Confederate Nurse and Spy

North Carolina native Emeline Pigott offered her services to the Confederate Army as a spy. Single and 25 years old, Pigott hosted parties for local Union soldiers and gathered information about their plans. In the folds of her voluminous skirts she hid important papers and other contraband, which she later passed on to the local Rebels - until 1865, when she was arrested and jailed.

Image: Emeline Pigott and her home

Emeline Pigott was born in …Read More...

Confederate Spy in Virginia

Known as a local beauty, Virginian Laura Ratcliffe saved the life of the Grey Ghost, Colonel John Singleton Mosby, in 1863. Among her many admirers was the famous cavalry general J.E.B. Stuart. She was also the sixth cousin of General Robert E. Lee. As a Confederate spy, Ratcliffe is a prime example of the brave women on both sides of the conflict who put themselves at risk to help their cause.

Laura Ratcliffe was born May …Read More...

Sisters Who Spied for the Confederacy

Image: Lottie and Ginnie Moon

Born Charlotte and Virginia, the Moon sisters were from Virginia, the daughters of a doctor. In the 1830s, the family moved to Oxford, Ohio, in the southwestern corner of the state. One of Lottie's suitors was a young man from nearby Indiana named Ambrose Burnside, and sources say that she jilted him at the altar. She finally settled down with Jim Clark, who soon became a judge.

After Dr. …Read More...

Union Spy in the Confederate Capital

Elizabeth Van Lew, a well-to-do resident of Richmond, Virginia, recruited and operated an extensive network of spies who gathered intelligence for the Union in the shadow of the Confederate White House. Van Lew was also an Angel of Mercy for the Union soldiers who were being held at Libby Prison near her home. Her gifts of food and clothing meant the difference between life and death for many inmates there.

Early Years
Elizabeth …Read More...

African American Spy During the Civil War

Mary Elizabeth Bowser was a freed slave who worked with Elizabeth Van Lew as a Union spy in Richmond, Virginia during the Civil War. Van Lew sent Bowser to the Quaker School for Negroes in Philadelphia in the late 1850s. After graduating, she returned to Richmond, where

Early Years
Mary Elizabeth Bowser was born a slave on the plantation of John Van Lew, a wealthy hardware merchant in Richmond, Virginia. The …Read More...