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The Army of Two
by Greg Lessard

Scituate Light
Scituate Light
The Army of Two
During the War of 1812, the British attacked many coastal towns in Massachusetts. In 1814, the British frigate H.M.S. Bulwark attempted an attack on Scituate Harbor. Two barges of soldiers were launched from the ship to assault the undefended town.

Rebecca and Abigail Bates were the daughters of Simeon Bates, the lighthouse keeper at Cedar Point in Scituate. The girls were alone that day and from the lighthouse they had a perfect view of the impending danger. Forming a desperate idea to save their town, the two young women, who had learned to play fife and drum, grabbed their instruments and exited from the lighthouse.

Staying hidden from view, the girls began to play “Yankee Doodle”, the marching song of the colonial militia. As they played the military song, the redcoats were deceived into believing that the local militia had been raised and would be prepared to defend the town. Not wanting to risk being caught on the water in open barges, the British officers retreated to the Bulwark and sailed away. Rebecca and Abigail had saved Scituate!

While some doubt the story, Dave Ball, a local historian, has done extensive research and has concluded that this American legend is in fact true.


Scituate Light Reflection
Scituate Light Reflection