|Hanna Snell-James Gray
"Why gentlemen, James Gray will cast off his skin like a snake and become a new creature. In a word, gentlemen, I am
as much a woman as my mother ever was, and my real name is Hannah Snell." --The Female Soldier, 1750
On 2 June 1750, in a local London pub, a young marine stunned his fellow soldiers by announcing that "he" was
really a woman in disguise. For over two years Hannah Snell had concealed her true sex while serving in a regiment of the
Royal Marines. She had sailed to India through great storms and fought in mud-filled trenches at the siege of Pondicherry.
She claims to have been severely injured in the battle.
Having recovered from the shock of this revelation, Hannah's mates encouraged her to make the most of her extraordinary
story and suggested that she request a pension from the head of the English army, the Duke of Cumberland. Hannah followed
this advice and approached the Duke on 16 June 1750 while he was reviewing troops in St. James's Park. Surprised by the curious
figure standing before him, the Duke accepted a petition from Hannah, which detailed her many adventures.
Within days, news of Hannah's exploits had trickled into the London press and the public clamoured for more information.
Eager to profit from this notoriety, Hannah immediately sold her story to the London publisher, Robert Walker. Her appearances
on stage in uniform caused a sensation, and the news of her adventures quickly spread across Britain.
In November 1750, the Royal Chelsea Hospital officially recognised Snell's military service and granted her a lifetime
pension. She lived for another forty years, marrying twice and raising two sons. In 1791, Snell was admitted to the lunatic
asylum, Bedlam, where she died six months later.
|Dr. Mary Edwards Walker
Even in uniform Dr Mary Walker was controversial - she added trousers under her skirt, wore a man's uniform jacket and carried
two pistols at all times. Her military career was not actually military in that she was never commissioned. She was refused
a commission as an army surgeon, but served on a volunteer basis at a Washington D.C. hospital. She worked as a field surgeon
near the Union front lines for almost two years (including Fredericksburg and in Chattanooga after the Battle of Chickamauga),
then was appointed assistant surgeon of the 52nd Ohio Infantry. After spending four months in a Richmond prison, she was released
back to the 52nd Ohio as a contract surgeon, but spent the rest of the war practicing at a Louisville female prison and an
orphan's asylum in Tennessee. During her stay with the 52nd Ohio it is implied that she also served as a spy while wandering
out in to the civilian community to treat the sick and starving.
Her official "service record" reads as follows:
Dr. Mary E. Walker (1832 - 1919) Rank and organization: Contract Acting Assistant Surgeon (civilian), U. S. Army. Places
and dates: Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861 Patent Office Hospital, Washington, D.C., October 1861 Following Battle of Chickamauga,
Chattanooga, Tennessee September 1863 Prisoner of War, Richmond, Virginia, April 10, 1864 - August 12, 1864 Battle of Atlanta,
September 1864. Entered service at: Louisville, Kentucky Born: 26 November 1832, Oswego County, N.Y.
|Loreta Janeta Velazquez,Lieutenant Harry T. Buford
The Woman in Battle: A Narrative of the Exploits, Adventures, and Travels of Madame Loreta Janeta Velazquez, Otherwise Known
as Lieutenant Harry T. Buford, Confederate States Army. In Which Is Given Full Descriptions of the Numerous Battles in which
She Participated as a Confederate Officer; of Her Perilous Performances as a Spy, as a Bearer of Despatches, as a Secret-Service
Agent, and as a Blockade-Runner; of Her Adventures Behind the Scenes at Washington, including the Bond Swindle; of her Career
as a Bounty and Substitute Broker in New York; of Her Travels in Europe and South America; Her Mining Adventures on the Pacific
Slope; Her Residence among the Mormons; Her Love Affairs, Courtships, Marriages, &c., &c.:as a Spy, as a Bearer of
Despatches, as a Secret-Service Agent, and as a Blockade-Runner; of Her Adventures Behind the Scenes at Washington, including
the Bond Swindle; of her Career as a Bounty and Substitute Broker in New York; of Her Travels in Europe and South America;
Her Mining Adventures on the Pacific Slope; Her Residence among the Mormons; Her Love Affairs, Courtships, Marriages,