When the Civil War broke out, Sarah Thompson’s husband aligned himself with the Union Army, despite the fact that he lived in Tennessee. He and Sarah spent months organizing Union sympathizers and infiltrating the Confederate ranks in Greeneville. In 1864, her husband, Sylvanius, was ambushed and killed by a Confederate soldier. Sarah wanted revenge and worked laboriously in the Union cause.
Sarah would get through the enemy lines by using the ruse of chasing down her cows that got loose. She would then pass information to the soldiers. After the war Sarah remarried and had children. She received a pension of $12 a month from the government. When she died, she was buried in Arlington cemetary.