Pic from twitter.
Mrs. Borginis and a Mrs.Foley enlisted with their husbands into the 8th calvary at the Jefferson Barracks, Mo. Sarah became the principal cook at Fort Brown (Fort Texas) and stayed on the job when General Taylor moved most of his troops to the mouth of the Rio Grande. However, when the Mexicans began bombarding Fort Texas, (Fort Brown) from their positions at Matamoros, she was isssued a musket. It’s said she took an active part in the ensuing fray, never missing a target or preparing a meal. Gen. Zachary Taylor breveted her to colonel, making her the first female colonel of the U.S.Army. She moved to El Paso and opened a hotel. For years it was a favorite stop of ’49ers heading for the California gold fields. She later moved to Arizona and ran a Yuma saloon until her death in 1866. Col. Borginis was buried at Fort Yuma with full Military Honors – the first woman to be a ranking U.S.Army officer – albeit a brevet one.
Most women were camp followers or spouses of soldiers, such as Col. Borginis; but it appears that quite a few took the Deborah Sampson route:
From the…hm, the National Park Service? Interesting:…oh, duh, it’s the Alamo….
Elizabeth Newcome, of Missouri, participated in the conquest of New Mexico. “Bill” Newcome served as a Private in Steven Watts Kearney’s Army for 10 months before her true identity was discovered.
A doctor’s examination of the Missouri soldier quickly revealed the private was female, and she was forced to leave. She was discharged from duty, but still received a veteran’s land bounty after the war.
Before U.S. troops occupied the city of Los Angeles, Igania Reyes –a local elderly woman – hid the city’s main cannon in the reeds behind her house. Later, the cannon was retrieved and used to repel an attack by U.S. marines. The Battle of Dominguez Ranch is better known as “The Battle of the Old Woman’s Gun” in her honor.
Ok, that’s awesome.