Sarah Emma Edmonds (1841-1898)

Sarah Emma Edmonds, Civil War Soldier

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.

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4 thoughts on “Sarah Emma Edmonds (1841-1898)”

  1. Deborah Sampson is another woman who served in the military posing as a man. She enlisted in 1782 at the age of 21 in the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Army at Bellingham as a man named Robert Shurtleff. She served for eleven years before being honorably discharged. She married and had children, and later taught school. She also traveled around giving lectures dressed in military uniform.

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