• Behind Rebel Lines
  • Behind Rebel Lines
  • Title: Behind Rebel Lines
  • Behind rebel lines 2:08

Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy


Having seized vast new swaths of eastern Congo, rebel leader Laurent Nkunda is embarking on a new phase of his campaign to "liberate" this mineral-rich central African nation the size of Western Europe. U.N. officials, aid workers and others here say he is forcing tens of thousands of displaced people to return to their homes behind rebel lines, where a kind of indoctrination is now underway as Nkunda seeks to expand his political base.

'Behind Rebel Lines' is fast-paced and exciting. It tells the story of Sarah Emma (Edmonds) Seelye, and how she was the first women in the U.S. Army without anyone knowing. She Started out as just a field nurse, but soon became one of the Union Army's vital spy's. After what would be her last spy mission, she started to work long hours in the field hospital. She soon came down with a case of malaria, and was not allowed to go on leave for the Union and Confederate Army's were at a big peak in their battle. Faced with a choice of either staying and maybe risking her identity, or leaving without permission and risking not being able to come back to the army, she chose the smart direction to go. Leaving camp without permission seemed the best choice, so she left and got better but like she had thought, she was stopped from being able to go back to the army. She was labled as a "deserter" and AWOL (absent without leave). After reading that she had been labeled a "deserter," she requested that her military rights to be restored and that she asked for an honorable discharge. These were both granted and she also became the only women member of the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic). She got married to Linus Seelye in 1867 and had 3 sons, one of which joined the U.S. Army when he got older. Emma went on 11 missions and served 2 years in the Union Army. She accomplished many self goals along the way. She was determined to be part of the Union Army, and with a few tweaks, she accomplished her dream.


Behind Rebel Lines by Seymour Reit l Summary ..

A person requires much courage if they are going to become a soldier.
It took a woman of great courage & bravery to freely decide to join the Union army of the Civil War.

Although most people didn't know at the time, several women (at least 400) joined the army undercover during the Civil War, and no one ever suspected it. At the age of 21, that is what Emma Edmonds, a Canadian-born, did. This book fictionalizes her true story. Emma Edmonds enlisted under the name of Franklin Thompson, but it didn't stop there. The journey of her first alias led her into becoming a reliable spy for the Union. She created new characters for herself on almost every mission the army sent her on, so that her old characters wouldn't be recognized by the Rebel army.

Bridget O'Shea, Irish peddler.
Cuff, freed slave.
Charles Mayberry, detective.

Those are just a few of her undercover names & disguises. The lengths Emma went to in order to keep her true identity a secret for years from either army... Amazing.

Behind Rebel Lines is one author's account of how the real Emma Edmond's story came to be. It is a simple, easy book to read, but I won't be forgetting what I learned. Recommended for ages 8-12, and up.