John Deitz, a soldier who served alongside Sarah Emma Edmonds Seelye during the Civil War, wrote this letter to Representative Byron Cutcheon
in support of her quest for a veterans pension. Under the alias Franklin Thompson, Seelye fought with the Second Michigan Infantry until she fell ill and deserted her post in 1863, fearing that medical treatment would reveal she was a woman. Nearly 20 years later, she applied for the back pay and volunteer bounty—or enlistment bonus—that she never received for her service, in addition to seeking a pension. Grateful for Sarah’s dedication to the Union as a soldier and a nurse, the House voted on March 28, 1884, to grant her a pension of $12 per month. “I can certify that his association his conduct and conversation with us was a credit to him either male or female,” Deitz wrote.