Born in 1841, Sarah Emma , was known by her middle name, Emma. She ran away from home and enlisted in the Union Army. She was one of about 400 women who enlisted but in Emma's case she enlisted as a man. Emma spied for the Union Army until she conttracted malaria. Fearing her secret identy would be uncovered, she checked herself inot a private hospital as Sarah Emma. Her intent was to retun to service when she was well, by that time she was listed as a deserter. As Emma, she served out the remainder of the war as a nurse in Washington, D.C.