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GREAT CITIZENS - EMMA SEELYE


Emma Seelye Like Dick Dowling, Emma Seelye was a combat veteran of the Civil War. Disguised as a man under the name of Frank Thompson, she enlisted in Company F of the Second Michigan Infantry of the Grand Army of the Republic. The only woman to enlist in that army, Seelye served with distinction for two years and was decorated for bravery, masquerading as a man all along. She served until 1863, when she had contracted malaria and feared detection. Settling in Houston, she published her memoirs in a book entitled The Nurse and the Spy. The book about her adventures in the army became a best seller and sold some 175,000 copies. It also revealed her deception and her disability pension was withdrawn, although eventually it was restored by an Act of Congress. Seelye donated much of the profit from her book to Houston hospitals before she died in 1898.

 








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