President Trump’s announcement via Twitter that transgender personnel would no longer be allowed to serve in the US armed forces provides an excellent opportunity to take a look at the history of female and trans soldiers who have fought in past US wars. Most people would be surprised to learn that there are over 100 documented cases of women who served in the Confederate and Union armies during the Civil War. In this episode, we look at the story of Albert Cashier, possibly the best known transgender soldier in US history who served in the Union Army during the Civil War. It’s a remarkable story that provides us with some important historical perspective on the current #TransBan debate.
Among the many things we discuss:
Who was Albert Cashier?
How did he manage to serve in the Union Army for 3 years without anyone suspecting that he was born in Ireland with the name Jenny Hodgers.
How Cashier maintained his male identity for more than 40 years, only to have his “secret” discovered near the end of his life.
How when word got out about Cashier’s birth identity, the U.S. Pension Bureau considered revoking his pension, but opted to maintain it when they determined that Hodgers and Cashier were one in the same.
De Anne Blanton and Lauren M. Cook, They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the Civil War (2003).
Lon Dawson, Also Known as Albert D. J. Cashier: The Jennie Hodgers Story, or How One Young Irish Girl Joined the Union Army During the Civil War (2005)
Bonnie Tsui, She Went to the Field: Women Soldiers of the Civil War (2003)
Music for This Episode
Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com)
Kevin McCleod, “Impact Moderato” (Free Music Archive)
Hyson, “Traces” (Free Music Archive)
Hefferman, “Discovery” (Free Music Archive)
Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive)
The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive)
Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer
Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson
Podcasting Consultant: Darrell Darnell of Pro Podcast Solutions
Photographer: John Buckingham
Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci
Website by: ERI Design