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Women in War

Satisfactory Essays
Both men and women fought on the battlefield. Hundreds of women served as nurses, laundresses, cooks and companions to the male soldiers in the Continental Army.6 In addition, there were some that actually engaged in battle. Seeing "no reason to believe that any consideration foreign to the purest patriotism,"7 Deborah Sampson put on men's clothing and called herself Robert Shirtliffe in order to enlist in the Army. "Robert Shirtliffe" fought courageously; "his" company defeated marauding Indians north of Ticonderoga.8 There is also the valiancy of the water carrier Mary Hays, otherwise known as Molly Pitcher, who took up arms after her husband fell.9 As a six-foot tall woman, Nancy Hart was considered an Amazon Warrior. Living in the Georgia frontier, this "War Woman" aimed and, with deadly accuracy, shot British soldiers who invaded the area.10 Mentioned in the beginning of this essay was Margaret Corbin, another woman on the battlefield.

There were many American spies during the war, but the most remarkable one was Lydia Darragh of Philadelphia, a Quaker. Tricking the British soldiers conferencing in her home into believing that she was asleep, Friend Lydia learned that they were going to surprise Washington's army at Whitemarsh. Shocked, she proceeded the next day to Frankford pretending to fill her flour sack at a flourmill there. After clearing the British outposts, she ran into the American army and revealed the British's strategy. With this vital information, the Continental Army was able to thwart the British's plans.11

In the end, the Americans won the American Revolution and independence from the British. In the spirit of the Revolution, women also gained some independence from their confining roles because of their efforts in the war. Greater numbers of young girls were allowed to go to school. More women held jobs, campaigned against slavery, improved prisons and poorhouses conditions, and advocated women's rights.12 Abigail Adams, a fervent advocate of women's rights, wrote to her husband John Adams at the Continental Congress that "If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies, we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice or Representation."13

In conclusion, women contributed a great deal to the American Revolution. Their actions on the home front and on the battlefields relieved the men from the extra planning, mobilizing, and combating that they would have had to execute without the help of the women.
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