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Molly Pitcher's Gravesite

Duane saw this cemetery (Old Cemetery) as we were driving home from Carlisle. We stopped to walk around. It's the resting place of Molly Pitcher! I was tickled! I can't imagine anything better for the July 4th weekend!


Molly Pitcher is generally remembered as Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley, wife of William Hays. Molly was a frequent nickname for women named Mary. Biographical information about her, including her actual name and year of birth (October 13, 1754 is suggested as an approximate date of birth) is sparse. According to one version of the story, she was born to a German family in Pennsylvania. Regardless, solid records first appear in 1778. She was working in her house with her best friend whose husband was also in the war. She knew her husband was going to Monmouth and she heard from German soldiers about the British. She went to her husband in New Jersey from Carlisle. She then helped the soldiers on the American side by giving them water and took her husband's place at his cannon. She got the name Molly Pitcher when the soldiers said, "Molly, Pitcher". After the battle, General George Washington issued her a warrant as a non commissioned officer, and she was thereafter known by the nickname "Sergeant Molly". However, some of these details may have been borrowed from the actions of a leading candidate for another Molly Pitcher, Margaret Corbin.


Her husband, William Hays, died in 1783 of cancer and shortness of breath. Mary married again to one John McCauley (some sources believe his name may have been George McCauley); he died in 1813. Afterwards, she became a nurse and housekeeper.


On February 21, 1822, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania awarded her an annual pension of $40 for her heroism. She died January 22, 1832, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, at the age of 78.


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Taken on July 6, 2009