Monday, January 10, 2011

Frances Day

William Fitzpatrick enlisted in the 126th Pennsylvania Infantry, but died in a Virginia hospital in 1862. Not until many years later was it discovered that Sgt. Frank Mayne, who deserted after Fitzpatrick's death, was really Frances Day who had joined the infantry to be with her boyfriend.

The regimental historian states that Mayne was not heard from again until long afterwards when "... in the far West, a soldier, wounded badly in a great battle, could not conceal her sex, and Frances Day then told how she had followed Fitzpatrick into the army and became herself a soldier and a Sergeant ... of her desertion upon her lover's death, the the abandon and despair which led her to seek again the ranks of the army."

Except for her deathbed confession, Day's story would never have been known.

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