| American History Stories, Volume II|
|by Mara L. Pratt|
|Tales of Revolutionary times, including the causes of the American Revolution, the daring exploits of those defending liberty, the early battles, the struggles of the army, and the heroes who led the colonists to victory. Ages 8-12 |
NANCY HART was known throughout the South in Revolutionary
times as "the giantess" and "the heroine of
She lived in the wild woods, and supported herself and
her children by hunting, fishing, and trapping.
Nancy was not handsome, as she stood over six feet in
height, her mop of red hair bundled into a big coil, and
her crooked eyes staring and winking as was their custom.
But for all her uncouth appearance, one who knew her
said, "Her voice was quiet and soft, and if she had the
bravery and courage of a man, she had beneath it all the
warm, tender heart of a woman."
She was a fierce supporter of the Whig party from the
One day six British soldiers, pursuing deserters, came to
her cabin for food.
While they were eating, she hid their guns, drove away
 their horses, locked her doors, and found a way to send
word to her neighbors, "I have trapped six Tories. Come
and help me."
During one winter, dressed as a man, she used often to
go to the British camp; and, with her sharp, clear perception,
she would learn what was going on within, and carry
the news to the Whigs.
One day she met a little pale-faced British soldier.
Taking his gun from him, she marched him on before her
into the Georgian camp.
The Georgian colonel had great confidence in her power
and wisdom. So much so, that he once put her in charge
of a fort filled with women and children.
Nancy proved, before the colonel's return, that she was
equal to the occasion. A company of skirmishers attacked it.
Nancy, in uniform, forced the frightened women to put
on their husband's clothes and present themselves upon the
walls. She, herself, kept up meanwhile a steady firing
from the old cannon.
"I understood the soldiers had gone with Colonel Clarke;
but the fort seems only too well manned. We may as
well march," said their leader.
When the war was over, a few "squatters," as they were
called, came into the country, not far from Nancy's cabin.
Nancy fled into the wildernesses of Kentucky. "So many
neighbors," said she, "leave me no air to breathe."
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