The Hart of Georgia
Of the 159 counties in Georgia, there’s only one named for a woman. Hart County, in the northeastern part of the state, is named after my daughter-in-law’s 6th great-grandmother… and for good reason. A formidable woman she was.
Nancy Hart (nee Morgan) stood six feet tall with red hair and a muscular build and she was as adept with both gun and axe as any man. She was also a devout patriot when it came to American Independence and she had ample opportunity to prove it as she lived during the Revolutionary War. Two of her oft-told tales are summarized below.
In one, as she was stirring a pot of boiling soap over an open fire and regaling her family with the latest news of the war she was alerted to a spy peering at them through the crevices in the log wall. Quick as lightning she flung the ladle of boiling soap through the crevice in the wall, catching the eavesdropper full in the face. Dashing outside, she continued to taunt the now blinded Tory as she bound him and took him prisoner.
Her most famous exploit occurred when six British soldiers came upon her cabin and demanded a meal. While she was well known for her open hostility towards the British she was also renowned for her culinary skills. In this case, she became cordial and hospitable, fixing an ample feast for her enemy who, stacking their muskets in the corner, enjoyed the food and drink before them. As they became intoxicated, she sent her daughter to fetch her husband from the fields and began slipping their muskets through a chink in the wall. As she was handling the third musket, she was discovered and as one of the soldiers moved toward her she, without hesitation, spun and fired upon him, shooting him dead. A second soldier decided to act and she grabbed another gun and wounded him. With the third musket now in her hands, she dared the others to test her resolve. They did not. When her husband arrived, the remaining prisoners were taken out to the back and hung from an oak tree as Nancy opined that they weren’t worth the bullet.
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