• Molly Pitcher

    Few women worked as soldiers during the Revolutionary War, but they did work as nurses and cooks. Mary Ludwig was one of those women. That is, until her husband collapsed in battle and she picked up his gun.

    Fun Facts

    • Molly Pitcher’s real name was Mary Ludwig. She was born in 1754.
    • When she was 13, she married William Hays and began working as a servant.
    • When William enlisted in the army, she went along. During the Battle of Monmouth, she delivered pitchers of water from a nearby stream to the exhausted soldiers. The day was hot and William collapsed on the battlefield from heat stroke.
    • Molly picked up his gun and continued fighting for the rest of the battle. According to one account, a cannonball flew through the bottom of her skirt, ripping away her petticoat but leaving her unharmed.
    • Molly, whose real name was Mary, was given the nickname ‘Molly Pitcher’ for her bravery that day.
    • One story says that George Washington saw her on the battlefield that day and gave her a commendation.
    • After the war, Molly became a servant and charwoman again.
    • She was given a military pension in 1822 and a special marker was added to her gravestone in 1876.


    1. Heat stroke: a serious illness brought on by heat
    2. Charwoman: a woman who cleans houses and office buildings

    Questions and Answers

    Question: How do we know about Molly Pitcher?

    Answer: A recorded account of Molly Pitcher’s adventure was discovered during the 1950s. Written by soldier, Joseph Plumb Martin, the journals describe his experiences.

    But other stories have been handed down through families although they weren’t written down. It’s hard to say if all the stories are true or if some have been exaggerated.

    Learn More

    Watch a video about Molly Pitcher.


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Declan, Tobin. " Facts about Molly Pitcher during the Revolutionary War ." American History for Kids, Jun 2023. Web. 03 Jun 2023. < https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/molly-pitcher/ >.

APA Style Citation

Tobin, Declan. (2023). Facts about Molly Pitcher during the Revolutionary War. American History for Kids. Retrieved from https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/molly-pitcher/

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