Actions
Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Seelyes in:
 • Washington Cemetery
 • Houston
 • Harris County
 • Texas
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Sarah Emma Edmonds Seelye
Birth: Dec., 1841
Magaguadavic
York County
New Brunswick, Canada
Death: Sep. 5, 1898
La Porte
Harris County
Texas, USA

Civil War Union spy. Sarah Seelye was born Sarah Emma Edmundson in Magaguadavic Settlement, New Brunswick, Canada. Running away from home disguised as a boy to avoid a forced marriage, she sold Bibles in New Brunswick until fear she would be discovered by her family caused her to flee to Flint, Michigan in 1856. She continued her disguise as a boy and worked as a publisher's agent until May 1862, when she enlisted in Company F, 2nd Michigan Volunteer Infantry, as Franklin T Thompson. For almost two years she served in the Union army as a male nurse, participating in the First Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Blackburn's Ford, Antietam and Fredericksburg, among others. She also served as a spy, ironically disguising herself as a woman or as a slave, infiltrating the Confederate camps while working in the fields with the rest of the servants. In 1864 Sarah contracted malaria, and fearing her exposure as a woman, deserted. After she was cured, she served the Union army again as a female nurse in a Washington DC hospital. After the war, Sarah wrote of her adventures in a book titled "Nurse and Spy in the Union Army" under the pen name S.E. Edmonds in 1865. The book was hugely popular, but caused the government to cancel her pension on grounds of desertion. She went on to marry a childhood friend, Linus Seelye, and had three children with him. A Congressional bill in 1884 reinstated her pension in 1884 in recognition of her wartime service, and the charge of desertion was removed from her record. In 1897, Sarah Seelye joined the McClellan Post and became a member of the Grand Army of the Republic - the only woman ever admitted. She died in La Porte, TX, September 5, 1898. At the insisitence of her fellow GAR members, her remains were moved to the GAR plot in Washington Cemetery three years later. (bio by: Screwtape) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Isaac Edmonson (1800 - ____)
  Elisabeth Leeper Edmonson (1795 - ____)
 
 Spouse:
  Linus Henry Seely (1832 - 1918)*
 
 Siblings:
  Thomas Edmonson (1823 - 1898)*
  Frances Edmondson Saunders (1825 - 1915)*
  Eliza Edmonson Miller (1825 - 1896)*
  Mary Jane C. Edmondson Davidson (1834 - 1922)*
  Sarah Emma Edmonds Seelye (1841 - 1898)
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Washington Cemetery
Houston
Harris County
Texas, USA
Plot: Section G, GAR Lot, Grave 26
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Clay Homister
Record added: Oct 10, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6843300
Sarah Emma <i>Edmonds</i> Seelye
Added by: Donald Claeys
 
Sarah Emma <i>Edmonds</i> Seelye
Added by: sarah lipscomb
 
Sarah Emma <i>Edmonds</i> Seelye
Added by: sarah lipscomb
 
There are 3 more photos not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.


- Carolyn Farnum
 Added: Nov. 18, 2014
Thank you for your service, and in years since, for inspiring young girls to be brave and strong and to stand up for causes they believe in.
- loved29
 Added: Oct. 14, 2014
Wow, what a life! Rest in peace, Soldier. Thank you for your service and for your gallant defense of our Union. In addition, thank you for leading the way for all of us, women in uniform. Here's to the ladies!
- Sharon
 Added: Sep. 5, 2014
There are 100 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.1 after 43 votes)
 

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service