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Women Spies of the Civil War

Women played many roles in the Civil War. One of them: spying for the Union or the Confederacy. Assumptions about women's docility made it easier for some women to dare to spy and get away with it -- at least for a while.
  1. Harriet Tubman
  2. Women and the Civil War
  3. Women & War: Spies

Female Spies of the Confederacy
Belle Boyd, Antonia Forc, Rose O'Neal Greenhow, Nancy Hart, Laura Ratcliffe, Loreta Janeta Velazquez and more: here are some women who spied during the American Civil War, passing information to the Confederacy. Some were captured and imprisoned, some escaped detection.

Female Spies of the Union
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.

Belle Boyd
A profile of Belle Boyd, Confederate spy.

Antonia Ford
Biography of Antonia Ford, accused Conferederate spy during the American Civil War.

Nancy Hart
Nancy Hart biography - profile of Nancy Hart, Civil War spy.

Elizabeth Van Lew Picture
Elizabeth Van Lew, Civil War spy, is shown bringing food to a Union prisoner.

Laura Ratcliffe
A profile of Laura Ratcliffe, Confederate spy in the American Civil War.

Harriet Tubman - Moses of Her People
A four-part in-depth biography of Harriet Tubman, highlighting the four phases of her life: her life in slavery, her years as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, her service in the U.S. Civil War, and her later years working for reform and telling her story.

Loreta Velazquez
A profile of Loreta Velazquez, known as a spy in the American Civil War.

A Nurse's Perspective on the Civil War
Sarah Emma Edmonds was a Civil War nurse, soldier (disguised as Frank Thompson), and spy. In this excerpt from her memoir, she recounts her experiences at the Battle of Bull Run (also known as First Manassas), July 21, 1861, the events leading up to the battle and her exploits after the battle, returning to Washington, DC.

Sarah E. Thompson Papers, 1859-1898
Union sympathizer; after a Confederate soldier killer her husband, worked actively for the Union, as a spy and a nurse.

Rose O'Neal Greenhow
A popular society hostess in Washington, DC, Rose O'Neal Greenhow used her contacts to gain information to pass to the Confederacy. Imprisoned for a time for her espionage, she published her memoirs in England.

Elizabeth Van Lew
Elizabeth Van Lew biography: About Elizabeth Van Lew, who spied for the Union during the American Civil War.

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