I recently learned that there are troves of stories about women who joined the service during the1860s.
Of course, women soldiers were not allowed, so they had to be in disguise at all times. They were following sweethearts, patriotism, or a fervent desire to escape the restrictions of living as a woman during the time.
We have no way of knowing how many there were, since they were usually only found out when they received medical treatment for an injury. One disguised woman, however, a sergeant described by her comrade as a “a real soldierly, thoroughly military fellow,” was found out when she delivered a baby!
It’s fascinating to look back on these times in history and contemplate all that women and men went through to help shape the world today.