Tony--or anyone else:
I am not aware there are any genuine documents from the time of Cathy Williams's service in the 38th Inf that show she was female.
I am aware of the St.Louis newspaper story about her (I can't recall the date-I think in the late l870s or early 80s), and then, of course, her claims in various pension applications from the 90s.
If you know of such a service-related document-please direct me to it, or the source you found it in, as it would, I think, help put this tale to rest. Either there is proof that she did serve in the 38th--or there is only her much later claim that she did.
Or to slice it another way--material I've seen/read/have in my files
--and note my choice of words here--raises the possibilty that she may have served.
I have gone round-and-round with the story with a number of folks.
My best reply, this is what old time journalists used to call a "man bites dog story."--meaning that while possible, it is most unusual, and therfore demands--and fairly I think--a higher standard of proof than accepting on the face of it what someone claims to have occured.
Or as Sharon would write--just because it is in print don't make it necessairly so.