Friday, July 12, 2013

I feel gypped ! part 2

Okay, so yesterday I left off talking about passing women fighting in the Union and Confederate armies of the U.S. civil war. Many of these passing women got killed or wounded like they're male counterparts. If they were killed and then discovered it didn't matter because they were dead anyhow, but if they were just wounded the vast majority of them deserted. They did not want they're secret discovered and had they sought treatment in an army hospital they would surely have been. I suspect that many of these wounded females ended up have slow painful deaths because of this dilemma.
    They're enlistment was relatively easy though. Many of the male recruits were mid to late teens. So, it was easy for passing females to get away with not having a beard, a deep voice or having a small build. I suspect, here I go suspecting again, that some military officials knew that some of they're recruits were passing females but they turned a blind eye because they needed soldiers. And these passing females had proven themselves worthy.
    I have one more suspicion that is not mentioned in A Queer History of the United States. It is a known fact that army brigades during the civil war were segregated. I suspect that the African-American brigades had passing African-American females in then, too! I have never heard or read this anywhere but common sense tells me that if the white brigades had passing females the African-American ones must have had them, too! This is an area of African-American history worth exploring.
    These passing women fascinated America and a book called Women of the war: Their Heroism and Self-Sacrifice was published in 1866. The book was not entirely about Passing female soldiers but it did have an entire chapter dedicated to them. Loreta Velazquez, who had passed as man in the Confederate army, published her memoirs in 1876 and some women received government pensions for they're service.

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