Friday, October 21, 2016

More Cross-Grained Woman Stories

I first introduced you to Nancy Ann (Morgan) Hart, a Daughter of the American Revolution (DAR) patriot, last week. Today, I'd like to relate a few more stories about Nancy during the war, which I found in a book entitled Historical Collections of Georgia by Rev. George White and published in 1855.

"The compiler of this work, during a visit to Elbert, was introduced to Mrs. Wyche, a lady far advanced in years, who was on terms of intimacy with Mrs. Hart. From her he received many anecdotes, among which are the following:

On one occasion, when information as to what was transpiring on the 'Carolina side of the river was anxiously desired by the troups on the Georgia side, no one could be induced to cross the river to obtain it. Nancy promptly offered to discharge the perilous duty. Alone, the dauntless heroine made her way to the Savannah River; but finding no mode of transport across, she procured a few logs, and , tying them together with a grape-vine, constructed a raft, upon which she crossed, obtained the desired intelligence, returned, and communicated it to the George troops.

Replica of the Hart cabin with chimney stones from the original cabin;
image courtesy of New Georgia Encyclopedia

On another occasion, having met a Tory on the road, and entering into conversation with him, so as to divert his attention, she seized his gun, and declared that unless he immediately took up the line of march for a fort not far distant, she would shoot him. The dastard was so intimidated, that he actually walked before the brave woman, who delivered him to the commander of the American fort.

Nancy, with several other women and a number of small children, were once left in a fort, the men having gone some distance, probably for provisions, when the fort was attacked by a party of Tories and savages. At this critical period, when fear had seized the women and children, to such an extent as to produce an exhibition of indescribable confusion, Mrs. Hart called into action all the energies of her nature. In the fort there was one cannon, and our heroine, after endeavoring in vain to place it in a position so that its fire could reach the enemy, looked about for aid, and discovered a young man hid under a cow-hide; she immediately drew him from his retreat, and threatened him with immediate death unless he instantly assisted her with the cannon. The young man, who well knew that Nancy would carry her threats into execution unless he obeyed, gave her his assistance, and she fired the cannon, which so frightened the enemy that they took to their heels.

Once more, when Augusta was in possession of the British, the American troops in Wilkes, then under the command of Colonel Elijah Clarke, were very anxious to know something of the intentions of the British. Nancy assumed the garments of a man, pushed on to Augusta, went boldly into the British camp, pretending to be crazy, and by this means was enabled to obtain much useful information, which she hastened to lay before the commander, Colonel Clarke.

Nancy Ann (Morgan) Hart (1747-1840: A Cross-Grained Woman

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