Timeline of women in warfare in Colonial America

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Timeline of women in warfare from 1750 until 1799 in America

Nancy Ward Nanyehi.jpg
Nancy Ward
Statue of Sybil Ludington Ludington statue 800.jpg
Statue of Sybil Ludington
Molly Pitcher depicted in 1859 engraving Molly Pitcher engraving.jpg
Molly Pitcher depicted in 1859 engraving




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<span class="mw-page-title-main">American Revolutionary War</span> 1775–1783 war of independence

The American Revolutionary War, also known as the Revolutionary War or American War of Independence, was the military conflict of the American Revolution in which American Patriot forces under George Washington's command defeated the British, establishing and securing the independence of the United States. Fighting began on April 19, 1775, at the Battles of Lexington and Concord. The war was formalized and intensified following passage of the Lee Resolution, which asserted that the Thirteen Colonies were "free and independent states", by the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia on July 2, 1776, and the unanimous ratification of the Declaration of Independence two days later, on July 4, 1776.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Deborah Sampson</span> Continental Army soldier (1760–1827)

Deborah Sampson Gannett, also known as Deborah Samson or Deborah Sampson, was born on December 17, 1760 in Plympton, Massachusetts. She disguised herself as a man, and served in the Continental Army under the name Robert Shirtliff – sometimes spelled Shurtleff or Shirtleff – and fought in the American Revolutionary War. She fought in the war for 17 months before her sex was revealed when she required medical treatment after contracting a fever in Philadelphia in 1783. After her real identity was made known to her commander, she was honorably discharged at West Point. After her discharge, Sampson met and married Benjamin Gannett in 1785. In 1802, she became one of the first women to go on a lecture tour to speak about her wartime experiences. She died in Sharon, Massachusetts in 1827. She was proclaimed the Official Heroine of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on May 23, 1983, and in 1985 the prestigious United States Capitol Historical Society posthumously honored "Deborah Samson" with the Commemorative Medal.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mary Hays (American Revolutionary War)</span> Woman soldier in American Revolutionary War

Mary Ludwig Hays was a woman who fought in the American War of Independence at the Battle of Monmouth. The woman behind the Molly Pitcher story is most often identified as Hays, but it is likely that the legend is an amalgam of more than one woman seen on the battlefield that day.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Margaret Corbin</span> American combatant in the American Revolutionary War (1751-1800)

Margaret Cochran Corbin was a woman who fought in the American Revolutionary War. On November 16, 1776, her husband, John Corbin, was one of some 600 American soldiers defending Fort Washington in northern Manhattan from 4,000 attacking Hessian troops under British command. Margaret, too nervous to let her husband go into battle alone, decided she wanted to go with him. Since she was a nurse, she was allowed to accompany her husband as a nurse for injured soldiers. John Corbin was on the crew of one of two cannons the defenders deployed; when he fell in action, Margaret Corbin took his place and continued to work the cannon until she too was seriously wounded. It is said that Corbin was standing next to her husband when he fell during battle. Immediately, she took his post, and because she had watched her husband, a trained artilleryman, fire the cannon so much, she was able to fire, clean and aim the cannon with great ease and speed. This impressed the other soldiers and was the beginning of her military career. She later became the first woman in U.S. history to receive a pension from Congress for military service when she could no longer work due to injury, and was enlisted into the Corps of Invalids.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nancy Ward</span> Cherokee diplomat and Beloved Woman (c.1738 – c.1822)

Nanyehi, known in English as Nancy Ward, was a Beloved Woman and political leader of the Cherokee. She advocated for peaceful coexistence with European Americans and, late in life, spoke out for Cherokee retention of tribal hunting lands. She is credited with the introduction of dairy products to the Cherokee economy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sybil Ludington</span> American revolutionary heroine (1761–1839)

Sybil Ludington was an alleged heroine of the American Revolutionary War, though modern scholars dispute this. On April 26, 1777, at age 16, Ludington, the daughter of a colonel in the Colonial militia, Henry Ludington, is said to have made an all-night horseback ride 40 miles (64 km) to rally militia forces in neighboring towns after the burning of Danbury, Connecticut, by British forces.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Henry Ludington</span> 18th and 19th-century American Army commander

Henry Ludington was an American soldier in the American Revolutionary War. He aided the effort by providing spies and was associated with John Jay in a ring of spies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wartime cross-dressers</span>

Many people have engaged in cross-dressing during wartime under various circumstances and for various motives. This has been especially true of women, whether while serving as a soldier in otherwise all-male armies, while protecting themselves or disguising their identity in dangerous circumstances, or for other purposes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James Warren (politician)</span> American merchant, politician and military officer (1726–1808)

Major-General James Warren was an American merchant, politician and military officer who served as the speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1787 to 1788. An advocate of colonial resistance to British parliamentary acts in the American Revolution, Warren served as the Continental Army's Paymaster-General during the Revolutionary War before pursuing a political career.

The Daughters of Liberty was the formal female association that was formed in 1765 to protest the Stamp Act, and later the Townshend Acts, and was a general term for women who identified themselves as fighting for liberty during the American Revolution.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">6th Maryland Regiment</span> Military unit

The 6th Maryland Regiment, active from 27 March 1776—January 1, 1783, is most notable for its involvement during the American Revolutionary war of the same years. An infantry type regiment consisting of 728 soldiers, the 6th Maryland was composed of eight companies of volunteers from Prince Georges, Queen Anne's, Fredric, Cecil, Harford, and Ann Arundel counties in the colony of Maryland

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Margaret Kemble Gage</span> Wife of General Thomas Gage

Margaret Kemble Gage (1734–1824) was the wife of General Thomas Gage, who led the British Army in Massachusetts in the American Revolutionary War. It is alleged that she played an important role in the outcome of the American Revolution. She was suspected of having divided loyalties and of informing the American Revolutionaries of British troop movements.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Women in the American Revolution</span>

Women in the American Revolution played various roles depending on their social status and their political views.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">African Americans in the Revolutionary War</span>

In the American Revolution, gaining freedom was the strongest motive for Black enslaved people who joined the Patriot or British armies. It is estimated that 20,000 African Americans joined the British cause, which promised freedom to enslaved people, as Black Loyalists. Around 9,000 African Americans became Black Patriots.

The 103rd Engineer Battalion is an engineer battalion of the United States Army, raised from the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. It is one of several current units with extensive Colonial era roots and campaign credit for the War of 1812.

This is a timeline of women in warfare in the United States before 1900.This list includes women who served in the United States Armed Forces in various roles. It also includes women who have been Warriors and fighters in other types of conflicts that have taken place in the United States. This list should also encompass women who served in support roles during military and other conflicts in the United States before the twentieth century.

This is a timeline of women in warfare in the United States up until the end of World War II. It encompasses the colonial era and indigenous peoples, as well as the entire geographical modern United States, even though some of the areas mentioned were not incorporated into the United States during the time periods that they were mentioned.

Anna Maria Lane was the first documented female soldier from Virginia to fight with the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War. She dressed as a man and accompanied her husband on the battlefield, and was later awarded a pension for her courage in the Battle of Germantown.

Southern Campaigns: Pension Transactions refer to the years after the Revolutionary War, when there are thought to have existed around 80,000 pension applications from soldiers who fought in the Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution. The United States Government spent countless years implementing and amending pension laws for Continental soldiers. The first pension legislation passed in August 1776 while the last one passed in 1878. Most rejected pensions were due to a lack of service, however, in some cases soldiers were rejected due to their skin color. Native Americans who served, for example, were not rewarded properly for their service. In a recent project, historians Will Graves and C. Leon Harris, started to transcribe the pensions of the Southern Campaigns. This long and gruesome process was started in 2006 and continues today. When investigating these pensions, there is no question that some of them reveal fraud in the pension system. Nevertheless, the pension applications provide historians unique access into soldier rosters and battles during the Revolutionary War.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Molly Pitcher</span> Nickname for women fighting in the American Revolutionary War

Molly Pitcher is a nickname given to a woman who fought in the American Revolutionary War. She is most often identified as Mary Ludwig Hays, who fought in the Battle of Monmouth in June 1778. Another possibility is Margaret Corbin, who helped defend Fort Washington in New York in November 1776.


  1. Women In Military Service For America Memorial Archived 2013-04-03 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Salmonson, p. 65
  3. Women In Military Service For America Memorial Archived 2013-04-03 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Tendrich, Lisa Frank, An Encyclopedia of American Women at War: From the Home Front to the Battlefields, Volume 1 ABC-CLIO, 2013, p 350-51
  5. Education & Resources – National Women's History Museum – NWHM
  6. Hunt, Paula D. (June 2015). "Sybil Ludington, the Female Paul Revere: The Making of a Revolutionary War Heroine". The New England Quarterly . 88 (2): 187–222. doi: 10.1162/TNEQ_a_00452 . ISSN   0028-4866. S2CID   57569643.
  7. Tucker, Abigail (March 2022). "Did the Midnight Ride of Sibyl Ludington Ever Happen?". Smithsonian . Retrieved July 6, 2022.
  8. Eschner, Sybil (April 26, 2017). "Was There Really a Teenage, Female Paul Revere?". Smithsonian . Retrieved July 6, 2022.