клуб

female

женских

single combat

единоборств

club



Chronologic history of
female warriors, military commanders and duelists


“Emancipated duel” between Princess Pauline Metternich and the Countess Kielmannsegg
With the assistance of a doctor, Baroness Lubinska

19th Century


Русская версия


1804-1816: William Brown (birth name unknown) was a Black woman who joined the Royal Navy as a man. One story is that Brown was born in Edinburgh, joined in 1804 and served at least until at least 1816, even after Brown's birth sex was discovered in 1815. More probably she was from Grenada and only served for a month before discovery. The Annual Register of September 1815 reported: "Amongst the crew of the Queen Charlotte, 110 guns, recently paid off, was a female African, who has served as a seaman in the Royal Navy for upwards of 11 years, several of which she has been rated able on the books of the above ship by the name of William Brown, and has served for some time as the captain of the fore-top, highly to the satisfaction of the officers. She is a smart well-formed figure, about 5 feet 4 inches in height, possessed of considerable strength and great activity; her features are rather handsome for a black, and she appears to be about 26 years of age. Her share of prize money is said to be considerable, respecting which she has been several times within the last few days at Somerset-place." Brown was the first known black, biologically female individual to serve in the Royal Navy.


1805: Mai Sukhan (b.1771), was the widow of late 18th century-early 19th century Sikh leader Gulab Singh Bhangi, who gained renown in Punjab for her military leadership. In 1805, when the forces of the powerful Lahore-based Sikh emperor Ranjit Singh were in the midst of conquest of the holy city of Amritsar, the band of defenders under the command of Mai Sukhan held them off for a considerable period of time.


1807-1816: Nadezhda Durova (1783-1866), also known as Alexander Durov, Alexander Sokolov and Alexander Andreevich Alexandrov, was a woman who became a decorated soldier in the Russian cavalry during the Napoleonic wars. She was the first known female officer in the Russian military. Her memoir, The Cavalry Maiden, is a significant document of its era because few junior officers of the Napoleonic wars published their experiences and because it is one of the earliest autobiographies in the Russian language. After learning that the Polish hussar Aleksandr Sokolov was actually a Russian woman named Nadezhda Durova, Tsar Alexander I awards Durova a medal for bravery and a commission as an officer in the Mariupol’ Hussars. Durova continued serving with the Russian Army throughout the Napoleonic Wars, and retired as a captain in 1816.


1807-1813: Eleonore Prochaska, "Potsdam's Joan of Arc" (1785-1813) was a German woman soldier who fought in the Prussian army against Napoleon during the War of the Sixth Coalition. Eleonore was one of many German women to fight in the Napoleonic Wars, though almost all of them were ejected from the army when it was found out that they were women. Various plays and poems were written on her life; Ludwig van Beethoven began a "Bühnenmusik" on her, with a libretto entitled "Eleonore Prochaska".


1807: A report in the Naval Chronicle in 1807 describes two women served in British Navy. Elizabeth Bowden disguised herself as a boy and joined the British Navy, calling herself John Bowden. After being discovered to be female she remained on board as an attendant. Another woman using the name of Tom Bowling served in the Royal Navy for 20 years as a boatswain’s mate.


1807-1809: Cheng I Sao, Commander of the Red Flag Fleet and Leader of the Pirate Confederation Ching Shih, China. She took over as leader of the enormous pirate fleet which included between 1.500 and 1.800 ships and 80.000 male and female pirates when her husband, Cheng I, was killed in a typhoon in 1807.


1808-1809: Agostina Domenech (known as Augustina, the "Maid of Saragossa") fought the French who were trying to take over the town of Saragossa when Napoleon put his brother Joseph on the Spanish throne. She participated in two sieges and distinguished for her heroism. During the first siege of Saragossa in 1808, her lover was an artillery sergeant fighting at the Portillo Gate. The entire crew of his gunmen was shot down before they could fire their last round. Agostina ran forward, seized the lighted match from her lover’s hands and started firing the cannon. The French were hit by a full load of grape shot at very short range, and their attack was broken. Palafox claimed to have witnessed these events in person, and Agostina was commissioned as a sub-lieutenant.


1808: Marie Schellinck, a Belgian officer in Napoleon's army. Participated in many battles and was wounded at Jemmappes, Austerlitz and Jena. She received the French Legion of Honor and a military pension in 1808. She and her husband had joined the army, and she started serving there with cooking and cleaning and then decided to become a soldier. Her secret was discovered when she got injured. And when the Emperor was told of this, he was much amused and decided to decorate her for her courage. He had all the right to have her punished, cause although female soldiers were not a special thing, it was still forbidden. Well-known painting (by Lionel Noel Royer) reproduction from Le Petit Journal, September 1894, depicted Napoleon Bonaparte presenting Marie Schellinck with 'Légion d'honneur' on the battlefield in 1808.


1808-1814: Joanna Zubr (c.1770-1852) was a Polish soldier of the Napoleonic Wars, veteran of the Polish-Austrian War and the first woman to receive the Virtuti Militari, the highest Polish military order. In 1808, Joanna Żubr with her husband Michał Żubr defected from Austrian-ruled Volhynia. Both joined the army, with Joanna initially serving as a camp-follower. However, soon she joined the 2nd Infantry Regiment as a private, hiding that she was a woman from both her superiors and fellow soldiers. In 1809 she took part in the Galician Campaign and distinguished herself in the Battle of Zamość of May 19 of that year. After the campaign she joined the 17th Infantry and was promoted to sergeant, as the first woman in the Polish Army. Their unit, renamed to Greater Polish Division, took part in the Napoleon's invasion of Russia and the campaign in Belarus. During the fights and Napoleon's retreat, she reached the Polish units in Saxony and served with distinction until the Treaty of Fontainebleau and the end of the war.


1809-1826: Doña Juana Azurduy de Padilla (1780-1862) was a Bolivian-Argentine revolutionary and guerrilla leader during the South American Wars of Independence of the early XIX century. When Bolivia declared its independence in 1809, her husband and she raised a small army to fight for an independent republic. She was wounded in battle on November 1816, and her husband (Manuel Padilla) was killed while trying to rescue her. Juana Azurduy de Padilla continued to fight against royalist forces until Bolivia became an independent republic in 1826 when Spanish forces were finally overthrown. Juana Azurduy had managed to form a small "republiqueta" (little republic) with the territory her small army held. This republiqueta was basically under siege from 1810 until 1825 when other republican armies under Simon Bolivar were able to join her remote forces.


1810-1817: Maria Gertrudis Bocanegra de Mendoza de Lazo de la Vega (1765-1817) was a woman who fought in the Mexican War of Independence. Unusually for a woman of her time, Bocanegra had read the principal authors of the Age of Enlightenment. When Mexico's War of Independence began, she was quick to take sides. She served as a messenger for the insurgents in the region of Pátzcuaro and Tacámbaro, helping to form a communications network between the principal locations of the rebellion. Her husband and one of her sons joined the forces of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla when the insurgents passed through Valladolid (now Morelia) in October 1810. Both of them died in the war. During the guerrilla war, she was sent to Pátzcuaro to aid the rebels in the capture of the city. However, she was betrayed and taken prisoner by the royal army in 1817. She was subjected to torture to get her to reveal the names of other rebels, but she refused to give information to the Spaniards. Finally she was tried, found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. Facing the firing squad, she harangued her executioners before she was shot. She is known in Mexico as La Heroína de Pátzcuaro. A plaza was named in her honor and a bronze statute was erected of her in Pátzcuaro.


1812: Elizabeth Hatzler (b.1790), was a veteran of the Franco-Russian war of 1812. In 1810, she was married to George Hatzler, a Sergeant of cavalry in the French Army. She wore the uniform of a French dragoon (musket-carrying infantry trooper) and fought beside her husband in several battles in 1812 against the Cossacks. She saved her wounded husband’s life by carrying him for miles during the French retreat.


1812-1814: Lucy Brewer (or Eliza Bowen, or Louisa Baker) is a nickname of the first woman in the United States Marines, serving aboard the USS Constitution from 1812 to 1814. Her legendary life was described in the book “Adventures of Lucy Brewer” by an anonymous author. In 1812, motivated by a patriotic desire to fight in the War of 1812, Lucy tricked her way onto the Constitution, pretending to be a man named George Baker. She served valiantly for three years and in many naval battles against the British before being honorably discharged, all the while keeping her true gender a secret. The book ends with Lucy returning to Plymouth as a woman and settling down into traditional married life.


1813: Johanna Stegen (1793-1842), was a German heroine of the Napoleonic Wars. On 2 April 1813 German troops (made up of the fusiliers and volunteer Jägers of the 1st Pommerschen infantry regiment) clashed with Napoleonic troops near Lüneburg. In the course of the battle, the Prussian regiment risked running out of ammunition and so Johanna rushed ammunition to them in her apron, thus significantly contributing to the Prussian victory. She was glorified soon afterwards in the patriotic poems of Friedrich Rückert.

 


1813-1815: Augusta Kruger (Sophie Dorothea Friederike Krüger, August Lübeck or Auguste Krüger) (1789-1848) was a soldier in the Prussian army. She served disguised as a man during the Napoleonic Wars in Germany from 1813 to 1816. Trained as a tailor, at 23 years old she cut off her hair, put on a male costume she had designed herself and obeyed a mobilization proclamation. Her comrades admired her courage very much and were loyal to her, but during one attack her high voice betrayed her. However, she was even promoted to corporal after the Battle of Möckern. She was awarded a Russian Order of St. George and the Iron Cross.


1814-1815: Anna Lühring (1796-1866) (sometimes wrongly referred to as Anna Lührmann) was a soldier in the Prussian army during the Napoleonic Wars. She became keen to join up after Tettenborn's capture of Bremen and the death of Eleonore Prochaska whilst serving in the Prussian Army. Dressed in her brother's clothing, she left Bremen in February 1814 and joined the Lützow Free Corps under the name Eduard Kruse at Jülich. In this unit she participated in the siege of Jülich and some smaller engagements during this. Even when her true identity became known she remained in the unit until its return to Berlin, where she was honored for her services. In February 1815 she returned to her parental home.

 


1814-37 Badshah Begum of Oudh (Avadh), Indian political and military leader. She took up arms against her husband. Badshah Begum had armed her women to the teeth, who, overpowered the King and sabotaged all his stratagems. Her husband's son, Nasir sent a brigade of women soldiers into the royal zenana (women's part of the palace) to have her removed. The women of the zenana were no less armed so that a fierce battle between female soldiers took place with volleys of musket ammunition flying through. The old Begum may have lost some fifteen or sixteen of her retainers, but the final victory was hers. She left the palace with a British guarantee that neither her life nor the life of the infant Farid would ever be endangered again. In 1837 King Nasir died of poisoning. The British Resident had already drafted a paper ready for the signature of the next King of Avadh, but Badshah Begum wanted Farid to be king, and she marched at the head of some two hundred heavily armed men towards the Palace. Her troops removed the incumbent ruler and his relations. Her troops could hardly contain their zeal, or ignore the fiery leadership of their heavily covered Begum. The following day the British opened fire and most of the Begum's men were killed or wounded, and she were sent to the fort of Chunar which was in British territory, where both she Farid died in captivity in 1846.


1821-1825: Laskarina Bouboulina (1771-1825), was a heroine of the Greek War of Independence. Bouboulina was born in a prison in Constantinople. She commanded ships in battle against the Turks and Egyptians, During the war, when the opposing factions erupted into a civil war in 1824, the Greek government arrested Bouboulina because of her family connection to now-imprisoned Kolokotronis; the government also killed her son-in-law. She was eventually exiled back to Spetses. Laskarina Bouboulina was killed in 1825 as the result of a family feud in Spetses.


1824: Kitturu Rani Chennamma (1778-1829), was the queen of the princely state Kittur in Karnataka. In 1824, thirty three years before the 1857 war of independence she led an armed rebellion against the British in response to the Doctrine of lapse. The resistance ended in her martyrdom and she is remembered today as one of the earliest Indian rulers to have fought for independence. Along with Abbakka Rani, Keladi Chennamma and Onake Obavva she is much venerated in Karnataka as an icon of bravery and women's pride.


1829-1831: Countess Emilia Plater (1806-1831), was a revolutionary from the lands of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. She fought in the November Uprising and is considered a national hero in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus, which were former parts of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. She led a rabble of armed peasants against the Russian occupiers in Poland in 1830. She was promoted to Captain of the 1st regiment of Lithuania. She died in a Russian ambush in December 1831. After the Polish units were defeated by the Russians, Gen. Chłapowski decided to cross the border into Prussia and become interned there. Emilia Plater refused to follow orders and instead decided to try to break through to Warsaw and continue the struggle.


1830s: Pine Leaf, was a woman and chief of the Crow tribe who counted coup in the 1830s. She is described in the autobiography of James Beckwourth as well as in Edwin T. Denig's chronicle on the tribes of the upper Missouri River. She was a fearsome warrior; as a child she took a vow to kill at least one hundred enemies by her own hand.


1831-1840: Menem Leben Amande of Yejje (Ethiopia) Menen Leben Amede, was Empress of Ethopia. She commanded her own army and acted as regent for her son Ali Alulus. In 1842, her husband Yohannes II launched a rebellion against her. She was wounded and captured in a battle in 1847 but was ransomed by her son and continued to rule until 1853.


1833: Distinctive was a female duel happened in London in 1833 when a woman named Rosa Crosby stabbed to death her rival who was unfortunate to steal her husband. Crosby battled for first time whereas her opponent has a good experience in fencing. But the winner was inspired by righteous anger, which withstood the skills.


1842-1849: Ana Maria de Jesus Ribeiro da Silva di Garibaldi, best known as Anita Garibaldi (1821-1849), was the Brazilian wife and comrade-in-arms of Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi. A skilled horsewoman, Anita is said to have taught Giuseppe about the gaucho culture of the plains of southern Brazil, Uruguay, and northern Argentina. One of Garibaldi's comrades described Anita as "an amalgam of two elemental forces…the strength and courage of a man and the charm and tenderness of a woman, manifested by the daring and vigor with which she had brandished her sword and the beautiful oval of her face that trimmed the softness of her extraordinary eyes." Anita joined her husband in the defense of Rome, which fell to a French siege on June 30. She then fled from French


1844-1868: Sikander Jahan Begum, was a the ruler of Bhopal, India. She never observed purdah (segregation of women). She was trained in the martial arts, and fought many battles during her reign (1844-1868). During the Indian rebellion of 1857, she sided with the British and crushed all those who revolted against them.


1846-1848: Sarah Borginis. American soldier. Fought in Texas'' struggle for independence from Mexico in 1846-1848. When the Mexicans began bombarding Fort Texas (Fort Brown) from their positions at Matamoros, she was issued a musket. It's said she took an active part in the ensuing fray, never missing a target. Gen. Zachary Taylor brevetted her to colonel, making her the first female colonel of the U.S. Army. Later, she served with General Zachary Talyor and his army of four thousands in his campaign against the eighteen-thousand-man Mexican army of General Santa Anna. Sarah achieved the rank of brevet colonel and was given a full military burial at her death in 1866 - allegedly the first woman to be a ranking U.S. Army officer, albeit a brevet one. During the war Sarah Borginis had a sword duel against a man.


1846-1848: Eliza Allen (b. 1826), was a Maine woman who, in 1851, published a memoir called “The Female Volunteer; Or the Life and Wonderful Adventures of Miss Eliza Allen, A Young Lady of Eastport, Maine”. In it, she described her life. Eliza Allen, scion of a wealthy Maine family, falls in love with William Billings, a man far below her station and whom her parents forbid her to see. William leaves in despair to join a military unit bound for the Mexican-American War, whereupon Eliza decides to change her appearance to a man and pursue the same course in hopes of discovering her love again. Eliza serves with General Scott during his march to Mexico City. She and her fiancé finally meet again after both are wounded at the Battle of Cerro Gordo, although Eliza, now known as George Mead, does not reveal her identity, which is apparently so changed that William does not recognize her.


1847: Queen Victoria decides that women who served aboard British warships during the Napoleonic Wars would not receive the General Service Medal. At least three women applied, and many more were technically eligible. But they were all denied. Explained Admiral Thomas Byam Martin, “There were many women in the fleet equally useful, and issuing awards to women will leave the Army exposed to innumerable applications of the same nature.”


1848: Louisa Battistati, was a heroine of the insurrection against Austrian rule that had taken place in Lombardy and which is known as the Five Days of Milan. The revolt took place during the period 18–22 March 1848 and was successful in expelling the Austrian garrison, commanded by Josef Radetzky, from the city. Radetzky would re-enter Milan on 6 August of that year, however, and Austria remained in control of the city until 1859. She displayed remarkable courage/ On Sunday, March 10th, she disarmed a cavalry soldier, though he carried a carbine. She placed herself at the head of the Poppietti bridge, and steadily continued there, fighting against the enemy during the rest 3 days, heading a valiant band of young men, and killing enemies. She defended the large establishment at Vettabia, which contained 580 persons, being the edifice in which the widows and their children, and other females took refuge when Barbaressa stormed Milan. In 1850, she married, and doing duty in the civic guard.


1849-1863: Maharani Jind Kaur (Messalina of the Punjab), (1817 in Chachar, Gujranwala, Sikh Empire - August 1, 1863 in London, United Kingdom) also popularly known as Rani Jindan or the Messalina of Punjab. She was the youngest wife of Maharajah Ranjit Singh and the mother of the last Sikh Emperor, Maharajah Duleep Singh. In 1845 she became Regent of Punjab for Duleep Singh. The Queen Mother (or Mai) of the last Sikh sovereign of the Punjab. She was a military commander and renowned for her 'characteristic strength of a man qualities'.


Circa 1850: Running Eagle, aka Brown Weasel Woman, was a Blackfoot woman warrior and a war chief. Having rescued her father after his horse was shot by an enemy tribe, she was invited to join a warrior society, and acted as a female war chief. The name Running Eagle was bestowed upon her for her bravery, She was eventually clubbed to death by members of the Flathead tribe in 1850 when she was caught trying to steal their horses during a battle. As Blackfoot men frequently rode naked into battle as a way of showing that they had nothing to lose by fighting, it cannot be argued that Running Eagle masqueraded as a man.


1851-1854: It was fairly common for Native American women to participate in horse-stealing expeditions and hunting. Denig's "Biography of Woman Chief," written in 1855-56, is one of the rare documents of female role reversal, excluding cross-dressing but including taking to herself four wives. The Crow "Woman Chief" is the most famous female war leader in the history of the upper Missouri tribes. At the age of 10 she was taken prisoner by the Crows. Shortly after her capture the warrior to whom she belonged perceived a disposition in her to assume masculine habits and employments. She was taller and stronger than most women-her pursuits no doubt tending to develop strength of nerve and muscle. Long before she had ventured on the warpath she could rival any of the young men in all their amusements and occupations, was a capital shot with the rifle, and would spend most of her time in killing deer and bighorn, which she butchered and carried home on her back when hunting on foot. After her protector had been killed in battle, she assumed the charge of his lodge and family, performing the double duty of father and mother to his children and eventually became a chief of the tribe of Crows. She headed war excursions against the Blackfeet for steeling horses and getting scalps. She scalped enemies with her own hand. Ranking as a warrior and hunter, she could not be brought to think of female work. It was derogatory to her standing, unsuited to her taste. She therefore went through the usual formula of Indian marriage to obtain an authority over the woman thus bought. Strange country this, where males assume the dress and perform the duties of females, while women turn men and mate with their own sex.


1851-1868 Mongkut or Rama IV, Siamese king has a harem which was guarded by a corps of four hundred amazons in daffodil-colored uniforms.  Among the elite of the King's palace guard, under Mongkut, they were led by Ma Ying Taphan. Her troops were considered to be the best trained and most loyal of all the King's soldiers, never defeated in battle.


1851: Seh-Dong-Hong-Beh, was a leader of the Dahomey female warriors under King Gezo. In 1851 she led an army of 6,000 women against the Egba fortress of Abeokuta. Because the women were armed with spears, bows and swords while the Egba had European cannons only about 1,200 women survived the extended battle. By 1890, women formed about a third of the fighting force of the Dahomey people in Africa.


1853-1856: Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), was an English nurse, writer and statistician. She came to prominence during the Crimean War for her pioneering work in nursing, and was dubbed "The Lady with the Lamp" after her habit of making rounds at night to tend injured soldiers.


1857-1858: Lakshmibai, 'The Rani' (Queen) of Jhansi (c.19 1828–1858), known as Jhansi Ki Rani, was the queen of the Maratha-ruled princely state of Jhansi, was one of the leading figures of the Indian Rebellion of 1857-1858. She rode into battle armed and armored like a man, and died of wounds received near Gwalior in June 1858. She became a symbol of resistance to British rule in India and has gone down in Indian history as a legendary figure, as India's "Joan of Arc." One of Rani’s counterparts on the British side was the female leader, Sikander Begum.


1861-1865: Women in the American Civil War. Both the Union and Confederate armies forbade the enlistment of women. Women who wanted to serve assumed masculine names and disguised themselves as men. It is impossible to know with any certainty how many women served in the Civil War. The estimate is somewhere between 400 and 1000. In some areas of the country, local women formed Home Guard units in order to protect the home front while the men and boys were gone. Some of these groups consisted only of teenagers and young women, who practiced and drilled and made their own uniforms to look like those worn by male soldiers. When the war first began, it is written that most of the women enlisted in order to be close to their husbands, sweethearts, or brothers. Besides, the most famous female soldiers, there were other hero which can be traced. Mary Owens served for eighteen months using the name John Evans. Satronia Smith Hunt enlisted in an Iowa regiment with her first husband. Mary Stevens Jenkins enlisted in a Pennsylvania regiment and remained in the army for two years. John Williams of the Seventeenth Missouri Infantry was discharged from the army on the grounds: "proved to be a woman." Mrs. S. M. Blaylock spent two weeks with the Twenty-sixth North Carolina Infantry, before being discovered. Mary Scaberry, alias Charles Freeman served in the Fifty-second Ohio Infantry and was discharged from Union service after her gender was discovered while she was being treated in hospital for a fever. A teamster and a private in a Union cavalry regiment got drunk and fell into a river. The soldiers who rescued the pair found out that they were women in the process of resuscitating them. Mary Galloway was wounded in the chest during the Battle of Antietam. A woman wearing the uniform of a Confederate private was found dead on the Gettysburg battlefield on July 17, 1863. Frances Hook, alias Frank Miller was discovered after she was wounded and captured by the Confederates. Madame Collier and Florina Budwin were also prisoners of war.


1861-1864: The ladies of LaGrange, Georgia, formed a female militia to help protect their town in May of 1861. They called themselves the Nancy Harts in honor of Georgia's Revolutionary War heroine They called on all available women to come and bring any guns or pistols they could find. Forty women responded to the call, meeting to organize at an old red schoolhouse. Nancy Morgan was elected captain; Andelia Bull, Mary Heard and Aley Smith lieutenants; Augusta Hill and M.E. Colquitt sergeants; Sally Bull, Leila Pullen and Caroline Poythress corporals; and Ella Key treasurer. Although a few other Southern cities armed women briefly in response to local crises, LaGrange's women are considered unique, because their group would become a well-organized, disciplined, commissioned military company that would train regularly for almost three years. Clothed in their regular attire of day dresses, some in hoops, and their hats, they drilled two days a week. Some evenings the ladies would drill, followed by loud and boisterous marching through town to keep the townspeople aware of their presence. By the end of the war the women had become sharpshooters and expert markswomen. When a column of Union cavalry approached LaGrange on April 17, 1865, Lt. Nancy Morgan marched out to meet the leader to inform him that the women were determined to defend their families and homes. The following morning, Colonel LaGrange marched on toward Macon, leaving behind this gracious Georgia town whose name he chanced to bear. Teary-eyed women bade farewell to their husbands and sons who had been taken as prisoners of war. But upon reaching Macon, LaGrange learned of General Lee's surrender and immediately freed his prisoners.


1961-1865: Loreta Janeta Velazquez (1842-1897?), a Cuban born woman, who disguised as a male soldier named Harry T. Buford and served the Confederacy as a double agent during the American Civil War. She became famous by publishing her memoirs, "'The Woman in Battle: A Narrative of the Exploits, Adventures, and travels of Madame Loreta Janeta Velazquez". Everything known about Velazquez comes from her 600-page book. How much of it is true is unknown. Historians have generally doubted its veracity for the improbability of many of her adventures, her frequent vagueness or inaccuracy about names and places, and the absence of any evidence to corroborate her sensational claims. She claimed she met Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of War Simon Cameron. She described her participation in many important battles.


1861-1865: Amy Clarke, one of the most famous Confederate female soldiers, who served in both cavalry and infantry. At the age of 30, she enlisted as a private in a cavalry regiment with her husband, Walter, so she wouldn’t be separated from him. She used the name Richard Anderson. She fought with Walter until his death at the Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee, on April 6, 1862. Amy had tired of cavalry life, and decided to join the infantry. Her request was approved, and Private Richard Anderson was transferred to the 11th Tennessee Infantry. Her regiment under General Braxton Bragg fought in many battles. On August 29 1862, the 11th Tennessee met Federal troops in the Battle of Richmond Kentucky. Amy was wounded and taken prisoner by the Union Army, and they discovered that she was a woman. Her wound was treated, and she was taken to the prison at Cairo, Illinois.


1861-1864: Sarah Rosetta Wakeman (1843–1864), was an American woman who posed as a man and fought in the American Civil War. By the time Sarah was 18, she had discovered that she could earn more money if she disguised herself as a male. Before the war she worked, dressed as a male, as a coal handler on a canal boat. In 1862, she enlisted under the alias of Private Lyon/s Wakeman and served in the 153rd Regiment, New York State Volunteers. Her complete letters describing her experiences as a female soldier in the Union Army are reproduced in the book, "An Uncommon Soldier: The Civil War Letters of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman".


1861-1865: Sarah Emma Edmonds (1841–1898), was an Canadian-born woman who is known for serving with the Union Army during the American Civil War. During the Civil War, she enlisted in the 2nd Michigan Infantry on her first try, disguising herself as a man named Franklin Flint Thompson. Extensive physical examinations were not required for enlistment at the time, and she was not discovered. She at first served as a male field nurse, participating in several campaigns under McClellan, including the First Battle of Bull Run, Antetim, the Pensilur Campaign, Vicksburg, and others.


1861-1865: Nancy Hart Douglas (1843(46)-1913), was a Confederate spy and soldier. Her mother was first cousin to Andrew Johnson, who became president after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. The young Ms. Hart soon began serving as a scout for the Confederacy, and according to some accounts she performed scouting duties for General "Stonewall" Jackson. She also acted as a spy, posing as a farm girl who offered the sale of vegetables and eggs to Federal troops. After learning what she could, she then reported her findings about the enemy's plans and activity in the region. Not long after a large reward was offered for her capture in 1862, Ms. Hart was apprehended by Union forces lead by Lt. Col. Starr, 9th West Virginia, and held prisoner in a make-shift jail. Ms. Hart was a striking young brunette, of exception beauty, which is credited with playing havoc with the Union guards. During one evening she managed to grab the pistol from her naive young guard, with which she shot the guard dead with a single shot. Leaping out an open 2nd-story window, and stealing Lt. Co. Starr's horse, she managed to escape behind Confederate lines. About a week later, on July 25, 1862, Nancy Hart guided forces in an attack against the federal forces at Summersville, consisting of 200 Confederates, led by Major R. Augustus Bailey, of Patton's 22nd Virginia Infantry. During the engagement many of building in Summersville were burned, and Lt. Col. Starr was among the Federals taken prisoner.


1861-1865: Mary Edwards Walker (1832-1919), was an American feminist, abolitionist, prohibitionist, alleged spy, prisoner of war, surgeon, and the first and the only woman to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. When the Civil War broke out, she went to Washington and tried to join the Union Army. She was denied a commission as a medical officer but volunteered anyway, serving unpaid as an acting assistant surgeon, the first female surgeon in the U.S. Army.


1861-1865: Jennie Irene Hodgers (1843-1915), In 1862, Hodgers disguised herself as a man Albert Cashier and enlisted in the 95th Illinois Infantry Regiment under the name Albert Cashier. The regiment was under Ulysses S. Grant and fought in over 40 battles. Cashier managed to remain undetected as the other soldiers thought she was just small and preferred to be alone. Cashier was captured in battle but managed to escape back to Union lines after overpowering a guard. She fought with the regiment through the war until 1865. After the war, Cashier continued to live as a male, convincing everyone around her. For forty years Cashier worked as a church janitor, cemetery worker and street lamplighter, she voted as a man, and claimed a veteran's pension.


1861-1865: Malinda Blalock (b.1842), was a female soldier during the American Civil War who fought bravely on both sides. When the war started, rather than be separated from her husband Keith, she decided to disguise herself as a man and join the army too. She was officially registered on March 20, 1862, as “Samuel ‘Sammy’ Blalock” – claiming to be the older brother of her husband. Her registration papers are one of the few surviving records of female soldiers in the Civil War. Malinda was a good soldier and her identity was never revealed. One of the army surgeons said of her: “She drilled and did the duties of a soldier as any other member of the Company, and was very adept at learning the manual and drill.” Eventually the couple deserted from the army.


1861: Mrs. Frances Clayton, was an American soldier from Minnesota who served as a male Frank Martin. It wasn't difficult for Frances (mother of three) to convincingly play the part of a man. She was tall and masculine, and had tan skin. She was reported to be a good horseman and swordsman, and the way she carried herself in stride was soldierly, erect, and masculine. She was well trained and knew her duties well, and was a respected person who commanded attention in the way she acted. To better conceal her sex, Frances took up all the manly vices. She learned to drink, smoke, chew, and swear, and was especially fond of cigars. She even gambled, and a fellow soldier declared that he had played poker with her on a number of occasions. Frances is known to have fought in the Battle of Fort Donelson in Tennessee, February 13, 1862, where the Union won after three days of fighting. The spouses served side by side until the Battle of Stones River on December 31, 1862. Elmer was only a few feet in front of Frances when he was killed, but she didn't stop fighting. Frances was later wounded in the hip. Her true identify was found when she entered the hospital, and she was discharged January 2, 1863. Frances was on a train home when it was attacked by guerrillas. She was robbed of her papers, and decided to re-enlist. She was wounded three times while fighting bravely for her country, and was once taken prisoner.


1861-1865: Kady Brownell (1842-1915) helped the Union army during the American Civil War. She went with her husband when he joined a Rhode Island regiment. Kady trained with the soldiers. She fought in battle and helped the injured. Kady was determined to enlist with her husband Robert; she approached Governor Sprague who agreed to take her along to Washington and there met up with Robert. She was appointed as a Daughter of the Regiment and color bearer. She was an active participant in the battles of First Bull Run in 1861 (she held the flag high even as Confederate bullets were flying) and after re-enlisting into the 5th RI Regiment with her new husband Robert Brownell, at New Bern (1862). Following the Civil War, Kady was the only female to receive discharge papers from the Union Army.


1862: In the summer of 1862, the girls of Rhea County in Tennessee created the only female cavalry. These girls were frustrated because their gender prevented them from enlisting in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. They named their unit the Rhea County Spartans. Almost all of the “sidesaddle soldiers,” as they were called, had fathers or brothers in the Confederate Army. Being all from prominent families in the area, the girls practiced and drilled. Mary McDonald, one of the oldest of the group, was elected captain and Caroline McDonald, her sister-in-law, became first lieutenant.


1862-1865: Jennie Hodgers, aka Albert D. J. Cashier (1844-1915), was an Irish immigrant. As the Civil War escalated in July of 1862, President Abraham Lincoln sent out a call for an additional 300,000 men to serve in the Union Army. Although she was not a man, illiterate 19 year-old Jennie Hodgers wanted to help her country. On August 6, 1862, she enlisted in the Union Army as an infantryman in the Ninety-Fifth Illinois Infantry Regiment. She was five feet, three inches tall - the shortest person in her regiment - and weighed 110 pounds. Jennie passed a physical examination - just a quick look at the eyes and ears, no undressing involved. At that moment Jennie Hodgers was transformed into Albert D. J. Cashier, Private First Class. Over the next three years, the 95th Regiment traveled thousands of miles and took part in forty battles, including the siege of Vicksburg and the Red River Campaign. When she was captured by a Confederate soldier during the Vicksburg Campaign, she knocked his gun out of his hand and ran away.


1862-1864: Mary and Mollie Bell, aliases Bob Martin and Tom Parker, were adolescent farm girls from Virginia. The girls decided to conceal their sex and enlist in a cavalry regiment under the command of Confederate General Jubal Early. The Bells served for two years, and earned the respect of their comrades for their bravery. Mary was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, and Mollie to the rank of Corporal. The girls hid their true identity with the help of their captain, but he was captured in 1864, and the Bells made the mistake of telling their secret to a lieutenant, who told General Early. The sisters were falsely accused of being prostitutes, briefly imprisoned, and later sent home, still in uniform.


1863-1865: Mollie Bean, was a North Carolina woman who, pretending to be a man, joined a unit of the Confederate army in the American Civil War. She was captured in uniform by Union forces outside Richmond, Virginia, in February 17, 1865, shortly before the end of the war. She may have fought at the Battle of Gettysburg. Despite the fact that she had been wounded twice in her two years’ service for the Confederate Army, she was accused of being "manifestly crazy," but also of being a spy, and was incarcerated at Castle Thunder.


1865: James Barry (1795-1865), was a British woman who masqueraded as a man in order to work as a medical doctor in the British Army. Her real name is believed to be Margaret Ann Bulkley. She was the Inspector General of the British Army Medical Department.


1866: Cathay Williams (1844-1892), was an American soldier. She was the first African American female to enlist, and the only documented to serve in the United States Army posing as a man under the pseudonym, William Cathay. Despite the prohibition against women serving in the military, Williams enlisted in the United States Regular Army on 15 November 1866 at St. Louis, Missouri for a three year engagement, passing herself off as a man.


1866-1879: Sylvia Mariotti, served as a private in the 11th Battalion of the Italian Bersaglieri from 1866 to 1879. She fought the Austrians in the Battle of Custozza.


1868: Two French women named Marie P. and Aimée R. dueled with pistols over which would get to marry a young man from Bordeaux. Marie was hit in the thigh with the first shot, leaving Aimée free to marry the young man. (Or so said the popular press.)


1860s: Anna Henryka Pustowojtowna (1843-1881), was a Polish nationalist who fought in Poland under Marian Langiewicz. She disguised herself as a man and went by the alias Michal Smok. After her capture and release she moved to France, and was active in the Paris Commune of 1870. She died in Paris.


Circa 1870: Eliza Alicia Lynch (1835-1886), was the Irish-born mistress of Francisco Solano López, president of Paraguay. Eliza Lynch followed Lopez during the entire war against Brazilians and led a group of women, composed of the soldier's wives, daughters, and others, who supported the soldiers called "Las Residentas". This group became famous in the Battle of Cerro Cora in 1870 when López was finally killed. After the Brazilian forces killed López and her son and took Eliza as prisoner South fighter in America.


1870-1882: Jeanne Merkus (1839–1897), was a Dutch adventurer. She was a daughter of the General Governor of Netherland's West India. Early having lost her parents, she determined to become a female hero and called herself 'Dutch Jeanne d'Arc'. In 1862-1869, she lived with the feminist and novelist Catharina van Rees. The partners became infamous by their extravagant and defiant behavior. In 1869, they have broken it off and Merkus started travelling through Europe and Middle East being involved in Christian movements. During the Franco-German war of 1870-1871, she worked for Red Cross in France helping wounded. During Paris Commune in 1971, she fought on the side of the left insurrectionists. In 1875-1876, she participated in the war between Christians in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Turks. She rode a horse, wore men's attires and smoked cigars. During the war, she came together with Bosnian Serb émigré leader, Mićo Ljubibratić. After the Christian defeat, the lovers moved to Austria. Her adventures in Balkans are described in the book by Rebecca West "Black Lamb and Grey Falcon".


1870s: Lozen (c.1840-1890), was the sister of the Chihenne-Chiricahua Apache chief, Victorio (Bidu-ya; Beduiat). Lozen was a skilled warrior and a prophet. According to legends, she was able to use her powers (Diya) and (Inda-ce-ho-ndi: "Enemies-Against-Power") in battle to learn the movements of the enemy. Victorio is quoted to have said that "Lozen is my right hand... strong as a man, braver than most, and cunning in strategy. Lozen is a shield to her people."


1871: Louise Michel (1830-1905), was a French anarchist, school teacher and medical worker. She sometimes used the pseudonym Clémence and was also known as the red virgin of Montmartre. In 1871, she led women of the commune who banded together, armed themselves and joined the fighting as an all female brigade. During the Siege of Paris she untiringly preached resistance to the Prussians. On the establishment of the Commune, she joined the National Guard. She offered to shoot Thiers, and suggested the destruction of Paris by way of vengeance for its surrender. She was with the Communards who made their last stand in the cemetery of Montmartre. Victor Hugo dedicated his poem to Michel, Viro Major. This ardent attachment was perhaps one of the sources of the exaltation which marked her career, and gave many handles to her enemies. In December 1871, she was brought before the 6th council of war, charged with offences including trying to overthrow the government, encouraging citizens to arm themselves, and herself using weapons and wearing a military uniform. She spent twenty months in prison and was sentenced to deportation.


1884-1900: Ella Hatton, master of sword combat, a daughter of an English father and a Spanish mother. Since young age, she trained in the sword arts - fencing and fighting with knife, rapier, foil and broadsword and engaged in her first public fencing match in 1884 in Chicago. The Jaguarina, as she was known, came to specialize in mounted broadsword combat, and earned the titles "Queen of the Sword," "The Ideal Amazon of the Age," and "Champion Amazon of the World." In a career spanning 1884-1900, this professional athlete's record is impressive: she won 134 out of 135 duels with men.


1885-1888: In August 1888, London Telegraph reported about several women’s duels in the article “French Women duelists”. In 1885, Mlle de Valsayre, the vigorous champion of woman’s rights, fought with an American lady on the Belgian frontier. In 1888, two ladies had a bout with unbuttoned foils at Boudreaux. About same time, an elegant theater visitor in Paris in masculine attire was insulted by a man who didn’t know her. In order not to be discovered, she pretended to be a foreigner and took two dragoons as her seconds. The duel took place in the Boi de Boulogne and the man was wounded to his wrist.


1892: The most intriguing duel ever fought between women, took place in August 1892 in Vaduz, the capitol of Liechtenstein, between Princess Pauline Metternich and the Countess Kielmannsegg. It has gone down in history as the first “emancipated duel” (see the title illustration) because all parties involved, including the principals and seconds were female and because the duelists fought topless. The weapon chosen in the duel was sword. In the third round the princess got a cut on her nose. At the same time as the countess was slightly injured in her arm. The seconds (two other noble ladies) then quickly declared the duel ended and Princess Metternich was declared a victor. The reason why the women came to arms in the first place - they disagreed over the floral arrangements for an upcoming musical exhibition. Interestingly, the confrontation was organized and presided over by the Baroness Lubinska, who had a degree in medicine (a rarity for a woman in those days) and was prepared to treat any wounds incurred. Before the proceedings began, the baroness pointed out that many insignificant injuries in duels often became septic due to strips of clothing being driven into the wound by the point of a sword. To counter this danger she prudently suggested that both parties should fight stripped of any garments above the waist. Certainly, Baroness Lubinska was ahead of her time, taking an even more radical take on the (at the time) widely dismissed theories of British surgeon Joseph Lister, who in 1870 revolutionized surgical procedures with the introduction of antiseptic...


Circa 1892 -1901: Private bare-breasted sword all-female duels took place in the late Victorian era. Women stripped of all garments above the waist to engage in small sword fighting as it was believed that a thrust to the body through the corset could result in unintentional, additional injury and infection. Besides, the decision to unbutton the tops of their dresses was not sexual; it was simply a way of preventing a duel of first blood from becoming a duel to the death. This risky activity was a kind of challenge to Victorian social norms and stereotype boundaries. It celebrated female aggression and femininity, as well as women emancipation.


1893-1903: Martha Jane Canary-Burke, better known as Calamity Jane (1852–1903), was a frontierswoman, prostitute, and professional scout best known for her claim of being an acquaintance of Wild Bill Hickok, but also for having gained fame fighting Native American Indians. She exhibited kindness and compassion towards others, especially the sick and needy, but she was an alcoholic and traded sexual favors for money. This contrast helped to make her a famous and infamous frontier figure.


1895: Theodore Roosevelt hires the New York Police Department’s first female employee, Minnie Kelly. The reason was that she did more work for less money than did the two male secretaries she replaced. In 1896, Commissioner Roosevelt also gave uniforms and badges to the women who processed female prisoners at police stations. Excepting meter maids and secretaries, police departments used women mainly as matrons and vice detectives until 1968, when the Indianapolis police pioneered the use of female patrol officers.


1897-1899: Agueda Kahabagan y Iniquinto ("Henerala Agueda" or "Tagalog Joan of Arc"), was the first General in the Philippine Revolutionary Army fighting against Spain. Henerala's bravery in battle was legendary. She was reportedly often seen in the battlefield dressed in white, armed with a rifle and brandishing a bolo. Apparently she was commissioned by General Miguel Malvar to lead a detachment of forces sometime in May 1897. She was mentioned in connection with the attack led by General Artemio Ricarte on the Spanish garrison in San Pablo in October 1897. It was most probably General Pio del Pilar who recommended that she be granted the honorary title of Henerala. In March 1899, she was listed as the only woman in the roster of generals of the Army of the Philippine Republic.


1898: Nehanda Charwe Nyakasikana (c.1840-1898), was a svikiro, or spirit medium of the Shona people. As one of the spiritual leaders of the Shona, she provided inspiration for their revolt against the British South Africa Company colonization of Mashonaland and Matabeleland (now Zimbabwe) in June 1896, It became known as the First Chimurenga or Second Matabele War. The rebellion, in Mashonaland at least, was encouraged by traditional religious leaders including Nyakasikana. After the end of the rebellion in 1897, she was captured. Nyakasikana was charged with the murder of Native Commissioner Pollard. She was found guilty after eye-witnesses claimed that she ordered an associate to chop Pollard's head off, and was hanged


1898: Teresa Magbanua y Ferraris (1868-1947), was a Philippines commander. She earned the distinction of being the only woman to lead combat troops in the Visayas against Spanish and American forces. Born in Pototan, Iloilo, Philippines on 13 October 1868, to wealthy parents, she earned a teaching degree and taught in her hometown. Having come from a family of revolutionaries, she immediately volunteered her services to the motherland and became an exceptional horseman and marksman. She led a large group of men in the Battle of Barrio Yoting, Capiz in early December 1898. She outfought the Spanish troops at the Battle of Sapong Hills near Sara.


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