Friday, October 28, 2016

October 28 - Albert Cashier

Albert Cashier

Albert Cashier was an Irish-born immigrant who served for the Union Army in the Civil War. Cashier traveled to Illinois from Ireland with his stepfather after his mother died in search of work. At the age of 17, Cashier enlisted in the 95th Illinois Infantry, a regiment assigned to Ulysses S. Grant's Army of the Tennessee. Cashier fought in approximately forty battles, including Vicksburg. He was once captured by the Confederacy but escaped after overpowering a prison guard, unusual considering Cashier's short stature and small frame. Albert Cashier fought with the Union Army until August 17, 1865, when his secret was discovered: he was actually a woman, Jennie Irene Hodgers, who had been living as a male since childhood. Cashier settled in Saunemin, Illinois in 1869 and became a farmhand following his discharge for being transgender. He lived a quiet life as a man, though his secret was again discovered in 1910 when he was hit by a car and treated by a local physician. The doctor kept Cashier's secret and moved him to a home for veterans when his health failed a few years later. However, in his final years, attendants at a hospital for the insane realized his sex when bathing him and forced him to wear women's clothes; because his female identity was not known, Cashier bore a man's name but a woman's dress. He died in 1915 and was buried in his Union uniform under his preferred name of Albert Cashier.

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