Make your own free website on Tripod.com
 

Sarah Emma Edmonds

       Emma Edmonds was an expert of disguise. She was a spy for the Union, who was originally from Canada. When she first came to the Union, she disguised herself as a male nurse known as Franklin Thompson. Finding a job during the war was hard if you were a female, so she disguised herself a male most of the time.  There were many disguises she used when she was a spy. At times she would dress up as a black man. For the costume she covered her body in silver nitrate, wore a suite, and a wig. Other times she was an old Irish peddler. Emma Edmonds loved to disguise her self for her spying missions.
       Emma Edmonds did many things to benefit the Union. She went on eleven missions and when she was not spying she was a male nurse. On her first mission she went down south to a Confederate camp. She disguised herself as a black slave. She determined the layout of the camp. She also drew sketches of the rebel defenses and weapons.
         
During this mission, officers became suspicious of Edmonds because she was not working. She was put right to work; she had to carry water to soldiers. While carrying water she would ask questions about the Confederate. The next day while serving water, one of the soldiers said, “You’re turning white!”. Edmonds covered up with, “I always expected to have some white on me cause my mama was white.”. While trying to fall asleep Edmonds over herd a peddler talking to a soldier. The peddler was describing Yankees forces, camps, and bragged that he had revealed one of the Union Lieutenants locations to some other troops. Edmonds realized that the peddler was a spy.
         
Her next mission she dressed up as an Irish lady peddler. Edmonds went around to different camps selling items and getting information. At one camp, someone figured out she was a spy. For a quick escape she stole a horse and ran away. While trying to escape someone shot her in the arm. 
         
When Edmonds was working as a nurse she came down with malaria. The problem was that if she went to a real hospital her true identity would be revealed. So, she entered a private hospital as a woman. When she recovered, she reentered into the army as a female nurse.

 

Home | Rose O'Neal Greenhow | Emma Edmonds | Bell Boyd | Links |