08 June 2009

Jennie's Secret - Airs June 8

Take a look at this picture. Maybe you can figure out that the Civil War soldier on the right is a woman. But the guy sitting next to her sure couldn’t, and neither could the rest of her fellow soldiers. They didn’t conduct physical exams back in those days the way the military does now. The army’s policy, one observer quipped, was “ don’t test the eyes, count ‘em.“

The non-bearded soldier in this picture was known to her comrades as Albert Cashier. But she was born in Ireland on Christmas Day of 1843 as Jennie Hodgers. This is the story of a woman who posed as a man during the Civil War and went on to live most of her life as a man in the tiny town of Saunemin, Illinois. Through the years the town has been ambivalent about their most famous citizen & has struggled to figure out what to do with her old house.

This show includes an interview with producer Linda Paul.

You can read more about Jennie's Secret here and here.

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