Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Hannah Snell-Royal Marine

This is not Civil War related, but I wanted to share her brief story and a neat video to go with it.  Hannah
Snell was an English woman who disguised herself as a man and enlisted in the Royal Marines in the mid-1700's in order to search for a wayward husband who had abandoned her while she was pregnant with their child.  Following the death of the the little girl died at a year old, Snell took to the seas as "James Gray."  After fighting in India, during which she was wounded, she and her fellow marines sailed back to England where she revealed her secret.  Her comrades urged her to seek a pension, which she did.  Hannah was honorably discharged, and after the Royal Hospital of Chelsea officially recognized her service, began to receive a pension in 1750.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Babes on the Bluff: Women Soldiers at Natchez, Mississippi

Sorry for the title, but I couldn't resist.

Previously, I wrote about the life of William Johnson, the Barber of Natchez, who was a free black man and slaveowner.  Click (HERE) for the post.  This was part 1 of an article detailing forgotten or little known aspects of Natchez history.  Part 2 deals with women soldiers and their connection to the Bluff City.

Friday, April 7, 2017

They Fought in World War I, Too!

With  yesterday marking the centennial anniversary of the U.S. entering the war, I thought I would share a few accounts of women soldiers who participated.....or tried, such as in this first case.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Book: "Death of an Assassin" by Ann Marie Ackermann

I am excited to share my friend Ann Marie Ackermann's book with y'all. Though it does not involve women soldiers, the topic is very interesting! Ms. Ackermann has uncovered an account of a German assassin who died defending Robert E. Lee during the Mexican War.  After committing a murder, he fled to the United States where he enlisted in a Pennsylvania volunteer unit comprised of Germans.  Upon the outbreak of war, the unit was sent to Mexico where it helped defend Lee's battery at the Battle of Vera Cruz.  Among those killed was the assassin.  Afterwards, Lee wrote a letter praising his heroism.


Death of an Assassin: The True Story of the German Murderer Who Died Defending Robert E. Lee
will be released in September by Kent State University Press, but you can pre-order now through Amazon, click (HERE) or Barnes and Noble, click (HERE).  I hope you will check it out!  She has researched this interesting topic extensively, and I am sure has a good story to tell.



I was honored to compose a guest blog post for Ann Marie about the trials of researching women soldiers, which you can read by clicking (HERE).

Until next formation...rest.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Women Soldiers of the Atlanta Campaign

Click (HERE) for a virtual tour of the Atlanta Campaign locations connected with women soldiers.  And then scroll down to see other pictures I posted of other areas in Tennessee and Georgia that are significant to their history.

 And if you missed out on a similar album I posted to my page last year dealing with women soldiers of the Red River Campaign, click (HERE) for those.

I post photos to my accompanying woman soldier Facebook page because Blogger is not conducive for such.  Therefore, if you enjoy my research, you may want to check out and "like" my Facebook page so you won't miss out.

Until next formation...rest.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Jackson, Mississippi Arsenal Explosion

Recently, I came across Raina's Facebook page and found her information interesting.  She is writing a book on women working in arsenals, some of whom perished in explosions at various sites.  The working title is In the Midst of Youth and Beauty:  Women in Civil War Arsenals.  You can visit her Facebook page by clicking (HERE) and blog (HERE).  In reading some of her material, I learned that there was an explosion at the arsenal in Jackson, Mississippi which I wasn't aware of.  Because I also enjoy learning about and sharing my own state's history, I asked her to write an article about this event, which she graciously did.  It appears below.   Thanks, Raina!  Following her article, I include information about women soldiers who worked in arsenals....or attempted to.


Thursday, March 2, 2017

My Talk for the Shieldsboro Rifles SCV Camp

"I don't need to test the amp," I said.  "It has always worked fine," I said.  So as I prepared for the first talk of the year, I didn't drag it out and hook it up to ensure it was in good order like the rest of my equipment. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Aiming to Do Her Part-Mercy Street's Woman Soldier

A new character made an appearance on the latest episode of Mercy Street, a soldier named Private Ames who came in with a sick comrade.  The youngster seemed extra protective and concerned.  As events began to unfold, we learned that Private Ames was a woman soldier disguised as a male.  What gave her away?  The French illustrator said she knew because, as she put it, her adeptness at anatomical drawings allowed her to pick up on the woman soldier's bodily nuances.  As for everybody else.....well, she kind of betrayed herself  with the extreme hand holding and the kissing, which would have NEVER happened in public!!  The real women soldiers were discovered after becoming a casualty, or falling ill, or putting their stockings on in a feminine way, wringing out a dishrag in a feminine manner, sneezing like a girl, wearing clothes that were too big, instinctively trying to catch apples with nonexistent aprons, "giving a woman's squeal," trying to don trousers over the head.  But they were never detected while smooching on a man.  While many women soldiers enlisted to be with a husband or sweetheart, they kept their emotions in check because they were terrified of being discovered, and that was one sure fire way of being outed..  Sarah Emma Edmonds, alias "Franklin Thompson" of the 2nd Michigan Infantry, offered perhaps the best illustration of this fear when she wrote that she would rather have been shot dead than to have been discovered and sent away from her regiment like a criminal (Edmondson file, RG 15, National Archives).

Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday, January 30, 2017

Vicksburg: POW Exchange Point

During the summer of 1862, the Dix-Hill Cartel created a system regulating prisoner exchanges.  This included enlisted men (and women), officers, civilians, and civilians employed by the military, such as teamsters and sutlers. You can read the details of the agreement by clicking (HERE).  One element of this system was establishing sites that would serve as exchange points.  City Point was chosen for the east and Vicksburg for the west.

At least one woman was exchanged at Vicksburg under this cartel.  Mary Ann Clark was captured in Kentucky in late 1862.  The unit she was with and the battle where she was taken vary.  Most accounts claim it was Richmond (KY). But I have also seen it listed as Perryville.  And then another source says she was captured by a Federal detachment, which indicates she was serving picket, out on a patrol, or foraging, if this had indeed been the situation when she was taken.