Cathay Williams pretended to be a MAN so she could join the LEGENDARY Buffalo Soldiers.
Black women literally play a role IN EVERY PART OF HISTORY! Don’t forget that! This brave black woman is an example of that to. Here’s how Cathay Williams’ story goes! She actually went from slave to warrior.
As I said, she used to be a slave, however after she was freed by Union soldiers, she then went to work as a PAID cook and laundress for a few Generals, however much of her time was spent under General Sheridan. SHE LOVED BEING FINANCIALLY INDEPEDENT!
Eventually the Civil War was over and Cathay’s services were no longer needed, BUT RATHER THAN DEPENDING ON A MAN, SHE PRETENDED TO BE ONE! She loved her independence and was also comfortable with military life, so she joined!
Cathay Williams pretended to be a male and went to her local recruiter to join the Buffalo Soldiers! Guess what SUPER CREATIVE name she used. WILLIAMS CATHAY. The medical exam was more like a medical glance, and so she passed. Only 2 people knew her true identity.
Her unit was transferred MANY times, once even marching from Kansas to New Mexico. OVER 500 MILES! Once in New Mexico, her and her unit’s mission was to protect miners and immigrants. While she was technically the first black female combat solider, she technically never fought.
That being said, she was hospitalized 5 times in 4 different hospitals, AND SHE WAS STILL NEVER FOUND OUT! Her 6th time is when she was finally figured out. It should be noted that by this time she no longer wanted to be in the military. She was honorably discharged not long after.
This successfully cemented her legacy as the FIRST Black female combat soldier (possibly the first female combat soldier ever) and even more interestingly, the only female combat soldier to join by pretending to be male!
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