Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/1/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Approximately 400 women fought in a survived the war.

Recently, the United States military authorized the deployment of women in active combat. However, women have seen combat in every American war since the foundation of the Republic. Who were these women and why did they go to such lengths to conceal their sex? The American Civil War was unique with women being photographed and extensively documented serving as soldiers.

Frances Clalin, wife, mother, drinker, smoker, and deadly cavalryman. Pretty good at poker too.

Frances Clalin, wife, mother, drinker, smoker, and deadly cavalryman. Pretty good at poker too.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/1/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Civil War, women, gender roles, combat, identity, Frances Clalin


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to records, approximately 400 women managed to join in the Civil War as combatants. Many of them would later apply, and receive pensions following the conflict. Their stories are inspiring, filled with danger and bravery, exceptional because not one of them was compelled to fight.

These women sometimes even fought with distinction, felling enemy soldiers with equal alacrity as their male counterparts, and sometimes even more so.

The Daily Mail features a series of images and a short article featuring stories such as that of Union cavalryman, Jack Williams, who comrades described as "a hard-drinking, tobacco-chewing, foul-mouthed son of a gun." Deadly with a pistol and a sword, Jack could also hold his own at the poker table.

Jack was wounded three times and captured once, and only later revealed to be a woman - Frances Clalin, a mother of three. She joined to stay with her husband.

When he was killed at the battle of Stone's River, she stepped over his body and charged as ordered. She was subsequently wounded herself and discharged when she was discovered to be female. 

In fact, many women joined and fought alongside their husbands. The effort required of them was great because they had, at all times, to conceal their sex. This was probably much more difficult than the more commonly cited challenge of "keeping up with the boys." Many women of the period tended to be hardy, given the rigors of life on the farms of the western United States and back then, much as today, have always been capable of matching pace.

It is a myth that women are incapable of serving as well as men. Despite popular belief, when it comes to war, women have been there, done that.

However, in the male-dominated culture of the 19th century, women who were discovered were immediately discharged and sent home.

Some women were not discovered until they were wounded and surgeons attempted to treat them. It is also likely that hundreds of women went unrecognized, either keeping silent after the war, or being lost as casualties and sharing many of the mass graves prepared after battle.

Many women who served later returned to life as wives and mothers, a few penning their stories to share with future generations.

At least one female soldier found life as a man easier, so much so that she chose to go about as a man for the rest of her life. Jennie Hodgers fought in forty battles as Albert Cashier. After the war, she continued to pass herself off as a man and enjoyed the right to vote. Her doctor discovered that he was a she in 1910, but agreed to keep her secret. She lived the rest of her days in a veteran's home.

By the time of her death her true identity was revealed but she was still buried in her Union uniform and her tombstone bears both names.

The women soldiers of the Civil War are an inspiring story of those who remain so devoted to their husbands or to causes, that they will endure any hardship to support them. They did not serve to buck traditional gender roles or to usurp society, but rather to promote the welfare of their families and states. For this, we can regard them with honor and pride and accord each the recognition they deserve.

It's also important to recognize that women are no strangers to war.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More U.S.

Lower Your Nets For a Catch! We Are All Called to Evangelize Watch

Image of Lower your nets for a catch

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The New Evangelization is meant to bring about an authentic renewal of the Church so that she can then undertake a new missionary outreach to the whole world. Only a Church fully alive in the Lord and filled with His Spirit can carry out such an evangelical ... continue reading


'Church ladies' finally force phony priest in Los Angeles to authorities Watch

Image of Erwin Mena  was arrested by Los Angeles police for allegedly impersonating a Roman Catholic priest and on suspicion of grand theft (Los Angeles Times).

By Mary Rezac, CNA/EWTN News

For months, Erwin Mena donned vestments, called himself "Padre," and convinced Southern California Catholics that he was a priest, police say. Los Angeles, Calif. (CNA/EWTN News) - He was good at it, too, reportedly. He attended seminary in El Salvador for a time ... continue reading


Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis to Meet in Cuba in Historic Move of the Holy Spirit Watch

Image of Orthodox Christian Patriarch Kirill and Catholic Christian Pope Francis

By Deacon Keith Fournier

This meeting of the Primates of the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, after a long preparation, will be the first in history and will mark an important stage in relations between the two Churches. The Holy See and the Moscow Patriarchate hope that ... continue reading


'Deeply disturbing': ANOTHER Planned Parenthood video has been released by the Center for Medical Progress (Warning: Graphic Content) Watch

Image of Yet another undercover video featuring the horrors of Planned Parenthood's illegal acts has been released (Leda Oreskovich).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released another video featuring Planned Parenthood officials casually - and even happily - discussing the revolting practice of murdering infants in the womb then mercilessly cutting them to pieces for profit. Meanwhile, after ... continue reading


Phony priest celebrated masses, funerals and performed marriages - for more than 20 years! Watch

Image of Operating out of St. Ignatius of Loyola in northeastern Los Angeles, Erwin Mena allegedly sold tickets to a pilgrimage to visit New York to see the Pope during his visit to the United States last year (Facebook).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

He might have talked a good talk and walked a good walk, but authorities finally caught up with fifty-nine-year-old Erwin Mena, who posed as a priest for more than 20 years in Los Angeles. Mena was arrested and will enjoy a lot of time in small rooms - with bars on the ... continue reading


'Christian Refugees 2 Christian Nations, Muslim Refugees 2 Muslim Nations, That's Only Fair': Protesters rally in Missoula County Courthouse Watch

Image of Protesters stand in snow (not pictured) to stand against new influx of refugees into America (AP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In an effort to ease the strain on other countries who have accempted several thousand refugees, the Obama administration plans to send refugees to smaller Montana cities. Over 120 Montana citizens faced snow and ice on Monday to protest outside the Missoula County ... continue reading


Why did secret Muslim Obama visit a controversial mosque? Watch

Image of Why is Obama visiting a mosque with questionable ties?

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

President Obama is visiting a controversial mosque in Baltimore today, one that has ties to Islamic extremism. Even fellow Muslims are upset that he chose the Islamic Society of Baltimore for his visit, when he could have chosen more "moderate" mosques. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


In the minds of murderers: 9/11 began with a small question and grew to a national tragedy Watch

Image of 9/11 was based on a flight that crashed into the sea (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The horrific tragedy of 9/11 was reportedly started when Osama bin Laden heard of the murder-suicide on EgyptAir Flight 990. The plane's pilot crashed into the ocean, prompting bin Laden to wonder why he didn't choose to crash into a building. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


What does the Super Bowl have to do with the Catholic Church? Watch

Image of

By CNA/EWTN News

Who else is facing off during the Super Bowl? Catholic Charities. Whether fans are rooting for the Denver Broncos or the Carolina Panthers in the upcoming NFL Super Bowl 50, Catholic Charities of Denver, Colorado, and Charlotte, South Carolina are uniting to host ... continue reading


Did the Groundhog see his shadow? 6 fun facts about Groundhog Day you never knew before Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The fate between winter and spring anxiously awaited the arrival of the weather-predicting groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil. The furry groundhog emerged from his hole on February 2 in search of a shadow ... that he never found. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 6:1-2, 3-8
1 In the year of King Uzziah's death I saw the Lord seated on a high and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 7-8
1 [Of David] I thank you, Yahweh, with all my heart, for you have ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:1-11
1 Now it happened that he was standing one day by the Lake of Gennesaret, ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 15:1-11
1 I want to make quite clear to you, brothers, what the message of the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 7th, 2016 Image

St. Moses
February 7: Arab hermit and bishop who is called "the Apostle ... Read More