• “My career has differed from that of most women.  Some things I have done have shocked persons for whom I have every respect.”

    Loreta Velazquez
  • “I was, despite my Spanish ancestry, an American, heart and soul.”

    Loreta Velazquez
  • “A woman labors to fight her own way in the world, and yet, she can often do things that a man cannot.”

    Loreta Velazquez
  • “The way to keep a secret, is not to tell it to anybody.”

    Loreta Velazquez
  • “What a fearful thing this human slaughtering was.”

    Loreta Velazquez
  • “War fare inevitably breeds corruption”

    Loreta Velazquez

The Film

REBEL: Loreta Velazquez, Secret Soldier of the American Civil War

REBEL is available in two versions. The one-hour broadcast with bonus video is distributed by PBS home video. The 75 min. director’s cut is available in theaters and by contacting Iguana Films at info@iguanafilms.com for screenings and to book the director.

In 1861, at the outbreak of the American Civil War, a teenager from New Orleans headed to the front lines. Under the alias Harry T. Buford, he fought at First Bull Run, was wounded at Shiloh, and served as a Confederate spy. By 1863, Buford was working for the Union. But Buford harbored a secret – he was really Loreta Velazquez, a Cuban immigrant from New Orleans.

Velazquez scandalized America when she revealed her story in her 1876 memoir, The Woman in Battle. Attacked not only for her criticism of war, but her sexuality and social rule-breaking, Velazquez, has been dismissed as a hoax for 150 years. But evidence confirms she existed, and was one of over a thousand women soldiers of the American Civil War.

What made her so dangerous she was erased from history? And who was Loreta Velazquez?

Actors and historians bring Velazquez’ fascinating story to life in a documentary weaving drama, animation, historical and archival material to unravel the mystery of this secret soldier. Rebel is a detective story about a woman, a myth, and the politics of national memory.

REBEL is an IGUANA FILMS Production
STARRING Romi Dias & Isabel Taysin Carter
WRITER & DIRECTOR María Agui Carter
PRODUCERS María Agui Carter, Calvin A. Lindsay, Jr
EDITOR Bernice Schneider
COMPOSER Joseph Julian Gonzalez
CAMERAS Miguel Aponte-Rios, Robert Massey, Alex Vlacos
LINE PRODUCER Sabrina Avilés
NARRATOR Llewelyn Smith
GRAPHICS G.R.O.W. & Hayley Parker
FX & SOUNDMIX Heart Punch Studios



One hour version of REBEL as broadcast on National PBS for personal use.


One hour teacher’s version of REBEL with audio/visual screening license.


75 min. feature Director’s Cut is available for theatrical and community screenings. Contact info@iguanafilms.com.