The story opens with a first-person reflection on the protagonist's kidnapping, then segues quickly to two weeks earlier, when events began to build.
At that time, women were not allowed to serve as soldiers so Williams posed as a man, calling herself William Cathay. Williams was born into slavery in Independence, Missouri in She worked as a house slave for William Johnson, a wealthy planter in Jefferson City, Missouri until his death.
Shortly after the Civil War broke out she was freed by Union soldiers and soon went to work for the Federal Army as a paid servant. While working in this capacity, she served Colonel Thomas Hart Benton while he was in Little Rock, Arkansas as well as General Philip Sheridan and his staff, experiencing military life first hand.
Sheridan brought her with him to Washington to serve as a cook and laundress. While traveling with them, she witnessed the Shenandoah Valley raids in Virginia, and afterwards continued to travel with them to Iowa, St.
LouisNew Orleans, Savannah, and Macon. When the war was over, Williams wanted to maintain her financial independence and in Novembershe enlisted as William Cathay in the 38th U.
Infantry, Company A in St. At that time, only a cursory medical examination was required and she was quickly found to be fit for duty. There were only two people that knew her true identity— a cousin and a friend, who faithfully kept her secret.
She informed her recruiting officer that she was a year-old cook. They were stationed there for eight months, protecting miners and traveling immigrants from Apache attack. While she was there, a brief mutiny broke out in December, when a camp follower was expelled for stealing money.
Several men were brought up on charges or jailed, but Williams was not among them. It did however, take a toll on her and seemingly her health was suffering, as she was recorded as being in four different hospitals on five separate occasions.
Amazingly, during these various hospitalizations, it was never discovered that she was female. By this time Williams longed to be quit of the army and, on July 13, she was admitted into Fort Bayard hospital, this time diagnosed with neuralgia — a catch-all term for any acute, intermittent pain caused by a nerve.
It was during this hospitalization that it was finally discovered that she was a woman. The origin of his infirmities is unknown to me.
He is continually on sick report without benefit. He is unable to do military duty…. This condition dates prior to enlistment. Though seemingly not well regarded by her commanding officer, she was honorably discharged with the legacy of being the first and only female Buffalo Soldier to serve.
She then moved on to Pueblo, Coloradowhere she worked as a laundress before permanently settling in Trinidad, Colorado in There, she made her living as a laundress and part-time nurse.Cathy Williams: From Slave to Female Buffalo Soldier by Stackpole Books Few Americans today, black or white, know about the incredible life of Cathy Williams.
From her beginnings as a slave in Independence, Missouri, to her enlistment with Company A, 38th U.S. Infantry, in November , the story of this remarkable woman deserves to . Search the world's information, including webpages, images, videos and more.
Google has many special features to help you find exactly what you're looking for. Cathy Williams: From Slave to Buffalo Soldier Paperback – January 15, I am thoroughly thrilled by the fact that there was a female Buffalo Soldier.
I couldn't have been happier when I learned of this book. out of 5 stars Review For Cathy Williams Book/5(14). Few Americans today, black or white, know about the incredible life of Cathy Williams.
From her beginnings as a slave in Independence, Missouri, to her enlistment with Company A, 38th U.S.
Infantry, in November , the story of this remarkable woman deserves to finally be told. By disguising herself as a man and assuming the name William Cathay, Williams became a 'buffalo soldier 3/5(1).
Painting of Cathay Williams by William Jennings from the U.S. Army Profiles of Bravery. Born: September Independence, Missouri Cathy Williams: From Slave to Female Buffalo Soldier. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us.