Women of the Revolutionary War

Topics: American Revolutionary War, British Army, Patriot Pages: 6 (2415 words) Published: April 13, 2013
Women of the Revolution
Why did the 13 small colonies of England with a rag tag army win the Revolutionary War against the strongest military of the time? Some say luck or God’s providence while others explain that it was the people in the background doing cooking, cleaning, spying, and occasional fighting; some say the answer to the question is women. Without women participating in the Revolutionary War through boycotting British goods, spying on the British, and helping their men in various ways the British would have won the war against the colonists. Women held power people did not realize: they chose what to use to cook or anything else around the house and they chose not to use anything from England. The men never paid attention when women were in the room during meetings or other events and the women were able to collect valuable information. Women also donned uniforms to fight and helped when they saw a man fall on the battlefield. The Patriots had the “home field advantage” in the war because they had thousands of women supporting them. In war every decision made is crucial to the outcome of that war. With some decisions, women helped men. Hannah Arnett convinced patriot men to continue their fight in the Revolutionary War instead of giving up. Hannah barged into a meeting in which she was not invited; at this meeting, men were going over reports of losses on the battlefields and were considering the idea of giving up. They talked about stating their loyalty to Britain through signing a proclamation. She went out of her place as a woman, and spoke her mind. She called them all cowards and said that they must not give up the fight for independence. When the meeting ended, the men made the choice to continue fighting. Without Hannah Arnett the Patriots may have never continued their great fight (Zitek 1). Women also made decisions on their own to help the soldiers in many ways. They chose to fight while dressed as men, make clothing for the men, tend to injuries on the battlefield, bring water to the men, be spies, and carry important messages. These women did this out of their own free will and if it was all taken away, the Revolutionary War could have ended differently than it did. In war learning the enemy’s secrets will always put that army one step ahead in fighting. All secrets are crucial and Patriot women risked their lives to either deliver or obtain secrets of the British army. It seemed that men did not notice when a woman was in their presence and if they did notice the women, they did not think that a woman could hold any power or possibly tell of the secrets they talked about in meetings. Those men were very wrong. In war the domino effect can take place. One choice or secret could be envisioned as a domino and whichever way it falls can lead down a completely different path. If certain things had not happened that the women did then the dominoes would have fallen in favor of the British. Women that helped in the Revolutionary War could be split into two different groups: women who helped in battle, and women who helped behind the scenes. There were many women that had the courage to fight for their country in the most direct possible way: fighting. In 1781 Catherine Moore Barry helped to gather local men to join General Morgan’s Patriot troops that were going to fight General Cornwallis’ men in Cowpens, South Carolina. She knew the land well and helped guide the Patriots and lay a trap for the British soldiers. The British then retreated to Yorktown, Virginia where George Washington and his men were waiting. Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington and the colonies won their independence. The Battle of Cowpens was a key battle that the British were meant to win but with Catherine’s ingenuity and knowledge of the land she was able to turn the tides and bring about a huge Patriot victory (Zitek 2). When information about British plans was required, Nancy Hart dressed herself as a crazy man and...
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