who was the gayest person in the Civil War??
A lot of people.
Thomas P. Lowry wrote a book called The Story the Soldiers Wouldn’t Tell: Sex in the Civil War, and is the first scholarly study of the sex lives of soldiers in the Civil War.
Lowry’s addressed the problem of prostitution- straight and gay- and why both the Union and Confederate Armies had to work to stop sexually transmitted infections from crippling their soldiers, because STIs were costing more in soldier’s health and lives than action on the battlefield.
Lowry reveals that during the Civil War with men outnumbering women, especially at social events like balls, drummer boys dressed in drag. And in some occasions, the intimacy between soldiers and drummer boys reached beyond just a public waltz.
The term “homosexuality” was not coined until thirty years after the war ended. However, no army soldiers were disciplined for such activity, although three pairs of Union Navy sailors were punished, all in 1865.
Scholars have tried to ascertain if some Civil War figures were homosexual. The most notable of these was Confederate major general Patrick Cleburne, although it is still disputed. As well as another confederate general James Jay Arnold.
Let us also not forget about Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was most likely bisexual. C.A. Tripp in his book The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln claims that Lincoln spent his entire life with erotic attractions to other men. He goes on to note the living arrangements between Lincoln and his close friend Joshua Speed. While this doesn’t mean they were in a relationship, it’s just as possible. Especially since Abraham Lincoln once got his thighs complimented while sleeping in bed with another man.