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Female Infantry

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

August 17. –This morning, at East Hartford, Connecticut, sallied from the Lyon Tavern and its dependencies, a corps of female infantry, of twenty rank and file, with a flank guard of three chosen spirits of the male line, and marching westward about one mile in martial array and excellent order, saving stride and gabble, these attacked and carried, without opposition from powder, law, or conscience, Mr. Pitkin’s store, in which was lodged a quantity of sugar designed for the army, of which they plundered and bore away in triumph two hundred and eighteen pounds. A travelling gentleman falling in with the rear, whom they mistook for the owner of the spoils, was attacked and drove with great fury; but being well mounted, made his escape. The whole was completed in two hours, and without loss of blood, except from a few accidental scratches of side arms, underslung without scabbards.

That so unexampled a spirit of heroism may not want due notice and encouragement, it is proposed that this corps be augmented by voluntary enlistment to a battalion, for the ranging service in the northern department, to be in the uniform of rifle frocks, and the snug Scotch kilt, and allowed, besides perquisites and plunder, a generous bounty on scalps, and a fine new standard with an elegant device of a lady inverted, and to be commanded by the celebrated Madame de la Mell Hobb Greg Scratch.1


1 Connecticut Courant, September 10, and Barber’s Connecticut Collections, p. 75.

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