Re: Mary Dillard, Sarah Dillard, War Story.
I am a descendant of Capt James Dillard and his wife, Mary Ramage of Laurens County, SC.The story is true and Mary Ramage Dillard is one of the few women heroines of the Revolution that the DAR recognizes.
I have a copy of the book "Sarah Dillard's Ride" written by James Otis copyrighted in 1898 and published by A.L.Burt, NY.
It is actually the story of two young boys (Evan and Nathan) who are running away to join the Militia.They come upon Mary Dillard who has been thrown from her horse in the woods. She begs them to help her catch the colt and help her mount him once again. With great difficulty they finally catch and help her mount the colt but say to her.
"The colt is maddened by his struggles with us and is in far more dangerous a condition than when you first mounted.It is madness to think of attempting to make your way through the thicket in the darkness.I implore you to give over the attempt, and let us press on as best we may afoot."
Her response is "Now, you are asking that I leave these brave men, and among them my husband, to be surprised by an enemy that knows no mercy, for it is positive you could not get through in time.Turn the colt, if it so be you can, and once he is headed in the right direction, jump aside."
The pen and ink illustration shows her sitting sideways on the horse bareback.
The book was part of a series called the Young Patriot Series that was used as text books for students of that time.It is an amazing tale that includes the boys meeting up with Capt. Dillard, Col. McDowell and Col. Campbell (all of these surnames are part of my own genealogy) and continuing on into battle.
I have never found the answer as to why she was called Sarah instead of Mary.Perhaps because Mary Ramage Dillard died in childbirth in 1795 and Capt. Dillard took another wife who was also named Mary (Puckett).The two have often been confused.
When the Eagle Scouts decided to make a memorial at the gravesites of Capt. (then Major) Dillard and his wife they mistakenly marked the gravesite of Mary Puckett as Mary Ramage Dillard. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in getting them or the SAR to make a stone for Mary Puckett Dillard even though they had turned hers and James Dillard's face down in the dirt.
They are buried on the Duckett farm which is now private property.The Duckett family had two of their children marry Dillards including Lydia Duckett who married Samuel Dillard, my great great grandfather and his half sister, Narcissa Dillard, married Thomas Duckett. Thomas and Narcissa are buried behind James and Mary Puckett Dillard