Espionage During the Civil War
In the 1860s during the war between the states just how many spies were traveling back and forth across the lines. And just how did they accomplish this?
In my time travel romance work-in-progress, my heroine travels back in time into her past life. It seems she was a spy for the Yankees, who posed as a laundress in a Confederate camp to obtain information.
According to The Everything Civil War Book by Donald Vaughan, “Both sides had more than their share of spies–many of whom became both famous and infamous–as well as unique espionage technology.”
Female spies like Belle Boyd, who spied for the Confederacy, used their feminine wiles to obtain information for their side and sometimes fell in love with their informants. http://www.civilwarhome.com/belleboyd.htm
Rose O’Neal Greenhow was a member of Washington society. She sent coded messages to Confederate military leaders on Union plans that were transported by women on horseback. http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/greenhow/
With such risks, why did they do it? Most were just loyal to their respective side’s cause. But those living in enemy territory, if discovered, were thoroughly ostracized. In The Everything Civil War Book , Federal spy and Richmond citizen, Elizabeth Van Lew, who loathed slavery, was quoted as saying after the war ended, “No one will walk with us in the street. No one will go with us anywhere, and it grows worse and worse as the years roll on.” http://www.civilwarhome.com/vanlewbio.htm http://www.civilwarhome.com/crazybet.htm http://www.nps.gov/malw/vanlew.htm
Sources: The Everything Civil War Book by Donald Vaughan, 2000, F & W Publications, Inc. ISBN 1-58062-366-2
More Civil War Curiosities by Webb Garrison, 1995, Rutledge Hill Press ISBN 1-55853-366-4