From the recording The Animal Groom

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Ballad of Jennie Hodgers

I left my parents across the ocean
just shy of 20, I was free
I cut my hair and bound my breast
and joined the Army of the Tennessee

oh mama, I am your daughter, but a wife I will never be
I’ll be a soldier till my last breath delivers me

I marched on Vicksburg and fought in Guntown
where we lost more than 2,000 men
and though once captured, I got away and
returned to fight on until the end

I mustered out when the war was over
and went back home to find employ
as a janitor and farmhand
on the plains of east Illinois

as a veteran, I was respected
I’d fought for rights men hold so dear
but till those freedoms extend to women
I’ll live my days as Albert Cashier

I’m no one’s mother, I'm no one’s father
leave my estate in the county’s hands
and bury me in dark blue trousers
like any other Union man

Copyright Amanda Birdsall, 2008