Friday, May 4, 2012
Frances Hook and her older brother were left orphaned as children and she was only fourteen when he told her that he was enlisting in the Union Army to to fight against the Confederacy. With no where else to go, Frances chopped off her hair, donned a pair of pants, lied about her age, and enlisted, too, using the name "Frank Miller."
When her brother was killed at the Battle of Shiloh a year later, "Miller" changed companies and names -- becoming "Frank Henderson" instead -- and continued her service as a soldier. When she was discovered by army doctors to be a teenaged girl after being wounded in the battle at Frederickstown, Missouri, she was mustered out and told to go home. But where?
Re-enlisting in the 90th Illinois Infantry, she was subsequently wounded, re-discovered to be a woman, and discharged once more, but at that point she vaporized. As far as we know. Probably, she re-enlisted for the duration of the war under yet another name (records then not being centralized as they are now). Sometimes, in-your-face women just don't know what else to be.