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Valley of the Shadow

Waynesboro Village Record: June 19, 1863

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A Romantic Story
(Column 3)
Summary: The piece recounts the story of a young woman who disguised herself as a man and enlisted in the Army of the Cumberland. While serving, it reports, the woman fought valiantly but was wounded in the Battle of Murfreesboro, at which time her identity was discovered and she was mustered out. Soon after, however, the woman re-enlisted with the 8th Michigan where she has remained since. According to the female soldier, she is not unique; in fact, she relates, she has discovered "a great many females in the army and is now intimately acquainted with a young lady who is a lieutenant in the army."
Origin of Article: Louisville Journal
Full Text of Article:

The Louisville Journal of the 20th ult., narrates the following romantic story:

A few weeks since a captain, accompanied by a young soldier apparently about seventeen years of age, arrived in this city in charge of some rebel prisoners. During their stay in the city the young soldier alluded to had occasion to visit headquarters, and at once attracted the attention of Colonel Munday as being exceedingly sprightly and possessed of more than ordinary intelligence. Being in needs of such a man at barracks No. 1, the Colonel detailed him for service in that institution. He soon won the esteem of his superior officers, and became a favorite with all connected with the barracks.

A few days ago, however, the startling secret was disclosed that the supposed young man was a young lady, and the fact was established beyond doubt by a soldier who was raised in the same town with her and knew her parents.

She "acknowledged the corn," and begged to be retained in her position to which she was assigned; having been in the service ten months, she desired to serve during the war. Her wish was accordingly granted, and she is still at her post.

We learned the above facts stated yesterday, and took occasion to visit the barracks and were introduced to "Frank Martin" (her assumed name,) and gleaned the following incidents connected with her extraordinary career during the past ten months.

"Frank" was born near Bristol, Pa., and her parents now reside in Alleghany City, Pa., where she was raised. They are highly respectable people, and in very good circumstances. She was sent to the convent in Wheeling, Va., at twelve years of age, where she remained until the breaking out of the war, having acquired a superior education and all the accomplishments of modern usage. She visited home after leaving the convent, and after taking leave of her parents, proceeded to this city in July last, with the design of enlisting in the 2d East Tennessee cavalry, which she accomplished and accompanied the Army of the Cumberland to Nashville.

She was in the thickest of the fight at Murfreesboro, and was severely wounded in the shoulder, but fought gallantly, and waded the Stone river into Murfreesboro on the memorable Sunday on which our forces were driven back. She had her wound dressed, and here her sex was disclosed, and Gen. Rosecrans made acquainted with the fact. She was accordingly mustered out of the service, notwithstanding her earnest entreaty to be allowed to serve the cause she loved so well. The General was favorably impressed with her daring bravery and superintended the arrangements for her safe transmission to her parents. She left the Army of the Cumberland, resolved to enlist again in the first regiment she met. When at Bowling Green she found the 8th Michigan there, and enlisted, since which time she has been and is now connected with it.

She is represented as an excellent horseman, and has been honored with the position of regimental buglar in the regiment. She had seen and endured all the privations and hardships incident to the life of a soldier, and gained an enviable reputation as a scout, having made several wonderful expeditions, which were attended with signal success.

"Frank" is only eighteen years of age, quite small and a beautiful figure. She has auburn hair, which she wears quite short, and huge blue eyes, beaming with brightness and intelligence. Her complexion is naturally very fair, though slightly bronzed at present from the effects of exposure. She is exceedingly pretty, and very amiable. Her conversation denotes more than ordinary accomplishments, and, what is stranger than all, she appears very refined in her manners giving no evidence whatever of her rudeness which might naturally be expected from her late associations.

"Frank" informs us that she has discovered a great many females in the army and is now intimately acquainted with a young lady who is a lieutenant in the army. She had assisted in burying three female soldiers at different times whose sex was unknown to any but herself.

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