was Jennie Hodgers aka Albert D. J. Cashire or Cashier?
Not only did Jennie fight in the American Civil War, from
1862 to 1865, as a male soldier in the Union Army but she
continued to masquerade as a man until she was found out a
couple of years before her death in October 1915. She
assumed the name of Albert D. J. Cashire or Cashier.
genealogy increases in interest a number of articles etc.
appear online many of which are repeating the same
information, applying changes etc., until what is fact
becomes unclear. However as the actual official records
become available online the information unfolding on Jeannie
is still conflicting.
Working on original records and sources available online
Jeannie, as Albert D. J Cashire, first appears on the
enlistment roll for the 95th Illinois Infantry.
She enlisted in Belvidere, a town north-west of Chicago, on 6
August 1862 (or according to some records 8 June 1862), as
Private Albert D. J. Cashire. On 4 September 1862 she was
mustered into Company G, 95th Illinois Infantry Regiment. At
that time she stated she was 19 years old so born about
1842-3, single and was born in New York, New York State,
USA. She was discharged or mustered out on 17 August 1865
having spent her full term, during the Civil War, as a
have seen some of the worst fighting in the war.
Starting from Camp Fuller, Rockford, near Chicago City in
the north, her regiment would have moved south into enemy
territory, through various States along the Mississippi
River, to New Orleans along the Gulf of Mexico. At one
point, in the Battle of Guntown, the whole regiment was
nearly annihilated. Further recruiting took place at
Memphis. In all the Regiment marched 1,800 miles, and moved,
by rail and water, another 8,160 miles.
Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls Database,
So far not located in 1860 census but some reports say she
arrived in Belvidere, Boone County, Illinois State, shortly
before the Civil War started.
Illinois State Census.
not located in this census although she was only mustered
out of the military on 17 August 1865.
According to various reports, after
the war she returned to Belvidere and worked for four years
with a Samuel Pepper. This may have been the Samuel Pepper
who also enlisted, in Belvidere, in the same 95th Infantry
as Jennie, on 28 July 1862 and also mustered out 17
August 1865. On the 1860 Federal Census a Samuel Pepper, age
40, a gardener, born in England, lived with his wife and
family in Belvidere Village, Boone County.
By the late 1860s she moved out of Belvidere, going south,
to the rural town of Saunemin, south-west of Chicago.
Village of Saunemin,
Saunemin Township, County of Livingston, Illinois, in house
of J. G. Cheesbro is Albert Cashier, age 19, a male, farm
labourer, stated born in Iowa with both parents of foreign
birth and able to read but unable to write.
Seems strange her age was given as 19 considering she served
in the Civil War that ended five years previously.
Click to see entry.
It was not
located. She was not listed in the Cheesbro household.
It is not
1890. Claim made for a
It is stated she made a
claim for a Civil War pension in 1890. By that time she was
in her late forties if born about 1842 to 1843. However she
did not complete the process as it required a medical
examination. It appears that she claimed again in 1907.
The index card stated claim filed 17 February 1890. The name
was spelt as Albert D. J. Cashier yet on her enlistment the
surname was 'Cashire'.
Source: NARA, Organisation Index to Pension Files of
Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900, T289,
1900 Federal Census.
Taken on 2 June 1900, Village of Saunemin, Saunemin
Township, County of Livingston, Illinois (Enumeration
District 117, sheet 3).
Albert Cashier, head of house, white, male, born December 1842,
age 57, born in Ireland with both parents also born in
Ireland, worked as a janitor, cannot read or write, owned
Click to see entry.
door was the proprietor of a grocery Ira M Lish and family
including a servant girl Emily Evans, aged 30 years, whose
father was born in Ireland.
Nearby was the family of a Patsey Lannon, stated to be born
February 1851 in Illinois but both parents born in Ireland.
He was a bank cashier. His wife was Bridget Lannon listed as
born in June 1851 in Illinois again with both parents born
in Ireland. This Patrick Lannon died in 18 June 1942 in Saunemin, age 91 years, a
banker, and parents were Dennis and Ellen Lannon possibly
from County Roscommon. (A descendant of this family is
stated to have wrote a thesis on Jennie while a student in
Illinois State University in the 1960s).
US Federal Census.
18 April 1910, Village of Saunemin, Saunemin Township,
County of Livingston, Illinois (Enumeration District 46,
Center Street, Albert Cashier, head, male, white, age 68 so
born about 1841 to 1842, single, born in Ireland with both
parents also born in Ireland, immigrated in 1842,
nationalized, unable to read or write, and lived on her own
Click to see entry.
Listed before her at 57 North Street, was Ida M Lish? and
At 67 Center Street was still Patrick H. Lannon, age 59 and his
wife Bridget and family. Again Patrick was listed as a bank
cashier with both parents born in Ireland.
In US censuses no information is sought on religious
affiliation. But if Jeannie made known that she was Irish
and a Roman Catholic it is strange no one queried her
Secret Becomes Known.
In 1910 it is stated that her secret became
known, first when she became ill by the nurse sent by Mrs
Patrick Lannon and again in November 1910 when hit by a car
and her leg was broken. A physician discovered her secret
but agreed to remain quite for a while.
On 5 May 1911 she was moved to the
Soldier and Sailor's home in Quincy, Illinois. She lived
there until her mind deteriorated and was moved to the
Watertown State Hospital for the insane in March 1913. An
attendant there found that she was female and forced her to
wear a dress. It appears it was around this time that it
became generally known that Albert D. J. Cashier was a
Syracuse Herald of 6 May 1913, www.archives.com, it stated:
'FIND CIVIL WAR VETERAN IS WOMAN
"Albert D. J.
Cashier" Masquerades Fifty Years.
WAS A FEARLESS SOLDIER
Secret to Nurse When Male Attendants
Attempt to give her Bath - Was Auto Chauffer.
Quincy.Ill, May 6 - To go
masquerading as a man for more than fifty years without
detection is the record of a woman inmate of the Soldiers'
and Sailors' home in this city who is enrolled under the
name of "Albert D. J. Cashier".
The woman adopted the garb of man before the civil war, in
which she fought for three years, and has worn the clothes
and taken the part of a man since. Only twice has her secret
became known and it was not until yesterday that it was made
The woman known as Cashier has been in
the soldiers' home for nearly two years and has always been
extremely companionable with the other members. She has
become enfeebled mentally and her secret became known to the
authorities at the home only a few months ago when two male
attendants attempted to give her a bath.
Reveals Secret to a Nurse
She appealed to a female nurse and told her story. Since
that time her secret has been known to only a few of the
home attaches, but so far the authorities have been unable
to learn her real identity. She keeps it as profound a
secret as she has kept her sex during the last half century.
The first time her secret became known was two years ago,
when she was run over by an automobile owned by ex-Senator
J. M. Lish, in Livingston County. Her leg was broken at that
time but Mr Lish, by whom she was employed as a chauffer,
never betrayed her long guarded identity.
The woman soldier is a native of
Ireland and claims to have come to this country shortly
before the civil war broke out. She donned boys' clothing
and obtained passage across the Atlantic as a stowaway.
Fights in War Between States.
When the struggle between the north and south began, she
enlisted as a member of company G, Ninety-fifth Illinois
infantry, and served three years in the war. When her
company was mustered out the records show that there were
only thirty survivors. From surviving members of the company
Col. J. O. Anderson, superintendent of the soldiers' home,
has learned that she was a fearless and faithful soldier.
During the years following the war she
worked in various parts of Illinois as a farm hand, doing a
man's work wherever she could find it to do. In later years
she became an automobile chauffeur and machinist. She was
employed in a number of automobile garages in different
parts of the State as a machinist.'
On 29 March 1914 The
Washington Post states:
'POSED AS MAN 60 YEARS
Served as Soldier Under Grant Sent to Asylum
Quincy, Ill., March 28 -After masquerading as a man for 60
years and serving as a soldier in Ge. U. S. Grant's army
during the civil war, "Albert" Cashier, whose sex was
discovered at the soldiers' home recently, today was
committed to an insane asylum.
The woman was born in Ireland 73 years ago. She came to
America as a stowaway, clad in boy's clothes. When the war
between the States broke out she, having continued to
represent herself as a male, enlisted in Company G,
Ninety-fifth Illinois Infantry. She participated in some of
the bloodiest battles of the war and behaved with gallantry.
When the war closed she resumed civil life as a workman,
until age and the results of exposure during the war made
her helpless to support herself. She then entered the
soldiers' home, where her sex was discovered while she was
under the care of a surgeon. She refused to tell her family
By 1915 a claim
was made for an increased pension and this led to an
A Disposition was taken
24 Jan 1915, at Huron, County of Beedle, in South Dakota, of
Robert D. Hannah. He stated he was 75 years old and resided
in Huron. That he was the Corporal of Company G, 95th
Illinois Infantry. On being shown a picture he stated it was
that of Albert D. J. Cashier who served in his Company.
After the war, he stated, Albert D. J. Cashier resided in
Belvidere and worked for a Samuel Pepper deceased. The other
person in the picture he was not able to identify.
From a newspaper article it appears she was age 72 years by
Moberly Weekly Monitor, dated 23 February 1915,
FAMOUS WOMAN SOLDIER AGAIN IN LIMELIGHT
Albert D. Cashier, Once Inmate of Soldiers' Home at Quincy
Wants Increased Pension.
Albert D. J. Cashier, the soldier-woman whose sex was
disclosed shortly before she was brought to the Soldiers'
and Sailors' Home in Quincy three years ago, is seeking a
larger pension from the government.
She has been receiving $12 per month, but has reached the
age of 72 and according to a recent amendment to the pension
laws is entitled to $20 per month.
Application for the increased remuneration from the
government was made recently through W. J. Singleton of
Quincy, conservator of the little woman. Mr. Singleton said
yesterday that no action had been taken as far as he knows,
on the application, but he believes that under the
circumstances the request will be granted.
Broken in physical and mental health, the little
soldier-woman was recently at the point of death but is now
convalescent and doctors at Watertown, Ill., asylum, where
for a year she has been a patient, believe that she will
live several years.
"Albert" D. J. Cashier is perhaps the greatest character of
the Civil War. She disguised as a man to enlist in the Union
army and for three years underwent the most trying
hardships. She figured in several of the important battles
and upon one occasion gained distinction after she had
climbed a tree to tie the Union flag to a tree after it had
been shot down.
Following the war she did not disclose her identity and took
a man's job. She worked on farms, in factories and did
manual labor until age commenced to tell on her strength.
Her last employment was caretaker of a lawn owned by a
doctor in the eastern Illinois town. She learned to run an
automobile while working there and even the doctor failed to
see through her disguise and discover that she was a woman.
She was in his employment about two years and during that
time associated only with men.
Had it not been for an accident while she was employed by
the doctor it is doubtful if the sex of the soldier woman
would have been discovered until she died.
The revelation of her long kept secret came one day while
she was under the doctor's automobile attempting to make
some repairs. The doctor was not aware of her presence under
the car and backed the machine over her, breaking her leg.
It was after she was removed to a room in his house that he
discovered the supposed man servant was a woman.
When Cashier was brought to the Soldiers' Home, Col.
Anderson, then superintendent, kept her secret. A few
attaches at the Home learned in time that the veteran was a
woman, but they were sworn to secrecy. It was about a year
after the woman entered the Home that Col. Anderson revealed
Cashier's identity to a Whig reporter. The little woman had
become mentally deranged when Col. Anderson gave her secret
away and even now she does not know that her career has been
given wide publicity.
after the story of her unusual masquerading was published,
she was adjudged insane in the county court by Judge Lyman
McCarl and committed to the hospital at Watertown.'
Cashier died on 11 October 1915 (per pension card, but some
reports say 10 October 1915).
was buried in her Civil War
uniform, which she wore proudly in life, in a Joshua
Cheesbro plot in Saunemin's Sunny Slope Cemetery. Her
tombstone simply stated:
'Albert D. J. Cashier, Co. G. 95Ill. Inf.'
Singleton (executor of Cashier’s estate) took 9 years to
track Cashier’s identity back to Jennie Hodgers but none of
the would be heirs proved convincing, and the estate of
$414.461 was deposited in the Adams County, Illinois
treasury. (Source: wikipedia). This, however, may not be the current
position. The same source states she was born in Clogherhead,
County Louth, the daughter of Sallie and Patrick Hodgers.
Memorials to her in USA.
oldest headstone was a modest white stone listing only her
male identity and mentioning the 95th Infantry she had
In 1977 a newer stone was added and was unveiled during
Memorial Day Services at Saunemin. It was stated that the
USA flag which flew at half mask in the cemetery had been
given by U.S. Representative Tim Hall and had flown over the
In 2006 plans
were made to return the 130 year old small wooden house that
she lived in, as Albert D. J. Cashier, back to Saunemin
Village from a storage site in Pontiac. It had shuttered
windows and several padlocks inside the doors.
What of Ireland?.
stated, the news that Albert was actually a woman spread
throughout USA newspapers surely it must have reached
The Irish Independent dated 7 May 1913, p.6, irishnewsarchive.com, had a short article
‘POSED AS A MAN,
A person who as
“Albert Cashier,” has
for 50 years worked as
a man, and who for
over two years has been an
inmate of a
Soldiers’ Home at Quincy, Illinois, has
confessed that she is a native of Ireland,
who in her
girlhood went to America as a
stowaway, disguised as a
boy. She cam-
paigned three years in the Civil War, and
was declared to be a fearless soldier.'
The Irish Independent dated 13 December 1913, ibid, p.7
'IRISHWOMAN AS SOLDIER
romantic story of a woman named
Hodgens, a native of
Louth, who enlisted in the American army
at the time of
the Civil War, and, dis-
guised as a man, did three
paigning, is told by the Rev. P. D. Curran,
Chaplain of the Old Soldiers’ Home,
Quincy, Illinois, in
the course of a letter
to the “Anglo-Celt.”
Hodgens has been an inmate of the
Home for about three
years, and it was
only when she became ill and was under
medical care that the secret of her sex
Under the name of “Albert
Cashier” she enlisted in the
fantry in 1862, and left the service in
1865, being one
of the few of her company
who survived the campaign. She
pensioned off, and still retaining her name
of “Albert Cashier,” came back to Illinois
and worked on
a farm. On the introduc-
tion of motor cars she went into
as an apprentice and learned to be a
April 1914, p.1, the Sunday Independent, ibid, stated:
'MASQUERADED AS A MAN.
SERVED IN GEN. GRANT’S ARMY.
“Albert Cashier,” an
inmate of the Sol-
diers’ Home at Quincy, Illinois, who
been masquerading as a man for 60 years,
served as a soldier in General
Grant’s army during the
Civil War, has
(says the Chicago correspondent of the
"Daily Chronicle”), just been found to be
Her sex was discovered only while she
was under the care
of the surgeon. The
woman was born in Ireland 72 years
and came to America as a stowaway clad in
clothing. When the Civil War broke
out she enlisted in
the 95th Illinois Infan-
try, and participated in some of
est battles, always behaving with great gal-
lantry. She has refused to disclose her
name or to tell
her family history.'
Freeman’s Journal dated 13 April 1914, page 3, ibid,
provided the same story:
’60 YEARS’ AS A MAN
An Irishwoman’s Masquerade
“Albert Cashier” an inmate of the
Home at Quincy, Illinois, who had been
masquerading as a
man for 60 years, and
who served as a soldier in General
army during the Civil War, has (says the
Chicago correspondent of the “Daily Chronicle”)
found to be a woman.
was discovered only while she was
under the care of the
surgeon. The woman
was born in Ireland 72 years ago, and
to America as a stowaway clad in boy’s cloth-
ing. When the Civil War broke out she en-
listed in the
95th Illinois Infantry, and par-
ticipated in some of the
always behaving with great gallantry.
has refused to disclose her name or to tell her
These national newspapers
would be read by at least some residents in all areas of the
it is also likely that the story was taken up by local
After her death it was
reported in the Anglo-Celt, a newspapers that circulated in
the counties of Cavan and Monaghan, dated 6 November 1915,
page 1, ibid:-
'A WOMAN SOLDIER.
IRISH HEIRS WANTED
With reference to the
soldier, "Albert F. Cashier" (real name
Hodgers) who distinguished herself in
the American Civil
war, and the iden-
tity of whose sex was only discovered
two years ago when brought to hospital,
as told in the
"Anglo-Celt," at the time,
we have received the following
"Sacred Heart Church, Dalton City,
Ill., Oct. 18, 1915.
To Mr. O'Hanlon,
Editor 'Anglo-Celt', Dear Sir, -Two
years ago I wrote your paper concerning
soldier,' 'Albert F. Cashier'
(real name 'Hodgers'). The
from the Superintendent of Soldiers'
Quincy, explains itself. By pub-
lishing his letter you
will do her rela-
tive in Co. Louth a favour and confer
another on yours truly, P. F. Curran."©
"Illinois State Bank of Quincy,
Quincy, Illinois, October
16, 1915. To
Rev. Fr. Curran, Dalton City, Illinois.
Dear Fr. Curran, -You may not be
aware of the fact that
Albert D. J. Cas-
hier, the woman soldier, died last
day evening. Now you investigated this
while in Ireland--will you kindly
advise me at your
regarding her relatives so that the
servator can get in communication with
them? Thanking you
in advance for any
favours shown me in this connection,
and assuring you that I will welcome the
reciprocate, in the mean-
time believe me to be yours
John E, Andrews, Supt., Ill. S. and S.
Home. By Iona J. Fisher.'
Various online articles give her date of birth as 25
December 1843 in Clogherhead, County Louth, and her forename
as 'Jennie' although earlier reports stated that she refused
to disclose her first name.
What of a Birth Record in Ireland?.
Unfortunately it was over
twenty years after her birth that civil registration of
births began in Ireland. But, in the case of County Louth,
parish baptism registers do exist for the time period but
not for all parishes so actual proof is difficult to
In the case of Clogherhead
Roman Catholic Parish there is a baptism of a Mary Hodgers,
the daughter of Dennis Hodgers and Catharine Maguire, on 25
December 1843. There were other siblings.
What of a
Jennie?. The nearest baptism entry, of available registers,
is for a Jane Hodgins
(found as a variant of Hodgers sometimes in County Louth),
the daughter of Thomas Hodgins and Mary Mullin on 31
December 1841 in St. Peter's Roman Catholic Parish in
Drogheda. Again possibly other siblings. Where the family
lived, while not in Clogherhead Roman Catholic Parish, may
not have been too far away. For a stowaway a possible route
of emigration would be on a fishing boat from Clogherhead to
Liverpool and thence to America.
The official pension records from 1890 may provide some
clues as to her real age and identity.
to Emigrant page
County Louth page.