In 1862, a private named Albert D.J. Cashier enlisted in the Federal Army and bravely fought in more than 40 battles. After the war ended, Cashier worked as a laborer and eventually drew a pension. But in 1913, a surgeon discovered the unthinkable. Cashier was actually a woman. This turned into a media frenzy as her colleagues and compatriots had no idea, even while living in close quarters.
The amount of women who enlisted during the Civil War comes to about 750 by historical estimate. While many defected when medical treatment became necessary or a physical exam took an unexpected turn, there were plenty who served far longer than their male counterparts.