Author Topic: Women's History Month 2021 - Grace and Rachel Martin  (Read 59 times)

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Women's History Month 2021 - Grace and Rachel Martin
« on: March 29, 2021, 01:52:50 PM »
As Women’s History Month winds to a close, Project Appleseed brings you another two-part installment in our series on Revolutionary War Heroines.

In June of 1781, two South Carolina women take a huge risk for the Patriot cause. Yet the details of their escapade were nearly lost to history.

Americans were then conducting two sieges in the South: Major General Nathanael Greene was at Ninety-Six, a fortified village near Cambridge. Meanwhile, General Andrew Pickens and Colonel Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee were outside Augusta. Needless to say, it didn’t always go so well for those living near Augusta and Ninety-Six.

The Martin family of upstate South Carolina was made up of nine children, seven of whom were old enough to enlist in the war in the late 1770’s. Their mother was an ardent supporter of the patriotic cause and must have been beside herself with joy when William and Barkly Martin married Rachel and Grace. These two young ladies were raised with a love of liberty and a hate for the monarchy. British troops had on numerous occasions worked to earn the ladies’ ire.

With their husbands off fighting tyranny, the women kept their ears to the ground for news. And having earned a reputation as steadfast patriots, they often accumulated information that was relevant to the Colonial Army. One evening, they were alerted that a British messenger with dispatches and two guards would be passing nearby. The girls’ husbands were off fighting with Maj. Nathanael Greene, who along with his troops, had 1000 loyalists under siege. There were no men available, therefore, to stop the courier.

Rachel and Grace were having none of that. Those dispatches could well result in the deaths of husbands and brothers. Without delay, they donned their husbands’ clothes, loaded their pistols and waited beside the road. The story goes that the British soldiers were so completely taken by surprise, they never even had a chance to draw their weapons. Without any argument, they surrendered their dispatches and rode off at a gallop, perhaps trying to outrun their humiliation.

Rachel and Grace then delivered the classified papers to a trusted courier who carried them to Major Greene. All in a patriot girl’s day! Feeling pretty satisfied with themselves, as well they should, they changed clothes in the barn and entered their mother-in-law’s home…only to find the three British soldiers sitting around the kitchen table licking their emotional wounds.

But a pretty patriot gal in a well-lit kitchen looks a LOT different than a scruffy rebel in a dark forest. The girls weren’t recognized and the soldiers left the next morning.

Come back and visit us Wednesday, when we get to know the girls’ mother-in-law, Elizabeth, a remarkable woman who was willing to sacrifice her greatest treasures to the Patriot Cause.

Sources:
www.taraross.com This Day in History Blog
Heather Blanton’s www.ladiesindefiance.com
"An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." - Robert A. Heinlein

"A generation which ignores history has no past, and no future." - Lazarus Long

"I will accept the rules that you feel are necessary for YOUR freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do." - Robert A. Heinlein

"What we do now echoes in eternity." Marcus Aurelius

"I can kill you with my brain." - River Tam

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