Track 9: Station H
Soldiers typically ranged from 20 to 30 years of age. Sometimes younger boys served as officers' servants, or as drummers or fifers. Occasionally, boys as young as 14 or 15 served as officers in the British army. Civilian camp followers marched with both British and American armies.
Camp followers included women and children, merchants, and occasional refugees. Their jobs were to wash, mend and sew the soldiers’ clothes, forage, tend the wounded or sick, help provide some supplies, and take care of themselves and their children. They did not generally cook for soldiers, as the soldiers did their own cooking.
It was a difficult life, but their presence did afford armies some needed assistance.
Camp followers were occasionally exposed to battlefield dangers. Two accounts tell of anonymous American camp followers killed in the fighting during the Battles of Saratoga.
"I was convinced how much the Americans were pushed in our late action, on the 19th of September, for I met with several dead bodies belonging to the enemy, and among them were laying close to each other, two men and a woman, the latter of whom had her arms extended, and her hands grasping cartridges."–British Ensign Thomas Anbury, British 24th Regiment of Foot
"the American women followed close after the American soldiers, as they were advancing, and even exposed themselves where the shot were flying, to strip the dead....I saw one woman while thus employed, struck by a cannon ball and literally dashed to pieces."
–Ambrose Collins, Connecticut milita
We often hear tales of the soldiers'contributions here at Saratoga and in the American Revolution...but what about the women? How did women contribute to the war effort and participate in the political climate of the day? What effects did the war have on Women’s Rights? Keep marching to find out....