Notable Women Ancestors - Heroines
Heroic WomenJoan of Arc
Joan of Arc


BAILEY, Anne Hennis Trotter
After her first husband was killed, "Mad" Anne became a skilled frontier scout, horsewoman, hunter, messenger and storyteller. During a frontier war with Indians, she rode alone through 100 miles of near wilderness to Fort Savannah at Lewisburg and returned with the needed powder to save the fort at Clendenin's Settlement which today is Charleston, West Virginia. This feat was commemorated in a lengthy 1861 poem, "Anne Bailey's Ride" by Charles Robb.

BELL, Martha McFarlane McGee
Martha was a revolutionary war heroine who had an encounter with General Cornwallis and the British Army and collected valuable information for the American cause.

BYERLY, Beatrice Guilden
Beatrice saved her children from an impending Indian attack and later worked as a nurse during the Revolutionary War.

CLARK(E), Hannah Harrington
Known as the "Heroine of Hornet's Nest", Hannah did everything for the cause of Independence except shoulder a gun and go to battle.

CORBIN, Margaret Cochran
Margaret fought alongside her husband, John during the Revolutionary War and was the first woman to receive a pension from the U.S. government as a disabled soldier.

DOUGLAS, Nancy Hart
Nancy served as a Confederate scout, guide and spy during the Civil War. She carried messages between Southern armies traveling at night, sold eggs and vegetables to Union soldiers to spy on them, and hid many wounded Confederate soldiers until they regained their health. One of them was her future husband, Joshua Douglas. She was captured and imprisoned, but escaped after killing a guard.

FARROW, Rosanna Waters
Rosanna distinguished herself during the American Revolution when she ransomed three of her sons from execution by the British with six of their own soldiers.

GRANT, Abigail (Abbie) Burgess
When Abbie was a teenager, her heroic efforts in keeping both her family safe and the lights burning at Matinicus Lighthouse during a terrible storm have forever associated her with Maine's lighthouses.

GREENHOW, Rose Maria O'Neal
Though many women were arrested for spying during the Civil War, none achieved the celebrity that Rose Greenhow did. While living in Washington, D.C., she developed a social network that brought her into contact with many prominent politicians, whom she exploited. She became best known for her spy work that gave the Confederate army the edge in its first major confrontation with Union soldiers at the first battle of Bull Run.

HALL, Harriet Prudence Patterson
Prudence, a Revolutionary War heroine, saved the life of a man who had been scalped and also delivered an important message to the American Army, which she carried hidden in her petticoat.

HARDINGE, Belle Boyd
Confederate spy and Civil War heroine, Belle served as a courier and scout for Col. John S. Mosby's guerrillas and was made an honorary Captain by General Stonewall Jackson.

HARNACK, Mildred Fish
A native of Wisconsin, Mildred Harnack became active in the anti-Nazi resistance when she moved to Germany with her husband and was instrumental in passing intelligence to the Americans and Soviets. She was captured and executed in 1943, the only American woman executed for treason by Hitler. Her story forms the core of an exciting new book by Shareen Blair Brysac.

HART, Lucy Adams
Failing to persuade President Lincoln to allow her husband to return home, Lucy spent the remainder of the Civil War at the front with her beloved Toby.

HART, Nancy Morgan
Legendary heroine of the Revolutionary War, part-time spy, full-time Patriot, she helped to defend the State of Georgia and single-handedly captured a small group of Tories.

(HEARD), Mammy Kate
A slave belonging to Stephen Heard, a future governor of Georgia, Kate rescued her master and his horse from a Tory prison camp, an act which earned her freedom. [See also "African American Women.]

HERITAGE, Susanna Marple
While her husband was a prisoner of war, Susanna fed her family on potatoes hidden in the cellar.

HUPP, Ann Rowe
Ann's heroic efforts to rally her family and neighbors during an Indian attack are detailed here in a letter written by a descendant of the Hupp family.

KENNEY, Lucy Matilda Thompson Gause
When her husband, Byrant Gause volunteered for the Confederate Army, Lucy, reluctant to stay behind worrying about him, disguised herself as Private "Bill Thompson" in order to stay near him. She was wounded at the Battle of Manassas, at which point her sex was discovered and she was ordered home. Ignoring the orders, she returned to the front lines.

LEAMING, Dessie Elizabeth Hayter
Dessie saved her 5-year-old niece from being run over by a train.

McCREA, Jane
The daughter of a Presbyterian minister at the time of the Revolutionay War, Jane was not a heroine in her lifetime - she was murdered by Indians. However, Jane was immortalized as the heroic character "Cora" in James Fenimore Cooper's Last of the Mohicans.

McGINNIS, Sarah Kast
Branded a Tory for her loyalty to England during the Revolutionary War, Sarah had her New York property confiscated and moved to Canada. Having grown up beside the Mohawk, and fluent in their language, she was asked by the Superintendent of Indians to return to New York all alone to persuade the Mohawk to remain firmly loyal to the King, which she did.

POINDEXTER, Elizabeth Pledge
A Southern patriot of the American Revolution, Elizabeth sewed letters in her young daughter's petticoat and sent her through the enemy lines.

SAMPSON, Deborah
Descended from several Mayflower passengers, Deborah served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War disguised "Robert Shurtleff". She fought in combat alongside the men, and went undetected until a malignant fever" sent her to the hospital where a doctor discovered her charade. After meeting with General Washington who gave her sufficient money for the trip home, she was honorably discharged and received a pension.

SNELL (Summs, Eyles, Habgood), Hannah
On 2 June 1750, in a local London pub, a young marine stunned his fellow soldiers by announcing that "he" was really a woman in disguise. For over two years Hannah Snell had concealed her true sex while serving in a regiment of the Royal Marines. She had sailed to India through great storms and fought in mud-filled trenches at the siege of Pondicherry.

SPRINGFIELD, Laodicea "Dicey" Langston
"Daring Dicey" provided valuable information to the Patriots and harassed the enemy during the entire Revolutionary war. Living at Laurens District, South Carolina, one of Dicey's escapades involved crossing the dark, rain-swollen icy waters of the Enoree river at night to warn the settlers at "Elder settlement" 20 miles away of an impending Tory attack led by "Bloody" Bill Cunningham, a man noted for his cruelty.

During the Revolutionary War, Rebecca prevented a British raiding party from landing by firing a cannon filled with grapeshot at an approaching British sloop. Her sister, Sarah was successful in enlisting General Washington's aid in an exchange of prisoners, in order to rescue her husband.

THORPE, Sarah Dayton
Sarah saved her children from starvation during an unexpected delay in her husband's absence.

TURNER, Kerenhappuch Norman
Kerenhappuch rode her horse from Maryland to nurse her son and other wounded soldiers after the battle of Guilford Courthouse. A statue of her was erected at Battle of Guilford Courthouse National Military Park near Greensboro, North Carolina.

TURNER, Kerenhappuch Norman
Another contribution from another descendant of this Revolutionary War heroine.

VAUGHN, Susan Landon Adams
Teacher, Confederate nurse, Rebel spy, Susan was also the founder of Decoration Day.

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