Frances Louise <I>Clalin</I> Clayton


Frances Louise Clalin Clayton

Illinois, USA
Death unknown
Burial Burial Details Unknown, Specifically: Civil War Hero
Memorial ID 93779396 View Source

Frances Clalin Clayton was a tall slim housewife with 3 children when she did the unthinkable. Frances disguised herself as a man, and using the pseudonym "Jack Williams" enlisted with the Union alongside with her husband during the fall of 1861.

Both Frances and Elmer were born and lived in the North, but despite living in the state of Minnesota they enlisted in a Missouri regiment.

Frances as "Jack Williams" was fighting near her husband Elmer when he was struck and killed. Reports are that she stepped over his body and continued the charge as that was the order. She drank, smoked, chewed, and gambled along with the men, none of them ever suspecting she was a woman.

After being discharged Frances tried to get back to Minnesota, and then decided to collect the bounty owed her deceased husband and herself, as well as to get some of Elmer's belongings.

Some thought that she may have wanted to reenlist, but she was unable to. Her train was attacked by a Confederate guerrilla party, and she was robbed of her papers and her money.

She then went from Missouri to Minnesota, then to Grand Rapids, Michigan, and on to Quincy, Illinois. In Quincy a fund was created to aid her quest for payment by former soldiers and friends. Frances was last reported to be headed for Washington, D.C.

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