Sarah’s mother conspired to help Sarah run away in order to avoid a marriage her father was forcing upon her. She went with her mother’s friend to work selling hats in another town. She then moved to Moncton, New Brunswick.
For some reason she decided to disappear – it’s believed her father found her in Moncton. She disguised herself as a man named Frank Thompson, moved to St Johns NB and began selling books door-to-door.
After visiting her publisher in the USA she chose to move to Flint Michigan and sell books there.
Tried to enlist twice before getting accepted into the Army. May 26, 1861 she became Private Frank Thompson
Needing care for Malaria, she chose to admit herself as a woman to a private hospital. On her way back to her station she discovered she had been listed as a deserter and chose not to go back. Some believe she left because an officer with whom she had a romantic involvement returned to his wife, but there is no proof.
Thompson moved to Oberlin Ohio and became Sarah Emma Edmonds again.