had stayed with the Continental Army until the war was over. After which, they decided to return to their home town of Pennsylvania.
Fact 5: Mary had been married twice in her life, her first marriage to William Hayes when she was just 13 years old, and her second, to a war veteran named George McCauley. Her second and final marriage was noted be unsuccessful, for aside from being unkind to his wife, he soon fled their marriage and disappeared, never to be seen again. However, on more than one occasion her name is quoted to be Mary Ludwig Hayes McCauley.
Fact 6: Her mother was a milkmaid while her father was a dairy farmer, Maria Margaretha and John Georg Ludwig, German immigrants who settled in New Jersey in the hopes of a better life. However, instead of picturing her growing up having her fill of farm fresh produce, maturing into a nurturing adult who would soon have to adapt to the difficult life of being in service to the war, she grew up as a servant girl for Dr. William Irvine in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Soon after that, her services would be enlisted and she would then be seen around carrying pitchers of water to the wounded and thirsty men of the war.
Fact 7: Molly Pitcher’s efforts did not go unnoticed, because in the year 1822 she had received a grand reward of 40$ (which is pretty darn big if you lived in those times) her for bravery and heroic action during the Battle of Monmouth during the era of the American Revolutionary War.
Fact 8: There is a monument of the war hero that has been erected in her home town of Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Fact 9: It is believed that George Washington himself personally awards her with a commission as a sergeant. How cool is that?!
Fact 10: She fought in the with nothing but the usual attire of a linen blouse, long skirt, and petticoat throughout the rest of the war! Now that’s a lady.