Re: [civilwarwest] Female soldiers in the Western Theater
Thanks very much for your very informative list. Several of the women
on your list are also mentioned in "They Fought Like Demons" as well as
Hall's more recent "Women on the Civil War Battlefront", though perhaps
not all. Although I am not inquiring because of any writing project, I
am inquiring about such women because my curiosity has been raised about
how much is actually known about the service of women in the Civil War
and how much is based more on folk lore. I am continuing to read and
look for wartime documentation of women's service. I would consider a
wartime letter from a soldier about a woman in his unit, a wartime
newspaper interview with a woman soldier, or a military record as among
possible documentation of a woman's service. After the war the romantic
notion of women soldiers may have overtaken some supposed sources of
Again, thank you for taking the time to give such a thoughtful
response. I'm still hoping to hear from folks who have documentation.
I do think that the case of Jennie Hodges (alias Albert Cashier) is
sufficiently documented. I wonder about many of the others who are said
to have actually served in the field.
Dave Gorski wrote:
> >Who were the others who actually served as soldiers?
> I can give you some names, but not much more for several.
> I'm not sure how much is actually known about them. Perhaps
> an Internet search of the names can give you more information.
> Mary Burns enlisted in a Michigan unit but was identified as
> a woman shortly after her enlistment and dismissed.
> Frances Clalin was in a Union Missouri Cavalry Militia unit.
> Sara Collins enlisted in a Wisconsin Regiment but was discovered
> before her unit finished training.
> Sarah Emma Edmonds was in Company F, 2nd Michigan as
> "Franklin Thompson". According to my notes she served as
> a "male" nurse.
> Fanny Wilson enlisted in the 24th New Jersey. After she was
> discovered and discharged, she enlisted with the 3rd Illinois Cavalry.
> Jennie Hodges enlisted in the 95th Illinois under the name Albert
> Cashier. She served for 3 years and her gender was not discovered.
> She continued to live as a man until 1911 when she was involved
> in an automobile accident that landed her in a hospital for a lengthy
> period of time. That hospital stay uncovered her secret.
> Nellie A. K. enlisted into a unit in the Army of the Cumberland/
> She was discharged when her gender was revealed.
> Mary Wise was with an unknown Indiana unit for two years before
> being discovered. She was discharged but got her muster out pay.
> There were also a few women who fought as soldiers for the Confederacy.
> Mary and Molly Bell were discovered serving with Jubal Early
> for two years as Tom Parker and Bob Martin.
> Malinda Blalock / as Sam Blalock served for two months before being
> discovered and discharged.
> Amy Clarke was not discovered until she was wounded and captured.
> She was given a dress and sent home.
> Margaret Henry and Mary Wright were captured in uniform in Tennessee
> in March of 1865.
> One of the more famous was Laura J. Williams, who as Lt. Henry Benford,
> raised a Texas unit and led it at Shiloh.
> Wish I could be more specific for you. I've collected notes over the
> years and realize now that in my early years of note taking (30 years ago)
> sources were not as important to me as the stories. Lots of this
> type of thing I wish I could go back to, but alas. Anyway, hope this
> is of some help. I hope your search of the names will provide more
> Regards, Dave Gorski