She Went to the Field: Women Soldiers of the Civil War

By Bonnie Tsui | Go to book overview

Loreta Janeta Velazquez

AKA LIEUTENANT HARRY T. BUFORD, CONFEDERATE

[Within three days I managed to provide myself with a very
complete military outfit; quite sufficient to enable me to com-
mence operations without delay … I was exceedingly anxious to
carry out a magnificent idea I had in my mind, and to present
myself before my husband, under such auspices that he could no
longer find an excuse for refusing his consent to my joining the
Southern army as a soldier.]

—Loreta Janeta Velazquez, from The [Woman in Battle

ACROSS THE WAR LINES from Sarah Emma Edmonds was Loreta Janeta Velazquez. According to her 1876 memoir, The Woman in Battle, she was born in Havana, Cuba, on June 26, 1842, to a Spanish father and a French-American mother and educated by an English governess for much of her early life. Her father's plantation wealth allowed her to travel to New Orleans to complete and perfect her education in English. She lived there with an aunt, who later sent her to a school run by the Sisters of Charity. The dreamy young Loreta spent her allowance on fairy-tale books instead of the usual sweets that most other children preferred.

[I built air-castles without number, and in my daydreams I was fond

-23-

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