The 20 Most Influential Female Veterans of All Time
Cathay Williams, first black female to enlist in the U.S. Army and only female Buffalo soldier . On Nov. 15, 1866, Cathay Williams enlisted in the Army using the name William Cathay. She informed her recruiting officer that she was a 22-year-old cook. He described her as 5' 9", with black eyes, black hair and black complexion. She was assigned to the 38th U.S. Infantry. No one discovered she was a female. Cathay Williams was born into slavery in Independence Missouri in 1842.