S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.
[John Stark, an American general of the Revolution; born in Londonderry, N.H., 1728; served in the French war; gained the victory of Bennington, Aug. 16, 1777; commanded the Northern Department, 1781; died 1822.]
We must beat the red-coats, or Molly Starks a widow.
Common report, says his biographer, has attributed a brief address to the American general before the battle of Bennington, such as, There, my boys, are your enemies, the red-coats and Tories: you must beat them, or my wife sleeps a widow to-night. Seven hundred and fifty prisoners, chiefly Hessians, besides two hundred left dead on the field, one thousand stand of arms, with cannon and stores, were the material result of Starks victory, which was far outweighed by its moral effect.