Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
May 4, 2011     Hays Free Press
PAGE 13     (13 of 16 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 13     (13 of 16 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
May 4, 2011

Newspaper Archive of Hays Free Press produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2019. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

Hays Free Press May 4, 2011 N~H~S Page 3C + p ecruiters did not suspect thing, when a 19-year- ld male impersonator from Canada enlisted in the Union Army on May 3, 1861. Sarah Emma Evelyn Ed- mundson was born in New Brunswick just across the border from Maine. She grew up with the bitter under- standing that her father had wanted a son. This knowl- edge and his constant abuse instilled in the girl "a hatred of male tyranny." Getting wind of her father's plan to marry her off to a lecherous old man, 17-year- old Emma ran away from home in 1858 She cut lier curly hair short, put on male clothing and started a new life as "Frank Thompson." Emma's height, athletic build, husky voice and flat chest helped her pass as a man. At five-foot-six she was taller than many men and towered over most women. A tomboy youth had given her a muscular frame more mas- culine than feminine in ap- pearance. Her small breasts were easily concealed, and her raspy voice sounded nothing like a woman's. To survive, Emma peddled Bibles in rural New Bruns- wick and gradually gained confidence in her salesman- ship as well as the masquer- ade. She went to Connecticut to meet the publisher, who put her on the payroll with a territory in Nova Scotia. Emma moved to Flint, Michigan in late 1860 in part to escape a romantic entanglement with "a pretty little gift" whose heart was set on marriage. Her alter ego's popularity with the la- dies would cause at least one biographer to question her sexual orientation. Although her Canadian citizenship entitled Emma to watch the American Civil War from the safety of a neutral corner, she enthusiastically took the northern side in the conflict. Keeping up the "Frank Thompson" ruse, she enlisted in the Second Michigan Volunteer Infantry in May 1861as a male nurse with the rank of private. How didEmma and 400 other male impersonators who served in the Union Army pass inspection? Since neither a physical examina- tion nor proof of identity were required, it was easy to fool recruiters whose sole concern was putting warm bodies in uniform. Nurse Thompson was present at Bull Run, which" began as a picnic for naive northerners and ended in their panic-stricken rout. Emma had no sympathy for those that turned and ran. No punishment was too severe, she felt, "for those who, insensible to shame, duty or patriotism, desert their cause and comrades in the try- ing hour of battle, and skulk away cringing under fear of death." The beardless private was a model soldier, whose cour- age and devotion to duty earned an appointment as regimental mail carrier in March 1862. Next to food nothing mattered more to the foot soldier than letters from home. Emma took her responsibility seriously and did such a first-rate job that she was promoted to brigade postmaster. But Emma did not want to spend the war playing post office. Itching for more action, she jumped at the chance to join the Secret Service. The three generals, who interviewed the applicant, were impressed by her atti- tude and answers and blown away by her skill with horses and firearms. She was quickly accepted into the clandestine ranks and given three days to prepare for her first mission. Emma was a brave and resourceful spy, who kept a cool head no matter what the Circumstances. Employing a variety of clever disguises and dialects, she roamed at will behind Confederate lines collecting valuable intelli- gence. But byApril 1863, Emma was a physical and emotional wreck, exhausted by her complica~ted double life and recurring bouts with malaria. Her decision to disappear also may have been influ- enced by a newspaper article about a female soldier, who committed suicide after her true gender was discovered. The sick spy simply walked away and rented a room in a small Ohio town. When "other's Day is ap- proaching fast .this weekend. As a nurseryman, please allow me to make this observation: Mothers love to garden! A few gift ideas for readers: Mixed plantings of culi- nary herbs. Pick a beautiful ceramic pot or hanging bas- ket. Fill it with good potting Soil and then plant four 4" potted herbs. Pick some that will cascade from the top of the pot. Creeping herbs like thyme, oregano and rosemary can alsobe mixed with popu- lax, upright herbs like parsley, sage and chives. Then tie a bow around the top of the pot A European basket. Start with=a nice woven basket with, a handle. Then place potted flowering herbs and tropi- cal plants inside. Add some packets of flower seed, a hand trowel, and some colorful (and useful) gardening gloves, some ribbon, and a card. Another beautiful homemade gift. A living rose bush. There are some magnificent roses available that bloom all year and require little attention. Look for the "knock-out" series, and "home run." They will add beauty to the land- scape all year long. ,'' Try these tlp or enhanclng your green thumb as spring gets underway. 1. Plant flowers: This is h perfect time for flower- ing annuals and perennials. 9egonias, zinnias, marigolds, moss-roses, purslanes and vinca are all good choices. Perennials might include lan- tanas, salvias, and verbenas. 2. Tendyour ~getahle gsr- den: Water deeply to encourage IT'S ABOUT a deep, drought tolerant root system, especially since 2011 continues to be a year of very little rain Still time to add a few warm season crops: sweet and hot peppers, green beans, okra, eggp]am and black-eyed peas. Fertilize tomatoes. &Mulch: Place around all plants to conserve water and keep the temperature around the plant roots comfortable. Mixing some compost with the mulch will help replace nutrients as the plants grow. 4. Care for roses: Dead- head spring flowering roses to encourage a new flush of flowers. Apply fertilizer to pro- duce new flowers. Watch for powdery mildew, black spot and western flower thrip. Treat with organic sprays: Neem oil and wettable-sulphur. 5. Move houseplants outside: Put them out for a spring breather. Move them slowly toward their new light exposure. Too much sun too fast will bum the leaves. This is also a good time for trans- planting. P, ontrol lmeotm All this new spring growth is attrac- tive to every kind of critter imaginable. Be nice to the environment (and to yourself) and only use organic sprays. If you have larvae (caterpillars) eating holes in your plants and trees, look for products that have B.T. as the main in- gredient. If sucking insects like aphids, spider mites, whitefly, scale, and mealy bugs are the problem, use Neem oil or ratio Ten pounds per 1,000 Spinosad. square feet of turf area should 7. Maintain irrigation: be adequate. if you own an automatic 9. Feed the birds: With lots sprinkler system, it would of new birds in the area, keep save water and money to have those feeders full. it tuned up. Set the controller 10. Growlmail: The top for deep, infrequent watering herb for the summer months to encourage a deep, drought- is basil. With the nights getting resistant root system. Install a warmer, this wonderfulherb rain sensor, should finally have the tem- 8, Fertilize lawn: Use an peratures it needs to take off. organic blend with a 3-1-2 Happy Gardening Everyone! she recovered, Emma left for awhile and returned to the same boardinghouse as herself. Frank Thompson was gone for good. She spent the next few weeks putting her incredible story down on paper. "Nurse and Spy," and "Unsexed: or, The Female Soldier" sold a remarkable 175,000 copies. The author did not take a penny but instead instructed the publisher to donate her royalties to charity. Emma Edmundson mar- ried Linus Seelye, a child- hood friend, and gave birth to two boys and a girl. Two of the children died before the age of seven. Emma resurfaced in the late 1870s to clear her name. Congress granted her a sol- dier's pension of $12 a month on July 5, 1884, and two years later almost to the day dismissed desertion charges against "Frank Thompson." The Seelyes followed their son to Texas in 1893 and bought a small farm across the bay from the San Jacinto battlefield. Four years later, Emma became the first and only female member of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Union veterans organiza- tion. She passed away in 1898 at her home on the main street in La Porte. The old soldier's remains were moved three years later to an honored plot in a Houston cemetery. The inscription on the tombstone reads, "Emma E. Seelye, Army Nurse." Bartee Haile welcomes your comments, questions and sug- gestions at haile@pdq, net or P.O. Box 152, Friendswood, TX 77549. And come on by www. for a visit! ;uda Library ilowing Buds PTA Taylor, DDS Texas Crossword and Sudoku sponsored by e 8 | See Solution, page 4(2 ACROSS 47 .............. Ward, TX 1 Cowboy Tony Rome 48 past popular Ford car take down 50 actress Hart in film 5 horse originally bred "King Creole" with in a desert climate TX Carolyn Jones 6 grass often found on 53 golf ball support TX putting greens 54 dir. from Abilene to Hico t 12 6 i 'i 3 by (.'harley & Guy Orbixon Copyright ~11 by Orbison Bros, 7 TX has 19 giant "1-- theatres 8 actor Beatty in "Streets of Larado" mini-series ('95) 9 TXism: "playful __ _ ----- in clover" 16 OK town on 81 18 TX horse breed 21 M16 is U.S. military version of -15 rifle 22 "L" of past T-X conglomerate LTV 23 TXism for "girl" 24 TXism:" _ _ boardinghouse cat" (overweight) 30 TXism:" her" (pretty woman) 34 former TX rodeo champ Mahan (init.) 35 Michael of TV film "Ruby and Oswald" 36 "IX Red Steagall is a ~cowboy _.__" 37 TX-besed electronics corp, "__ Shack" 39 TX William was writer O. Henry 43 TX cowgid singer & actress Dale 44 TX Hill Country is part of "Edwards 45 TX Lyte Lovett tune: " Big Deal" ('08) 46 "1 smell " 55 Crowell newspaper: "__ County News" 55~9 hoUers at (2 wds.) TX-bom spdnter and pro RB, Matson l ............. 60 news anchor, i='" I Rather 61 dir. from i Baird to Denton ~1 62 __ Fresnos, TX '1 13 DOWN 1 Hemphill is seat of this county 14 2 TX Cindy Garner 15 jokebook: ~How __ __ Like 17 Noodles?" ('91) 3 HemphillCo. seat 19 4 Bryan/College Station TV 90zona h.s. class 10 WR in football, or 20 Austin beauty salon (2 wds.) 11 pecandassert, e.g. 24 (2 wds.) 12 Dr. Pepper is sold 25 in |hess +- II +-F-.,.= -- 11 ++.....+ ............. ........... 29 ...... "+ ............ .................... ++ +++++-,II [i+- , +~ P-1009 TX George W. narrowly beat him in 2000 election cana's county Yo- _-Digo Creek ~ 38 "IX L,Q. Jones film: 39-across wrote =A ~ "Ten Who " __ in Santone" 40 in Boerne:" students who quit Kendall Inn" before graduating 41 TXism: "compadres Carlos __ de 42 considerations in Gortad was Mexico 26 short joumeys designing houses president when 27 "live ..................... live" 49 Art ____ style NAFTA was signed 28 John Comyn is in 61 TX Freddy Fender TX Ivory Joe Hunter the U.S, __ hit: "Youll __ a song: "1 __ 29 TXism: "the bigger Good Thing" ('76) LOSt My Mind" ('50) they __, __ 52 horse morsel state where Emmttt harder they fall" 57 old Oilers kicker: was born (abbr.) 31 "T ___ Texas" _ __ Greoo this Stilwall founded 32 TX Willie sang "__ 58 county & town in Port Arthur (init.~ It R~ M~ in R9 thn Hilt O,~rv See Solution, page 4(2 i i i +