Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War
Karen Abbott, the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City and “pioneer of sizzle history” (USA Today), tells the spellbinding true story of four women who risked everything to become spies during the Civil War.
Karen Abbott illuminates one of the most fascinating yet little known aspects of the Civil War: the stories of four courageous women—a socialite, a farmgirl, an abolitionist, and a widow—who were spies.
After shooting a Union soldier in her front hall with a pocket pistol, Belle Boyd became a courier and spy for the Confederate army, using her charms to seduce men on both sides. Emma Edmonds cut off her hair and assumed the identity of a man to enlist as a Union private, witnessing the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. The beautiful widow, Rose O’Neale Greenhow, engaged in affairs with powerful Northern politicians to gather intelligence for the Confederacy, and used her young daughter to send information to Southern generals. Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy Richmond abolitionist, hid behind her proper Southern manners as she orchestrated a far-reaching espionage ring, right under the noses of suspicious rebel detectives.
Using a wealth of primary source material and interviews with the spies’ descendants, Abbott seamlessly weaves the adventures of these four heroines throughout the tumultuous years of the war. With a cast of real-life characters including Walt Whitman, Nathaniel Hawthorne, General Stonewall Jackson, detective Allan Pinkerton, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and Emperor Napoleon III, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy draws you into the war as these daring women lived it.
Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy contains 39 black & photos and 3 maps.
Pickets; she, like Belle Boyd, had heard of “Yankee outrages” against women. For safety’s sake Bettie stopped for the night at Sharon, a plantation owned by a family friend just west of the village of Langley. In the morning she shed her calico dress for a riding habit, abandoned the cart, and borrowed a saddle horse. She cantered off, passing abandoned wood houses and weathered ox fences, reaching a Confederate outpost near Vienna. The provost marshal brought her to Beauregard’s top aide,.
Cementing her status as a Confederate martyr and heroine. She would leave Washington only on her own terms, and Little Rose would have to stay strong until Federal officials acquiesced. “This is my home,” she said. “I have been taken from my home and carried to a prison, to be insulted and subjected to a treatment of the most outrageous kind. Every association of my home has been broken up and destroyed. If the government deigns to send me across the lines as an exile, I have no alternative but.
Heard it. It seemed like my heart was ready to jump out as if I could put my finger down and touch it. I’ve seen men, when she was singing, walk off to one side and pull out their handkerchiefs and wipe their eyes, for fear someone would see them doing the baby act.” Her intentional emphasis of the words “Northern scum” further enflamed emotions, once prompting a sentry to yell, “Hush up!” “I shan’t do it!” Belle retorted. Picking up a broom, she repeated the offending line and swept at the.
Prison, as she was still enjoying the company of Lieutenant Clifford McVay, who had taken to writing amorous notes on tissue paper, wrapping them around marbles, and rolling them across the floor. She let the notes disappear beneath her skirts, keeping her eyes on his as she retrieved them, and mouthed each word as she read it. He seemed close to proposing marriage, and she was confident enough that if she refused him twice, as per Southern custom, he would persist for the third and final time.
Assisted in some towns by companies of farmers, equipped and paid by the government. One elderly local patriot who stalked rebel guerrillas wore a shirt made from a Union flag, but on account of his advanced age the Confederates left him alone. Quietly Emma rode on, but by two in the morning her horse showed signs of giving out; neither she nor Frank had eaten in nearly twenty-four hours. She approached a farmhouse and with numb hands rapped on the door. No answer. After hitching her horse under.