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Female Revolutionary War Heroes: Margaret Corbin

Military History

Female Revolutionary War Heroes: Margaret Corbin

Margaret Corbin quickly took over loading and firing her husband's cannon after he was shot and killed at Fort Washington.

Margaret Corbin quickly took over loading and firing her husband's cannon after he was shot and killed at Fort Washington.

One of the more prominent female Revolutionary War heroes was Margaret Corbin.

Corbin’s parents were both killed by Indian raiders when she was only five. When she was 21, she married John Corbin and accompanied him when he joined the First Company of Pennsylvania Artillery for service in the Continental Army.
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According to the U.S. State Department, she followed a similar routine to other women who followed the troops: she cooked, washed clothes and tended to the sick and wounded. However, on November 16, 1776, when British and Hessian troops attacked Fort Washington, John Corbin was shot and killed.

Margaret Corbin, at his side, quickly took over loading and firing the cannon her husband was manning. She continued loading and firing until she was hit by grapeshot, which hit her chest, jaw and tore through her shoulder.

In 1779, the U.S. Continental Congress awarded Corbin with a lifelong pension equivalent to half the amount a man would receive; the first woman to ever do so. According to the National Women’s History Museum, the overwhelming help and support Corbin received from the U.S. government was a testament to how highly her comrades thought of her and appreciated her acts of bravery. Today, three commemorative plaques celebrating Corbin can be found in the area near the Fort Washington battle site. For her contributions during the Revolutionary War, her remains have been re-interred at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

You can read more about her and other female Revolutionary War Heroes by visiting the NWHM website.

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