Confederate Women Spies

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Women Spies for the South

Although the exact number is unknown, it is speculated that several hundred women served as spies and smugglers for the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Whatever their duties, these new jobs redefined their traditional roles as housewives and mothers and made them an important part of the war effort. Confederate military leaders actively recruited [Read More ...]

Civil War Women Spies for the North

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Women Spies for the Union

Image: Illustration of Sarah Emma Edmonds on horseback dodging a bullet fired by a southern woman.

American society was still quite Victorian in many ways during the 1860s. Therefore, women spies were not as likely to be roughly interrogated or hanged when their true identity was discovered. These heroines exhibited great courage and were willing [Read More ...]

Civil War Women Spies for the South

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Female Confederate Spies

Washington, DC was an ideal place for Confederate operatives to gather information against the North. Not only was it adjacent to slave-holding states, it was full of Southern sympathizers, many of whom were members of Congress or held other government positions, which gave them easy access to valuable intelligence. Confederate recruiters only had to find the men [Read More ...]

Kate Warne

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Union Spy and First Female Private Investigator

The person in this Civil War era photo is believed to be Kate Warne. It was cropped from a larger photo of Allan Pinkerton and his operatives during the War. This is the only person in that photo without facial hair, and the figure also appears feminine.

Kate Warne was born in 1833 [Read More ...]

Olivia Floyd

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Confederate Spy and Messenger

Image: Olivia Floyd Marker

One of the more fascinating figures during the Civil War was Miss Olivia Floyd. She lived at a plantation house known as Rose Hill in Charles County, Maryland. Rose Hill was built in 1730, and was the former home of Dr. Gustavus Richard Brown, a physician to George Washington. In later years, [Read More ...]