Molly Pitcher, whose real name was Mary Ludwig Hays, is a recognized heroine of the American Revolution. She was born in 1754 in a town near Trenton, New Jersey. She married John Caspar Hays at the age of sixteen. John Hays enlisted when the revolution began and was placed in the 1st Pennsylvania Artillery. When her husband went to war, Molly followed, like many other women at the time, and cooked and cleaned for him in camp. On the battlefield she would carry out pitchers of water for her husband and other soldiers. The men began to call her "Molly Pitcher" and the nickname stuck throughout the war.
On June 28, 1778, during the Battle of Monmouth, Molly's husband passed out from the heat while manning his cannon. Molly took his place at the canon and kept it firing until the end of the battle. After the war ended John Hays died. Molly remarried but soon left her husband. She was given a $40-a-year pension for her services in the war by the Pennsylvania legislature. Molly Pitcher died in Pennsylvania in 1832.