Civil War Women Soldiers


Women Who Fought in the Civil War

They were determined to fight, no matter the cost. They dressed in men's clothing and assumed masculine names; bound their breasts; rubbed dirt on their faces to simulate whiskers; learned to talk, walk, chew and smoke like men; and hid in every conceivable way that they were female. They were soldiers in the [Read More ...]

Sarah Rosetta Wakeman


Woman Soldier in the Civil War

Sarah Rosetta Wakeman disguised herself as a man in order to fight for the Union in the Civil War. The letters she wrote home were preserved by her family, but were not made public for nearly a century because they were stored in the attic of one of her relatives.

Wakeman, most often referred [Read More ...]

Loreta Janeta Velazquez


Female Soldier Disguised as a Man

Loreta Janeta Velazquez was born into an aristocratic Cuban family in Havana in 1842. Her father was a Spanish government official who owned plantations in Mexico and Cuba. As a young girl, Loreta developed an admiration for Joan of Arc, and expressed a desire to emulate her deeds and to make a name for [Read More ...]

Jane Short


Female Soldier in the Union Army

Despite being injured at the Battle of Shiloh in 1862, Jane Short was not discovered as a woman until she became ill a few months later. After her discharge, she reenlisted and served until August 1864.

Image: Battle of Shiloh by Thure de Thulstrup

Many women who disguised themselves as men and enlisted during [Read More ...]

Sarah Emma Edmonds


Union Nurse, Soldier and Spy

Offended by the idea of slavery, Sarah Emma Edmonds enlisted in the Second Michigan Infantry as Frank Thompson on May 25, 1861, when the first call for volunteers came from President Abraham Lincoln. She was given the rank of Private, and was assigned as a male nurse at the field hospital of the 2nd Michigan [Read More ...]

Frances Clayton


Female Soldier in the Civil War

Frances Clalin Clayton was a woman who disguised herself as a man named Jack Williams in order to fight in the Union Army. She served in Missouri artillery and cavalry units for several months. Before the Civil War, Frances was a housewife.

Image: Frances Clayton as Jack Williams

Frances Louisa Clalin was born in [Read More ...]