Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Luiseño Chapter America 250 look at history

TEMECULA – Two hundred forty-six years ago, on June 28, 1778, the longest land battle of the American Revolution took place near Freehold Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey. The conflict, known as the Battle of Monmouth CourtHouse, saw the lengthy confrontation between General George Washington's combatants and Britain's Henry Clinton's red coats. "It was at Monmouth that the tactics and training from Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben developed at Valley Forge during the winter encampment were first implemented on a large scale." (

William "John" Hays, soldier, and his wife Mary Ludwig Hays – known in history as Molly Pitcher – were at the Battle of Monmouth. Mary Ludwig, the daughter of German immigrants, had married William Hays, a barber, in 1769. She first entered the war record on June 28, 1778, when she signed up two years after her husband to serve with Capt. Francis Proctor's company in the Pennsylvania Artillery.

...Mary had endeared herself to the troops because of her unusual courage and hard work under fire. During the Battle of Monmouth, Mary Ludwig Hays earned the nickname Molly Pitcher for performing the exhaustive work of supplying battle-fatigued and wounded men with drinking water in the heat of combat." (

While William was involved in the lengthy conflict, he collapsed of heat exhaustion and Mary moved into his gunner position on the crew firing his cannon.

Also in Monmouth County, residing in Upper Freehold Township, was Joseph Holmes who was one of the founders of the local Crosswicks Baptist Church. In his 70s, Joseph heard the call to public duty.

He served as a delegate to the Provincial Congress held at New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1776. He also volunteered as a member of the Committee of Safety, and his final public service was as a New Jersey commissioner to attend the York Town, Pennsylvania, convention in 1777.

Other battles and massacres during the war in Monmouth County include sites such as the Matawan "Burrowes Mansion" and the Shrewsbury "Allen House." American Patriots numbered 14,300 during the Monmouth Court House and other county battles as opposed to the British estimate of 17,600. Were these all men combatants? Or do the numbers reflect support from the locals and wives? The American Revolution was won by an enormous Patriot effort in which Mary Ludwig Hays and Joseph Holmes played important parts.

This month the America250 Committee of Luiseño Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, honors Joseph Holmes, Revolutionary War Patriot.

Born in 1698 in Middletown, Monmouth County, Colony of East Jersey, Joseph Holmes was the second of eight children born to Sheriff Obadiah Holmes and Alice Ashton. He married Elizabeth Ashton, and they had seven children. Of their children, son Obadiah performed patriotic service in Pennsylvania. Of their grandchildren, grandson Obadiah fought in the Washington County, Pennsylvania militia.

Men like 78-year-old Joseph Holmes are rarely in our history books, nor are the supportive women who followed the armies and cared for the battle-weary fighters, but without their beliefs, convictions, and actions the American Colonies might not have won the Revolutionary War.

The Luiseño Chapter meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Assistance League in Temecula. The focus of the Chapter is Patriotism, Historic Preservation, and Education. For more information, visit

Submitted by Luiseño Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.


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