Anna Lorinda Etheridge (Michigan Annie)


Anna Etheridge was a Union Vivandiere. Born in Wayne County Michigan as Anna Lorinda Blair, Annie was living in Detroit when the Civil War broke out. Enlisting as a Vivandiere (or Daughter of the Regiment) in the 2nd Michigan Infantry, Annie's first battle was at Blackburn's Ford, Virginia. Here she was said to have nursed the wounded on the battlefield and carried water to the dying. At the battle of Second Bull Run, Annie came close to capture while attending to the wounded. It was here that she came to the attention of General Phillip Kearny, who recommended she be given a horse and the rank of sergeant for her bravery. She did receive the horse but not the pay or rank of a sergeant, as Kearny was killed in the rearguard retreat. After the battle of Antietam, the 2nd Michigan was sent to Tennessee but Annie elected to stay with the Army of the Potomac, enlisting with the Third and Fifth Michigan regiments. She was present at the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. At the latter, she was wounded when a Union officer attempted to hide behind her. The officer was killed and Annie's horse wounded. For her bravery under fire, she was awarded the Kearny Cross. Annie became a familiar sight on the battlefields, and was in the majority of battles throughout the remainder of the war. Following the war, she took a job at the Treasure Department but was discharged later to make room for someone else. In 1886, Annie formally requested a pension of $50. a month for her wartime services. In 1887, Congress approved a pension of $25. a month. Upon her death in 1913, Annie was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

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