Civil War Women Discussion April, 1996

Query:

>From Sara Bartlett <sbartlett@usinternet.com> 24 April 1996

Hello H-Women. I'm very glad you exist. I am an historical playwright with an emphasis on women in the Civil War. My current research project involves searching for information on a woman named Frances Clayton (or Clatin or Lalin) who used the male name Jack Williams or Hillarius Schmitt. She and her husband fought at the battle of Stones River in Tennessee in 1863 where he was killed five paces in front of her. If anyone has come across her I would love to hear from you. Thanks a lot!

Responses:

>From Evelyn A Schlatter <evsch@unm.edu> 26 April 1996

greetings all--regarding sara bartlett's query about a "clatin"--i think you may be seeking a woman named "mrs.frances louisa clayton,"who enlisted in a minnesota regiment as a private in order to be with her husband. she was serving in tennessee under general rosecrans(stone's river) and during a charge on the enemy(presumably, the enemy being the confederates) her husband was hit and killed instantly, five paces ahead, as you said. she was wounded in the hip and taken to the hospital where her true sex was discovered. after being discharged on 2 january 1863, she was on a train between nashville and louisville when the train was attacked by guerrillas and she was robbed of her papers. according to the newspaper account(and i'm sorry, i'm not sure which newspaper that would be), she learned to drink, swear, smoke and chew like the soldiers to better conceal her sex. she stood guard, went on picket duty, and fought on the field with the rest of her comrades. considered to be a good fighter, she was tall, "masculine"-looking woman, tanned from her outdoor experiences. her brief story and many others can be found in Patriots in Disguise: Women Warriors of the Civil War by Richard Hall(NY, Marlowe & Co., 1993). cheers and good luck!

>From DeAnne Blanton <DeAnne.Blanton@arch1.nara.gov> 26 April 1996

Evelyn Schlatter--the newspaper article about Frances Clayton appeared in the Princeton(Indiana) Clarion. I can't remember the date right now, but I have a copy at home which I can reference if anyone is interested.

I've been researching women soldiers for years now(and had the pleasure of meeting Sara last summer) and I have found that there are a number of mistakes in Hall's Patriots in Disguise. When using it, double-check all his sources(if you can--I've had trouble tracking some of them down). He got the Clayton story correct, but he fumbled a lot of other ones. Incidentally, Hall never visited the National Archives when researching his book, and therefore, missed all the service records and pension files of women soldiers.

>From Trudy Last last@tiac.com 28 April 1996

I'm tracking Civil War women soldiers too. Is there any way to get an entire list of the names of all the Civil War women soldiers who have been found out? Are these names consolidated somewhere? (I think the February discussion said 132 had been found[?]) Some names/areas/regiments/ may lead to others...and we could cross-reference. (Also, I may be looking for people who have already been found...I'm having fun doing the searching...but on the other hand..what a waste of time..so many dead ends...the list would help.)


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