August 29, 1862, Nashville Dispatch (Tennessee)
Quite a romantic scene occurred in the Recorder’s Court yesterday morning, in connection with a young woman named Ellen Quinn, who was arrested on Wednesday evening, for being drunk and disorderly. The witnesses against her were Belle Fulcher and Mollie Bradley, the former of whom was fined $5 for disturbing the Court after being told to cease talking. Ellen was fined $14. She was willing to plead guilty, and threw herself upon the mercy of the Court, promising never again to appear before the Court as a criminal. Ellen is the young woman who was arrested some months ago for being dressed in male attire. She is a native of Ohio, and was among the earliest volunteers from that State. She preserved her disguise for several moths, when her sex was accidentally discovered. She then left the army. But her love of romance and adventure prevented her remaining long in the charms of crinoline, and she soon joined another Ohio regiment, with which she came to Nashville, and afterwards went farther South. In April she returned to Nashville, and her disguise was shortly thereafter discovered, when she was arrested and placed in the work-house in charge of Mr. J. Q. Dodd. Here she remained until about six weeks ago, when she was permitted to depart. She was a stranger in town, and knew not where to go or what to do for food and shelter. Under such circumstances, distressing and embarrassing as they were, she very naturally applied to some soldiers for advice. One of them took her under his especial care, and promised to have her wants attended to, and to procure lodging for her until she could be sent home. He took her to a house of disreputable character, where she continued until Wednesday last; but she has not yet lost all feeling of shame. Her tears seemed to indicate that she may yet be reclaimed, if proper steps be taken to accomplish so desirable an object. We commend her case to the military authorities here, and hope they will render her such speedy assistance as will prevent the necessity of her returning to her former habits.