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I loved the book.
I find that American history is a sham, Our children are indoctranated not educated. This book tried to shed a glimmer of light on a forgotten subject. Truth is what I search for in history. We do not always get the truth because some people are embarrassed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 25, 2002
Badly Flawed Book
This is a book that should, at best, have been an article in a scholarly journal or popular magazine. The great majority of the text is what politely might be termed 'fluff.' There is so little actually known about the subject of the book that the author has filled his pages with generalities and speculations to lengthen to story. The first three chapters deal with Cathy Williams' supposed service with the 8th Indiana Infantry Regiment, which is based exclusively on a newspaper account published in 1876. Tucker admits 'no official record existed of her Civil War service' yet takes that article at face value and attempts to find support for it. One aspect of the tale should serve to show how weak it is. Williams claimed to have been with the regiment during the Red River Campaign in 1864. This was patently impossible because, at that time, the unit was home on veteran furlough. Tucker apparently did not research this or chose to ignore the fact since it contradicts Williams' tale. Again, there is no proof that the person calling herself 'Cathy Williams' for the newspaper story had, in fact, disguised herself as a man and served as 'William Cathay' in the 38th U. S. Infantry after the Civil War. The woman whose tale was published might easily have gotten the discharge certificate from the real William Cathay and then claimed it as her own. Tucker's six chapters on the service of William Cathay are also almost exclusively 'fluff.' They are replete with 'probablys' and 'might haves' since not one scintilla of evidence exists to describe Williams' activities if she actually had been in the 38th U. S. Infantry. Far too many of these speculations about Williams' feelings and thoughts are colored by a 21st century 'politically correct' perspective. Finally, in talking about a doctor who examined Williams and found her in good health, Tucker writes: 'It is possible that he had not served in the Civil War or in any Indian War like Cathy Williams, and felt that he was less of a man upon meeting a female veteran of two wars.' This and other comments that follow reek of 'politically correct' psychobabble and impugn the reputation of a man about whom Tucker knows nothing. He too easily points a finger at 'racism' and 'sexism' as the reasons for denying Williams' pension application, when the truth is that there simply was no evidence to support her claim. Oddly, Tucker fails to cite Williams' pension file found in the National Archives even though it is available to any researcher. His only source is a journal article about Williams' alleged service as a Buffalo soldier.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.