Molly Pitcher Fought at Battle of Brandywine in Male Disguise, September 11, 1777, says New Mystery Novel/ Research Guide by Linda Grant DePauw

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In Search of Molly Pitcher (, a mystery story combined with a research guide for middle schoolers, includes evidence suggesting that Mary Hays McCauley, usually identified with Molly Pitcher, the heroine of the Revolutionary War Battle of Monmouth, actually served disguised as a man at the Battle of Brandywine.

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September 11 marks the 130th anniversary of the Battle of Brandywine, the largest battle of the Revolutionary War when General George Washington had more troops under his command than he ever would have again. Among them may have been Molly Pitcher, America's most famous military woman, says Professor Linda Grant De Pauw, author of In Search of Molly Pitcher (, a mystery story combined with an historical research guide for middle schoolers, which will be published in October.

"Mary Hays McCauley, who is usually considered the real Molly Pitcher, is identified with the Battle of Monmouth, fought in June 1778," says De Pauw. "But there is no contemporary evidence to confirm that. Her obituary notices do not mention any military service beyond support for her soldier husband, and the pension she received from the Pennsylvania legislature mentions 'services rendered during the Revolution,' but doesn't specify what those were. There is, however, a newspaper article published when the pension was awarded saying 'She was called Sgt. McCauly and was wounded at some battle, supposed to be the Brandywine, where her sex was discovered.' That means she was disguised as a man."

This newspaper story is one of the documents examined by the heroine of De Pauw's new book, In Search of Molly Pitcher. When Peggy McAllister learns about an eighth grade social studies award, she is determined to win it. With the help of her Greatgramps, a retired private investigator, his lady friend Mrs. Spinner, historian and author of historical romances, and Ms. Guelphstein, a dedicated reference librarian, Peggy sorts through a maze of confusing and contradictory evidence to uncover the true story of Molly Pitcher.

Advance readers of In Search of Molly Pitcher are enthusiastic. Eric G. Grundset, Library Director of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution says, "Historical method and inquiry, verification of facts, and sifting of information offer the reader useful instruction in the guise of a clever detective story." Barbara J. Crudale, President, Rhode Island School Counselor Association says, "Should be on all middle school required reading lists. Students will identify with the main character. Enjoyable reading for adults too!" Beth Gilgun, historian in residence, Deerfield Teachers' Center says "Clearly points out the difference between primary and secondary sources, clearly walks a student through the process of researching a paper, and does it all in a very entertaining manner. I enjoyed it so much that I read it straight through." And Lucie McCormick, age 12, from Mohawk Middle School in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts says, "This book was really interesting, and it made me more interested in history. Even for people who don't like learning, I think this would be a good book."

Linda Grant De Pauw is Professor Emeritus of History at the George Washington University and president of The Minerva Center, a non-profit educational foundation supporting the study of women and war. In addition to books for adult audiences including Battle Cries and Lullabies: Women in War from Prehistory to the Present, De Pauw is the author of two prize-winning books for young adults: Founding Mothers and Seafaring Women.

For additional information contact Linda Grant De Pauw 410-437-5379 or visit


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