Hello, dear Website Friends, and happy Glorious Fourth of July 1st and I am celebrating the publishing of my new book Under the Gooseberry Bush, which is now in the publisher’s hands and will be out in just a few days! The cover design is absolutely GREAT! The book, of course, is a memoir, and I have chosen certain stories to tell. It is not a comprehensive autobiography, but I believe the stories I have chosen will give you an idea of how these ninety four years have been spent and will cause you to LOOK UP, LAUGH, LOVE AND LIFT! That is my prayer!
Now I want to tell you a wonderful story as a gift to you who are celebrating the Fourth! You might not have this day as a holiday—and you might be a British subject, had it not been for this fantastic young lady that I have chosen to tell you about, for she is an American heroine of the first order! We owe her much! You might not have even heard of her! She is hardly ever spoken of, written about, you never see Google doing a birthday for her on their site, like they do for so many others. I researched her on Google several years ago and made a story out of an essay since it was in public domain. Now I’m sharing it with all of you to celebrate the glorious holiday—American Independence The truth is that Molly Pitcher is our Big Fourth of July Heroine!
According to the account that I found, she was red haired, freckle-faced and Irish! That spells a girl who was born with a huge supply of moxie, as we liked to call it in my family, meaning one with grit and courage to go with it. Molly was newly married when this story took place.
She loved and married an artillery man in Washington’s army.
On June 28, 1778—235 years ago today! I am writing this on June 28, 2013.
Well, as I was getting ready to say, on that fateful day, we fought the battle of Monmouth, which is famous for Washington’s tactics, regaining some advantages that had been lost. That event happened to be on a Sunday morning, close and sultry according to my source writer whom I will cite at the close of this story.
It was all of 96degrees in the shade! Men were dropping dead from sunstrokes!
Not touched by a bullet!
The only thing on Molly’s mind was the suffering of the men and especially her beloved husband, so she carried buckets of water from a nearby spring and passed the water along the line.
Back and forth to the spring she hurried, sweat blinding her eyes along with tears for the men who were dying. Everywhere and all about the men were moaning for a drink of water and she could not refuse any of them, when finally she saw her husband, all parched and dying for a drink of water so she began running to him. At that moment a bullet whizzed by and he fell dead by the side of his gun—without ever getting a drink of water to cool his lips—Molly dropped her bucket and paused for only a moment when she saw him fall, ONLY A MOMENT WAS SHE DAZED—ONLY A MOMENT DID IT TAKE WHEN SHE HEARD THE ORDER CALLED TO DRAG THE CANNON FROM THE FIELD.
She was stirred to action at once. She ran and grabbed the rammer and hurried to the gun. She was familiar with the weapons of war, and she felt no fear. Strong and skillful she stood by the cannon and directed its fire until the fall of Moneton turned the tide of victory The British troops were beaten back after a desperate struggle and Americans took possession of the field and the battle of Monmouth was won.
The next morning, poor Molly, face all sun burnt and eyes swollen from weeping, was presented to Gen. Washington. A pathetic figure, with a scanty piece of black crepe pinned to her dress, she curtsied and waited for his words.
It is said that the French troops who were fighting on the American side against the British were so delighted with her courage that they filled a cocked hat full of money for her and named her, “la Cape town.”
Gen. Washington gave her a commendation worthy of her performance under fire and gave her a sergeant’s commission and half pay for life.
In after years we have no word of what became of her, because she lived and died without any further recognition—but the memory of her brave deeds will never die, because Molly Pitcher did win for herself a niche in the hall of fame, and as we celebrate the glorious Fourth, and sing The Star Spangled Banner, let us be thankful for those brave men and women who are sweltering on foreign soil in mortal danger and who are willing to fight and die for our freedoms.
Then let us remember that this sacrificial service has been traditional for our American troops since the beginnings of our country and soldiers live and die, as Molly did without any fanfare, but always remembered with great reverence by true Americans.
In this day and age, when the glory of America seems to be fading at home and abroad, let us stir again in our hearts the mind of one Molly Pitcher who counted her life as nothing in the battle for liberty.
Basics from famous American essayist, Agnes Repplier,( 1855-1950) in which she was speaking of famous heroines, Augustina, Maid of Saragossa, the Spanish heroine, and the story of Mary Ambree, the English girl immortalized in poetry, and finally Molly Pitcher of American Revolution fame. I found this on internet and did not record the internet source, but the year I researched and wrote it down was 1987 and I have told it several times in these years.
Since today is the Glorious Fourth of July, I strung three pounds of green beans and cooked them, made potato salad and deviled eggs, served with hamburgers for which I grilled the onions and I baked a chocolate cake! (I used a mix this time!) Don’t let anybody tell you that a ninety-four year old can’t put a meal on the table!
On July 18, 1947, I was awakened at six a.m. with a contraction! To make a long story short, my son, Dana was born in the early morning of July 19, 1947. The reason it was prolonged was—he was a breach!
So that’s the story of my second child’s birth, and we’ll be celebrating that day in this month. This son and his wife, presented me with two precious grandchildren—a grandson and a granddaughter! I happen to be very proud of these two fantastic persons!
On the 30th I travel to Virginia where I will meet my niece, and we’ll drive down to North Carolina for the National Church Librarian’s Conference where I will promote my book, Under the Gooseberry Bush, and teach two workshops on “Storytelling.” After that we’ll go back to Virginia where I will stay a few days and visit my family and friends! What a joy. If you want a copy watch this website for the announcement of the day it is available through Amazon or Create Space.
I will close with the se few lines of poetry that I wrote one hot July day, way back when I was in my teens. “Athought came; I treasured it; wrote it down and measured it! It was wide, and long, and very deep! I decided it was one that I must keep! When time went by these steps I did repeat; those treasured words if found I had to eat!”