Matching family tree profiles for Molly Pitcher
About Mary Hays (Ludwig)
Molly Pitcher was a nickname given to a woman said to have fought in the American Battle of Monmouth, who is generally believed to have been Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley. Since various Molly Pitcher tales grew in the telling, many historians regard Molly Pitcher as folklore rather than history, or suggest that Molly Pitcher may be a composite image inspired by the actions of a number of real women. The name itself may have originated as a nickname given to women who carried water to men on the battlefield during the war. Army base, Fort Bragg holds an annual event called "Molly Pitcher Day" showcasing weapon systems for family members, Airborne Operations, and Field Artillery.
Mary Ludwig was born to a German family in Pennsylvania. There is some dispute over her actual birth date. A marker in the cemetery where she is buried lists her birth date as October 13, 1744. Mary had a moderate sized family including Mary and her older brother Johann Martin, and their parents, Maria Margaretha and Hans Georg Ludwick, who was a butcher. It is likely that she never attended school or learned to read, as education was not considered necessary for young girls during this time.
In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Mary met William Hays, a barber. They were married in 1769. It has often been mistakenly reported that Mary's first husband was named John. However, Continental Army records show that William Hays was an artilleryman at the Battle of Monmouth in 1778. (Mary's next husband was named John McCauley). On July 12, 1774, in a meeting in the Presbyterian Church in Carlisle, Dr. William Irvine organized a town boycott of British goods as a protest of the British Tea Act. Willy Hays' name appears on a list of people who were charged with enforcing the boycott.
is likely that Mary Hays earned her famous nickname, Molly Pitcher, during this time. During training, artillery and infantry soldiers would shout "Molly! Pitcher!" whenever they needed Mary to bring water.