From the Richmond Dispatch, 2/17/1894, p. 3, c. 8
TO BRING IMMIGRANTS HERE.
The Mission of Madame Velasquez-Beard to Virginia – Her Romantic History.
Madame Velasquez-Beard, of the National Immigration and Colonization Association, whose headquarters are at Washington, is in the city and stopping at the Exchange Hotel. She is interested in an enterprise to secure the purchase of lands in Virginia and settle upon them Norwegians, Danes, and other North European Immigrants.
Madame Velasquez-Beard has a romantic history. She was born in Cuba and reared in Louisiana. At the beginning of the war she assumed male attire and entered the Confederate army as a lieutenant. Subsequently she raised a company. Her sex being detected by the Confederate authorities, and they not knowing what else to do with her, sent her to Castle Thunder, where she acted as clerk for Captain R. D. Ward.
Mrs. Beard visited the Capitol yesterday and talked with a number of the lawmakers.
[Loreta Janeta Velazquez is the woman’s name – MDG]