The honorees of Saturday's free Patriots Tour at the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery were mostly long-dead men who wore uniforms, but there were some notable exceptions.
Some of the interred patriots recognized at the old necropolis tour wore petticoats when they were alive.
There was Jane A. Norris, who climbed the state Capitol in her hoop skirt, angry that the April 1865 end of the Civil War wasn't adequately marked in Sacramento.
Going up workers' ladders while they were on break, she tacked up a flag and a note calling for "three cheers for Uncle Abe and the Cabinet."
Her husband came home and ranted about the anonymous woman who had done this deed.
"He called her a brazen hussy," volunteer Liz Zeliff told about 60 people. "He didn't know it was his own wife."
Despite calls from the newspaper for the patriot to reveal herself, Norris took the secret to her grave. It became public only when her children, who had been sworn not to tell, gave her the credit in 1929.
Zeliff was one of several volunteers relating the historic tales of patriots.
Those covered in cemetery tours are unknown to most Sacramentans, said Marcia Rogers, one of the tour leaders.
"But their impact was just tremendous," she said.
She told the crowd of Luella Johnston, whose Tuesday Literary Club wasn't appreciated by men who felt it eroded the security of the home.
Nonetheless, the Tuesday Club as it was later called lobbied for temperance and women's suffrage.
In 1912, Johnston became Sacramento's and California's first woman to serve as a city commissioner, Rogers said.
The tour, however, wasn't limited to distinguished women, as tour-goers discovered when guide Denise Lunn began her tale about Gen. George Wright.
Wright, born in 1803, rose through the ranks after attending a military academy, and fighting in a succession of territorial wars against Indians and Mexicans before being posted to California, Lunn said.
He wanted to fight in the Civil War but was needed on the West Coast and was sailing for British Columbia when he became a victim of a shipwreck in 1865.
In addition to Wright, his wife, and millions of dollars of gold, not recovered until the 1990s, the shipwreck also claimed Roseanna Keenan.
Lunn described Keenan as "a colorful San Francisco madam, who was traveling with her seven soiled doves."
The "soiled doves" reference came from newspaper accounts of the times, Lunn said.
Volunteers use old clippings and the cemetery's extensive archives to research tales from the crypts and plots.
Some, like Zeliff and Rogers, started volunteering at the cemetery as gardeners.
Many plots were untended for decades until volunteers started caring for them in the late 1980s.
"I originally came in for gardening, because I live in an apartment," Zeliff said. "It's nice to go play in the dirt."
The only dirt Saturday, however, was what she dished on Amos Norris, Jane's husband.
"I liked the story about the girl and the flag," said Amelia Murray of Tacoma, Wash., who came with her grandmother, Pat Swarm of Fair Oaks another volunteer gardener.
Nearly 80 people traipsed through the heat for about two hours to hear the stories, pausing in the shade of magnolias, elms and oaks amid the grave markers.
The next tour is slated for Aug. 6 and will focus on railroad workers buried in the cemetery.
All first Saturday tours begin at 10 a.m.