Frances Hook a Female Soldier who Fought in Major Battles at Fort Henry, Fort Donelson and Shiloh aka “Frank Miller” & ”Frank Henderson”
Frances and her brother decided to enlist for the Union Army when the Civil War started. She lied about her age, and cut her hair. They joined the 11th Illinois Infantry Regiment. Frances’ brother was killed in the battle of Shiloh.
Soldier Frances Hook who as Private Frank Miller, 90th Illinois (not confirmed on rolls) was wounded in the thigh and captured near Florence, Alabama in early 1864 and incarcerated at Atlanta. A Confederate doctor tending to Union wounded exposed Frank Miller as a female and she was soon exchanged at Graysville, Georgia on February 17, 1864 and subsequently convalesced in Nashville where this likeness was taken.
She was taken prisoner by Confederate troops while walking along a trail while her regiment was awaiting deployment. She attempted to make a daring escape, but was shot, and again imprisoned. The Confederates were impressed with her courage, and offered her commission to join their side. She told them that she would rather be hanged then to fight along side the Confederate troops.
Later she was discharged and sent home to Illinois but speculation remains that with nowhere else to go she reenlisted and continued to serve until the end of the war.
Frances Hook ultimately married in 1908, and her daughter later applied for a military pension based on her mother’s Civil War military service. Contemporary authors of social history and those focusing in women’s studies have put the number of female soldiers serving in Northern and Southern armies as high as several thousand, but the true identities of only a handful are actually known. Frances Hook alias Frank Miller is a legitimate example of a female warrior.
Price Realized: $3,105.00 at Cowan’s Auctions http://www.cowanauctions.com/auctions/item.aspx?ItemId=36196
An interesting story of an Illinois woman who enlisted to fight for the Union Cause—