Although few women’s studies courses likely ever will. “Molly Pitcher was believed to have been Mary Ludwig Hays, born circa October 13, 1754, near Trenton, New Jersey,” according to biography.com. “During the American Revolutionary War’s Battle of Monmouth, she carried pitchers of water to soldiers, thereby earning her nickname.”
“After her husband collapsed during the battle, she took over the operation of his cannon.” Then she nearly became a casualty herself.
The profile on the biography.com site reveals that “According to the National Archives, there was a witness [who] documented her heroic acts, reporting that a cannon passed through her legs on the battlefield, leaving her unscathed.”
The witness claimed that “While in the act of reaching a cartridge . . . 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 . . .She observed that it was lucky it did not pass a little higher . . .and continued her occupation.”
“She was awarded a pension in 1822 by the Pennsylvania State Legislature and it wasn’t until the anniversary of the War in 1876 that a marker noting her exemplary service was placed on her grave,” according to UShistory.org. “She died on January 22, 1832.”