Margret Corbin (Cochran) (1751 - 1800)

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Death: Died
Managed by: Elizabeth Laumas
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Margret Corbin (Cochran)

I wrote the following based upon my research. -Elizabeth R. Laumas

Margaret Cochran was born in 1751 though little is known of her life before the Revolutionary War; one incident in her childhood is recorded.

Margaret had a very traumatic childhood, for when she was but five years old; she and her brother were away from home when her parents were attacked by a Native American tribe. Tragically, her father was murdered and her mother was taken captive and Margaret was never to see her dear mother again. Margaret’s uncle raised her from that point forth.

When Margaret was twenty-one, she married a man named John Corbin who was a farmer. When the Revolutionary War began, John enlisted and Margaret followed him as was common practice for wives of soldiers during that time. Wives of soldiers such as Margaret, spent their days cooking, cleaning and caring for the soldiers at the military camps.

In November 1776, during the Battle at Fort Washington on Manhattan Island, Margaret and her husband John were among many who fought to defend the fort against Hessian troops. Specifically, Margaret and her husband were operating a cannon. Margaret’s husband was killed during the attack and though she was injured, she immediately took his place at the cannon and continued to fight.

The fighting continued on and it was a bloody and brutal battle. After Margaret took over her husband’s cannon, she became even more wounded during the fight, in fact, she became severely wounded which lead to her being disabled for the rest of her life. The British won that battle but as was proper, they released Margaret because she was in fact, a wounded soldier and they were duty bound to let her go.

After the battle, Margaret’s fellow soldiers transported her to Fort Lee which was in New Jersey and there she was treated for her wounds. Yet, sadly, Margaret never fully recovered from the injuries she sustained during the battle at Fort Washington and she was completely disabled for the remainder of her life.

In 1779, the Executive Council of Pennsylvania granted Margaret a stipend of $30 "to relieve her present necessities.” They went on to recommend that the Board of War grant her a pension which they did, thus, she became the very first woman in the history of the United States of America to be granted a pension for her military service.

When Margaret died in the year 1800, she was buried near the Hudson River and was given a very rudimentary grave marker. In 1926, when this came to the attention of the Daughters of the American Revolution in New York, they pushed forward the process that eventually led to Margaret Corbin receiving a proper military funeral and being re-interred in the cemetery at West Point Academy.

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Margret Corbin's Timeline

1751
1751
1772
1772
Age 21
1800
1800
Age 49