Lead: Civil War Union spy Sarah Emma Edmonds spent a good part of her life disguised as a man. In the Army she often disguised her disguise.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Although women were not permitted to enlist as soldiers in either army during the Civil War, perhaps as many as 400 did so, by bending their gender. In April 1861 Sarah Emma Edmonds, after four attempts, finally was able to enlist in Flint, Michigan as a male volunteer, Private Frank Thompson.

Edmonds was born in Nova Scotia in 1841. She ran away from an unfortunate home situation as young girl and at the outbreak of the war, was living in Flint, working as bookseller, disguised as a man, using the name Frank Thompson. After Fort Sumter, she continued the transgender role, after four attempts enlisted, and served as a male nurse and occasionally as a spy.


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