PBS NATIONAL PREMIERE:
FRIDAY MAY 24 10PM (check local listings)
A new film about a woman, a myth, and the politics of national memory.
At the outset of the American Civil War, a teenager paid a tailor to make her a soldier's uniform. She fought as an officer in the battle of First Bull Run, was wounded at Shiloh, and served as a secret agent for the Confederacy.
Her name was Loreta Janeta Valazquez.
This was no typical Southern Belle. A literate, educated Latina, born in Cuba and raised in New Orleans, she was fluent in English, Spanish and French. She chafed against the gender and race restrictions of her time. She was brash, quick-witted and unconventional.
Her 1876 memoir, A Woman in Battle, caused a sensation. For over a centruy, she was dismissed as a liar and a prostitute, but new evidence indicates she was no hoax.
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