My Last Skirt: The Story of Jennie Hodgers, Union Soldier written by Lynda Durrant
My Last Skirt is a fictionalized account of one of the women who "went for a soldier" during the American Civil War. The author, Lynda Durrant, has captured many of the aspects, fear of being discovered, reasons for going into the armies, and the realities of what those women encountered. It must be remembered that this is a fictionalized account based on the life of a real person. The Afterword at the end of the story provides more actual information about Albert Cashier/Jennie Hodgers.
This is an important story, there actually were at least 200 women who went as soldiers, or tried to, between the Union and Confederate forces according to Civil War scholars. Ms. Durrant really did her research well. As a result, although fictionalized, this is a well-told tale based on actual fact.
It is also an interesting and satisfying story of a young woman who took her life, her future, into her own hands and succeeded in many ways in the male-dominated society of the time. It is very telling that when she was found, out following being injured when a car hit her, soldiers who had served with her in the 95th Illinois testified as to her being Albert Cashier so Jennie could continue to receive her pension. She had earned the respect of those with whom she had fought, side by side, and was deserving of the honors received at her military burial.
Thank you to Lynda Durrant for bringing this little know part of American history to light.