Women Warriors of the 19th Century
Women Warriors of the 18th Century << . . . . >> Women Warriors of the 20th Century

Agostina Domenech (known as Augustina, the "Maid of Saragossa") fought the French who were trying to take over the town of Saragossa when Napoleon put his brother Joseph on the Spanish throne. She was offered military rank in 1808.
(info provided by Sue Ford)

In 1807 Elizabeth Bowden disguised herself as a boy and joined the British Navy, calling herself John Bowden. After being discovered to be female she remained on board as an attendant.
(source "Female Tars" - Suzanne Stark - Pimlico - 0-7126-660-5)

Marie Schellinck, a Belgian received the French Legion of Honor and a military pension in 1808

A report in the Naval Chronicle in 1807 describes a woman using the name of Tom Bowling who had served over 20 years as a bowswain's mate on a man-of-war.
(source "Female Tars" - Suzanne Stark - Pimlico - 0-7126-660-5)

Juana Azurduy de Padilla fought in the Bolivian wars for independence. When Bolivia declared its independence in 1809, her husband and herself raised a small army to fight for an independent republic. Her husband was killed early into the war, but Juana Azurduy de Padilla continued to fight against royalist forces until Bolivia became an independent republic in 1826 when Spanish forces were finally overthrown. Juana Azurduy had managed to form a small "republiqueta" (little republic) with the territory her small army held. This republiqueta was basically under siege from 1810 until 1825 when other republican armies under Simon Bolivar were able to join her remote forces. (info provided by Miguel Centellas).

Nadezhda Durova joined the Russian calvary and served with distinction as an officer for nine years disguised as a man. She published a diary called "The Cavalry Maiden"
(source A Catalogue of Female Cross-Dressers)

Gertrudis Bocanegra raised an army of women and led them in battle in 1810 during the Mexican War of Independence

Elizabeth Hatzler wore the uniform of a French dragoon and fought beside her husband in several battles in 1812

Lucy Brewer served as a marine aboard the USS Constitution under the name George Baker from 1812 to 1814.
(source About.com - War of 1812

Dr "James" Barry did a degree at Edinburgh Medical School. She joined the British Army in 1813 and became the Surgeon General. Her gender was discovered after her death. in 1865.

A newspaper report in September 1815 mentioned "a female African who had served in the Navy for upwards of eleven years" before being discovered. She used the name William Brown and held the responsible position of Captain of the Foretop. She is described as being about 32 years old and 5'4" tall. In spite of the press reports Brown rejoined her ship later that year and was appointed Captain of the Forecastle.
(source "Female Tars" - Suzanne Stark - Pimlico - 0-7126-660-5)

A newspaper in Georgia, USA included an account of a duel between two women in 1817.
(source: "The Duel" - Robert Baldick - Spring Books - 0 600 32837 6)

A young girl fought a duel with a man who had jilted her in France in 1828
(source: "The Duel" - Robert Baldick - Spring Books - 0 600 32837 6)

Emilie Plater-Zyberk led a rabble of armed peasants against the Russian occupiers in Poland in 1830. She was promoted to Captain of the 1st regiment of Lithuania. She died in a Russian ambush in December 1831.

In 1847 the British government decided that Queen Victoria would award a Naval General Service Medal to all living survivors of the major battles fought between 1793 and 1840. Mary Ann Riley and Ann Hopping, who had been aboard the Goliath during the Battle of the Nile, and Jane Townshend, who was aboard the Defiance at Trafalgar in 1805, applied.

Louisa Battistati, an Italian patriot, defended the town of Milan for 5 days and afterward the nearby town of Bettabia, during the Revolution of 1848 Duel with swords
Sarah Borginis fought in the Mexican War of 1846-1848. She was commissioned as a brevet colonel and received a military burial.

Eliza Allen fought in the Mexican War of 1846-1848 disguised as a man.

Lakshmi Bai (or Manukarnika) the Rani of Jhansi in Northern India, led an uprising against a takeover of her homeland by the British from 1853 to 1858. She was killed in 1858 during a British attack on the fortress of Gwalior where she was in charge of the eastern side of defence.
(info provided by Tina R. Fox - see also The Central India Campaign)

Cathay Williams joined the Thirty-Eighth United States Infantry, Company A, on November 15, 1866, in St. Louis, Missouri under the name William Cathay.

Clemence Louise Michel, a leader of the Paris Commune, prevented General Franco's Nationalist from taking over the city through repeated guerilla attacks on his forces. In 1871 the women of the commune banded together, armed themselves and joined the fighting as an all female brigade.

Anna Henryka Pustowojtowna enlisted in the Polish army in the 1860s using the name Michal Smok.

During the American Civil War (1861-5) Sarah Emma Edmonds enlisted under the name Franklin Thompson and Jennie Hodgers fought for three years under the name Albert Cashier and even retired to a Soldiers' Home where her gender was eventually discovered in 1913. (source Women Were There)

Loreta Janeta Velazquez fought in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War using the name Lieutenant Harry T. Buford.

It is estimated that 750 women disguised themselves as men and fought in the American Civil War.
Mary Owens served for eighteen months using the name John Evans.
Satronia Smith Hunt enlisted in an Iowa regiment with her first husband.
Mary Stevens Jenkins enlisted in a Pennsylvania regiment and remained in the army for two years.
John Williams of the Seventeenth Missouri Infantry was discharged from the army on the grounds: "proved to be a woman."
Mrs. S. M. Blaylock spent two weeks with the Twenty-sixth North Carolina Infantry, Company F before being discovered.
Mary Scaberry, alias Charles Freeman served in the Fifty-second Ohio Infantry and was discharged from Union service after her gender was discovered while she was being treated in hospital for a fever.
A teamster and a private in a Union cavalry regiment got drunk and fell into a river. The soldiers who rescued the pair found out that they were women in the process of resuscitating them.
Mary Galloway was wounded in the chest during the Battle of Antietam
A woman wearing the uniform of a Confederate private was found dead on the Gettysburg battlefield on July 17, 1863
Frances Hook, alias Frank Miller was discovered after she was wounded and captured by the Confederates.
Madame Collier and Florina Budwin were also prisonners of war.
(info provided by Leslie Miller)

Sylvia Mariotti served as a private in the 11th Battalion of the Italian Bersaglieri from 1866 to 1879.

Sarah Winnemucca was employed by the US Army as a translator and fought during the Bannock War in 1878.

Ella Hattan, also known as Jaguarina "Champion Amazon of the World," the "Queen of the Sword," and the "Ideal Amazon of the Age," fought competitions with knife, rapier, foil, sabre and broad sword in the United States between 1884 and 1900
(source The Jaguarina-Weidermann Battle - info given by Karen and Jason)

In 1890, women formed about a third of the fighting force of the Dahomey people in Africa.
(source "Amazons of Black Sparta : The Women Warriors of Dahomey" - Stanley B. Alpern - New York Univ Pr - 0814706789)

Princess Pauline Metternich and Countess Kilmannsegg fought a duel in Liechtenstein in 1892 over arrangements at the Vienna Musical and Theatrical Exhibition
(source: "The Duel" - Robert Baldick - Spring Books - 0 600 32837 6)

A Dutch woman, Jeanne Merkus, fought in the Balkans at the end of the 19th century
(info given by M. Kalian. See also "Black Lamb and Grey Falcon" by Rebecca West)

The naginata is a Japanese curved spear. Since the 15th Century it has been the traditional weapon of ladies of the bushi class.

Women Warriors of the 18th Century << . . . . >> Women Warriors of the 20th Century



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These pages are provided by Nicky Saunders of Lothene Experimental Archaeology