WOMEN IN THE CIVIL WAR
Although women were not permitted to join the military during the Civil War, that
did not stop them in many cases. By some counts, as many as 400 women made their way into the military of both the
North and South by posing as men. One notable case was that of a woman by the name of Sarah Emma
At the age of 17, Sarah had run away from her home in Canada to start a new life
in the United States, settling in Flint Michigan. Even before the war broke out, Sarah gave up her female identity
to pursue a more exciting life she knew would be unavailable to her as a woman.
Posing as Franklin Thompson, Sarah joined the Michigan Infantry originally as a male nurse and
courier but eventually as a spy for General George McClellan. Disguising herself as a slave by darkening
her skin with silver nitrate and wearing a wig, she made her way behind Confederate lines. Days later she returned
to share her information. This went on until she became ill and knowing she could not visit
a hospital without revealing her secret, she went to Illinois and checked into a private hospital.
Unfortunately, while she was in the hospital, Franklin Thompson had been listed
as a deserter. She knew if she returned under the name Franklin Thompson, she would be arrested for desertion
so she volunteered as a female nurse in Washington D.C.
Two years after the war ended Sarah was married and wrote a book about her experiences
which became a best seller. If you are interested in this fascinating story, you can buy the book
"Memoirs of a Soldier, Nurse and Spy In The Union Army" listed below.
INTERESTING BOOKS ABOUT WOMEN IN THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR
Memoirs of a Soldier, Nurse and Spy In The Union Army: A Woman's Adventures in the
Women in the Civil War
Civil War Women of Courage
Outrageous Women of Civil War Times
She Went to the Field: Women Soldiers of the Civil