We refer to Civil War soldiers as men, but on some clandestine occasions that was not the case. Conservative estimates of females who disguised themselves as men and fought in the Civil War range from between 400 and 750. Present-day scholarship finds women who fought in the Civil War shared the same motivations as their male companions. Some women went to war in order to share in the trials of their loved ones, while others were stirred by a thirst for adventure, the promise of reliable wages, or ardent patriotism, according to the Civil War Trust.
One such soldier was Frances Clayton. Calling herself “Jack Williams,” she enlisted with her husband in the Union army in 1861. She served in Missouri’s 4th heavy artillery regiment, company I and Missouri’s 13th Cavalry company A. She fought alongside her husband until he was killed in 1862 at the Battle of Stones River. According to accounts, her husband was killed in the battle in front of her, and yet she stepped over his body, fixed her bayonet, and charged with the other soldiers at the call.