Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Girl Known As "Emily"

In 1863, a 19-year-old girl known only as Emily ran away from home and joined the drum corp of a Michigan regiment. The regiment was sent to Tennessee and, during the struggle for Chatanooga, a minie ball pierced her side. Her wound was fatal and her sex was disclosed. 
     At first she refused to disclose her real name. But, as she lay dying, she consented to dictate a telegram to her father in Brooklyn, NY:

"Forgive your dying daughter. I have but a few moments to live. My native soil drinks my blood. I expected to deliver my country but the fates would not have it so. I am content to die. Pray forgive me. Emily"

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