Barton: Gender bending honorable during Revolutionary War

On Glen Beck’s show on Friday, David Barton said:

BECK: On that program, what took a lot of viewers by surprise was that some women actually served in the military during the American Revolution.


BECK: I have to ask you about this handsome lady.

BARTON: 1782, she wanted to do something for her country. She dressed like a man and went and enlisted.

Now, what’s interesting is she’s 22 years old at the time and other guys in the army, I always kid her about, you never shave. You’re just a kid. Of course, she didn’t shave. She’s a lady.

She got wounded in a battle up at West Point and she treated the wound herself so no one would find out what her gender was.

BECK: Holy cow.

BARTON: She later, in Philadelphia, came up with a really high fever, almost unconscious and so the physician had to check her and at that time, find out what her gender was. So, when they found out her gender, they quietly moved her out of Army. But General Henry Knox is the one that gave her an honorable discharge out of the Army at West Point.

BECK: Wow.

BARTON: She ends up with a military pension because she served as a soldier. And if you were a soldier, you got the pension so pretty cool story.

But let’s not have any of that now…

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  • Lynn David

    It should have set a precedent….

  • Change is not always progress; rights can be, and have been, withdrawn unless shored up with something stronger than regulation.

    Certainly Trans people had far more legal rights in 1970 than they do today in most places. Tennessee is just the latest jurisdiction to remove existing protections from Intersexed and Trans people in State Law – and in the same bill, made it illegal for cities and counties to give them the human rights they’d won so far at the local level.

    It’s not certain, but it looks like the Judge’s ruling in the Araguz case in Texas means that Trans and Intersexed people will be forbidden from marrying anyone of either sex henceforth, and all such existing marriages are voided.

    The theory *seems* to be – as the ruling hasn’t been published – that God ordained that men have 46,XY chromosomes at birth, and women 46,XX ones, in accordance with the ruling in Littleton v. Prange (9 S.W.3d 223 (Tex. App. 1999), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 872 (2000)) . Neither genitalia at birth, genitalia afterwards, birth certificates, nor any other documentation over-rules God’s Law.

    So this person is male, as is the child they gave birth to:

    A 46,XY mother who developed as a normal woman underwent spontaneous puberty, reached menarche, menstruated regularly, experienced two unassisted pregnancies, and gave birth to a 46,XY daughter with complete gonadal dysgenesis.

    — J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jan;93(1):182-9

    Because 1 person in 485 or so has neither pure XX nor pure XY chromosomes, they are neither men nor women, so constitutionally prohibited from marriage, and their existing marriages void. In practice, this will only come up during divorce or insurance cases, otherwise those marriages while void would not be challenged. This will affect 0.5-1% of existing marriages.

    Because they would be unable to provide the documentation required to prove they’re not entering a same-sex marriage, since they’ve had their birth certificates corrected, Transsexuals would also be prohibited from marrying anyone of either sex in Texas.

  • Emily K

    I remember reading about this woman and her brave turn in the army in 4th grade. FOURTH GRADE. Oh an impressionable child reading about a cross-dresser! heaven for-fend!

    actually, as an ardent tomboy – and very much a girl seeking to be “one of the guys” – this story struck a chord with me. I remember feeling a quiet triumph in my heart after reading about this heroine. There were people in history like me; I had someone to look up to.

    Yes, this is the kind of “indoctrination” that occurs when you let kids learn about this kind of thing – it gives the opportunity for a child to love his or herself a little more.

  • Mary

    it gives the opportunity for a child to love his or herself a little more.

    Or the idea that women can participate in more than just teaching and housework.

  • Mary

    Note: Womens roles in those days were limited. A crossdresser may not have been a “crossdresser” per se, as much as an ambitious woman.

  • Lynn David

    Speaking of gender bending, the WACS (then the Women’s Army Corp) and the WAVES (Women in the Navy) attempted to recruit me out of high school. Both of them sent me letters pointing out that I might be able to go to college in a technical/scientific field on their dime after induction.

    Who knows it might have been a great place for a gay male in 1972.

    But not now.