Secret Agents in Hoop Skirts

History Imagined: For Readers, Writers, & Lovers of Historical Fiction

This post originally appeared in September, 2017, and has been updated. 

As March is Women’s History Month, it’s a perfect time to revisit the role so many women played in the Civil War. Since women weren’t allowed to fight on the battlefield, many of them worked behind the scenes passing on intelligence on battles and strategy. Since ladies didn’t normally engage in affairs outside the home, they weren’t considered a threat, which perfectly hid their activities. One of the best of these was Elizabeth Van Lew.

The Civil War was a trying time in America’s history, and brought out the best and worst in people. The nation divided itself into North and South, with the livelihood and culture of the South hanging in the balance. A person’s sensibilities on the issue of slavery did not always necessarily align with their state’s position on the matter.

Female spies on both sides…

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