image of Albert Cashier

Albert Cashier

The true-life story of a Civil War veteran who dressed as a man to fight will be the topic of a talk at Illinois State University by historian Bill Kemp.

Kemp will present Woman in Blue: Union Army Private Albert D.J. Cashier of Illinois at 7 p.m. Thursday, February 18, on the second floor of Illinois State’s Milner Library. The talk is part of a celebration for The Legacy Wall exhibit at Milner Library, which honors lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pioneers.

“Of all the innumerable Civil War stories of life under arms (from boredom to bravery and humor to horror), one would be hard pressed to come up with a more intriguing yet ultimately more touching story than that of Albert D.J. Cashier of the 95th Illinois Infantry,” said Kemp, who serves as the librarian at the McLean County Museum of History, and is the author of Pages from the Past: Stories from the Sunday Pantagraph, a collection of his columns that explore the history of McLean County.

According to Kemp, Cashier spent three years on the march through the South, all the while participating in some of the bloodiest campaigns of the Western Theater. “Though a true tale of war and woe, this remarkable story becomes even more remarkable when one learns that Cashier was actually a woman named Jennie Hodgers.”

For additional information on the talk, contact Magdelena Casper-Shipp at (309) 438-3897.