|Painting by Don Troiani|
Margaret Corbin was a woman who fought in the American Revolutionary War. On November 16, 1776, her husband, John Corbin was one of some 600 American soldiers defending Fort Washington in northern Manhattan from 4,000 attacking Hessian troops under British command. John Corbin was on the crew one of two cannons the defenders deployed. During an assault by the Hessians, John was killed, after witnessing his death, she immediately took his place at the cannon, continuing to fire until her arm, chest, and jaw were hit by enemy fire. The British ultimately won the Battle of Fort Washington, resulting in the surrender of Margaret and her comrades and the taking of the last American position in New York City.
As the equivalent of a wounded soldier, Margaret was released by the British on parole.
She later became the first woman in U.S. history to receive a pension from Congress for military service.