Sarah Osborn Benjamin

Born in 1743, Sarah Osborn Benjamin grew up along the frontier, witnessing violent struggles between colonists and Indigenous Americans. Her first husband, William Reed, had been killed in an early battle of the Revolutionary War. In 1780, she married Aaron Osborn and joined him in the Continental Army.

She caught General Washington’s attention with her bravery, carrying supplies under fire at the siege of Yorktown.

“Are you not afraid of cannonballs?” – George Washington

“No – the bullet would not cheat the gallows. And it would not due for the men to fight and starve too.” – Sarah

After the war, Sarah and Aaron had two children before he left her. In 1787, she married John Benjamin. In 1837, Sarah successfully applied for a pension, submitting her autobiography and Revolutionary War experiences. Sarah Osborn Benjamins’s courage and determination reflect the resilience of women during the American Revolution.

French map of the route to Yorktown, 1782. Courtesy of the Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

The route Washington and Rochambeau marched to Yorktown is commemorated by the modern day Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Historic Trail (WARO), a 680 mile trail comprised of roads and waterways spanning nine states and the District of Columbia.