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The Mysterious Private Thompson: The Double Life of Sarah Emma Edmonds, Civil War Soldier Paperback – July 1, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
This modest but solid biography presents the energetic life of Sarah Edmonds (1841–1898), a Nova Scotia woman and Civil War soldier who served in the Second Michigan Volunteer Infantry under the name Franklin Thompson. Fleeing an abusive father and an unwanted marriage, 17-year old Sarah disguised herself as a man and made a living as a traveling book salesman. When war broke out, she found a place in one of the early volunteer regiments and served for two years. She appears to have had at least two lovers or at least men who knew her true identity, but spent much of her service as a medical orderly, mail courier and (allegedly) Union spy. After the war she settled in Texas, married, raised two adopted children and eventually claimed a pension under her wartime name, with the enthusiastic support of most of her old comrades. Gansler (Class Action) has done her homework on the Civil War with more than average thoroughness, writing clearly and without jargon, and leaves the question of Sarah's spying undecided. Clearly laid down, however, is the portrait of a young woman who made and carried out major life decisions with honor, clarity and ability. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gansler chronicles the intriguing life and times of a woman who served as a man during the Civil War. Fleeing from home at age 17 to escape an abusive father and avoid an unwanted marriage, Sarah Edmonds lived as a man for two years before she heeded Lincoln's call for more troops and enlisted in the Second Michigan Infantry. Performing her duties with distinction, she won the respect and admiration of the men she served alongside, even after they discovered, many years later, her astounding secret. Resuming her female identity and marrying after the war, she lived a relatively tranquil life until she decided to seek a military pension 20 years later. Enthusiastically supported by her former comrades-in-arms, she became the only woman to secure a soldier's pension for her Civil War service. Although questions remain whether she also served--as she claimed--as a Union spy, Edmond's -gender--bending Civil War experiences are well worth checking out. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
This book as written in a very matter of fact way. I would have liked more of a story-telling element, rather than a recitation of facts. At times the book does deliver this, but at others is a bit dry. Overall, the book was well written, well documented and an interesting read.