When we are in school and study history like the Revolutionary War, you learn the names of George Washington, Ben Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. While they were some of the Founding Fathers of the United States and are important, there are also others who accomplished some incredible things but don’t make it into the history books. Unfortunately, many of those who are often overlooked happen to be women. One of those women who has gone unnoticed was Anna Maria Lane, whose story is one that definitely should be told.
If you enjoy stories of love, adventure, action, and a badass woman breaking gender barriers then you are going to fall in love with Anna Lane. There is not much known about her prior to the Revolution according to Emerging Revolutionary War, but in 1776 her husband John joined the Continental Army. Lane then did something fairly common for the day and followed her husband on his enlistment. She, along with the other women who accompanied their spouses to the battlefield, were expected to do things like laundry, cooking, and caring for injured soldiers. Lane had other plans that involved becoming part of the action, which included dressing like a man in order to participate in battle.
Revolutionary War hero gets her due
One year into the war, Anna Maria Lane fought alongside her husband and other soldiers in the Battle of Germantown. Per Women’s History Blog, it was during this battle that Lane sustained a leg injury that left her crippled for life. Before she was injured, it is believed that she might have fought with her husband in the battles of White Plains, Princeton, and Trenton, according to Revolutionary War and Beyond. Following the end of the war, she and her husband moved to Richmond, Virginia where he worked for the public guard and she volunteered as a nurse at the military hospital.
Lane’s greatest accomplishment was actually what she achieved following the war. In 1804, as she began to age and have health issues, she petitioned the state of Virginia for a pension due to the fact she was injured in battle as a “common soldier,” according to Colonial Williamsburg. It took almost four years, but in 1808, Anna Maria Lane was awarded a pension from the state of Virginia. Even more impressive was the fact that she received two and a half times the standard amount that the other soldiers received. Due to the severity of her injury, the state thought it appropriate that she receive $100 per year instead of just the average $40. Though she died a couple of years later, Anna Maria Lane goes down in history as the only known woman from Virginia to serve as a soldier in the Revolution.
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