Women and the American Revolution

Before I launch into a series on Education, I thought it would be fun to acknowledge the heroic women of the American Revolution. March is, after all, Women’s History Month. Something we rarely hear about or discuss. Today, we are surrounded by women who join the armed services to serve and protect America. They are quiet warriors who sacrifice much to serve – especially family life.

When they are in war torn regions they are not on American soil. The women of the American Revolution era lived in a war zone because the war was fought on American soil. However, because they didn’t have airplanes and modern weapons the destruction of the cities was minimal. Nevertheless, it was still a war zone and with a third of the population sympathetic to the British, a third of the population who didn’t care and a third that wanted independence that were fiercely patriotic, the patriots had to be careful what they said because many times they wouldn’t know for sure who was on their side.

I just finished reading a fascinating little book by Jeanne Munn Bracken titled, Women in the American Revolution. Much of the book consists of letters or personal journal entries from the women themselves. That is why it was so interesting.

Because the militias were local and the men enlisted in the Continental Army as a group many of the wives and some children followed them. The women who did so busied themselves doing what they would normally be doing for their husbands but on a broader scale. They cooked, mended and nursed the sick and wounded. These are all things they routinely did at home for their husbands.

Most of the husbands wanted their wives with them but some of the wives just refused to let their husbands go without them. They were generally not in harm’s way because they camped nearby the military encampments. But a few did lose their lives.

Even a few of the officer’s wives also came along to serve their husbands and not just on the American side but also on the British side. Some of these were women of wealth and title. They were tough, courageous, creative and self-sacrificing.

In today’s feminist society the women who go to the battlefields are trained soldiers. These women were not. They were wives and mothers that were true patriots and were willing to put themselves in harm’s way to do their part to serve their husbands. It was rugged, some were attacked by Indians and captured, others were asked to step up to be messengers because they were not automatically suspected as spies. Then there was Molly Pitcher who carried pitcher after pitcher of water to the troops and even helped to serve one of the cannons.

There were at least two young girls who dressed a boys and enlisted in the army serving in actual battles! Deborah Sampson disguised herself as “Timothy Thayer” but was shortly discovered and sent home. As a result, her home church withdrew fellowship from her. Not daunted she later joined the 4th Massachusetts Regiment as Infantry private Robert Shurlieff. She was wounded in the line of duty but not until she fell ill with yellow fever and hospitalized was her secret discovered by the doctor who kept her secret.

Deborah, after the war, married and had children, then went on the lecture circuit to tell her story. Paul Revere sent a letter of recommendation for her to a member of Congress in 1804 urging that she receive the same military pension that all male soldiers were allotted. Ultimately, she was awarded the pension. When she died her husband applied for widower’s pension and even though his military records had been destroyed he was awarded this pension.
When we think of colonial women, we usually think of them in strictly traditional terms and behavior. But obviously, we have failed to recognize that there were women who were heroes that sacrificed so that America could be free and independent.

Today, we are in a battle for the very things that the colonists believed in and fought for – Liberty for all. Like the men, women, Black men and even Hispanic men who fought in the American Revolution we all need to stand and be counted as patriots seeking to preserve the traditional American principles and values upon which this great nation was built.

We are spoiled and have many things to distract us and keep us uninformed to the point that we even have bought into the political correct speech being forced on us. Now is not the time to shy away from taking Biblical stands for righteousness because if we can’t stand and be counted now, how will be stand up against sin and unrighteousness when real persecution comes.

Ladies (and men) let us not disappoint the brave, self-sacrificing patriots who have gone before us!