Molly Pitcher may be folklore to some, but Carlisle claims her as our own.
Mary Ludwig was born October 13, 1744, and died January 22, 1832. She is buried in Old Graveyard near Carlisle.
Mary married a barber named John Hays when she was 13 years old. Hays enlisted in Proctor's First Pennsylvania Artillery. Mary or 'Molly' also signed on, becoming a camp follower to be with her husband. She tended the sick and wounded. She also carried water for the troops. Her nickname comes from the soldiers calling, "Molly, pitcher!" when crying out for water during battle.
Hays was serving his second enlistment when he fell at the battle of Monmouth. Mary stepped up to assume her wounded husband's post. With skill and bravery, she manned the cannon and continued to fight in her husband's place. General George Washington made her a non-commissioned officer in recognition of her heroism. She was then known as "Sergeant Molly."