FEARLESS WOMEN: Margaret Corbin


Revolutionary War soldier Margaret Corbin is back in the news this week.

You read that right, a Revolutionary War soldier in the news.


Margaret’s husband John was stationed at Fort Washington and she was there as what was known as a camp follower. Camp followers were responsible for the cooking, washing and care of wounded soldiers.

During the attack on Fort Washington on November 16, 1776, John was killed while loading artillery leaving the cannon unmanned.

Margaret certainly ran, right to the cannon and took up John’s position.

Having watched John closely she was able to clean, load, aim and fire the cannon. Margaret proved her mettle and her skill.

She incurred serious injuries that impacted the remainder of her life and she later became the first women to receive a pension from Congress for military service.

Her remains are interred at West Point and she is also honored with a monument in New York City’s Fort Tryon Park.


There is a bill in Congress would accomplish two goals.

First, it would rename the Manhattan 23rd Street VA Medical Center the “Margaret Corbin VA Medical Center”. It would be the first VA Medical Center in the country to be named for a female soldier.

Second, it would pave the way for an adjustment to the motto of the VA Medical Center Health Care System:

“To care for him those who shall have borne the battle and for his their widow, and his their orphan”

The bill is currently experiencing bi-partisan support and appears set to pass.


VA Motto

Female Veterans Ask VA To Include Them in Its Motto

Photos via Creative Commons and West Point Archives

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