If you were to New-England or are interested in the history of the war of independence you must have heard the story of Rebecca and Abigail Bates.
The story goes that Simeon Bates was the keeper of the lighthouse at Scituate on the shores of Massachusetts Bay and lived there with his family during the War of 1812. He had a number of children, but the two principals in this tale are Rebecca, who based on her obituary would have been about 20 at the time this story takes place, and Abigail, who was about 13. Early in September, 1814, a British warship was sighted offshore and prepared to launch barges toward the lighthouse. Simeon Bates was away from the Lighthouse and only his wife and the two girls were on hand. The girls, knowing the militia would not get there in time, decided to hide from view and play a fife and drum to make the enemy think the soldiers were coming. They struck up Yankee Doodle, the British ceased to row, and the warship recalled them and left, much to the joy of the young saviors of Scituate, the Army of Two.
This beautiful story is probably a mixture of truth and imagination but it was found to be likely truth by the Scituate Historical Society. I was reminded of the story by reading Walking the Bershires’s post that doesn’t only tell the story but add more historical perspective to it.