There have always been female warriors, and Women’s History Month is an appropriate time to remember them. While many civilians are aware that the number of women on active duty in all branches of service has risen dramatically, few know the extent of women’s service to our country, particularly in combat roles.
A small number of women have been in combat throughout American history—though they had to disguise themselves as men and enlist under aliases. Deborah Samson Gannett from Plymouth, Mass., was one of the first. In 1782, she enlisted under the name of her deceased brother, Robert Shurtleff Samson, and served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. She was wounded twice and cut a musket ball out of her own thigh, so a doctor wouldn’t examine her and find out she was a woman. (more…)