The Civil War Parlor

”The dead continue to live by way of the resurrection we give them in telling their stories” -Stories of Real Human Beings Make History Powerful, Photographs Make it Immediate. A Blog Remembering the Men and Women of the American Civil War, North & South, people, faces, and a unique culture we will never see again. Photos and stories about the people that lived it, including African American Photographs, pre civil war photos and the period in cultural history that began just after the civil war. The historical info, photos and documents in this blog reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. This blog does not endorse the views expressed in some posts, which may contain materials offensive to some readers, you cannot compare the beliefs and ethical values of the people of the 1800's to the standards of today. Every effort is taken to remember the men and women of the Union and Confederacy equally with dignity and respect. The events of the war, and the men of the war, are fast fading from the public attention. Its history is growing to be an “Old, Old Story.” Public interest is weakening day by day. The memory of march, and camp, and battle-field, of the long and manly endurance, of the superb and uncomplaining courage, of the mass of sacrifice that redeemed the Nation, is fast dying out. Those who rejoice in the liberty and peace secured by the soldier’s suffering and privation, accept the benefits, but deny or forget the benefactor-1877 National Tribune.

Cathay Williams - Became the first and the only known female Buffalo Soldier. Enlisting in the US Regular Army 1866 at St. Louis, Missouri for a three year engagement, passing herself off as a man.

She is 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.

 Williams travelled with the 8th Indiana, accompanying the soldiers on their marches through Arkansas, Louisiana, and Georgia. She was present at the Battle of Pea Ridge and the Red River Campaign. At one time she was transferred to Little Rock, where she would have seen uniformed African-American men serving as soldiers, which may have inspired her own interest in military service. Later, Williams was transferred to Washington, D.C., where she served with General Philip Sheridan’s command. When the war ended, Williams was working at Jefferson Barracks.

The exact date of Williams’ death is unknown, but it is assumed she died shortly after being denied a pension, probably sometime in 1892. Her simple grave marker would have been made of wood and deteriorated long ago. Thus her final resting place is now unknown.

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  • Dec 18, 2012
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      Cathay Williams (September 1844 - 1892) American soldier. She is the first African American female to enlist, and the...
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