Molly Pitcher gravesite

The Molly Pitcher gravesite in Carlisle’s Old Graveyard.

Michael Bupp, The Sentinel

The Sentinel offers “Graves in the Valley” throughout September, looking at some of the famous and infamous people buried in cemeteries of the Cumberland Valley:

Molly Pitcher

THE HISTORY: This may be the Carlisle area’s most well-known gravesite.

Molly Ludwig was born Oct. 13, 1754, near Trenton, New Jersey. According to, she was sent to Carlisle at a young age to become a servant in the home of Col. William Irvine. She married William Hays in 1769, and her husband eventually enlisted in the 4th Pennsylvania Artillery in 1775. Molly joined her husband for the winters of 1777 and 1778 at his encampment at Valley Forge.

During the Revolutionary War’s battle of Monmouth, Molly carried pitchers of water to the soldiers and to help cool the artillery guns, thereby earning her nickname “Molly Pitcher.” After her husband collapsed during battle she took over the operation of his canon. When the battle was over, Gen. George Washington gave her a non-commissioned officers rank.

After the war, Molly and her husband returned to the Carlisle area to live. After William died in 1789, she married George McCauley.

HOW THEY DIED: Molly died in Carlisle on Jan. 22, 1832, at the age of 77.

THE GRAVESITE: The Old Graveyard, South Bedford and East South streets in Carlisle


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