Florence, South Carolina: Grave of Woman Who Pretended to be a Man

Florence National Cemetery contains the unremarkable tombstone of the remarkable Florena Budwin, who successfully disguised herself as a Union soldier during the Civil War.

Florence National Cemetery

Address:
803 E. National Cemetery Rd, Florence, SC
Directions:
Florence National Cemetery. From downtown Florence turn south onto US Hwy 52/S. Irby St. Drive a half-mile. Turn left onto Cherokee Rd/Hwy 21-13. Drive a about a mile to the cemetery.
Phone:
843-669-8783
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Florena Budwin grave.

Grave of Woman Who Pretended to be a Man

The marker for Florena Budwin is located in the older cemetery in Section D Site 2480. It is the marker that is all by itself in the middle of the Civil War Union burials. The picture with the earlier tip is not of her grave marker. This was confusing.

[Kathleen Whelan, 02/26/2017]

The earlier tip, no doubt, sent by the woman who pretended the man stood at the grave of the woman who pretended to be a man.

Grave of Woman Who Pretended to be a Man

This was a fascinating history lesson. Very easy to find, and the graveyard is clean and serene. Most definitely worth a stop!

[CeCe, 01/06/2013]

Florena Budwin disguised herself as a man and fought for the Union Army during the Civil War.

Budwin grave.

Florence National Cemetery

The Florence National Cemetery has two sections on opposite sides of the road. One side has the older graves, the other the newer. The older side is definitely more unique. Some of the graves date as far back as the Civil War. There are also several makers for mass trench graves. There's even a special marker for a woman who disguised herself as a man, hoping to find her husband who had joined the Union troops. She was found out when she became sick, and when she died, they buried her with full military honors.

If you visit, be sure to knock on the door of the building. Whoever is working will be more than happy to show you around and tell you stories. The kids were amazed at being able to see such old graves, and to hear the stories of the heroes. It was a field trip the kids will never forget for sure.

[Danielle O., 11/22/2012]

Florena Budwin eventually found her husband, but both ended up in the notorious Andersonville Prison (where he died). She is supposedly the first woman to be buried in a national cemetery.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Atom Bomb FragmentsAtom Bomb Fragments, Florence, SC - 1 mi.
Confederate Tributes to the Pee DeeConfederate Tributes to the Pee Dee, Florence, SC - 1 mi.
Bomb Crater MarkerBomb Crater Marker, Florence, SC - 5 mi.
In the region:
Lizard Man Sandwiches, Bishopville, SC - 29 mi.

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