Revolutionary War Minute Woman! Mary Ramage Dillard.

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I ran across the story of Mary Ramage Dillard while doing research for a friend on the Adair family. We tend to think that only men played a major role in the Revolutionary war, but I am finding stories of many heroic women. The Joseph Adair Sr. mentioned in this post is my friends 5th Great Grandfather. This is found on Find A Grave.

Mary Ramage Dillard's ride

 

From the Young Patriot’s Series book, Sarah Dillard’s Ride. Published in 1898. Sarah is actually Mary Ramage Dillard.

MinuteWoman!

Mary Ramage Dillard

1757-1795

Revolutionary war Heroine!

Mary Ramage Dillard, a daughter of John and Jean (Jane) Adair Ramage of Laurens District, South Carolina, was born during the early 1760′s. Mary was the wife of James Dillard, who was born in 1755 in Culpeper County, Virginia. James had settled in what is now Laurens County when he was seven years old. James and Mary lived near the South Fork Creek in the eastern section of Laurens County.

Both Mary’s father, John Ramage, and maternal grandfather, Joseph Adair, Sr., were American Patriots in the Laurens District. Mary’s husband James Dillard served as a Captain in the American Revolution. Mary is considered a Revolutionary Heroine because of her midnight ride to warn the American Patriots of an impending attack. It seems that her husband, Capt James Dillard, was away from home at the time serving in the American Army. A group of British and Tory soldiers came to Mary’s home and ordered Mary to prepare them a meal. While serving the meal, Mary overheard them discussing that they would attack the American Army. After they left, Mary mounted a horse, not even taking time to saddle it, and carried the information to the American Patriots. She had a baby son to deal with and having no time to find somewhere to leave him, Mary lifted the bed post and sat it down on the end of his dressing gown, keeping the baby safe from harm while he slept. Her effort is said to have prevented a Tory victory at Blackstocks which was Tarleton’s first defeat in South Carolina. Tarleton later recalled seeing a woman on horseback among the trees bordering his march and he believed that she reported him to Sumter.

On another occasion, Mary numbered the British Army while they marched down the road near her home. By counting the men in each file and then counting the number of files, she was able to calculate the number of British. She gave this information to her husband who passed it to the commander of the American Patriots. On two occasions during the Revolution the Dillard’s home was burned but this did not discourage their desire for American Independence.

History records that Mary Ramage Dillard was a beautiful woman, remarkably little and very active. After the Revolution, James and Mary continued to live in Laurens County where they reared their family, They had seven children: John Dillard, George Washington Dillard, Priscilla Ramage Dillard, Mary (Polly) Dillard, Jane (Jennie) Dillard, Elizabeth (Betsy) Dillard and Samuel H. Dillard.

Mary was a member of a family who supported independence during the American Revolution. Mary Ramage dillard’s father, John Ramage, her maternal grandfather, Joseph Adair, and her husband, Capt. James Dillard, fought for American independence during the Revolution. Capt. James and Mary had a large home on the Enoree River, opposite the Musgrove plantation. On two occasions, Capt. James and Mary Ramage Dillard’s home was burned by the British and/or the Tories but this did not discourage their desire for American independence.

Mary Ramage Dillard died at the age of 38 in 1795. Cause of death is unknown by this writer, but I suspect death came shortly after the death of her last child.

Mary Ramage Dillard grave

Notes:

Birth: 1757
Death: 1795
Laurens County
South Carolina, USA
Family links:
Parents:
John Ramage (1720 – 1799)
Jean Adair Ramage (1738 – 1805)

Spouse:
James Dillard (1755 – 1836)

Children:
Samuel Dillard (1794 – 1842)*

*Calculated relationship

Inscription:
Little River Regiment
South Carolina Militia
Revolutionary War
1757

Note: Moved here from the Pleasant Hill Cemetery where this headstone was added to honor her but, mistakenly put on the grave of James Dillard’s 2nd wife Mary Puckett. Burial:
Duncan Creek Presbyterian Church Cemetery
Clinton
Laurens County
South Carolina, USAMaintained by: J Dillard
Originally Created by: ღ Paul, Karen, & K…
Record added: Sep 09, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 29696253

 

Mary Ramage, a daughter of John and Jean (Leah Jane Ramage of
Laurens County, South Carolina, was born during the early
1760′s. Married James Dillard, who later became an American
Revolutionary Capt.. Capt. James and Mary Ramage Dillard
settled near the South Fork Creek in what is now Laurens County,
South Carolina (eastern section). History recalls Mary Ramage
Dillard’s midnight ride to warn the American Patriots of an
impending attack. Because of her ride she is considered an
American Revolutionary Heroine.
Mary Ramage Dillard died at the age of 35 in 1795. Capt.
James Dillard later married Mary Puckett and they had seven
Children.
History records that Mary Ramage Dillard was a beautiful
woman, remarkably little and very active. Mary was a member of
a family who supported independence during the American
Revolution. Both Mary’s father, John Ramage, and her husband,
Capt. James Dillard fought for American independence during the
Revolution. Capt. James and Mary Ramage Dillard had a large
home on the Enoree River, opposite the Musgrove plantation. On
two occasions Capt. James and Mary Ramage Dillard’s home was
burned by the British and/or Tories but this did not discourage
their desire for American independence.
Mary is considered an American Revolutionary Heroine because
of her midnight ride to warn the Patriots of an impending
attack. It seems that Mary’s husband, Capt. James Dillard, was
away form home serving in the militia at the time. A group of
British and Tory Soldiers came to the Dillard home and ordered
Mary to prepare a meal for them. While serving the meal, Mary
overheard them discussing that they would attack the Americans.
After they left, Mary mounted her horse not even taking the time
to saddle it and carried the information to the Patriots. Her
effort is said to have prevented a Tory victory at Blackstocks,
Tarleton.s first defeat in South Carolina. Tarleton later
recalled seeing a woman on horseback among the trees bordering
his march and he believed that she had reported him to Sumter.
There have been several versions of Mary Ramage Dillard’s
ride. Several stories stated that Mary and warned Colonel
Clarke at Green Springs of an attack by Ferguson and Dunlap.
Another indicates that she warned General Green at Musgrove
Mill. Historians now agree that she warned the Patriots at
Blackstocks. Historians have come to his conclusion because the
Tory troops were camped at Musgrove’s Mill and the Patriots were
in camp at Blackstock’s Plantation.
In a letter written to Lyman Draper in 1873, Mrs. Nancy E.
Boyce, age 71 daughter of Capt. James Dillard and his second
wife, stated that the first wife of her father was Mary Ramage,
the daughter of John and Jane (Jean) Ramage. Mrs. Boyce’s
letter also identified Mary Ramage Dillard as the “Mrs. Dillard”
who had warned Sumter at Blackstock’s on the Tyger River that
British soldiers were headed in that direction. Mrs. Boyce also
stated that her older sister had been of the opinion that the
warning had been to Musgrove’s Mill. Mr. Draper, author of
Kings Mountain and Its Heroes which was published in 1881, noted
on Mrs. Boyce’s letter that the British were already at
Musgrove’s Mill at the time.
On another occasion , Mary numbered the British Army while
they marched down a road near her home. By counting the men in
each file and counting the number of files she was able to
calculate the number of British. She give this information to
he husband who passed it on the commander of the American
Patriots.

References: Information form “The Draper Collection” at Duke
University, identification # VV, pages 11-13; The Women of the
American Revolution, by Elizabeth F. Ellet, published by Charles
Scribner, 1853, pages 291-294; Distinguished Women of Laurens
County, by Louis Jones DuBose.

Descendants of Mary Ramage Dillard are eligible for
membership in the CAR, DAR, or SA due to Mary Ramage Dillard
having made her ride to warn the Patriots of an attack during
the American Revolutionary War. Descendants of Mary Ramage
Dillard are also eligible for membership because of her father,
John Ramage and her husband, Capt. James Dillard, having fought
for independence during the American Revolution’

============================
Individual Note: Reference:
“History of King’s Mountain and its Heroes”
James Dillard’s will filed Laurens County Courthouse

 

Mary Ramage, a daughter of John and Jean (Jane) Ramage of Laurens County, South Carolina, was born during the early 1760′s. Mary Ramage married James Dillard (4 February 1755-4 December 1836), who later became an American Revolutionary Captain. James and Mary Ramage Dillard settled near the South Fork Creek in what is now Laurens County, South Carolina (the eastern section).

History records that Mary Ramage Dillard was a remarkably little and beautiful woman. Mary was a member of a family who supported independence during the American Revolution. Mary Ramage Dillard’s father, John Ramage, her maternal grandfather, Joseph Adair, and her husband, Capt. James Dillard, fought for American independence during the Revolution. Capt. James and Mary Ramage Dillard had a large home on the Enoree River, opposite the Musgrove plantation. On two occasions, Capt. James and Mary Ramage Dillard’s home was burned by the British and/or Tories but this did not discourage their desire for American independence.

Mary Ramage Dillard is considered an American Revolutionary Heroine because of her midnight ride to warn the Patriots of an impending attack. It seems that Mary’s husband, Capt. James Dillard, was away from home serving in the militia at the time. A group of British and Tory Soldiers came to the Dillard home and ordered Mary to prepare a meal for them. While serving the meal, Mary overheard them discussing that they would attack the Americans. After they left, Mary mounted her horse not even taking the time to saddle it and carried the information to the Patriots. Her effort is said to have prevented a Tory victory at Blackstocks, Tarleton’s first defeat in South Carolina. Tarleton later recalled seeing a woman on horseback among the trees bordering his march and he believed that she had reported him to Sumter. The Battle at Blackstocks occurred on 20 November 1780.

There have been several versions of Mary Ramage Dillard’s ride. Several stories stated that Mary had warned Colonel Clarke at Green Springs of an attack by Ferguson and Dunlap. Another indicates that she warned General Greene at Musgrove Mill (19 August 1780). Historians now agree that she warned the Patriots at Blackstocks. Historians have come to this conclusion because the Tory troops were camped at Musgrove’s Mill and the Patriots were in camp at Blackstock’s Plantation.

In a letter written to Lyman Draper in 1873, Mrs. Nancy E. Dillard Boyce, age 71, daughter of Capt. James Dillard and his second wife, stated that the first wife of her father was Mary Ramage, the daughter of John and Jean (Jane) Ramage. Mrs. Boyce’s letter also identified Mary Ramage Dillard as the “Mrs. Dillard” who had warned Sumter at Blackstock’s on the Tyger River that British soldiers were headed in that direction. Mrs. Boyce also stated that her older sister had been of the opinion that the warning had been to Musgrove’s Mill (19 August 1780). Mr. Draper, author of Kings Mountain and Its Heroes which was published in 1881, noted on Mrs. Boyce’s letter that the British were already at Musgrove’s Mill at the time.

One family story concerning Mary Ramage Dillard’s ride has been passed down from generation to generation among her Ray descendants of northeast Mississippi. Members of the family say that Mary Ramage Dillard’s son, John Dillard, was only a small child at the time. Mary could not take him with her on the ride and had no one to leave him with. She lifted up one end of the bed and set the bedpost down on the end of his nightshirt. The child remained there alone while his mother rode to warn the American Patriots. The British came to the Dillard home, and finding the child alone, took him to a nearby home before returning and burning the Dillard home.

On another occasion, Mary Ramage Dillard determined the number of British troops as they marched down a road near her home. By counting the men in each file and then counting the number of files, she was able to calculate the number of British. She gave this information to her husband who conveyed it to the commander of the American Patriots.

Mary Ramage Dillard died at the age of 35 in 1795. Capt. James Dillard later married Mary Puckett and they had seven children.

The children of Capt. James and Mary Ramage Dillard were: John Dillard, Priscilla Ramage Dillard Garrett, Jane “Jennie” Dillard Burke, Elizabeth Dillard Harris, George W. Dillard, Samuel H. Dillard and Mary “Polly” Dillard Garrett.
1

http://www.theellisons.net/ghtout/np4.htm

Sources: From: Carolina Herald, March 1990…. by Thomas L. Wallis

  1. Mary Ramage Dillard (1757 – 1795) – Find A Grave Memorial

    www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=29696253
Sep 9, 2008 - Mary Ramage Dillard, a daughter of John and Jean (Jane) Adair Ramage of Laurens District, South Carolina, was born during the early 1760′s.
  1. Adair and Holland Families:Information about Mary Ramage

    familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/b/o/w/Lisa…/UHP-1801.html

     She married James Dillard. Includes Notes Notes for Mary Ramage: Mrs. Dillard was a noble American woman, wife of Capt. Dillard, an American soldier, and