Last updated: October 20, 2017
Cathy Williams: From Slave to Buffalo Soldier by Phillip Tucker
From her beginnings as a slave in Independence, Missouri, to her enlistment with Company A, 38th U.S. Infantry, in 1866, Cathy Williams’s story deserves to be told and celebrated. Cathy Williams: From Slave to Buffalo Soldier tells how Williams, disguised as a man, assumed the name William Cathay and became a Buffalo Soldier, serving in one of the six black units formed following the Civil War. She is the only known woman to accomplish this feat.
Author Phillip Tucker was quite inspired by his subject and says in his introduction: “In many ways this is a feminine Horatio Alger story. Against all odds, Cathy Williams rose up to turn personal misfortune and tragedy into success by living her life as she desired. In the process, she achieved beyond all expectations. Thanks to her service in the 38th U.S Infantry, Williams has emerged from the shadows of the prejudice that has long ensured obscurity for African American women in American history.”
Tucker’s work is a unique story of gender and race. It’s a compelling read that reaches across categories, from American, African American and military history to western and women’s history.