Vicksburg National Military Park

Jennie Hodgers

Photo of Jennie Hodgers
Jennie Hodgers

Quick Facts

Significance:
Woman solider who served in Union army
Place of Birth:
Clogherhead
Date of Birth
December 25, 1843
Place of Death:
Watertown, IL
Date of Death
October 10, 1915
Place of Burial:
Saunemin, IL
Cemetery Name
Sunny Slope Cemetery

Jennie Hodgers was born in Ireland in 1834 and came to America as a stowaway on a ship, probably in her mid-teens. In 1861, while living in Belvidere, Illinois, Hodgens enlisted in the 95th Illinois Infantry as Albert D.J. Cashier and was assigned to Company G. She served for the duration of the war with the 95th Illinois, which fought approximately 40 battles, including the Siege of Vicksburg and the Atlanta and Red River Campaigns. At one point Hodgens was captured by Confederate troops but managed to escape back to Union lines by overpowering a prison guard. She was mustered out of service at Springfield, Illinois, in August 1865.

After the war, Hodgens retuned to Belvidere, Illinois and continued to live as Albert Cashier, working as a farmhand, church janitor, cemetery worker and street lamplighter. She even voted in elections and claimed a veteran's pension. Her secret was discovered both by a local family she befriended and a physician who treated her after she was hit by a car, but none went public with their discoveries. In March 1913, with the onset of dementia, she was sent to the Watertown State Hospital for the Insane, where attendants giving her a bath discovered that Cashier was in fact a woman. She died on October 10, 1915 and was buried in her uniform.