Female Confederate Cavalry Regiment

In the summer of 1862, 30 young women banded together to form the Spartans with the purpose of supporting their men in the Confederate cavalry. Still active during Federal occupation, some were accused of spying and arrested, but were eventually released. Reconstruction was hard on them, and most of the women left the area after the war.

Image: Rhea County Courthouse

During the American Civil War, Rhea County (pronounced ray) was one of the …Read More...

Female Soldier from Illinois

Frances Hook was born in Illinois in 1847. When she was three years old, both her parents died, leaving her to be raised by her older brother. Frances and her brother were living in Chicago when the Civil War began.

Inscription below photograph:
'Fanny the soldier girl Exchanged by Genl Thomas at Chattanooga.'

She was 14 years old when her brother announced that he was going to enlist in the Union Army. Since her brother …Read More...

Confederate Soldier in the Civil War

One of the most famous Confederate female soldiers, who served in both cavalry and infantry, was Amy Clarke. At the age of 30, she enlisted as a private in a cavalry regiment with her husband, Walter, so she would not be separated from him. She disguised herself as a man, using the name Richard Anderson. She fought with her husband until his death at the Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee, on April 6, 1862.

Image: …Read More...

Women Soldiers in the Civil War

Image: Frances Clayton / Jack Williams

On September 17, 1862 at least four women fought at the Battle of Antietam. With more than 30,000 casualties, it was the single bloodiest day of the Civil War. At this bridge, Union troops under General Ambrose Burnside took heavy casualties.

Both the Union and Confederate armies forbade the enlistment of women. So women who wanted to serve disguised themselves as men and assumed masculine names. Because many …Read More...

Buffalo Soldier in the American West

Cathay Williams is the first African American female to enlist, and the only documented to serve in the United States Army, posing as a man under the pseudonym William Cathay. Orders were soon given to transfer the new recruits to the west, where they would join the army's fight against the Indians. Cathay and her fellow black comrades were named Buffalo Soldiers by the Plains Indians because they were fierce fighters, and …Read More...

Female Prisoner in the Civil War

With the Civil War raging around the country, Philadelphian Florena Budwin decided not to let her husband go off to war without her. She disguised herself as a man and enlisted alongside him in the Union Army, and maintained her disguise throughout her active service.

Unfortunately, both the Budwins were captured during fighting by the Confederate Army and sent to Andersonville Prison in southern Georgia, the Confederacy's most notorious prisoner of war camp. Andersonville …Read More...