|Nancy Hart Capturing|
the Tories - Red
"When a band of Tories visited Nancy they were so intent upon their dinner that their removed guns escaped notice. Until suddenly every Tory sprang up. As one stepped forward she seized a musket, fired, and he fell dead. She aimed again. Each now feared to move. Her husband arrived and they were captured."
During the American Revolution, Nancy Hart became known for her work in opposing the Tories, English soldiers, and British sympathizers. Living on the Broad River frontier (in what is now Elbert County), Hart's life has inspired local folklore. Accounts describe her as six feet tall, with red hair, a scarred face, and crossed eyes. She was known for her temper and fearless spirit. For most of the war, she cared for her children while her husband served in the Georgia militia under Elijah Clarke. She sometimes disguised herself as a man and served as a spy for the patriots. One story of Hart's courage occurred when six Tories came to her cabin and demanded information about a patriot leader. Not convinced when she denied any knowledge of the man's location, one of the Tories killed her prized turkey and ordered her to cook it for them. As she served the Tories their dinner, she passed between them and their weapons, passing the weapons one by one to her daughter waiting outside. Her daughter signaled the neighbors. When one of the soldiers noticed that she was removing the weapons and tried to stop her, Hart shot him and one other. She kept the others captive until her husband and the other men arrived. The remaining Tories were hanged. (In 1912 workmen discovered a row of six skeletons buried three feet underground near the site of the old Hart cabin, seeming to substantiate this story.)