When a woman applies for membership in the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, she learns the requirement for membership is the ability to trace and document her relationship to a patriot who served in some capacity for the American cause during the Revolutionary War. The same holds true for the organization’s male counterpart, Sons of the American Revolution. According to these two societies, the definition of the word ‘patriot’ does not necessarily contain the word ‘soldier’. As vitally important to the new country’s cause as the soldiers were, Colonial America’s history is also filled with patriots who never joined the military. Some kept the home fires burning and others offered help to the soldiers and cause in a number of other ways.
One such patriot was Mary Slocumb. A heroine of the American Revolution from North Carolina, Mary Hooks Slocumb married Ezekiel Slocumb shortly after they each reached the tender age of 18. Not long after the wedding, Mary took charge of the family farm and a small child when Ezekiel left to join the light brigade and support the patriot cause for freedom.
Sometime during the night of February 26, 1776, a dream filled Mary’s thoughts. In this dream, she saw the guard cloak belonging to her husband wrapped around a body. Fearing it was Ezekiel; Mary quickly dressed, saddled her horse and headed off cross country in the direction she knew the patriots had traveled. She was able to cover 30 miles before daybreak.
Mary began to hear cannon blasts in the distance as she neared Wilmington Roadand quickly hurried to the battle scene. Near a cluster of trees, she found 20 wounded soldiers, one of which was wrapped in her husband’s cloak. Fearing this was Ezekiel, she immediately found herself at the soldier’s side and uncovered his head. A harsh wound across the man’s temple clothed his face in gore, and his warm voice asked her for water. Breathing a sigh of relief over the fact the injured man was not her husband; Mary immediately began to care for the injured patriot and inquired as to her husband’s whereabouts. She learned he was in pursuit of the enemy.
Ezekiel later returned to camp rather tattered and torn, but none the worse for the situation in which he was involved. Finding his wife amongst the troops nursing the wounded, pride filled his heart. Reassured of Ezekiel’s well being, Mary rode through the night back to their farm. Both Mary and Ezekiel survived the war and witnessed the establishment of the new nation.
At the site where the Battle of Moores Creek Bridge occurred, a statue is erected which honors Mary Slocumb and other brave women who played a vital part in the patriotic cause during the Revolutionary War.