Sarah Emma Edmonds

Title

Sarah Emma Edmonds

Subject

Military in Civil War

Description

Woman who fought in the United States Civil War

Creator

Amy French

Source

Image: University of Michigan photo collection

Birth Date

1841

Birthplace

New Brunswick, Canada

Death Date

1898

Occupation

Soldier and nurse

Biographical Text

After a rough childhood, Sarah Emma Edmonds (born Edmondson) ran away from her home in New Brunswick, Canada and settled in Flint, Michigan.  On May 25, 1861, she enlisted in the Second Michigan Infantry as Franklin Thompson. She participated in the Peninsula Campaign and the battles of Bull Run, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. In her memoir, Edmonds wrote of working as a spy and infiltrating the Confederacy, at times dressing as a black man or an Irish woman (there is no official record of this). According to Edmonds, she safely avoided detection as a man for many years. In 1863, she contracted malaria though. Knowing that her sex would be revealed in the hospital, Edmonds (Franklin Thompson) deserted the army. After her leave, she worked as a nurse for a while. In 1865, she published Nurse and Spy in the Union Army. In the 1880s, she petitioned for a veteran's pension and was granted one. She was also granted an honorable discharge and membership to the Grand Army of the Republic as its only woman member.

Bibliography

Nurse and a Spy in the Union Army: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/38497

Civil War Trust on Sarah Emma Edmonds: http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/biographies/sarah-emma-edmonds.html

Eggleston, Larry. Women in the Civil War: Extraordinary Stories of Soldiers, Spies, Nurses, Doctors, Crusaders, and Others. (McFarland and Co., 2003).

Files

Sarah_Edmonds_lg_sepia.jpg

Social Bookmarking

Date Added
June 13, 2014
Collection
Local (Michigan)
Item Type
Person
Tags
, ,
Citation
Amy French, “Sarah Emma Edmonds,” Women Who Dared, accessed August 8, 2020, https://womenwhodared.omeka.net/items/show/49.