Lesson Plan

Unsung Patriots: Women at the Battle of Cowpens

Grade Level:
Middle School: Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade
Literacy and Language Arts,Social Studies
Lesson Duration:
60 Minutes
State Standards:
South Carolina:
Social Studies: 8.1.1, 8.2.6, 8.8.1, 8.7.7
Language Arts: Grade 8-I-F, H, L, N; IV-B, J
Visual Arts - Components 1-3
Drama: Components 1-3
Thinking Skills:
Remembering: Recalling or recognizing information ideas, and principles. Understanding: Understand the main idea of material heard, viewed, or read. Interpret or summarize the ideas in own words. Applying: Apply an abstract idea in a concrete situation to solve a problem or relate it to a prior experience. Analyzing: Break down a concept or idea into parts and show the relationships among the parts.

Essential Question

What important role did women have in the Battle of Cowpens?


The student will be able to identify the varied roles of women in the American Revolution.
The student will be able to explain this role in the context of the position of women in colonial society.
The student will identify women associated with the battle of Cowpens in the context of documented activities of women in South Carolina and all of colonial America.


GOAL: To present to students the contribution of women to the Battle of Cowpens in context of women’s role in the Revolution in the Carolinas and colony-wide.

Women made important contributions to the American Revolution. Stories abound of heroines and others associated with the events of war. Many were camp followers following their husbands, sons, and fathers as they fought. They cooked, sewed, and nursed the wounded, served as messengers and spies, and sometimes fought in battle. Often we are aware of such persons as Molly Pitcher and Sybil Ludington (the female Paul Revere), but there were other lesser-known and sometimes unnamed women who are of equal importance. A number of women are known for their involvement in the Revolutionary War in South Carolina.

Many stories of Revolutionary War heroines are blends of fact and fiction. Good researchers document their findings.

Other than those heroines connected to battles, there were those women on the home-front who took on the sole obligations of managing home and family. It is interesting to note those roles taken by various Native-American, African-American, Patriot, and Loyalist women.


Review Background Information and Procedure sections.



Complete the following activities using the list of heroines and other women associated with the Revolution below.

  1. Match each woman with bibliographical information about her.
  2. Use a map of the 13 colonies (or present states) to pinpoint where each was from. Identify those from your state.
  3. Assume the role of one of these women and write a diary of actual or possible experiences in context of the Revolution and historical events surrounding her life.
  4. Use fabric and your imagination to make a banner or flag honoring one of these women.
  5. Present a “This Was Your Life” program on one or more of these women. With each, a student can use or memorize a script to portray the historic woman. Another person can serve as an emcee or presenter; others, people, either real or fictitious, from this woman’s life.
  6. Read selections from the book, Founding Mothers and contrast and compare the role of African-American women, Native-American women, Loyalist women and Patriot women. Discuss women’s role in war.

1. ___Catherine Moore Barry

2. ___Emily Geiger

3. ___Anne Kennedy Hamilton

4. ___Nancy Hart

5. ___Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson

6. ___Sybil Ludington

7. ___Molly Hays McCauley

8. ___Rebecca Motte

9. ___Dicey Langston Springfield

10. ___Nancy Ward

11. ___Phillis Wheatley


  1. Eighteen-year-old who rode through wild Carolina backcountry to deliver General Nathanael Greene’s message to General Thomas Sumter.
  2. Mother of a future president, she traveled to Charles-ton and died as she attended to relatives on a British prison ship.
  3. Frontier Cherokee woman who warned settlers of impending attack. She helped introduce cattle into the Cherokee economy.
  4. Sixteen-year-old who warned the New York militia of an impending British attack against a Danbury, Con-necticut, supply center. She is remembered as “the female Paul Revere.”
  5. Laurens County, SC, heroine whose nickname was short for Laodicea.
  6. African-American who wrote about freedom, she be-came a symbol for the abolition of slavery.
  7. Heroine from Walnut Grove Plantation, Spartanburg Co., SC
  8. Patriot from Georgia for whom Hart County is named.
  9. Pennsylvania camp follower who was nicknamed Molly Pitcher when she took pitchers of water to wounded soldiers.
  10. She agreed that her own home be burned to drive out British invaders.
  11. According to legend, her father, brother and future husband fought at the Battle of Cowpens.



  1. Draw a poster illustrating the role of Anne Kennedy at the Battle of Cowpens (or women in other battles.)
  2. An epitaph for Mary Patton is printed below. Write an epitaph for Anne Kennedy or any of the above women based on their role in the Revolution.

One of that heroic band who
established a civilization in the wilderness.
She made the powder used by
John Sevier’s troops in the battle
of Kings Mountain

Erected by her descendants, 1932

Additional Resources

Blumenthal, Walter Hart. Women Camp Followers of the American Revolution. Philadelphia: George S. MacManus Company, 1952.

Buel, Joy Day and Richard Buel, Jr. The Way of Duty: A Woman and Her Family in Revolutionary America. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1995.

De Pauw, Linda Grant. Founding Mothers: Women of America in the Revolutionary Era. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1975.

Huff, Archie Vernon, Jr. “Jane Thomas and Dicey Langston Springfield” in Greenville: The History of the City and County in the South Carolina Piedmont. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1995. pp. 28-29.

Kierner, Cynthia A. Southern Women in Revolution, 1776- 1800: Personal and Political Narratives. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1998.

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Last updated: December 18, 2018