SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- In the midst of one of the fiercest artillery duels of the American Revolution (June 28, 1778, in Monmouth, NJ), a woman was observed doing something unusual: helping to fire a cannon! 

From this event sprang the legend of Mary Hays -- better known today as Molly Pitcher.

At the opening meeting of the Historical Society of Scotch Plains and Fanwood on Tuesday, Sept. 26, Stacy F. Roth will do a dramatic recreation of Mary Hays’ involvement in the Philadelphia Campaign and the engagement at Monmouth Courthouse. 

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Molly was one of the women who “belonged to the army” during the American Revolution. She will reminisce about the days when she accompanied her husband through summer battles and winter encampments from Valley Forge to Monmouth to Morristown. Relating her tales of firing a cannon in the heat of battle to trudging “behind the baggage,” she provides a glimpse into what it was like to be a “camp follower” in the days when American Independence was a dream rather than a certainty.

Ms. Roth is a full-time living history educator who offers this and other programs for school groups, historical societies, libraries, museums and special events. She is also the author of Past into Present:  Effective Techniques for First-Person Historical Interpretation, published by the University of North Carolina Press.

This exciting, dramatic presentation is free and open to everyone. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 26, at the Fanwood Train Station. Refreshments and fellowship follow the meeting.