I changed my gender to fight
The traditional story of the American Civil War is revenge by historical accounts, told on behalf of men who fought as Yankees or Confederates in the 1860s. However, along with them, women also took part in the war — they specially dressed in men's military uniforms and went to the battlefields. Historians call this fact "the most guarded secret of the Civil War." More than 250 cases were recorded when women cut their hair, changed their clothes and went into battle. This was both an act of rebellion against discrimination and a manifestation of true patriotism.
The usual female role in the war of that time — a selfless nurse or a cunning spy. In extreme cases-a faithful wife who is waiting for her husband and sons at home. The real story radically changes this picture. The women snatched up their weapons and rushed into battle. They lived in field camps, languished in terrible prisons, and died in agony, but with honor, for their own country.
Soldier Albert Quarry, whose real name was Jenny Hodgers. Under the guise of Albert, the woman took part in dozens of battles of the Civil War. In 1913, all the front pages of the newspapers were full of headlines about her exposure.
Before changing into a soldier's uniform, Louise Clayton enlisted the help of her husband, who himself enrolled the woman in the soldier's garrison. To pass for one of her own, Louise started smoking cigars, started swearing a lot, and mastered a lot of gambling.
The case of Sarah Edmonds is the most famous in history: the woman served in the Union Army for two years under the name of Franklin Thompson, and then received a military pension for 25 years.
After the outbreak of the American Civil War, the girl changed into a man and joined the army. They even decided to make Sarah-Frank a scout and disguised her as a woman, so that she would not arouse suspicion in the enemy.
Why did they do it? Someone out of a sense of duty. For others, the reason was love for their husbands and brothers — they left with them, so as not to part. But the main reason was precisely the social inequality that led to poverty during the war.
Women belonging to the working classes could not find decent work, and the salary of a seamstress or laundress was half the salary that the soldiers received every month. Everything was solved by itself: the cautious starved, the brave went to war to risk their lives and earn money.
Union Army soldier Candy Browne later received the title "Newbern Heroine" for risking her life to save her comrades during the Battle of Newbern.
Deborah Samson in uniform, disguised as Robert Shirtliff.
If the deception was discovered, then at best the women were simply thrown out of the camps without a penny. They were dismissed with the label "due to innate characteristics" or "due to sexual incompatibility".
Keywords: War | North america | History | Women | America | Society | Civil war | Discrimination | Deception | Patriotism