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Mary Ludwig Hays Essay

956 words - 4 pages

Mary Ludwig Hays was one of the many heroines of the American Revolution, who fought for the freedom of America. Hays is living proof of the bravery and remarkable challenges women were able to face and succeed in. Although she had to play limited roes because of gender, she overcame these societal difficulties. Hays showed the world what women can do if given the chance to do it. Mary Ludwig Hayes was an American woman, who fought in the War of Independence, and made a lasting impression on the lives of future generations. Mary Hays was born in 1754, near Trenton, New Jersey. She was the daughter of John and Gretchen Ludwig. Her father was German, and her mother was Dutch. Mary grew up on a farm, with her two brothers. As a girl, she did her household daily chores of feeding the chicken, making food, and cleaning. Early in the American Revolutionary War, her brother Joshua Ludwig left to be a sailor, and her other brother Joseph Ludwig was sent off to be a soldier. In 1766, when Mary was about twelve, she moved down to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, to work as a servant in the home of Colonel William Irvine. In 1769, at the age of fifteen, Mary returned to her parent's home where she married a young barber by the name of John Casper Hays.Mary Ludwig's husband enlisted as a gunner in the First Pennsylvania artillery in 1777. As many wives did at the time, Mary stayed with her husband at camp and battle sites. The women cooked, washed, lugged buckets of water and baggage, aided the sick or wounded, and helped with the cannons. She and her husband spent a hard winter at Valley Forge with little food, and barely any clothes on their backs. The army of about 10,000 lived in crude huts built by the soldiers themselves. Mary stayed with her husband and did what she could do as a woman for seven years of the Revolutionary War.The Battle of Monmouth was the one battle that made Mary Ludwig famous. On June 27, 1778, the British army, led by Henry Clinton, had left from Philadelphia to retreat across New Jersey. General George Washington, with 8,000 men followed behind the British. Washington had planned to attack the enemy's left wing, while General Charles Lee, with a force of 4,000 men, would attack Clinton until Washington arrived. Lee ordered an attack, but the army was thrown into confusion, and they began to retreat. Washington's troops were stationed on a hill in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Mary's husband was firing one of the cannons. This is where Mar Hays earned the name "Molly Pitcher," because she carried a pitcher of water to cool down the cannons. During one point in the battle,...

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