In the year of 1862, after Emily read an essay by literary critic and abolitionist Thomas Wentworth Higgins in "The Atlantic Monthly", Emily wrote to him asking to review her poetry:
The two strike up a correspondence that lasts for years. In 1864, his encouragement lead her to consider publishing. Her poems appeared in "Drum Beat" to raise money for Union soldiers' medical expenses. Emily also published poems in the Brooklyn Daily Union.