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
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.
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.
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.