Military Service

Title

Military Service

Description

The connection between military service and citizenship demands constant critique. Yet for someone who finds it incomprehensible why a person would sacrifice their life for ideology, duty, or belonging, no tweet thread can explain it. Soldier 🪖🧵

Vol. II of History of Woman Suffrage appeared 15 years after the end of the Civil War. It devotes pages to the women who served in that war, and notes that of “many thousands with headboards marked ‘Unknown,’ hundreds are those of women…”

Sometimes, Anonymous was a woman. 

Civil war historians estimate at least 400 people assigned female at birth served in the Union army; another 250 in the Confederacy. They fought at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, and were killed in battle at Lookout Mountain. Many served for years; some were decorated and promoted. 

There are a variety of books about these soldiers, but the absence of a queer lens makes them painfully uncomfortable to read. The one exception is a new children’s book about Albert Cashier, who served 3 years in the Illinois 95th, and lived as a man for the rest of his life.  

This is not to say that all cross-dressing soldiers were transgender - but a good historian has to entertain the likelihood that some of them were! Alas, many describe their subjects’ lives as a “masquerade” or a “disguise” hiding their “true identity," without distinction. 

DailySuffragist has covered some extraordinary and under-appreciated service in the Civil War & WWI. Read about queer and straight patriots like Harriet Tubman, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, the NAWSA medical corps, and the Black women of the YMCA.

Creator

Daily Suffragist

Date

September 04, 2020

Files

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Tags

Citation

Daily Suffragist, “Military Service,” Daily Suffragist, accessed May 15, 2021, https://dailysuffragist.omeka.net/items/show/502.

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