"Molly Pitcher" was the famous nickname of the second woman to take up arms on an American battlefield. She was born Mary Ludwig (1753-1832) in New Jersey, of Irish or perhaps German stock. Accounts of her life often contradict one another, and a few authorities believe the whole thing never happened.

She married William Hays (or John Caspar Hays) in 1769. Her husband was a matross (artillery gunner) in a Pennsylvania regiment during the Revolutionary War and she accompanied him on the long winter at Valley Forge. She became famous on June 28, 1778 at the Battle of Monmouth Court House in New Jersey when she brought pitcher after pitcher of water to the exhausted soldiers and tended to the wounded. When her husband was wounded, she snatched up his ramrod took his place at the cannon. For her courage, General George Washington made her a noncomissioned officer and she became known as "Sergeant Molly".

Hays died in 1788 and she married John McCauly. McCauly died in 1813, and from then on she worked as a nurse. Pennsylvania awarded her an annual pension of $40 in 1822.

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