The Woman in Battle: A Narrative of the Exploits, Adventures, and Travels of Madame Loreta Janeta Velazquez, Otherwise Known as Lieutenant Harry T. Buford, Confederate States Army

The Woman in Battle: A Narrative of the Exploits, Adventures, and Travels of Madame Loreta Janeta Velazquez, Otherwise Known as Lieutenant Harry T. Buford, Confederate States Army

The Woman in Battle: A Narrative of the Exploits, Adventures, and Travels of Madame Loreta Janeta Velazquez, Otherwise Known as Lieutenant Harry T. Buford, Confederate States Army

The Woman in Battle: A Narrative of the Exploits, Adventures, and Travels of Madame Loreta Janeta Velazquez, Otherwise Known as Lieutenant Harry T. Buford, Confederate States Army

Synopsis

Loreta Janeta Velazquez was the daughter of a Spanish official living in Cuba. As a young girl she was sent to school in New Orleans, where she ran away and married a U.S. Army officer. After the outbreak of the war, she persuaded her husband to renounce his commission and to join the Confederate forces. After he was killed in battle, Velazquez disguised herself as a man so that she could serve, eventually doing so as an officer, a spy, and a blockade runner. The Woman in Battle tells the amazing story of Velazquez's experiences in a male-dominated world, offering a unique perspective on life as a soldier and detailing her many adventures, including fighting in the First Battle of Bull Run and Shiloh, where she was allegedly wounded. Upon the book's publication in 1876, its veracity was questioned, and it continues to be debated by contemporary historians to this day.

A DOCSOUTH BOOK. This collaboration between UNC Press and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library brings selected classic works from the digital library of Documenting the American South back into print. DocSouth Books uses the latest digital technologies to make these works available as downloadable e-books or print-on-demand publications. DocSouth Books are unaltered from the original publication, providing affordable and easily accessible editions to a new generation of scholars, students, and general readers.

Excerpt

The Woman in Battle.—Heroines of History.—Joan of Arc.—A Desire to
emulate Her.—The Opportunity that was offered.—Breaking out of the
War between the North and the South.—Determination to take part in the
Contest.—A noble Ancestry.—The Velazquez Family.—My Birth at Ha
vana.—Removal of my Family to Mexico.—The War between the United
States and Mexico.—Loss of my Father’s Estates.—Return of the Family
to Cuba.—My early Education.—At School in New Orleans.—Castles in
the Air.—Romantic Aspirations.—Trying to be a Man.—Midnight Prom
enades before the Mirror in Male Attire.

The woman in battle is an infrequent figure on the pages of history, and yet, what would not history lose were the glorious records of the heroines,—the great-souled women, who have stood in the front rank where the battle was hottest and the fray most deadly,—to be obliterated? When women have rushed to the battle-field they have invariably distinguished themselves; and their courage, their enthusiasm, and their devotion to the cause espoused, have excited the brave among the men around them to do and to dare to the utmost, and have shamed the cowards into believing that it was worth while to peril life itself in a noble cause, and that [Page 34] honor to a soldier ought to be more valuable than even life. the records of the women who have taken up arms in the cause of home and country; who have braved the scandals of the camp; who have hazarded reputation,—reputation dearer than life,—and who have stood in the imminent . . .

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