Emma Seelye, Union Soldier

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[Emma Seelya as Pvt. Franklin Thompson – txsuv.org]

Emma Seelya was born Sarah Emma Evelyn Edmundson, in Canada, in 1841. She ran away from home at the age of 17, to avoid an unwanted marriage. She disguised herself as a boy and, in 1861, enlisted in the Union Army in the United States as “Franklin Thompson”. She served in the Union Army for nearly two years, undetected, and carried out special assignments that included penetrating Confederate lines disguised as a woman. Seelya later married and moved with her family to La Porte, Texas, where she was made a member of the local post of the Grand Army of the Republic (a large Civil War veterans’ group, of which she was the only female member). In 1898, three years after her death, her remains were transferred to the GAR plot in Houston’s German Cemetery (or German Society (Deutsche Gesellschaft) Cemetery). German Cemetery, which was renamed Washington Cemetery in 1918, due to anti-German sentiment related to World War I, is adjacent to Glenwood Cemetery, between Washington Ave. and Memorial Dr.

More information:
The Handbook of Texas Online, “Sarah Emma Evelyn Edmundson Seelye (1841-1898)“.
Civilwarhome.com biography of Emma Seelye

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