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Colleagues Testify in Support of Albert Cashier

Albert Cashier, born Jennie Irene Hodgers, enlisted in the Union Army in 1862. Historians have found evidence that hundreds of soldiers, including Cashier, were born female and enlisted as men during the Civil War. Unlike many women who cross-dressed in order to fight, Cashier continued to live as a man even after the war had ended. In 1914, when it was discovered that Cashier had been assigned female at birth, an investigation was launched to determine whether he was entitled to a veteran’s pension. Several of his former associates testified to the Pension Bureau and confirmed his identity and his service, and he was allowed to continue receiving his pension until his death. This document contains testimony from his deposition. Because Cashier continued to live as a man, some scholars argue that he was transgender. Although modern terms may not always be appropriate for historical subjects, these deposition documents reveal that even those who knew about Cashier’s past still referred to him using male pronouns. No evidence survives that reveals the way that Cashier identified himself.

Deposition D, Case of Albert D. J. Cashier, No 1001132
June 20, 1914: Nettie Rose


I have known Albert Cashier some 44 or 45 years... The first I knew of the sex of Albert being that of a female was when he had his leg broken and I went out to nurse him... In the course of nursing Albert I discovered that the sex was that of a female. He asked me then not to tell any one that he was a woman, that he did not want every one to know it. He told me while he was sick that the reason he assumed the male garb was that he and another man were in love. That both enlisted at the same time; that the lover was wounded and died. That before his death he asked Albert to promise that he would never again wear women’s clothes, and he said he had not….


Deposition B, Case of Albert D. J. Cashier, No 1001132
December 1, 1914: Joy H. Saxton

The first time I remember seeing Cashier was when he enlisted in the same regiment and Company with me. We enlisted two or three days apart. I saw him every day for eight months after that time… I marched day after day with him for the first eight months and I know that I could not be mistaken... He was one of the smallest men in the company and had very small hands. He seemed to be able to do as much work as any one in the Company… While I was in the service I never suspected that he was not a man, and I never heard any talk to that effect.

Source | “Approved Pension File for Private Albert D. J. Cashier, Company G, 95th Illinois Infantry Regiment” (XC-2573248) National Archives Record Group 15: Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, 1773 - 2007 Series: Case Files of Pension Applications Based on Service Completed in the Years 1817 to Approximately 1903, ca. 1935 - ca. 2002 https://catalog.archives.gov/id/36605129 Document 32-33 and 100-101.
Item Type | Laws/Court Cases
Cite This document | “Colleagues Testify in Support of Albert Cashier,” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed July 28, 2021, https://shec.ashp.cuny.edu/items/show/2702.

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