Throughout Westmoreland and Northumberland Counties during Black History Month, Sandy Point historian Daisy Howard-Douglas will present (dressed in full military uniform) the life, times and legend of “Cath[a]y Williams,” (1842-c. 1893).
Though over 400 women served in the Civil War posing as male soldiers, Williams – a Missouri-born slave, who adopted the pseudonym William Cathay (or Cathey) during her military service – was the first African-American woman to enlist in the U.S. Army.
She served first as a nurse and medical assistant with the 8th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment and then as a cook for General Sheridan, at the headquarters of the Army of the Shenandoah. Later, she was the only documented woman to serve in the Army, while disguised as a man, during the Indian Wars. She was also, according to a National Park Service bio and other sources, the only known female “Buffalo Soldier.”
Three other Buffalo Soldiers’ stories to be shared as well:
Ms. Daisy, as she is often called, will also share stories of the lives of three Buffalo Soldiers who left their homes in Westmoreland County to join Company M of the 10th Cavalry Regiment. These are Zacata native Walter Tate, James Arthur Dean and Richard Johnson.
For the full article, pick up the latest Northumberland Echo 2/6/19
Historian, Daisy Howard-Douglas will represent the first African-American woman to enlist in the U.S. Army.