Sarah Emma Edmonds (1841-1898)
Civil War Soldier
Sarah Emma Edmonds served during the Civil War using the alias Franklin Thompson. Dressed as a man, Edmonds enlisted in the Second Michigan Regiment of Volunteer Infantry with the Union Army and fought at the first Battle of Bull Run. Later she became a colonel’s aide and served as a spy behind Confederate lines. A few of her fellow soldiers realized she was a female, but they kept her secret.
In 1882 she applied for a pension as Sarah Edmonds, noting that she had served as Private Franklin Thompson. Several soldiers testified as to her loyalty, hard work, and effort, and she not only was granted a pension but she became the only woman inducted into the Civil War Veterans’ Organization.