Mary McCauley (Molly Pitcher) (1754-1832)
Jersey gem: Born in Trenton
The legendary Molly Pitcher carried water to troops at the 1778 Battle of Monmouth. She also reportedly manned the cannon after her husband was wounded by British gunfire. Historians suggest that close to fifty soldiers died of thirst that day; as many men fell from heat exhaustion as did from gunfire. Amidst the chaos, McCauley carried water from a nearby spring to the thirsty soldiers and remained on the battlefield throughout the day to tend to wounded troops.
It is significant to note that some historians suggest that “Molly Pitcher” was a generic name used to describe the many women who worked on the Revolutionary War battlefields. While this may be true, McCauley undeniably distinguished herself at the Battle of Monmouth. She was immortalized as the representative, if not the only, Molly Pitcher.
McCauley braved gunfire and almost certain death to save the lives of many soldiers.