During the American Civil War, women played a crucial role in espionage, gathering and passing along critical information to both Union and Confederate forces.
Belle Boyd, known as the "Siren of the Shenandoah," was a Confederate spy who provided valuable intelligence to General Stonewall Jackson.
Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy abolitionist from Richmond, Virginia, created a spy network that operated throughout the city, passing along information to Union forces.
Mary Bowser, an enslaved woman who was freed by Van Lew, posed as a servant in the Confederate White House and relayed information to Union commanders.
Rose Greenhow was a prominent Washington socialite who spied for the Confederacy and helped secure a victory at the First Battle of Bull Run.
Sarah Emma Edmonds disguised herself as a man and served as a Union soldier, but also worked as a spy and gathered intelligence behind enemy lines.
Pauline Cushman, a Union actress, posed as a Confederate sympathizer and gathered information from Confederate officials.
Antonia Ford, a Confederate spy, used her charm and connections to gather information from Union officers in Alexandria, Virginia.
Harriet Tubman, known for her work as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, also worked as a Union spy and helped lead a raid on a Confederate stronghold.
Mary Elizabeth Bowser, a free African American woman who worked as a servant in Confederate President Jefferson Davis's household, gathered intelligence and passed it on to Union forces.