Civil War Wiki


Mary Burns was an American woman who disguised herself as a man in order to fight in the American Civil War. [1] She enlisted in the 7th Michigan Volunteer Cavalry Regiment in order not to be parted from her lover, who was in the same regiment. [2] Her sex was discovered within a few days, before her company had left Detroit. [3] She was arrested in uniform, held in the city jail, and charged with masquerading as a man. The account of the incident in the Detroit Advertiser and Tribune (February 25, 1863) described the defendant as "a very pretty woman".[4]


  1. Albert A. Nofi, A Civil War Treasury. Da Capo Press, 1995. ISBN 0306806223, p. 357.
  2. DeAnne Blanton and Lauren M. Cook, They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the American Civil War. LSU Press, 2002. ISBN 0807128066, pp. 31 and 124.
  3. Mary Elizabeth Massey, Women in the Civil War. University of Nebraska Press, 1994. ISBN 0803282133. p. 80, citing the Detroit Advertiser and Tribune, February 25, 1863. Available on Google books. Accessed 8 January 2008.
  4. Cited in Michigan Women in the Civil War. Michigan, 1963. p. 33.