This Day in History: The Legend of Nancy Hart, Revolutionary War Heroine
On this day in 1779, an unsung Revolutionary War heroine fights gallantly in the Battle of Kettle Creek! Or . . . maybe she didn’t. Nancy Hart’s story is “too good not to tell,” as one historian notes, but it also “seem[s] to hang in a mythical realm somewhere between fiction and history.”
Where is the boundary between the real and the mythical Nancy? It’s hard to know, but historians can confirm that she was a real person who really existed. From all accounts, she was feisty and tough. Local Indian tribes knew her as “Wahatche” or “war woman.” She may have been related to the fiery Revolutionary War General Daniel Morgan.
With a background like that, perhaps you won’t be surprised to hear that the stories told about this determined woman are numerous—and inspiring!
Nancy is said to have been a spy who, on at least one occasion, dressed herself like a man then wandered into a British camp. She pretended to be simpleminded—or perhaps simply crazy. As such, she seemed harmless, and no one thought anything of speaking freely in front of her. That left Nancy free to roam around, listening and gathering information. She passed her intelligence on to militia Colonel Elijah Clarke.
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