Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

27/9/2011

CIVIL WAR SPIES ON BOTH SIDES WORE PETTICOATS – ROSE GREENHOW AND ELIZABETH VAN LEW.

Rose Greenhow and Elizabeth Van Lew were but two of hundreds of women who were employed as spies for the Confederate and Union causes during the War Between the States, but their exploits are noteworthy nonetheless. Rose O’Neal Greenhow had become a leading figure in Washington, D.C. social circles by virtue of a rich, well- known physician husband. In the decade before the war commenced, she was widowed and endured the bitter trial of losing five of her eight children. As the Civil War approached, Greenhow acted on her intense commitment to the Confederate objectives by running an expanding ring of agents. Her considerable social connections and expertise facilitated indiscernible information gathering from politicians and diplomats, and this information was turned over to Confederate General P.G. T. Beauregard and other compatriots. Greenhow procured crucial information in July 1861 regarding Union strategy for the upcoming attack on Manassas, Virginia, and transmitted it to Beauregard via an encrypted communication concealed in the hair of teenage messenger, Bettie Duvall. Confederate President Jefferson Davis later acknowledged the vital contribution Greenhow made to the victory of the Confederate forces at the First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas). for more click here

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