In 1776 Margaret Corbin took her husband’s place when he was killed.
She fired his cannon repeatedly until she was wounded.
In 1778 Mary Hays put down the pitcher of water she was carrying to thirsty soldiers and ran to replace her fallen husband at his cannon.
Her bravery was celebrated in the story of “Molly Pitcher,” who supposedly kept firing even when a cannonball tore through her skirt.
At least one woman, Deborah Sampson, disguised herself as a man and enlisted as a soldier, under the name Robert Shurtleff. She served in the army for a year and a half and was wounded twice before anyone found out she was a woman.
Some historians believe she was African American.