Cathay Williams was born a slave in Missouri in 1842, but was freed by Union soldiers during the Civil War. She worked as a paid servant for the Union Army under General Philip Sheridan, who took her with him to Washington as a cook and laundress. After the war, she wanted to maintain her financial independence, and in November of 1866, enlisted in the 38th U.S. Infantry, known best as the “Buffalo Soldiers,” under the name William Cathay—since, of course, it was illegal for women to join the military. She/he was a cook with the unit, stationed in New Mexico Territory. William Cathay was discharged on October 14, 1868 due to repeated illnesses—amazingly, although she/he was often hospitalized, nobody realized she was a woman. Later, when she tried to get a military pension, it was refused, in part because they discovered her true identity and noted she’d been “illegally” enlisted. Her end is unknown, but she was last recorded in Colorado prior to the 1900 census. She remains the first and only woman to serve as a Buffalo Soldier!
In This Issue:
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- The Cowboys Lament: The Kansas Origin of a Western Classic
- Lawman Tom Carson
- Bat Masterson
- Steinbeck’s Trail
- Temple Houston
- Stagecoach Stations
- Where Magic Meets the West: The Para-Western
- Henry Wheeler’s Rifle
- The “First Lady” of Phoenix
- The Faults Do Not Matter
- Lola Montez
- Flyover No More: The Heart of the West is in Emporia, Kansas
- Battle of The Little Bighorn Reenactment
- Wyatt Earp in Ellsworth
- The Female Buffalo Soldier
- Stagecoach Travel
- Billy’s Backyard Breakout Billy the Kid vs Peppin’s Posse
- Frank Hamer
- Kill the Steer to Prove the Point
- Nate Champion
- The Searchers: Seeking Cinema History in Monument Valley
- Endicott Peabody
- The “Goose Question”
- There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills
- Jerome Fire
- The Lie of Villa’s Last Words
- Summer Reading: Give Your Heart to a Classic
- A Hard End
- Texas Rising, the Alamo, Davey Crockett and John Wayne
- Nellie Cashman
- Vinegar Pie
- Go West, Young Man?
- Country Star Marty Stuart Honors the Duke and the Lakota
- Pink Higgins
- Dry Kansas!
- Butch Cassidy Wants Out
- A Homecoming for the Duke in Winterset, Iowa
- Kit Carson: History and the Myth
- Wild Wilcox Robbery
- Bricks of Earth
- Bitter Creek Newcomb and Charley Pierce
- Charles Hopkins’ Rampage
- Legends & Lies, Icons, Billy the Kid and Saguaros
- Winged Victory
- Doing the “Unthinkable”
- Combating a Prairie Fire
- Memorial Day in the City of Angels
- Life in the Wyoming Territorial Prison
- Ray Simpson and the McCarty Gang
- Cold Beer? Whiskey? How about a Hooper Spring Soda Water!
- They Went Thataway
- An Axe of War
- The Bitter Truth
- Inside Straight
- The Biggest Buffalo Buff
- War Under the Mountain
- The Outlaw Trail
- The Greatest of Confidence Men
- I know British soldiers wore pith helmets in Africa and India, but why did Mexican Revolution Gen. Pancho Villa wear one?
- Early Kicks Motoring West
- June 2015 Events
- Win Blevins
- Did Clay Allison get in a gunfight with Deputy Sheriff Charles Faber?
- Crook’s Western Destiny
- In the 1980 movie Tom Horn, starring Steve McQueen, Horn has a run-in with heavyweight boxing champion John L. Sullivan. Did that truly happen?
- How many horses have been injured during filming of Hollywood Westerns?
- Was the Apache Kid never caught?
- Author Bill Brooks Shares His Love of Great Westerns
- White Comanche
- Rough Drafts 6/15
- What is the legend of El Tiradito?
- On the Trail of the American Buckaroo
- An Alamo Legend for All Generations
- Old West CSI
- Esther Ross