Florena Budwin (died January 25, 1865) was an American woman who, during the Civil War, disguised herself as a man and enlisted in the Union Army with her husband.

They were both captured and confined at Confederacy's most notoriously brutal prisoner of war concentration camp, Andersonville, where her husband died. She remained at Andersonville until it was threatened by Union forces, and was then transferred to the Florence Stockade in Florence, South Carolina. Less than three months before the end of the war, her gender was discovered by a doctor when, during an epidemic, she became ill, and eventually died.

An estimated 16,000 Union prisoners were held captive in the Florence Prison Stockade between September 1864 and February 1865. In that short period of time, well over 2,000 prisoners died from malnutrition and disease. The owner of a plantation adjacent to the prison allowed the dead to be buried in trenches on his property. This area was later established as the Florence National Cemetery. A plain marble headstone there bears Florena's name and the date of her death. She is believed to be the first woman to be buried in a national cemetery.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  • Sifakis. Who Was Who in the Civil War, page 86
  • Blakey, Arch Fredric. General John Windor, C.S.A, page 4

External links[edit | edit source]

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