Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Florena Budwin was born about 1845, [this was most likely not her real name]. She disguised herself as a man and followed her husband a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania soldier to war. Both were captured and sent to Andersonville. Budwin’s husband died in that notorious Confederate prison camp. When Union General William Tecumseh Sherman’s troops got close to Andersonville, Budwin and many other prisoners were moved to the Florence Stockade in Florence, South Carolina. There were about 16,000 Union prisoners held in the Florence Stockade between September 15th 1864 and February 1865. Her gender was discovered after a routine exam by a doctor, a few months before her death. She was moved to a private room and put to work in the prison hospital. Budwin became ill with one of the many epidemics raging through the camp and died January 25th 1865. She is buried in the Florence National Cemetery grave D-2480. It is thought that she is the first woman to be buried in a National Cemetery.