Kate Barry via Military Women’s memorial on Facebook

Meet Kate Moore (Margaret Catherine Moore Barry) a true American hero! She was born in 1752 on a plantation in South Carolina and was the oldest of ten children in her family. Being the oldest in such a large family, Kate was familiar with having many responsibilities from such a young age, and growing up wealthy meant that she had lots of pressure on her to make sure her family remained honorable at the time. Luckily for Kate, she had absolutely no trouble living up to such a standard, as she would go on to be a great heroine of the American Revolution. 

When Kate was just fifteen years old, she left home and got married to a man named Andrew Barry. Can you imagine? She was just a teenager! But Kate was strong and brave, and she faced the challenges of being young with determination. It can be easy to take for granted that because of the popularity of teenage marriages during the time of the Revolution, it must have been easy for the girls involved, but many historical records show that young girls were often just as hesitant to marry as we may typically imagine. While we are unsure if this is the case for Kate, it appears that regardless of her outlook she was able to accomplish many incredible things during her young adulthood. 

When the American Revolution officially began, Kate was only 23 and already had children to look after. Her husband joined the Revolutionary cause as a captain, leaving Kate to balance her domestic responsibilities with her deeply rooted passion for the American cause. 

Determined to help in any way she could, she began volunteering as a spy for the army and worked to gather information to undermine the British. Women were valuable assets in war, as sexism often made them unassuming spies—those who assumed such things would be proven wrong countless times. Working closely with Daniel Morgan’s army, she gathered information and stories about British movements and relayed them back to Continental Army troops and commanders. 

On one fateful day in 1781, Kate overhead stories of British troops approaching her town, and relayed the information to the commanding Continental Army officers. Kate’s specific role in the battle is unknown, with some stories contending that she may fought alongside her husband, but there is no definitive proof of such a claim. Others alleged that she had to tie her toddler to her bed to move with the urgency needed to warn the Revolutionary troops. Either way, her impact on the battle was significant, and we know with near certainty that the information she delivered as a spy and messenger gave the troops more time to prepare for the incoming British attack. 

Following the battle, she was granted a medal by General Andrew Pickens declaring her a “Heroine of the Battle of the Cowpens” and that her bravery as a messenger did not go unnoticed. Unfortunately, little else is known about her after the Revolutionary War, and sources that dictate the characteristics of her life are widely unavailable. What is known, however, is that she lived out the rest of her life with her husband and children, and passed away at the age of 71 near her hometown in South Carolina. People can visit her family grave in the town of Moore, where is buried alongside her husband.

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