Velazquez, Loreta Janeta

Life Span
to
Full name
Loreta Janeta Velazquez
Place of Birth
Birth Date Certainty
Exact
Death Date Certainty
Estimated
Gender
Female
Race
Other
No. of Spouses
4
Family
Thomas C. DeCaulp (second husband)
Occupation
Military
Writer or Artist
Military
Confederate Army

Loreta Janeta Velazquez (American National Biography)

Scholarship
Velazquez's adventures began with the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. According to The Woman in Battle, her first husband resigned his commission to join the Confederacy at her urging. Indeed, so great was Velazquez's martial ardor--she expressed a wish to become another Joan of Arc--that she told him of her decision to enlist in the war effort herself by cross-dressing as a lieutenant in the Confederate army. He was adamantly against her suggestion, but when he left for the Virginia theater, she stole off to Arkansas to raise a regiment for his command, which she later delivered to him in Pensacola, Florida. He reluctantly accepted this role but was soon killed in an accident…Velazquez went on to chronicle a series of dramatic military exploits, which included action at Manassas (Bull Run), Ball's Bluff, Fort Donelson, and Shiloh. She claimed to have come within shooting distance of Ulysses S. Grant and to have worked as a blockade runner out of Havana. Although her more fantastic experiences cannot be corroborated, her narrative is remarkably accurate in recording fairly minute details about weather, commanding officers, and the course of battles. Although Velazquez's nom de guerre, "Lieutenant Harry T. Buford," does not appear in official records--Velazquez claimed to have been an independent--Richmond newspaper accounts do mention a Confederate "Lieutenant Bensford" arrested as a woman and calling herself Mrs. Alice Williams, a name Velazquez adopted elsewhere around the time she reported being arrested.
Lyde Cullen Sizer, "Velazquez, Loreta Janeta," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-01016.html.
Chicago Style Entry Link
Velazquez, Loreta Janeta. The Woman in Battle: A Narrative of the Exploits, Adventures, and Travels of Madame Loreta Janeta Velazquez, Otherwise Known as Lieutenant Harry T. Buford, Confederate States Army. Richmond, VA: Dustin, Gilman & Co., 1876. view record
How to Cite This Page: "Velazquez, Loreta Janeta," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/6773.