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List of female American Civil War soldiers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Numerous women enlisted and fought as men in the American Civil War.

Historian Elizabeth D. Leonard writes that, according to various estimates, between five hundred and one thousand women enlisted as soldiers on both sides of the war, disguised as men.[1]


Malinda Blalock
Malinda Blalock
  • Mollie Bean served with the Confederate Army under the name Melvin Bean. She was captured by the Union Army in February 1865 near Richmond, Virginia.[1]: 222[2]
  • Mary and Molly Bell, cousins who both served with the Confederate Army.
  • Malinda Blalock (1842 – 1901 or 1903) was a female soldier who fought on both sides during the Civil War. She followed her husband and joined the 26th North Carolina Regiment of the Confederate Army, disguising herself as a young man and calling herself Samuel Blalock. The couple eventually escaped across Confederate lines and joined the Union partisans in the Appalachian mountains of western North Carolina.[3][4]
  • Disguised as a man, Florena Budwin (1844–1865) enlisted in the Union Army in Philadelphia with her husband, an artillery captain.[5]: 148  Captured by the Confederacy in 1864, she was confined at the notoriously brutal Andersonville Prison, and the transferred to Florence Stockade.[6]: 79–80  Her status was discovered while under treatment for pneumonia, and she died, age 20.[4]: 9–10 
  • Mary Burns (1821–1863), or John Burns, was an American woman who disguised herself as a man in order to fight in the war.[7] She enlisted in the 7th Michigan Volunteer Cavalry Regiment in order not to be parted from her lover, who was in the same regiment.[6]: 31, 124 



Frances Clayton in uniform. From the collection of the Minnesota Historical Society.
  • Frances Clayton (c. 1830–after 1863) enlisted in the Union Army under the name Jack Williams, along with her husband. Clayton's exploits became known after the war, and there is some contradictory information in reports[6]: 150–151  but most accounts say they enlisted in a Missouri unit, despite being from Minnesota. Clayton is said to have fought in 18 battles[10]: 66  including Shiloh,[2]: 164  Stones River,[10]: 66  and Fort Donelson where she was wounded.[6]: 150–151 
  • Sarah Collins was a 16-year-old schoolgirl from Lake Mills, Wisconsin[11] who enlisted as a soldier in a Wisconsin regiment with her brother. Although she disguised herself as a man by cutting off her hair and donned men's clothing, her sex was suspected because of how she put on her shoes and socks.[6]: 33, 110  She was discovered to be female before her regiment left for the front.
  • At the age of fourteen, Lizzie Compton enlisted in the army, falsifying her age and changing her name.[4]: 62–63  Compton saw considerable action during the war, serving in seven different regiments, holding the record for the most reenlistments.[4]: 62–63  While being treated for injuries after a riding incident, the doctor revealed her status as a woman, and she was discharged.[4]: 62–63  In her eighteen months in the army,[5][12] she served in three cavalry units and two infantry. She fought at the Battle of Antietam and was wounded, and at the Battle of Gettysburg, where she was wounded again and discharged, and fought several other battles as well.[4]: 62–63 
  • Pauline Cushman (1833–1893) was an American actress and spy for the Union Army. She is considered one of the most successful Civil War spies.[13] She fraternized with Confederate officials and managed to conceal battle plans and drawings in her shoes, but was caught twice in 1864(Hall 2006 |page=233 and brought before Confederate General Braxton Bragg, tried by a military court, and sentenced to death by hanging but was spared by the arrival of Union troops.[10]
  • Catherine E. Davidson fought at Antietam, and saw her lover wounded in the battle.[14]


Sarah Edmonds as Franklin Thompson
Sarah Edmonds as Franklin Thompson


21st Michigan Infantry
21st Michigan Infantry
  • Maria Lewis, also known as George Harris, was a soldier in the Union army and former slave who gained distinction in the Eighth New York Cavalry.[20]
  • Annie Lillybridge was from Detroit, and enlisted in the 21st Michigan Infantry Regiment to be near her fiancé. She hid her identity from everyone, including even him until she was wounded and discharged after being discovered.[14]
  • Elizabeth A. Niles (1842 - 1920) served in the Union Army. After her husband enlisted in the 14th Vermont Infantry[21] she joined him,[22] and participated in numerous battles, including First Battle of Bull Run, Antietam, and Gettysburg.[4] She remained undetected, and mustered out in September 1864, with her husband.[4]
  • Mary Owens enlisted with her husband in the 9th Cavalry in Pennsylvania, posing as his brother.[6]: 32, 44 [23] After he died in combat, Owens remained for an additional eighteen months,[6]: 44 [23] fought three battles, and was wounded in each.[6]: 98 
  • Frances Elizabeth Quinn was an Irish born Union Army soldier who fought in both the infantry and cavalry. She enlisted over five separate times throughout the war and the country, assuming the name Frank Miller, and other names. Each time she was eventually discovered to be a woman and discharged from the military. In Alabama, she was captured by the Confederate Army and force-marched to Atlanta, where she was shot during an escape attempt.[24][6]: 59 


  • Loreta Janeta Velazquez a.k.a. "Lieutenant Harry Buford" (June 26, 1842 – c. 1897) – A Cuban woman who donned Confederate garb and served as a Confederate officer and spy during the war.[25][26]
  • Sarah Rosetta Wakeman (1843-1864) served with the Union Army under the alias of Lyons Wakeman and Edwin R. Wakeman. Her letters remain one of the few surviving primary accounts of female soldiers in the American Civil War.[27][28]
  • Laura J. Williams was a woman who disguised herself as a man and used the alias Lt. Henry Benford in order to raise and lead a company of Texas Confederates. She and the company participated in the Battle of Shiloh.[29][30]
  • Fanny Wilson enlisted as a soldier in the Union Army along with her close friend Nellie Graves.[6] They served in the defense of Washington, D.C. until December 1862, when they participated in the Battle of Fredericksburg.[4][page needed] After being treated for an illness, their sex was discovered and they were discharged. After some time as a civilian, Wilson joined the 3rd Illinois Cavalry, and was wounded at the Battle of Vicksburg. She recovered and continued on with her regiment.[4][page needed] She was discharged after being discovered in August 1863.

See also


  1. ^ a b Leonard, Elizabeth D. (1999). All the Daring of the Soldier: Women of the Civil War Armies (1st ed.). New York: W.W. Norton. pp. 165, 310–311. ISBN 978-0393-04712-7. OCLC 40543151. Archived from the original on 2010-11-12.
  2. ^ a b Hall, Richard (2006). Women on the Civil War Battlefront. Modern war studies. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. p. 150. ISBN 978-0-7006-1437-0. OCLC 645828327.
  3. ^ Mays, Gwen Thomas (2008). Frank, Lisa Tendrich (ed.). Women in the American Civil War. ABC-CLIO. p. 132. ISBN 9781851096008.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Eggleston, Larry G. (2003). Women in the Civil War: Extraordinary Stories of Soldiers, Spies, Nurses, Doctors, Crusaders, and Others. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. pp. 50–54. ISBN 978-1-4766-0781-8. OCLC 248829005.
  5. ^ a b Hall, Richard (1993). Patriots in disguise : women warriors of the Civil War (1 ed.). New York: Paragon House. p. 198. ISBN 978-1-55778-438-4. OCLC 25873998.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Blanton, DeAnne; Wike, Lauren Cook (1 September 2002). They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the American Civil War. Conflicting worlds. Baton Rouge: LSU Press. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-8071-2806-0. OCLC 315917223.
  7. ^ Nofi, Albert A. (22 March 1995). A Civil War Treasury: Being A Miscellany Of Arms And Artillery, Facts And Figures, Legends And Lore, Muses And Minstrels And Personalities And People. Hachette Books. p. 357. ISBN 978-0-306-80622-3. OCLC 31078934.
  8. ^ Blanton, DeAnne (Spring 1993). "Women Soldiers of the Civil War". Prologue Magazine. College Park, Md.: National Archives and Records Administration. 25 (1). Archived from the original on 5 December 2007.
  9. ^ Clausius, Gerhard P. (Winter 1958). "The Little Soldier of the 95th: Albert D. J. Cashier". Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society. 51 (4): 381. ISSN 2328-3246. JSTOR 40189639.
  10. ^ a b c d Tsui, Bonnie (2006). She Went to the Field: Women Soldiers of the Civil War. Guilford: Two Dot. p. 99. ISBN 9780762743841.
  11. ^ Hall, Richard H. (2006). Women on the Civil War Battlefront. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. p. 123. ISBN 0700614370.
  12. ^ Massey, Mary Elizabeth; Berlin, Jean V. (1994). Women in the Civil War. Bison Book. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. p. 80. ISBN 978-0803-28213-1. OCLC 299768880.
  13. ^ DIA History Office (March 13, 2014). "Women in Intelligence, Part 1". Defense Intelligence Agency. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  14. ^ a b Schultz, Jane E. (15 December 2005). Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America. Univ of North Carolina Press. p. 290. ISBN 978-0-8078-6415-9. as quoted in Leonard, Elizabeth D. (1 September 2002). "To 'Don the Breeches, and Slay Them With a Will!' A Host of Women Soldiers". In Barton, Michael; Loguel, Larry M. (eds.). The Civil War Soldier: A Historical Reader. NYU Press. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-8147-2514-6.
  15. ^ Guerin, E. J. (1861). Mountain Charley: or, The adventures of Mrs. E. J. Guerin, who was thirteen years in male attire; an autobiography comprising a period of thirteen years life in the States, California, and Pike's Peak. Indiana University Library Catalog for Kokomo. The Western frontier library. Dubuque, Iowa: University of Oklahoma Press.
  16. ^ Frank, Lisa Tendrich (2013). An Encyclopedia of American Women at War: From the Home Front to the Battlefields. ABC-CLIO. p. 412. ISBN 9781598844436.
  17. ^ a b Harriel-Hidlebaugh, Shelby (December 3, 2016). "Searching for Sophronia: Sophronia Smith Hunt, 29th Iowa Infantry". Forbidden, Hidden, and Forgotten: Women Soldiers of the Civil War. Archived from the original on May 21, 2021 – via Blogspot.[self-published source]
  18. ^ Gallagher, Tim (October 22, 2017). "Gallagher: 'Serving Her Country,' series details work of women in military". Sioux City Journal. Serving Her Country: Women in the Military.
  19. ^ "Funeral notice, Sophronia Hunt". Dakota County Herald (Dakota City, Nebraska). 9 August 1928. Retrieved 26 May 2021.
  20. ^ Schulte, Brigid (29 April 2013). "Women Soldiers Fought, Bled, and Died in the Civil War, then were Forgotten". The Washington Post. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  21. ^ "Niles, Martin C." Nationa Park Service. 2018. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  22. ^ "Women Who Fought in Civil War Beside Hubby Dies, Aged Ninety-two". Washington Times. Washington D. C. 4 October 1920. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  23. ^ a b Hall, Richard H. (2006). Women on the Civil War Battlefront. University Press of Kansas. p. 244. ISBN 978-0-7006-1437-0.
  24. ^ Cordell, Melinda (2016). "Hurrah for God's Country!". Courageous Women of the Civil War. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 978-1613-73203-8.
  25. ^ "Hispanics in the Military". Retrieved 2013-10-22.
  26. ^ "The Hispanic Experience – Contributions to America's Defense". Retrieved 2013-10-22.
  27. ^ Villahermosa, Gilberto (September 2002). "America's Hispanics in America's Wars". Retrieved 2021-06-13.
  28. ^ Schmal, John P. "The Hispanic Experience – Contributions to America's Defense". Retrieved 2021-06-13.
  29. ^ Aleman, Jessie (2003). The Woman in Battle: The Civil War Narrative of Loreta Janeta Velazques, Cuban Woman and Confederate Soldier (introduction). University of Wisconsin Press. p. xvi. ISBN 0299194248.
  30. ^ Combined Books (15 May 2008). The Civil War Book of Lists. Castle Books. ISBN 978-0-7858-1702-4. OCLC 55804876.

External links

This page was last edited on 21 October 2021, at 06:28
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