Jennie Hodgers was born in Ireland in 1844 and years later came to America as a stowaway.
Answering Presidents Lincoln's call for soldiers, she dressed in men's clothes and passed the cursory physical, since no undressing was required. She assumed the name Albert Cashier.
Assigned to Company G of the 95th Illinois Infantry, Jennie fought in forty battles over a three-year period. Once, she was captured by rebels, but seized a guard's gun and fled back to the Union camp.
Living nearly her entire adult life as a man, Jennie collected a veteran's pension, and voted in the presidential elections before women had the right to vote.
While institutionalized, her gender was discovered and she was forced to dress as a woman for two years until her death in 1915.
This Rainbow Minute was read by Jon Klein.
“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.