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Women At War

Original Link: http://www.gendergap.com/military/usmil3.htm

Civil War (1861-1865)


To the extent that the abolition of slavery was a cause of the Civil War, women’s participation in the abolitionist movement can be viewed as a major factor in the nation going to war. As early as the 1830s women were committed to the effort to abolish slavery. Lydia Maria Child, Lucretia Mott, Angelina and Sarah Grimke, Maria Chapman and Prudence Crandell were among the earliest abolitionists. By the time slavery was abolished in 1865 they had been joined by thousands of other women.

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was influential in gaining public support for abolition in the North and in convincing the South that their way of life was under attack. Anna Dickinson was offered five figure speaking fees by the Republican Party to unify Northern sentiment for the war. Anna Carroll’s writing was valuable in promoting the Union’s political cause.

Many Northern women used the organizational skills and political experience they gained through their participation in the abolition movement to create massive war time organizations such as the U.S. Sanitary Commission. Others cited the moral justice of the anti-slavery cause in stepping outside the bounds of conventional "ladylike" behavior to nurse the wounded on battlefields, gather intelligence or fight with the armies disguised as men.

Medical and Supply

Nurses

On June 10, 1861, less than 2 months after the War Between the States began, the Secretary of War appointed Dorothea Dix as Superintendent of Women Nurses for the Union Army with authority to "select and assign women nurses to general or permanent military hospitals, they not to be employed in such hospitals without her sanction and approval except in cases of urgent need."

On Aug. 3, 1861 the Congress authorized the Surgeon General to employ female nurses at a salary of $12 per month plus one daily ration. Before the war’s end an estimated 6,000 women had served as nurses for the Union army, some on the army’s payroll others provided by the United States Sanitary Commission or other volunteer agencies such as the Christian Commission.

On December 26, 1862 the Navy's first hospital ship, Red Rover was commissioned under the command of Acting Master William R. Wells, USN. Assistant Surgeon Rixby led her 30 member medical team which included three Sisters of the Order of the Holy Cross. The nuns were later joined by a fourth member of their religious order. They were assisted by volunteer lay nurses' aides, whose work was coordinated by the Western Sanitation Commission, which donated more than $3,000 worth of equipment to the ship. By war's end more than 640 Roman Catholic nuns from 20 different communities nursed both Union and Confederate soldiers.

At the outset of the Civil War, Doctors Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell formed the Women’s Central Relief Committee to train nurses for the battlefields. The WCRC participated in forming the U.S. Sanitary Commission and networked through it during the war.

Mary Ann ("Mother") Bickerdyke, a 44 year old widow with two young sons, began nursing Union troops at Cairo, Illinois in June 1861. Although none of the soldiers at Cairo had yet been in battle they were "dying like flies of dysentery, pneumonia and typhoid" according to Army surgeon Benjamin Woodward who was assigned to care for them. The following November the Cairo troops fought under General Grant at Belmont Missouri and about 200 wounded soldiers returned to Cairo to find Mother Bickerdyke and Mary Safford waiting at the dock to accompany them to Army's hastily erected tent hospital. After Mother Bickerdyke went to General Grant to plead for more adequate shelter for the wounded soldiers the Army commandeered a Cairo hotel and the General appointed her hospital matron. She stayed long enough to insure the hospital was meeting the soldiers' needs then left to nurse the wounded troops on the hospital ship City of Memphis. While caring for the wounded from Shiloh at the military hospital in Savannah, Mother Bickerdyke became an agent of the Sanitary Commission at a salary of $50 per year. She cared for the wounded of 19 major battles and in several instances personally searched the battlefield to insure that all the casualties had been removed to safety. She was with Sherman's army at Beaufort, North Carolina when Lee surrendered. After the war she sponsored a homestead project in Kansas for Union veterans, spent four years campaigning for slum clearance in New York City and fought for veterans' pensions in Washington DC.

Mary Safford, known as the "Angel of Cairo", was a teenager when Mother Bickerdyke discovered her reading the Bible to the ill soldiers in her home town. She began to help Mother feed and nurse the troops and continued as a Civil War nurse until her health collapsed. Years later she became a doctor.

Sally Tompkins turned her home in Richmond Virginia into a hospital and was made a captain in the Confederate army so she could continue her work when all private hospitals were closed. Over a 4 year period she treated 1,333 wounded and sick soldiers and saved all but 73 of them.

Sallie Law opened a hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. After the city was captured by Union troops she loaded medical supplies and drugs she had purchased onto a wagon and delivered them to battlefields throughout the South.

Ella Newsom set up field hospitals on numerous battlefields and was called the "Florence Nightingale of the South".

Susie Baker was born a slave in 1848 and gained her freedom in April 1862. At age 14 she was appointed laundress of the 33rd U.S. Colored Troops stationed on Port Royal Island, South Carolina. Because her grandmother had taught her basic nursing skills and secretly arranged for her to learn to read and write, Susie Baker taught and nursed the African American troops in addition to cooking and doing laundry. In turn the men taught her to clean, load and fire a musket, which she said was "great fun". She married Sergeant Edward King and they remained with the regiment until mustered out in February 1866. After the war she helped to organize a branch of the Woman's Relief Corps and wrote her memoirs (Susie King Taylor, A Black Woman's Civil War Memoirs: Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33rd U. S. Colored Troops, Late 1st South Carolina Volunteers, Markus Weiner Publishing, New York, 1988).

Bridget Divers served with the 1st Michigan Cavalry, riding with and nursing the regiment on the battlefield. After one raid, during which the captain was killed and the unit pushed back, Bridget rode behind Confederate lines to retrieve his body. She obtained a coffin and insured his remains were returned to his family. After the war she remained with the army and went west with a frontier detachment. She also served as an unofficial oral historian for the U.S. Christian Commission providing information about the 1st Michigan Cavalry .

Lorinda Anna Blair married James Etheridge in 1860 and followed him when he joined the 2nd Michigan Infantry Regiment. Although James quickly deserted the army, his young wife Annie Etheridge transferred to the the 3rd Michigan and later to the 5th Michigan where she remained for the duration of the war. She was on the battlefield nursing her wounded comrades at some of the bloodiest battles of the war including both engagements at Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Spotsylvania. Surviving letters from two different soldiers wrote of Annie "binding the wounds of a man when a shell exploded nearby, tearing him terribly and removing a large portion of the skirt of her dress" and "in the very frontof the battle dressing wounds and aiding the suffering where few surgeons dared show themselves". In September 1864 when General Grant ordered the removal of all women from Union army camps in Virginia a large number of officers including the corps commander signed a petition asking Grant to allow Annie to stay with her regiment. Grant refused and Annie spent a few months nursing in a Union army hospital and on board a hospital transport ship but was back with the 5th Michigan when the unit mustered out on July 17, 1865. After the war she worked as a clerk in the U.S. Pension Office. In 1886 the U.S. Senate granted her a pension of $25 per month for her wartime service. She died in 1913 and received a veteran's burial in Arlington National Cemetery.

Dr. Mary Edwards Walker was appointed a contract surgeon to the Union army in 1863. She was captured and held as a prisoner of war. Because of her heroism on the battlefield and her work in caring for other prisoners she was the only woman ever awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Her medal was revoked in 1917 when a commission decided that the Medal of Honor could only be awarded for combat. The medal was restored to her posthumously in 1976. Dr. Walker was one of three women surgeons known to have been appointed to the Union Army.

Clara Barton, who was born and educated in Oxford, Massachusetts, was working as a clerk in the Patent Office in Washington, DC when the Civil War began. She heard that the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment on its march south had been attacked by secessionists in Baltimore and 40 injured soldiers had been taken to the Washington Infirmary. Within hours Clara arrived with bandages, linen, clothing and food. The next day she delivered supplies to the main body of the regiment which was quartered in the Senate Chamber. It was the first act of war relief recorded in the Civil War and the beginning of Clara Barton's lifelong struggle to help those ravaged by war or nature.

During the Civil War she nursed the wounded on the battlefield and created her own supply system leading mule trains carrying food and medical supplies to the front. After the war she worked to trace missing soldiers and mark the graves of the 13,000 Union troops who died in the Confederate prison at Andersonville. On March 11, 1865, one week before he was assassinated, President Lincoln made her job official and Clara Barton became the first woman to temporarily head a department of the US government.

After her work identifying missing soldiers was completed Clara's friends and family insisted she go to Europe for a rest cure but she soon resumed her work on the battlefield during the Franco-Prussian war which began in 1870. She returned home in 1873 to advocate that the United States join the International Red Cross. Nine years later President Chester Arthur signed the membership treaty. Soon afterward Clara Barton was named president and treasurer of the American Red Cross.

But Clara's days as a battlefield nurse were not over. In 1898 she was in Cuba when the battleship Maine was blown up and the Spanish American war began. Although she was then 77 years old she immediately traveled to the front in an army wagon crammed with supplies to nurse the more than 800 wounded soldiers in the field hospital east of Santiago. She stayed five weeks before her friends, Red Cross officials and the US military could convince her to return to Washington.

United States Sanitary Commission

On June 9, 1861 President Lincoln authorized the United States Sanitary Commission, "To inquire into the recruiting services in the various States and by advice to bring them to a common standard; second, to inquire into the subjects of diet, clothing, cooks, camping grounds, in fact everything connected with the prevention of disease among volunteer soldiers not accustomed to the rigid regulations of the regular troops; and third, to discover methods by which private and unofficial interest and money might supplement the appropriations of the Government."

The U.S. Sanitary Commission started as a group of women’s associations in New York City who joined together to form the Women’s Central Association for Relief. The idea of a central agency to provide relief services, nurses and supplies was inspired by the British Sanitary Commission’s activities during the Crimean War.

Although the founders as well as the vast majority of funders and volunteers of the USSC were women the social and political customs of the time required the organization be headed by men. The Reverend Dr. Henry Bellows, a Unitarian clergyman, was named President of the Commission and Fredrick Law Olmstead was General Secretary.

The organization grew quickly and soon had branches in Washington, D.C., New York, Boston, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Louisville, Chicago, and Detroit. The USSC served as a central relief "hub" for more than 7,000 local and regional aid societies. By the end of the war it had raised and spent more than $30 million much of it by staging Sanitary Fairs throughout the Union.

The USSC distributed tons of food and medical supplies; assisted indigent military dependents and veterans; created relief societies to meet the needs of refugees and displaced persons; inspected military and civilian hospitals; set-up, stocked and staffed hospital kitchens; evacuated wounded and sick soldiers from the battlefields; purchased and ran hospital ships; recruited thousands of nurses; and maintained hospital registration lists.

There was some criticism both during and after the war over the fact that almost all of the women associated with the USSC were volunteers and those female nurses who were paid received 40 cents per day while most of the male medical inspectors, relief agents, clerks and drivers were on salary at an average rate of $2.00 per day. Mr. Olmstead defended the salaries paid to men by stating that they could make more money working in the civilian sector.

There was also controversy over some of the local and in a few cases regional organizations associated with the Sanitary Commission which were in fact nothing more than all-male coalitions of war profiteers who used their affiliation with the USSC to obtain lucrative government contracts.

Annie Wittenmyer, who formed one of the first women’s aid societies in April 1861 and was formally appointed Relief Director for Iowa, worked with the Western Sanitary Commission based in St. Louis. She converted a Mississippi River steamboat into a hospital ship and first came under fire at Vicksburg.

In 1864, while she was nursing the troops, the all-male Iowa Sanitary Commission succeeded in getting a bill introduced in the state legislature to repeal the law which authorized the appointment of women Sanitary Commissioners and revoke the contracts they had with the state. They charged that Wittenmyer and the other women wasted supplies and were "by the nature endowed on them by the Creator unfitted to the position".

The bill was defeated and Wittenmyer’s outstanding record praised but disgusted by the waste of time and energy needed to clear her name and the continued political infighting Wittenmyer resigned and obtained private funding to continue her work. She set up kitchens in Nashville and other southern cities occupied by Union troops and provided the soldiers with healthy alternatives to the often rotten, wormy food provided by corrupt Army contractors. Her dietary plan was later adopted as a model by the Quartermaster Corps. After the war she was largely responsible for conducting the successful lobbying campaign that resulted in some Civil War nurses being awarded pensions.

Other regional Sanitary Commissions functioned with varying degrees of coordination with the USSC. Jane Hoge directed the efforts of the Northwestern Sanitary Commission which served as a central organizing body for more than 3,000 local aid societies.

Mary Livermore was named head of the Sanitary Commission in the Midwest in 1862. She was responsible for hospitals in Illinois, Kentucky and part of Missouri. She raised tens of thousands of dollars and provided soldiers with food, medicine, surgical dressings and prosthetic devices. Her contract administration was typical of that employed by the women Sanitary Commissioners who maximized the benefit of the money spent by employing the indigent wives and widows of soldiers in the manufacture, collection and distribution of the materials.

The Western Sanitary Commission was organized in St. Louis on Sept. 10, 1861 by Special Order No. 159 of General John C. Fremont at the urging of his wife Jessie. The WSC converted the City of Louisiana into a hospital ship and used it to transport wounded troops from Shiloh. Members regularly visited all hospitals in the vicinity of St. Louis and assessed the needs and care of wounded and sick soldiers. The commission established hospital kitchens; produced thousands of hospital garments, bandages and dressings; employed 200 indigent families of Union soldiers; organized several relief societies for refugees and freed slaves; and assisted with the St. Louis Sanitary Fair. Adaline Couzins, a WSC volunteer, suffered severe frostbite while working in the field in 1862 and was later wounded during the siege of Vicksburg. Margaret Breckinridge died of heat stroke and exhaustion in 1864 while serving aboard a WSC hospital ship.

Christian Commission

The Christian Commission was an independent aid society which utilized hundreds of women volunteers. In addition to distributing food and medical supplies and providing nurses the Christian Commission also provided chaplains, bibles and religious publications. By the end of the war the Christian Commission had raised and distributed more than $4 million dollars worth of supplies.

Women’s organizations also raised the money to commission ships like the Red Rover and Daniel which were used by the Union Navy.

Women's Relief Society of the Confederate States

In the South Mrs. Felicia Grundy Porter of Nashville, Tennessee, was president of the Women’s Relief Society of the Confederate States. Although the Confederate Women’s relief societies never achieved the size or the wealth of the USSC they also recruited nurses; supplied food and medicine to the armies; cared for indigent soldier’s families and the widows and children of those killed in battle and purchased artificial limbs for disabled Confederate veterans.

Women Soldiers

It’s not known how many women fought on both sides of the War Between the States. Mary Livermore, who was an active participant in the war through her work with the Sanitary Commission estimated that more than 400 women disguised themselves as men and fought as Union soldiers and at least 60 were killed or wounded. Matilda Joslyn Gage, a 19th century historian, documented the service records of dozens of women soldiers who dressed as men.

Frank Moore’s Women of the War, which was published one year after the Civil War ended, stated that hundreds of soldier’s graves marked unknown were "those of women obliged by army regulations to fight in disguise". The U.S. Department of Defense estimates the casualty rate in the Civil War at 16.46%, which combined with Moore’s statement that "hundreds" of women soldiers were casualties would imply that thousands actually fought in disguise.

The Union

Mary Hancock, a school teacher and abolitionist, fought with an Illinois regiment ... Anny Lillibridge fought with the 21st Michigan until she she was disabled by a bullet wound in her arm ... Mary Ellen Wise fought with the 34th Regiment Indiana Volunteers and was wounded in action at Lookout Mountain in Tennessee ... Frances Clayton (or Clalin) fought with a Minnesota regiment and was wounded during a bayonet charge at the battle of Stones River in December 1862 ... Mary Dennis fought in a number of Civil War battles as a member of the 1st Minnesota Regiment, Stillwater Company ... Mary Jenkins, using the alias John Jenkins, served with the 9th Pennsylvania Infantry Company K, for about 2 years and may have been wounded ... Mary Walters was seriously wounded at Antietam while serving with the 10th Michigan Infantry ... Mary Siezgle fought at Gettysburg with the 44th New York Infantry.

Frances Hook served with the 90th Illinois Infantry under the name Frank Miller. She was captured by Confederate forces and shot in the leg during an escape attempt. While being treated for the bullet wound her gender was discovered and she was was sent to Nashville where in February 1864 she was turned over to the Union army. She was treated in a military hospital until she recovered and then sent home

Sarah Wakeman, who disguised herself as a man and worked as a canal boatman before the war, served in company H of the 153rd New York State Volunteers from August 30, 1862 to June 1864. Private Lyons Wakeman, as Sarah was known, spent much of her enlistment guarding the Old Capitol Prison and other installations in Washington, D.C.. In February 1864 her unit was sent to Louisiana where she fought at Pleasant Hill. On May 3rd she fell ill and was admitted to the regimental hospital, later in the month she was transferred to a military hospital in New Orleans where she died on June 19th. She was buried, as Lyons Wakeman, with full military honors in Chalmette National Cemetery.

Kady (aka Kate) Brownell served as a markswoman with the 1st Rhode Island Infantry Volunteers during the Civil War. She fought openly as a woman in several battles alongside her husband Robert and guarded her unit's flag during the first battle of Bull Run. In August 1861 the 1st Rhode Island disbanded and the Brownells each received a regular army discharge. They reenlisted in the 5th Rhode Island Infantry the following October. Although Kady was ordered to remain at the rear during engagements some contemporary accounts place her on the battlefield at New Bern, North Carolina where Robert was wounded. The Brownell's were transferred to New York where Robert spent several months recuperating in the Soldier's Relief Hospital. They were both discharged in the winter of 1863. In 1884 Kady Brownell was granted a veteran's pension of $8 per month. A surviving photograph taken during her service with the 1st Rhode Island, shows her armed with a sword and wearing a knee length dress over pants.

Jennie Hodges, an Irish immigrant, was living and working in Illinois as Albert D.J. Cashier for several years before the war. She continued to disguise herself as Cashier when she joined the 95th Illinois Infantry Volunteers in August 1862. In June 1863 she became ill and was hospitalized but somehow managed to conceal her gender. Albert Cashier was honorably discharged in August 1865 after taking part in Grant's campaign in northern Mississippi including the siege of Vicksburg and raids in Tennessee. After the war Jennie returned to Illinois and continued her male identity. In the 1890's Albert Cashier received a veteran's pension and joined the Grand Army of the Republic. In 1911 Hodges broke her leg and her gender was discovered. She was admitted to the Soldiers and Sailors Home and in March 1913 the state of Illinois declared her insane largely because she had lived for more than 50 years as a man. The following year she was transferred to the Hospital for the Insane in Watertown where she was forced to wear women's clothing. When she died in October 1915, she was buried with full military honors wearing her soldier's uniform .

Sarah Edmonds, a Canadian, joined the 2nd Michigan Infantry Volunteers' Company F on May 25, 1861 disguising herself as Franklin Thompson. Private Thompson remained with the unit for 23 months during which "he" took part in the battles of First Bull Run, Blackburn’s Ford, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks and Fredericksburg. In April 1863, while stationed at Lebanon, Kentucky, Franklin Thompson applied for a leave which was denied. He deserted and two months later Miss Sarah Edmonds became a nurse for the U.S. Christian Commission. After the war Edmonds returned to New Brunswick married, had three children who died in infancy and adopted two boys. In 1884 Edmonds told the Pension Bureau inquiring into her military service that she left the 2nd Michigan because she was ill and realized that her gender would be discovered once she was denied a leave to seek outside medical care. Many of her former comrades attested to her valuable service as a soldier and in July 1884 a special act of Congress recognized Franklin Thompson's military service, deleted the charge of desertion from "his" record and granted Edmonds a veteran's pension of $12 per month. In 1897 she became the first woman regular in the Houston chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic, the most important Civil War veteran's organization. She died in September 1898 and was buried with full military honors.

Mary Ann Cary was appointed an official recruiter of African American troops by the Governor of Indiana ... Harriet Tubman, a former slave and well known "conductor" for the Underground Railroad made repeated trips into the Confederacy to lead her people to freedom. In March 1862, Major General David Hunter, commander of the Union's Department of the South, headquartered in Beauford, Souht Carolina enlisted Tubman as a federal espionage agent. She served as a soldier and guide for the Union Army taking part in a number of raids including one on June 2, 1863 where she commanded three Union gunboats on a mission up the Tennessee River which destroyed a critical bridge, gathered intelligence about the strength of the Confederate forces and rescued 756 slaves. After the war the government refused to recognize her service and denied her a military pension although she received $8 a month (later raised to $20) as the widow of a Union veteran.

The Confederacy

Fredericksburg, Virginia erected a monument to Lucy Ann Cox who followed her husband into the 13th Virginia's Company A and remained in the field with the regiment until the surrender at Appomattox ... Rose Quinn Rooney served with the 15th Louisiana's Company K from June 1861 until the end of the war. There are reports of her on the field under fire at First Bull Run and Gettysburg. When some of the men in her regiment were briefly imprisoned after Appomattox she insisted on joining them. After the war she became the matron of a soldier's home in New Orleans ... Loretta Velasquez disguised herself as Lt. Harry Buford and fought at First Bull Run. According to her postwar memoir The Woman in Battle she also served as a Confederate spy and smuggler ... Mary Henry and Mary Wright were among several Confederate soldiers captured in the act of destroying bridges around Nashville ... Cousins Mary (Tom Parker) and Molly (Bob Martin) Bell served for more than two years under the command of General Jubal Early and were both promoted. When their gender was discovered they were briefly imprisoned at Castle Thunder in Richmond before being sent home to their family.

Nancy Hart of West Virginia, named for the Revolutionary War heroine, served as a Confederate scout and led cavalry raids on Union outposts near her home. The Federal government put a price on her head and she was captured in June 1862 at Summersville. She shot her guard and escaped but returned several days later with the Confederate cavalry who took the Union soldiers prisoner.

Nancy Slaughter Walker fought with William Clarke Quantrill’s guerrillas during the Civil War and joined them in their infamous raids in Indian territory and Texas after the defeat of the Confederacy ... Malinda Blalock joined company F of the 26th North Carolina regiment posing as her husband Keith’s younger brother Sam, they fought together for about a month, before he was discharged due to illness and she revealed her identity in order to accompany him home...Lila Greet of Alabama worked with a demolition team to blow up bridges over the Tennessee River and prevent supplies from reaching the Union army ... Mrs. William Kirby of Louisiana, a blockade runner, was captured trying to smuggle rifles to Confederate troops and was imprisoned on Ship Island, off the Mississippi coast, where she died.

Amy (some sources call her Anna) Clark enlisted in her husband Walter’s Louisiana cavalry troop disguised as Richard Anderson. They fought together at Shiloh and when he was killed she left the cavalry and enlisted in an infantry unit, the 11th Tennessee. She was wounded and taken prisoner in a battle near Richmond Virginia and sent home when her captors discovered she was a woman.

Female Spies

The Union

Pauline Cushman, an actress, was given the honorary rank of major for her intelligence gathering and sabotage behind enemy lines in Tennessee. Although little is known of the specifics of her work she was arrested at Shelbyville Tennesse in 1863 and was brutally interrogated and ordered hung by Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. She escaped becoming the only female Civil War spy to be executed by the timely arrival of Union troops ... Mary Jane Green of West Virginia and Mary Caroline Allan of Richmond were both Union spies living in the South who were arrested and jailed for their activities.

Elizabeth Van Lew, of Richmond Virginia, who had participated in the Underground Railroad before the war, helped Union prisoners escape from the infamous Libby Prison. She also set up her own spy ring, at one point sending Mary Elizabeth Bowser, a freed family slave, to work as a domestic in Jefferson Davis’s official residence. Bowser obtained valuable information from dispatches which were left open on desks under the assumption that African Americans could not read. She passed the information on to Ms. Van Lew who used a signaling system she had developed to alert Union forces. Shortly after Ulysses Grant was elected President in 1868 he named Van Lew postmaster of Richmond in recognition of her services to the Union cause

The Confederacy

Rose O’Neal Greenhow, a well known Washington DC hostess, smuggled information to Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, second in command to Gen. Joseph Johnston, about Union plans for the first Battle of Bull Run. She was eventually placed under house arrest, then transferred to the Old Capitol Prison and later banished to Baltimore, when she continued to successfully dispatch information to the Confederacy. In 1864, Greenhow was returning from Europe with gold she had raised for the Confederate cause. When her ship ran aground while trying to escape a Union gunboat, Rose, carrying the gold in her clothing, drowned when the lifeboat she boarded capsized in rough weather.

The contribution of Maria isabella "Belle" Boyd, perhaps the most famous Civil War spy, became widely known as a result of her 1865 memoir Belle Boyd in Camp and Prison and her postwar stage performances. Although some of the work she claimed to have done for the Confederacy cannot be independently confirmed it is known that Boyd was imprisoned four times for spying on Union troops and did receive a note from Stonewall Jackson thanking her, "for myself and for the Army, for the immense service you have rendered your country today."