“Ha! ha! a neat stratagem, and a patriotic woman,” exclaimed young Harmar.
“Talking of the services of the women during the war,” said Higgins, “reminds me of Molly Macauly, or Sergeant Macauly, as we knew her while in the army. She was a Pennsylvanian, and was so enthusiastic in her patriotism, that she donned a man’s dress, and joined the army, when she became a sergeant, and fought bravely in several battles and skirmishes. Nobody suspected that she was not what she seemed to be; for she was tall, stout, and rough-looking, and associated with men very freely. Molly had a custom of swinging her sabre over her head, and hurraing for Mad Anthony, as she called General Wayne. She was wounded at Brandywine, and, her sex being discovered, returned home.”
“She was not the only woman in disguise in the army,” said old Harmar. “There was Elizabeth Canning, who was at Fort Washington, and, when her husband was killed, took his place at the gun, loading, priming, and firing with good effect, till she was wounded in the breast by a grape-shot. While our army lay at Valley Forge, several Pennsylvania women were detected in disguise, enduring all kinds of want, and with less murmuring than the men themselves. Oh, yes! the women were all right in those days, however they may have degenerated since.”
“Come, no slander on the women of the present day,” said Mrs. Harmar. “I’ve no doubt, take them all in all; they will not suffer in comparison with those of any age.”
“Bravo! Mrs. Harmar,” exclaimed Wilson.
“Women, now, are ready enough with disguises,” remarked young Harmar.