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Victorians in Disguise – Part IV

Now, let’s take a look at some of the women who disguised themselves during the Civil War.
Loreta Velaques dressed as a man, calling herself Harry Buford. Her objective was to accompany her husband to war.
Her rank was lieutenant and she actually was said to have briefly served as a company commander for the Confederates under Brigadier General Bernard Bee during the battle of Manassas. Her secret was discovered a year later, but in her memoirs, she alluded to becoming a secret agent after leaving the army.
From the book, More Civil War Curiosities by Webb Garrison.




  1. How exciting is that? I’ve learned more interesting bits of history since becoming a writer than I EVER learned in school.

  2. That’s the truth, Maeve! I always hated history in school. It wasn’t until years later, when my own boys were in school, that we started watching documentaries and other programs–both fictional stories and fact–that brought history alive for me.

    And of course, researching stories brings out all kinds of facts that I never knew.

  3. Hi Susan,
    Yet another intriguing blog. It is so hard to imagine how women could get away with impersonating men on the battlefield.



  4. Thanks, Margaret! I think the answer lies in the modesty Victorians kept. No one, including army doctors, took close enought looks, not wanting to invade another’s privacy. Women and underage boys sneaked into the army all the time.

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