James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

June 28

Mollie Pitcher

By Kate Brownlee Sherwood (1841–1914)

  • A victory gained near Freehold, N.J., on June 28, 1878, by the Americans under Washington over the British under Clinton.

  • ’TWAS hurry and scurry at Monmouth town

    For Lee was beating a wild retreat;

    The British were riding the Yankees down,

    And panic was pressing on flying feet.

    Galloping down like a hurricane

    Washington rode with his sword swung high,

    Mighty as he of the Trojan plain

    Fired by a courage from the sky.

    “Halt, and stand to your guns!” he cried.

    And a bombardier made swift reply.

    Wheeling his cannon into the tide;

    He fell ’neath the shot of a foeman nigh.

    Mollie Pitcher sprang to his side,

    Fired as she saw her husband do.

    Telling the king in his stubborn pride

    Women like men to their homes are true.

    Washington rode from the bloody fray

    Up to the gun that a woman manned.

    “Mollie Pitcher, you save the day,”

    He said, as he gave her a hero’s hand.

    He named her sergeant with manly praise,

    While her war-brown face was wet with tears—

    A woman has ever a woman’s ways,

    And the army was wild with cheers.