Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Women's Day: Deborah Sampson

In 1782, as the Revolutionary war raged on, the patriotic Sampson disguised herself as a man named Robert Shurtleff and joined the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment. At West Point, New York, she was assigned to Captain George Webb’s Company of Light Infantry. She was given the dangerous task of scouting neutral territory to assess British buildup of men and materiel in Manhattan, which General George Washington contemplated attacking. In June of 1782, Sampson and two sergeants led about 30 infantrymen on an expedition that ended with a confrontation – often one-on-one – with Tories. She led a raid on a Tory home that resulted in the capture of 15 men. At the siege of Yorktown, she dug trenches, helped storm a British redoubt, and endured canon fire.
For over two years, Sampson’s true sex had escaped detection, despite close calls. When she received a gash in her forehead from a sword and was shot in her left thigh, she extracted the pistol ball herself. She was ultimately discovered – a year and a half into her service – in Philadelphia, when she became ill during an epidemic, was taken to a hospital and lost consciousness. 

Read more at:

No comments: