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Statue Other women warriors in drag:
Deborah Sampson
   American revolutionary war hero
Mary Read:
   16th C. pirate
Hua Mulan:
   6th C. Chinese warrior.
Nadezhda Durova: 19th C. Russian soldier
Joan of Arc:
   Leader of French army in 100 years war, 15th C.
 Woman Warrior in Drag of the week

Sarah Emma Edmonds

Edmonds enlisted in the Union army as Frank Thompson at the outbreak of the Civil War. She volunteered for a spy mission behind Confederate lines at Yorktown and was deemed by phrenological exam to be fit for the work. Edmonds further disguised herself for the mission as a black man, wearing a wig and coloring her exposed skin with silver nitrate. She slipped past the Confederate pickets at night and in the morning entered Yorktown with the slaves who had brought breakfast to the pickets.

Once in Yorktown, Edmonds worked for a day alongside the slaves at building fortifications. That night, she talked a slave who carried water for the camp into trading duties with her. With the freedom afforded her by this task, she was able to gather intelligence about the camp.

On the evening of her third day behind Confederate lines, while bringing dinner to the pickets, she was given a rifle and ordered to take the place of a picket who had been shot. She took the opportunity of her position to sneak back to the Union with her enemy weapon and information.

Additional information about female soldiers of the Civil War is available at the National Archive site.

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