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A Civil War Soldier Who Fooled Everyone

Friday, February 07, 2014

A woman who fought in the Civil War disguised as a man is the subject of a new movie.

"Rebel" is the story of Loreta Velazquez, a Cuban immigrant who grew up in New Orleans and joined the war as a Confederate soldier, but then became a Union spy.

Filmmaker Maria Agui Carter worked on the movie for twelve years. In this interview, she said she felt Velazquez's story needed to be told. "She writes a memoir in 1876. This was considered so transgressive, she broke all the rules," she said. "Women were supposed to support the war, but by darning socks, and supporting the men, they were not supposed to go and fight it themselves."

"Rebel" is part of the Athena Film Festival, which features female filmmakers. It runs through Sunday at Barnard College.

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