Pauline Cushman, Sarah Emma Edmonds, Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth Van Lew, Mary Edwards Walker, Mary Elizabeth Bowser and more: here are some of the many women who spied during the American Civil War, helping the cause of the Union and the North with their information.
An actress, Cushman got her start as a Union spy when she was offered money to toast Jefferson Davis. Later caught with incriminating papers, she was saved just three days before her hanging.
Sarah Emma Edmonds:
She disguised herself as a man to serve in the Union Army, and sometimes "disguised" herself as a woman -- or as a black man -- to spy on the Confederate troops. After her identity was exposed, she served as a nurse with the Union.
Better known for her 19-20 trips into the South to free slaves, Tubman also served with the Union Army in South Carolina, organizing a spy network and even leading raids and spy expeditions.
Elizabeth Van Lew:
An abolitionist living in Richmond, she helped bring food and clothing to Union prisoners and smuggled out information. She also placed a spy in the home of Jefferson Davis.
Mary Edwards Walker:
Known for her unconventional dress - she often wore trousers and a man's coat - this pioneer physician worked for the Union Army as a nurse and spy while she waited for an official commission as a surgeon.
Mary Elizabeth Bowser:
She served as a maid in the Confederate White House -- and, ignored while important conversations were held, she passed along important information from those conversations and from papers she found.
More: Other women who spied for the Union include Sarah Thompson.
Women's history biographies, by name: