Picture of the Day: January 16 | HistoryNet MENU

Picture of the Day: January 16

6/12/2006 • Picture of the Day


Belle Boyd: Confederate Spy
Ardent Confederate Isabelle (Belle) Boyd became one of the Civil War’s most notorious spies. In 1861, when only 16, she fatally wounded a Union soldier who entered her family’s home in Martinsburg, Virginia (now West Virginia). During the next year, she regularly provided intelligence to Rebel commanders. She was arrested several times and twice served sentences in Washington, D.C., prisons. When captured aboard a Confederate blockade-runner in 1864, Belle was banished to Canada. While traveling in England to further the Southern cause, she created a sensation by marrying Sam Hardinge, a Union officer. A widow with one child by war’s end, Boyd published her memoirs, returned to America and later earned a living by acting and lecturing on her wartime experiences.

Image: Library of Congress

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