View single post by Old North State
 Posted: Sat May 2nd, 2009 11:01 pm
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Old North State

Joined: Fri Feb 20th, 2009
Location: Tennessee USA
Posts: 77

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This is a question.  Are there folks on this forum who are interested in the history of the women who served in the field during the Civil War?  I haven't noticed any recent comments about them. :)

Frances Hook (or so she said her name was), alias Frank Miller, served with the 90th Illinois from August 1862, when she enlisted in Chicago, until captured in October 1863 while foraging near Florence, AL.  She was wounded while trying to escape and imprisoned in Atlanta.  Found to be a woman, she was exchanged at Graysville, GA in February 1864 and hospitalized in Chattanooga and then Nashville.  Her leg wound became infected during her imprisonment and required extended hospitalization for recovery sufficient for authorities to send her "north", presumably to Chicago.  It is rare to find any official military record of a woman serving as a soldier (although a few such records exist), but in Frances Hook's case there is an official medical record of her hospitalizations.  A Chicago newpaper account in 1862 tells of the discovery that she was a female and a Memphis newspaper account in 1863 relates her continuing service with the 90th IL.  An interview by a New York Times reporter in April 1864 provides the most coherent story of her capture, wounding, imprisonment and exchange.  She apparently fought with the 90th IL as they repulsed Van Dorn's raiders north of Holly Springs, MS, and during the seige of Jackson, MS after Vicksburg.

"While we live we will cherish, protect and defend her."
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