One of these Victorians in disguise was Captain Nathaniel Lyon. While stationed in Saint Louis, he decided he wanted a close look at a Southern military camp nearby. The veteran army officer became “Old Mrs. Alexander”. He played “a society matron who liked to wear bombazine and a heavy black veil.” Lyon borrowed clothing from the mother-in-law of Representative Francis P. Blair, Jr., to pose as a woman of wealth.
He dressed in an elaborate dress and bonnet and used a carriage with a black driver. Mrs. Alexander was well known for being eccentric, so Lyon was able to take a leisurely tour through the Confederate camp.
From More Civil War Curiosities by Webb Garrison