Clad in Uniform
Women Soldiers of the Civil War
Wendy A. King

An adaptation of the original booklet [© 1992]
 By the author
For the 32nd Virginia Inf. Co. H reenactment group
Internet Homepage,
(And including some new information)

(Remember Me)

Once I stood in ranks of Blue.
Once I stood in ranks of Gray.
Fighting for a cause so true
Wondering - Who would remember me today?

Disguised as man; filled with alarm.
An enemy's bullet could yet slay
This woman's life - or cause me harm.
Who would remember me today?

The missiles, they whistle through the air.
A "rebel yell" from those in gray.
The victor's shout, the loser's despair.
Who would remember me today?

A last volley sent from hidden lines.
Oh sudden shock! Life fades away.
Crimson springs from this body mine.
Pray - Who would remember me today?

Please lay me in a grave, unmarked
And place me where my comrades lay.
Remember this battle with a park
And please, remember me today.


This is dedicated to the approximately 500 - 1000 women soldiers who fought, disguised as men, on both sides during the American Civil War.  It is also dedicated to the Memory of the soldiers of the 32nd Virginia Infantry, Co. H, the people who portray that group today, and to all of the Civil War Living History Interpreters and Reenactors who have accepted and encouraged Craig Anderson in his / her role.   Thanks Guys!


Much has been written about the period during the Civil War.  It was an era that captures the imagination: men and boys going off to war accompanied by parades, orations, and ladies weeping.

Ah yes, the frail, genteel ladies.  Those who never let the touch of the sun spoil their fair complexion.  Those who, the writers would believe spent their lives uttering such nonsense as "Fiddle dee dee".  My apologies to Margaret Mitchell.

Most of the women at that time did try to remain fair and pure, untainted by the war.  As time passed however, more and more women found themselves placed far from the domesticity that had enveloped their lives.  Who was going to run the plantations and factories while their men were at war?  Who was going to become the family breadwinner during this crisis? Who would fulfill the role of nurses, reporters and lawyers while the men were away?

Women were forced into accepting outside employment so that their families wouldn't go hungry.  But women who worked in any capacity, be it to manage or work on a plantation, be a nurse, reporter, doctor, lawyer, teacher, factory worker, or who voiced any strong opinion of advocacy was declared not virtuous, not genteel, not pure and was open to much unkind criticism.

Imagine then, the women, especially the unmarried women, who laundered, cooked, nursed at the war's front or became involved in espionage activity.  Their motives were put under the deepest of scrutiny.  If a woman went the next step, disguised herself as a man, and went to fight in the war, she was accused of being insane or to have other reasons for being close to the men, sometimes her family would even disown her.

Yet, it happened. On both sides, women were falling into the ranks of soldiery.

Some were found out and discharged; some were found out, but allowed to remain; and some served their enlistment during the war completely undiscovered.  Albert Cashier, born Irene Hodgers in Ireland, spent the entire war in the guise of a man, and continued in that disguise almost until her dying day in 1915.

Information about these unique women is extremely scarce.  A woman enlisting in either army disguised herself as a man by cutting her hair short, wearing men's clothing, binding her chest, and taking a man's name.  She did her best to act like a man so as not to draw attention to herself or her sex.  Those who were successful in their disguise and died in combat were known only by their male identity.  Most of their real names are lost to history.


A woman desiring to be a soldier could not just rush down to an enlistment office, disguised or not, and be sent directly out to fight.  She had to pass a physical exam like the rest of the soldiers.  In most cases, the physical examination was so hastily administered that most women had no problem passing and went on to fulfill their enlistment.  If one happened to run across a "new fangled" physician, who administered a proper physical, one need merely wait and enlist with a company that had a nice, old-fashioned doctor, who was a trifle less rigorous in his exam.


Imagine you live in the 1860's.  You are most probably a housewife, whose world circles around your husband and your children.  Now imaging being separated from the person that your world is built around.  Many of the women who enlisted did so from a desire to be with husbands or fiancés.  For some, enlistment was a way to gather some adventure or romance in a world that was mostly ordered by the males in her family.  Others enlisted due to patriotism and still others from particular obsessions.  This is illustrated in the case of "Emily" from Brooklyn, whose family saw her desire to enlist as being mentally unsound and who, they say, had the idea that she was a second Joan of Arc. i.

The press also had a hand in filling out the ranks of women soldiers.  In the early years of the war great praise was given the women who enlisted.  Later newspapers were not as likely find those women so praiseworthy.  However, the June 7, 1864 issue of the New York Herald still applauded the "spunk and pluck" of a girl who had written seeking help to find a doctor who could claim that she was a man so she could enlist.

Another, less worthy reason for women to disguise themselves was so that they could be closer to the military camps and promote their "trade".  This adds the difficulty of separating these "trades women" from the woman actually serving as a soldier.  An added difficulty is that if a female soldier's sex was discovered it is likely that the commanding officer would deny any knowledge of her and she would be labeled a prostitute.  On rare occasions there were men who were interrogated about their (known) female compatriots, but would deny ever knowing their true sex and / or never reported it if they did know.ii 

For example: the story of Mary and Mollie Bell was repeated by two Richmond newspapers: The Richmond Daily Examiner and The Richmond Dispatch. Yet each of the newspapers reported the facts of the story completely opposite each other.  The Examiner's report ended up with their Lt. accusing the two girls of prostitution. The Dispatch reported that the girl's captain knew their secret but kept it to himself.  Their Captain was subsequently taken as prisoner in a battle.  The two girls then approached the Lt., who promptly turned them in for being in uniform.iii   In another instance, Lt. Col. Arthur J. L. Freemantle of the Coldstream Guards, England wrote;" I left Chattanooga for Atlanta at 4:30 p.m. The train was much crowded with wounded and sick soldiers returning on leave to their homes.  A goodish-looking woman was pointed out to me in the cars as having served as a private soldier in the battles of Perrysville [sic] and Murfreesborough.  Several men in my car had served with her in a Louisianian regiment, and they said she had been turned out since for her bad and immoral conduct. [Note: "Bad and immoral conduct" regarding a female could be anything from cursing, to gambling, to spitting. to prostitution]  They told me that her sex was notorious to all the regiment, but no notice had been taken of it so long as she conducted herself properly.  They also said that she was not the only representative of the female sex in ranks.  When I saw her she wore a soldiers hat and coat, but had resumed her petticoats." iv


Unfortunately women soldiers who fall into this category are in the majority.  Quite often one comes across entries referring to female soldiers that leave no name, male or female, with which to identify the soldier.  One describes a "stout and muscular" woman in her late twenties who was wounded in battle, captured by Confederates, and returned to Federal lines. v  Another reference regarding the arrest of two unidentified female soldiers is found in the diary of Sergeant Rufus Mead of the 5th Connecticut Volunteers. vi   Mary Livermore, a member of the Sanitary Commission, was instrumental in helping discover a female soldier in the 19th Ill. She wrote: "One of the captains came to me, with an apology for intrusion, and begged to know if I noticed anything peculiar in the appearance of one of the men, whom he indicated.  It was evident at a glance that the "man" was a young woman in male attire, and I said so. 'That is the rumor, and that is my suspicion was his reply'."  The young woman was called out of the ranks, but begged the officer to allow her to remain and keep her disguise as she had enlisted with her husband's company to e with him.  She was escorted out of camp.  That night she leaped into the Chicago River in an attempted suicide.  She was rescued by a policeman and when Livermore met her again she said: "I have only my husband in all the world, and when he enlisted he promised me that I should go with him; and that was why I put on his clothes and enlisted in the same regiment. And go with him I will, in spite of everybody." vii

The list goes on.  In February 1863, an Indiana cavalryman wrote to his wife: "We discovered last week a soldier who turned out to be a girl.  She had already been in service for twenty-one months and was twice wounded.  Maybe she would have remained undiscovered for a long time if she hadn't fainted.  She was given a warm bath which gave the secret away." viii   An entry dated Tuesday, 26 August 1862 in the diary of Provost Marshall General Marsena R. Patrick mentions that a flag of truce was raised and the reason ostensibly given "was to sent in a woman in mans [sic] dress, taken prisoner and belonging to [General Franz] Sigel's command". ix  Another woman soldier died in the battle at Antietam and was buried by Pvt. Franklin Thompson (remarkably, a female soldier in disguise herself) who later wrote of the situation in her memoirs. x

There are many, many more accounts of unidentified women soldiers discovered, both alive and after their death.  The list of these soldiers and their situations would fill an entire chapter in a normal book.  It cannot be denied that they fought. They fought hard and well, giving their last full measure to their chosen cause.  In the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Brigadier General William Hays added one sentence in his report of the dead buried at Gettysburg, Pa.  At the bottom of the chart showing Union and Confederate dead, he made the following remark. "One female (private), in Rebel uniform." xi


The list of known and undiscovered women soldiers is now and perhaps will always be an unfinished list.  New information crops up from time to time, increasing the estimates of the number of women who served as soldiers from the original 400 xii  to somewhere between 500 and 1,000 xiii


Budwin, Florena  (? - 1865)

Florena enlisted in the Union army with her husband and maintained her disguise throughout her active service.  She and her husband were captured and confined at Andersonville where Mr. Budwin died. She remained at the prison until the stockade was threatened by Federals; then she was transferred to a Florence S. C. facility.  There she fell victim to an epidemic and a doctor discovered her sex.  Special treatment failed to save her and she died on January 25, 1865. xiv

 Cashier, Albert J. (1843 - 1915)

Among the 36,312 names on the Vicksburg, Illinois monument is the name of Albert Cashier, whose real name was Irene Hodgers (sometimes spelled Hogers) from Ireland.  The records of this soldier have nothing unusual to report.  Cashier enlisted in Co. G, 95th Ill. Inf. at the age of 19.  The company was mustered into service on September 4, 1862.  Cashier participated in the battles of Vicksburg, the Red River Campaign and Nashville.  Her final service came with the capture of Mobile, A.  The regiment was mustered out August 17, 1865 and Cashier returned to private life, remained in her male guise, and filed for a pension in 1899

In 1911, Cashier was involved in an automobile accident, which resulted in her true sex being discovered.  Those in her unit never suspected her true identity.  During a pension review in 1914 one of her comrades, Harry G. Weaver, gave an affidavit stating: "When we were examined [at induction] we were not stripped.  We were examined on the same day.  All that we showed was our hands and feet.  I never did see any part of his person exposed by which I could determine the sex.  He was of very retiring disposition and did not take part in any of the games.  He would sit around and watch, but would not take part.  He had very small hands and feet.  He was the smallest man in the company."  Another comrade stated: "Cashier was very quiet in her manner and she was not easy to get acquainted with." xv

Clalin, Frances

Clalin served for three months in Co. I, 44th Mo. Artillery and for 19 months in Co. A, 13th Mo. Cavalry. xvi

Compton, Lizzie

On July 4, 1863, the same day that Lee retreated from Gettysburg, Confederate General John Hunt Morgan suffered a defeat at Tebbs Bend on the Green River in Kentucky.  A Union soldier wounded there was discovered by a surgeon to be a sixteen-year-old girl whose name was Lizzie Compton.  She had been wounded before at Fredericksburg and discharged, only to reenlist.  Whenever she was sounded or feared detection, she enrolled in a different regiment.  Prior to this wounding, she had served for at least eighteen months. xvii

Day, Francis  - SEE Frank Mayne

Edmonds, Sarah Emma - SEE Franklin Thompson

Emily       ?  (? - 1863)

A Brooklyn Resident, her parents saw her desire to enlist with the army as being mentally unstable and sent her off to an aunt in Michigan so that she might forget the whole idea.  She escaped her aunt, disguised herself as a man and joined the army as a drummer.  She was fatally wounded on the second day of the battle of Chickamauga where her sex was revealed.

When informed that her wound was mortal she wrote to her father: "Forgive your dying daughter.  I have but a few moments to live.  My native soil drinks my blood.  I expected to deliver my country, but the fates would not have it so.  I am content to die.  Pray pa, forgive me.  Tell ma to kiss my daguerreotype.  Emily." xviii

Fuller, Charles

Enlisted in Co. D, 46th Pennsylvania.  She was detected as being a female and discharged. Date unknown. xix

Goodrich, Ellen

Her father disowned Goodrich when she announced that she intended to join her fiancee in the war.  She fought by his side for three years and was wounded in the arm by a minnie ball.  She nursed her fiancee when he was ill and married him a day or so before he died. xx

Hogers [HODGERS], Irene [JENNY] SEE: Albert Cashier

Mayne, Frank

Frank Mayne, who later came to be known as Frances Day, served and attained the rank of sergeant in Co. F, 126th Pennsylvania.  Mayne is listed as having deserted on August 24, 1862; but was subsequently killed in battle in another regiment where it was discovered that she was a woman. xxi

Owens, Mary

Owens returned from the war and said that she had secretly married a man with whom she'd enlisted, eighteen months earlier.  He was killed and she was wounded.  Upon her return, the press reported that she was "the heroine of the neighborhood." xxii

Thompson, Franklin  (1841 0 1898)

Disguised as Franklin Thompson, a bible salesman, Sarah Emma Edmonds entered the United States from Canada to avoid an arranged marriage.  She failed the first attempt at a physical due to a height requirement, but managed to pass the second physical and enlisted in Co. F, 2nd. Michigan Infantry on May 14, 1861 at the age of 20.  This soldier started out as a field nurse serving at First Manassas (Bull Run) and the Seven Days Campaign.  She served as an accomplished spy and buried another female soldier at Antietam.  The regiment was moved to Kentucky early in 1863, where Thompson came down with malaria.  Fearing discovery she deserted on April 22.  It was not until 1884 that Thompson, now using her married of Seeleye; [SEELYE] revealed the truth about Private Franklin Thompson while attending a regimental reunion without her disguise.  Urged to file for a pension by her comrades, she took her cast to Congress with more interest in clearing the desertion charges from her mane than receiving a pension.  She achieved both in February 1887 and lived out her live as the only female member of the GAR. xxiii

Wilson, Fannie

From New Jersey, Wilson served for eighteen months before her sex was discovered during the Vicksburg Campaign.  She was sent to Cairo, Ill., where she re-enlisted in the 3rd Illinois Cavalry, only to be discovered and discharged again. xxiv

Wise, Mary

Mary Wise claimed that she had served two years and was paid before being mustered out on an Indiana regiment. xxv


Blaylock, [BLALOCK] Malinda  (? - 1901)

Malinda Blaylock enrolled in Co. F, 26th North Carolina on March 20, 1861 under the name of Sam Blaylock, in order to be with her husband Keith.  Staunch Unionists, the Blaylock's had either the choice of going into hiding from their pro-Confederate neighbors, or make the long and dangerous trek through Confederate territory and try to find a Union outfit to join.  Keith worked out a plan to make it appear to his neighbors that he was pro-Confederate, yet get into the Union army.  His plan was to join the Confederate army, then, when close enough to Union lines after a battle; he would cross over and desert to the Union army.  His neighbors would think that he'd been taken prisoner, he would have fulfilled their expectations, and he could still join the Union army.

Their plans went sour however, when the company they joined was put on garrison duty at Kinston, far from any Union lines.  Keith decided that extraordinary measures were called for to get out of the Confederate Army.  He found a thicket of poison oak and rolled around in it naked.  He contracted such a bad rash that the physicians couldn't identify it, and was sent home on a medical discharge.  "Sam" then informed Col. Vance of her true status and name, and was sent home with Keith.  The printed rolls of the regiment a footnote states that: "this lady had done a soldiers duty without a suspicion of her sex among her comrades, until her husband, L.M. Blaylock, was discharged, when she claimed the same privilege and was sent home rejoicing."

Once home, Keith cured himself by taking brine baths.  In time, Confederate authorities seeking to enforce the draft noticed Keith at home and gave him the choice of rejoining or suffer the penalties of the draft law.  Keith and Malinda gathered their firearms and escaped to Grandfather Mountain.  Other draft dodgers joined them, forming a small band.  A price was put on Keith's head and in a shoot out with recruiters, he received a bullet in the arm.  After this skirmish, Keith and Malinda fled to Tennessee, where they worked as guerrillas and bushwhackers.  They crossed back and forth over the Tennessee-North Carolina border gathering information to feed to the Union army, and raiding his former neighbors' homes.  Eventually, a feud broke out between Keith and his Confederate relatives.

After the war, Keith and Malinda returned to their home on Grandfather Mountain. Malinda died in 1901.  Keith died August 11, 1913 from a railroad handcar accident. xxvi

Bell, Mary and Mollie

Mary Bell was known as Tom Parker.
Mollie Bell was known as Bob Morgan.
Of these two facts, the truth is certain.  Accounts vary as to whether these two were sisters or cousins.  According to the Oct. 31, 1864 Richmond Examiner, they served for two years as Tom Parker and Bob Martin.  Prior to that time, they had been staying with an uncle in Southwestern Virginia, but he left them and "went over to the Yankees."

The Examiner made the claim that they had recently "excited the suspicions of their Captain or comrades", yet said that the captain had earlier reported them as "common camp followers" and had been demoralizing the men. He added that they had "adopted the disguise of soldiers better to follow the army and hide their iniquity."  The author also purported that:" The country had here an insight into one of the probable causes of the utter worthlessness and inefficiency of some of the commands in the valley.  Hidden in Early's camp like the stolen Babylonian garment and silver in the camp of the Hebrews, defeat and disaster ever follows, and ever will continue to cling to it, like the shirt of Nemish until purged of the unclean presence."

The Richmond Daily Dispatch of October 31, 1864 tells a different story.  According to the Daily Dispatch, "Tom Parker" and "Bob Morgan" were enlisted in a cavalry company that had been captured and were rescued by the men of John Hunt Morgan.  It was after this that the two enrolled in the 36TH Virginia Infantry. [Companies A, B, &E were formed from parts of the 14th Virginia cavalry, raised in (now) West Virginia]  While on Picket duty, "Bob" killed three Yankees and was promoted to Corporal.

The Daily Dispatch also tells of an event that occurred after the battle of Belle Grove which may explain how they served for two years without being caught.  The two had the confidence of their Captain, but he was captured; and they had to tell their secret to the Lieutenant. (Who had assumed command of the company)  It was this person, breveted (temporarily raised in rank) to captain, who had turned traitor to the Bell's.  He informed General Early of their presence; along with the story about them being common camp followers.  General Early had them placed on a train to Castle Thunder in Richmond to wait further arrangements for their welfare. The Nov. 25, 1864 edition of The Richmond Daily Examiner reported that they were eventually released to go to their parent's home in Pulaski County.

Interviews with Mary and Molly Bell's (Tom Parker and Bob Morgan) comrades showed them to have been "valiant soldiers, having never been known to straggle or shirk duty."  During their interview with General Early, the Bell's told that at least six other women were in his army. xxvii

Buford, Harry - SEE Loretta Velasquez

Clarke, [CLARK] Amy [ANNA]

In August, 1863, Texas cavalryman Robert Hodges, Jr., wrote a letter to his father in which he describes a scene Turner's Station, Tennessee:

"One of the soldiers directed my attention to a youth apparently about seventeen years of age well dressed with a lieutenant's badge on his collar.  I remarked that I was nothing strange.  He then told me that the young man was not a man but a female." 

That female Lieutenant was Amy Clarke. Amy, from Iuka, Mississippi, enlisted with her husband, Walter, into a cavalry regiment when she was 30 years old.  Walter died at Shiloh and Amy left the cavalry shortly thereafter. She then enlisted with the 11th Tennessee Infantry under the name of Richard Anderson. The Dec. 30, 1862 Jackson Mississippian reported that Amy had personally buried her husband on the battlefield, then continued to fight in until she was wounded twice, once in ankle, then in the breast.  At some point, Amy was captured and sent back across the lines in a dress. [Sources differ as to when exactly she was wounded, captured and discovered - either before or during her infantry experience]  Clarke made her way back to Braxton Bragg's command. At some point during this time Amy had been given a promotion to Lieutenant.  Robert Hodges account to his father is the last record that anyone has, up to this point, about Amy Clarke. xxviii

Henry, Margaret and Wright, Mary

These two "dashing young creatures" were captured and imprisoned by Federal soldiers for burning bridges around the Nashville area few weeks before the end of the war. xxix

Velasquez, Loretta

Lt. Harry Buford is the name claimed to have been taken by Loretta Velasquez during the war.  She also claims to have raised a battalion of Arkanasans in 1861, served at First Manassas, Balls Bluff, Fort Pillow, and Shiloh; and to have romanced women while in disguise.  One is unable to separate the fact from the fiction when dealing with this person's account.  However, there is a confirmed story of a Laura J. Williams from Arkansas, disguised as Lt. Henry Benford, who raised and commanded at company of Texans early in the war and who fought at Shiloh and in the Western Theater.  Could Velasquez be this Laura Williams? Or was she "borrowing" information for her own character?

Madame Velasquez also claims that one of the aliases she used for espionage was Alice Williams.  There was indeed a person of that description arrested in Richmond, imprisoned at Castle Thunder and released upon establishment of identity.  Richmond papers praised Mrs. Williams work as a nurse and a soldier, but refrained from mentioning any espionage activity.

Harry Birch, a reporter with the New York Herald, was imprisoned at the same time as Mrs. Williams.  Much of what he wrote about her is contained in the Velasquez account.  Birch said the woman was released when proof came that she was a Confederate agent and that she told him that she was going to Washington on a mission.  Three weeks after her discharge from prison, a guard had a letter from her written from Washington.

Velazquez account mentions having had four husbands, two killed in battle, one shortly after the war, and one in the 1870's. She mentions traveling to Europe, Latin America and the Far West, claiming involvement with a Confederate colony in Venezuela.

Many questions when reading Mrs. Velasquez account when compared to other writer's accounts and the adventures of known personages from that period.  Obviously there was an Alice Williams, accounted for by Mr. Birch and there was a Laura Williams who aliased as Lt. Henry Benford.  It's remarkable that the names Laura Williams, Alice Williams, Lt. Harry Buford, and Lt. Henry Benford are all so similar.  Could this have been an attempt to change the names to protect the innocent?  Could the change of names been for her own protection later in life?

Velasquez frankly admits that her book was written not "for laurels of any kind just now; and am much more anxious for the money that I hope this book will bring in to me than I am for the praises or either critics or public.  The money I want badly, while praise, although it will not be ungratifying, I am sufficiently philosophical to get along without." xxx


For those women who fought throughout the war life must have been tough, although no tougher than for that of the average soldier, except in keeping their sex a secret.  Questions most often raised are: "Who weren't the caught when changing clothes or using the latrine?" "How did they manage their monthly cycle?" "How did they hide their figures?" "How did they bathe?" and "Why weren't the caught when bathing?"

The answers to some of these questions can be found in straight research.  Other answers result from the application of research into the morals of the 1860's and educated speculations.  Still others might be answered by ongoing research in specific fields.  Given here are some possible answers to the above questions.

Changing Clothes: In camp and on the move, soldiers often didn't get to change their underclothes for as much as six weeks at a time.  There are reports of some soldiers whose underclothes actually rotted on their bodies.  Therefore, there would be little or no danger of needing to undress in front of each other. xxxi

Using the Latrine: Called "sinks" during the Civil War, they were usually long open trenches dug with a pole or piece of wood to sit upon.  Due to the odor, which resulted from the neglect of turning fresh soil into the trench, soldiers sometimes looked for private toilet areas.  For a woman soldier, this practice could prove to be an advantage. xxxii

Menstruation: By seeking out a private toilet area, one could dispose of any incriminating evidence.   Medical studies have shown that some women who undergo heavy physical duress [such as marching long distances laden sown with equipment] may suffer from a complete cessation of their monthly cycle. This is also the case in famine or undernourishment [often found in the armies during the Civil War] or for those under extreme stress. Such conditions could easily exist while disguised and performing the duties of a soldier.  It has also been suggested that perhaps, the fear of death or the excitement and stress of battle caused the cycle to stop.

It is interesting to note that after the body fat has been replaced, stress removed and physical duress lessened that women suffering from menstrual cessation will often regain their monthly cycle. xxxiv

Hiding Their Figures: Uniform trousers, at the time, were made rather loose in the crotch and the derriere.  Trousers were cut so that one could actually reach down the inside front of the pants to touch the lower torso without opening any buttons.  Women soldiers have been reported to have bound (tightly wrapped) their breasts to keep them from being overly noticeable.  Any make soldier who was overweight or who had emphysema, tuberculosis (a common ailment at the time) or chronic obstructive lung disease may easily have presented the same "barrel chested" appearance as that of a bound woman soldier.

Bathing: In keeping with the morals of the time, being in underwear (similar to what we call "Long Johns") was considered to be fully naked.  Some soldiers whose morals were not especially strong, and if some time permitted, may have bathed while in underwear.  For the most part however, soldiers were on the move and a bath was often limited to a "lick and a promise" of the face, neck and hands.  If a full bath was truly wanted, one may have wakened before the rest of the camp to find a stream to bathe in.  "Lick and a Promise" bathing, of course, meant that undressing in front of one's comrades was not necessary and again, proved to be advantageous to women soldiers.


When one compares 500 or a thousand women soldiers with the many thousands of men, freedmen, and slaves who took part on both sides of the Civil War, perhaps their number seems somewhat insignificant.  However one part of history often affects the pattern of what is to follow.  These women soldiers were at the forefront of significant changes in the way that the nation as a whole viewed women as much as their counterparts who had to take up careers to make ends meet during the war.

It has been my pleasure to share with you this often ignored historic record of some of the names and accomplishments of a handful of these women soldiers.  The listing given in this text is by no means a complete listing.  I apologize to any and all descendants of women soldiers whose names may have been omitted due to lack of information or ignorance on my part.

Wendy A. King


i. Massey, Bonnet Brigades, American Women & The Civil War. p. 81-84; Sifakis, Who Was Who in the Civil War. p. 205; Moore, Frank. Women of the War: Their Heroism and Self Sacrifice p. 529

ii. Massey, Bonnet Brigades, American Women & The Civil War. p. 80; Sifakis, Who Was Who in the Civil War. p. 111; Wiley, Bel I., The Life of Billy Yank, p. 338; 

iii. Richmond Daily Examiner, Monday, Oct 31, 1864. The Richmond Dispatch, Monday, Oct. 31, 1864.

iv. Freemantle, Arthur J. Three Months in the Southern States p. 174

 v. Massey, Bonnet Brigades: American Women & The Civil War. p. 84

vi. Library of Congress. A Guide to Collections in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress # 618

vii. Livermore, My Story of the War, pp. 113-114

viii. Wiley, The Life of Billy Yank, p. 337

ix. Sparks, David S., Inside Lincoln's Army: The Diary of Provost Marshall General Marsena Rudolph Patrick p. 130

 x. Edmonds, Sarah Emma. Nurse and Spy in the Union Army pp. 273-279

xi.Washington Government Printing Office The War of the Rebellion: A compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series I, Vol. 27, part 1, p. 378

 xii. Livermore, My Story of the War p. 118

 xiii. SEE: Leonard, Elizabeth D. All the Daring of the Soldier (New York. W. W. Norton and Co. Inc.  ©1999) Footnote 2 to Chapter Five, pp.310-311

 xiv. Sifakis, Who Was Who in the Civil War. p. 86; Blakey, Arch Fredric., General John Windor, C.S.A p. 4

  xv. Sifakis, Who Was Who in the Civil War. p.111; Wiley, The Life of Billy Yank, p.338; Massey, Bonnet Brigades: American Women & The Civil War. p. 81; Deposition of Robert D. Hannah

 xvi. Davis, The Common Soldier of the Civil War, p. 34; Personal response to author by R. Eugene Zepp, Reference Librarian, Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts, Boston Public Library.

 xvii. Massey, Bonnet Brigades: American Women & The Civil War. p. 80; McKee, Brian et al., How General Morgan Invaded Morgan County Ohio pp. 32-33; Guernsey, Alfred, Henry Alden. Harpers Pictorial History of the Civil War p. 532.

 xviii. Massey, Bonnet Brigades: American Women & The Civil War. p. 79-80; Sifakis, Who Was Who in the Civil War. p. 79-80

 xix. Fox, William F., Regimental Losses in the American Civil War 1861-1865 p. 59

 xx. Massey, Bonnet Brigades: American Women & The Civil War. p.80; Moore, Frank. Women of the War: Their Heroism and Self Sacrifice p. 532

 xxi. Fox, William F., Regimental Losses in the American Civil War 1861-1865 p. 60

 xxii. Massey, Bonnet Brigades: American Women & The Civil War. p.80

xxiii. Fox, William F., Regimental Losses in the American Civil War 1861-1865 p. 60; Sifakis, Who Was Who in the Civil War. p.200; Wiley, The Life of Billy Yank, p. 337; Edmonds, Sarah Emma. Nurse and Spy in the Union Army pp. 271 - 273

xxiv. Massey, Bonnet Brigades, American Women & The Civil War. p.80

 xxv. IBID

xxvi. Trotter, Bushwhakers: The Civil War in North Carolina: The Mountains pp. 147-155; Gragg, Civil War Quiz and Fact Book p. 175; Wiley, The Life of Johnny Reb p. 334; Massey, Bonnet Brigades, American Women & The Civil War. p.81; Fox, William F., Regimental Losses in the American Civil War 1861-1865 p. 60

xxvii. Dickenson, Jack L.Tattered Uniforms and Bright Bayonets: West Virginias Confederate Soldiers p.39; Massey, Mary E. Bonnet Brigades: American Wome & The Civil War pp. 84 - 85; Hall, Richard. Patriots in Disguise pp. 103, 197, 203; Leonard, Elizabeth D. All the Daring of the Soldier pp. 243-245; Middleton, Lee Hearts of Fire: soldier Women of the Civil War pg. 13; Scott, J L. 36TH Virginia Infantry in the Virginia Regimental Series pp. 46, 57; Richmond Dispatch, October 31, 1864 "Local Matters: Women in Soldiers Apparel"; Richmond Daily Examiner, October 31, 1864 "City Intelligence: Pants versus Petticoats"; The Richmond Daily Examiner Nov. 25, 1864 "Sending Home the Petticoat soldiers."

xxviii.  Hall, Richard. Patriots in Disguise: Women Warriors of the Civil War  pp. 99-100; Leonard, Elizabeth D. All the Daring of the Soldier pp.213-215

xxix. Hall, Richard. Patriots in Disguise: Women Warriors of the Civil War  pp. 198, 200; Leonard, Elizabeth D. All the Daring of the Soldier p. 224; Massey, Bonnet Brigades: American Women & The Civil War. p. 82.

xxx. Hall, Richard. Patriots in Disguise: Women Warriors of the Civil War  pp. 107-153; Leonard, Elizabeth D. All the Daring of the Soldier p. 252-262; Massey, Bonnet Brigades: American Women & The Civil War. p. 82-83;  Sifakis, Who Was Who in the Civil War. p. 675; Velasquez, Loretta, The Woman in Battle.

xxxi. Dannet, Sylvia. She Rode With Generals p. 57

xxxii. IBID; Robertson, James, Tenting Tonight p. 82

xxxiii. Speroff, Leon, Robert Glass and Nathan Kase. Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility p. 175; Scott Hames R., Philip J. DiSaia, Charles B. Hammond and William N. Spellacy, Danforth's Obstetrics and Gynecology p. 144; Dannet, Sylvia. She Rode With Generals p. 55.

xxxiv. Speroff, Leon, Robert Glass and Nathan Kase. Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility p.175.


Blakey, Arch Fredric.,   General John Windor, C.S.A  (University of Florida Press,
Gainsville  Board of Regents of the State of Florida   © 1990) 

Dickenson, Jack L.,   Tattered Uniforms and Bright Bayonettes: West Virginias Confederate Soldiers (Huntington, WV.:   Marshall University Library Associates © 1995)

Massey, Mary E.,   Bonnet Brigades: American Women & The Civil War (New York:   Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., © 1966)

Hall, Richard.,   Patriots in Disguise (New York:   Marlowe & Company, © 1994)  

Leonard, Elizabeth D.   All the Daring of the Soldier (New York:   W. W. Norton & Company © 1999)

Middleton, Lee, Hearts of Fire:Soldier Women of the Civil War  (Franklin, NC:   Genealogy Publishing Service ©1993)

Scott, J L. 36TH Virginia Infantry in the Virginia Regimental Series (Lynchburg, VA:   H.E. Howard, Inc., © 1987)   pp. 46, 57 (regarding  the cousins' Bell previous cavalry enlistment, Mollie's promotion to Corporal under the name Bob Morgan, and interviews with their comrades)

Richmond Dispatch, October 31, 1864 "Local Matters: Women in Soldiers Apparrel"

Richmond Daily Examiner, October 31, 1864 "City Intelligence: Pants versus Petticoats"

The Richmond Daily Examiner Nov. 25, 1864 "Sending Home the Petticoat soldiers"