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 the Civil War did so to follow a loved one into battle. Others, like Jane Short, alias Charley Davis, were …Read More...

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 Volunteers. In her own words, she "went to war with no other ambition than to nurse the sick and care …Read More...

Female Soldier in the Civil War

Several hundred women disguised themselves as men and took the bold step of leaving the comforts of home to serve their country during the Civil War. Frances Clalin Clayton disguised herself as a man and took the name Jack Williams in order to fight in the army. For several months, she served in Missouri artillery and cavalry corps.

Frances Clalin was born in Illinois in the 1830s. She married Elmer Clayton and gave birth …Read More...

Female Militia in Georgia

Near the beginning of the Civil War, almost all of the men of LaGrange, Georgia, enlisted in the Confederate Army, leaving the small town unprotected. Two upper-class ladies and some graduates of the LaGrange Female College decided that they should gather the women and form a female militia to help protect their community. They called themselves the Nancy Harts in honor of Georgia's Revolutionary War heroine, who single-handedly defended her home against a group of invading …Read More...

Civil War Women Soldiers

Cousins Mary and Mollie Bell, aliases Bob Martin and Tom Parker, were adolescent farm girls from Virginia. After their uncle left to join the Union army, the girls decided to conceal their sex and enlist in a cavalry regiment under the command of Confederate General Jubal Early.

Image: Castle Thunder in Richmond, Virginia,
where the Bells were held for illegally
enlisting in the Confederate army

The Bells served for two years, and earned the …Read More...

Female Soldier in the Civil War

In 1862, Jennie Hodgers was living in Belvidere, Illinois. As the Civil War escalated, in July of 1862, President Abraham Lincoln sent out a call for an additional 300,000 men to serve in the Union Army. Nineteen-year-old Jennie Hodgers wanted to help her country.

Image: Jennie Hodgers (right) as Albert D.J. Cashier

Jennie Hodgers was born in Clogherhead, Ireland, on Christmas Day, 1844. She sailed to America as a stowaway and settled in Belvidere, …Read More...