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Civil War soldier Frank Thompson had a secret: He was a she

Courtesy of the Michigan History Center
Sarah Seeyle

In 1884, Congress passed a bill recognizing the service of, and granting a pension to Sarah Emma Evelyn Edmundson Seelye for her service to the country. She served in the Civil War as a soldier in Company F of the Second Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment, under the name of Franklin Thompson. 

So where does Seeyle’s story begin?

Born in 1841 to a poor farmer in New Brunswick, Canada, she escaped an arranged marriage between her and one of her father’s creditors, “disguised herself to a man and emigrated to the United States”

Michigan History Center’s Eric Perkins and Mark Harvey joined Stateside to share the story of the female Civil War soldier.

Listen above.

This segment is produced in partnership with the Michigan History Center.

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