From the Issaquah Press: (Issaquah, WA)
Beginning this week, McPhail and her sister Elizabeth McPhail, 22, will circumnavigate the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada in a yellow, 16-foot aluminum boat.The 6,000-mile route, known to boaters as “The Great Loop,” is a full, counterclockwise circuit, down the Mississippi River into the Gulf Coast, around Florida, up the eastern seaboard, through Canada and across the Great Lakes.
This week, Katie will leave Seattle with the boat on a trailer. Her voyage begins on Lake Michigan near Chicago on June 3. Then, she’ll head south on the Chicago River to Peoria. On June 6, she will stop to attend Elizabeth’s graduation at Knox College in Galsburg, Ill. At that point, the two Issaquah High School graduates will tour the country and return to Lake Michigan near the end of August, Katie said.
“We’re really looking forward to this cross-country road trip on water,” she said. “Along the way, we’ll stop at cities along the route.”
From National Public Radio:
Albert D.J. Cashier was the shortest soldier in the 95th Illinois Infantry. In one of the few existing photographs of Cashier during the Civil War, you can faintly detect the outline of breasts under his uniform.
But that’s if you’re looking for it. And the military apparently was not. “They didn’t conduct physical exams in those days, the way the military does now,” says Rodney Davis, a retired professor of history at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. “What they were looking for was warm bodies.”
Jennie Hodgers, masquerading as Cashier, marched thousands of miles during the war. She was at the Siege of Vicksburg and the surrender of Mobile. Her regiment took part in more than 40 skirmishes and battles.
“Albert Cashier seems to have been in [the war] from the beginning to the end,” Davis says. “She stuck it out.”
Davis’ own great-grandfather was Cashier’s commanding officer and one of several former comrades who rallied to Hodgers’ defense when officials considered taking away her veteran’s pension for identity fraud. To her fellow soldiers, Davis says, her status as a Union Army veteran trumped her identity as a woman.