women at war

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The YE Olde Costume Maker
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women at war

Post by The YE Olde Costume Maker »

Hi all, iam new to the site, but thought i would share a little of what i know with you all and gain some new information myself.

It is estimated that 750 women disguised themselves as men and fought in the American Civil War.
Mary Owens served for eighteen months using the name John Evans.
Satronia Smith Hunt enlisted in an Iowa regiment with her first husband.
Mary Stevens Jenkins enlisted in a Pennsylvania regiment and remained in the army for two years.
John Williams of the Seventeenth Missouri Infantry was discharged from the army on the grounds: "proved to be a woman."
Mrs. S. M. Blaylock spent two weeks with the Twenty-sixth North Carolina Infantry, Company F before being discovered.
Mary Scaberry, alias Charles Freeman served in the Fifty-second Ohio Infantry and was discharged from Union service after her gender was discovered while she was being treated in hospital for a fever.
A teamster and a private in a Union cavalry regiment got drunk and fell into a river. The soldiers who rescued the pair found out that they were women in the process of resuscitating them.
Mary Galloway was wounded in the chest during the Battle of Antietam
A woman wearing the uniform of a Confederate private was found dead on the Gettysburg battlefield on July 17, 1863
Frances Hook, alias Frank Miller was discovered after she was wounded and captured by the Confederates.
Madame Collier and Florina Budwin were also prisonners of war.

Loreta Janeta Velazquez fought in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War using the name Lieutenant Harry T. Buford.
During the American Civil War (1861-5) Sarah Emma Edmonds enlisted under the name Franklin Thompson and Jennie Hodgers fought for three years under the name Albert Cashier and even retired to a Soldiers' Home where her gender was eventually discovered in 1913

Looking at some photo's of women in this era that served it is understandable why they where not found out!!
Donna

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Louis
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Post by Louis »

It was a time when diets were poor, so lets just say there was not too much visible 'padding'.
If you look at old photos its hard to distinguish any feminine features on underfed women as youd see nowadays.
No make up, hairdressers or lipgloss on show.
Maybe they had deeper voices too but we'll never know.

The fact is once they were discovered they were thrown out, similar to the 15y olds in the Great War and remarkable as they their stories were,
it has to be remembered it was a very very small percentage.

The YE Olde Costume Maker
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Post by The YE Olde Costume Maker »

This is very true, how ever the percentage was low, i was suprised at how high it actually was..
Donna

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Louis
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Post by Louis »

I should imagine the chance of getting fed and clothed appealed to many.
Of course what seemed to be the majority reason was to following a loved one, even if it meant the risk of death and mutilation.

Strange beasts women.

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Helzbelz
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Post by Helzbelz »

A lot of the women soldier enlisted young and so could easily pass for male teenagers, also if you look at some of the old photos there are quite a few of the male soldiers who you really wouldn't be sure of, even though they really were male.

But it was also a menta mindset, women had long hair (mainly) and wore dresses. There's an account from a confederate civilian in Richmond, that when the Union troops wre approaching there was only her and her younger sister in the house (hubby was off with confererate army) and to protect herself, her sister and home she went to her hustbands wardrobe to put on one of his suit and pretend to be the man of the house, but she couldn't even let her sister see her dressed as a man because she thought it so disgraceful.

There's a really good book called "An uncommon soldior" which are the letters to friend and family from Rossetta Wakeman, part of one of the letters describes being on duty at a military prison in Washington and being part of the guard on 3 women, 2 confederate spys and 1 union captain (I might have the rank wrong, I don't have the book with me at the moment) but she also describes helping to bury at least 1 other female soldier and getting a pass to visit her cousins in a different regiment when they were camped nearby.

There are also some quite good accounts in other books where male soldiers have written home and part of their news was that the entire regiment was surprised when the sergant of the guard was taken ill and later that night gave birth.

I can rant on about this for ages incase anybody hadn't noticed, but the official line seemed to be that they were prostitutes trying to get close to the soldiers to ply their trade, but thats B***Sh**, there are much safer ways that don't involve getting shot at.
Helz
"We are, each of us angels with only one wing; and we can only fly by embracing one another."

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