Women Spies for the UnionAmerican society was still quite Victorian in many ways during the 1860s. Therefore, women spies were not as likely to be roughly interrogated or hanged when their true identity was discovered. These heroines exhibited great courage and were willing to suffer imprisonment or death in the service of their country.
Image: Illustration of Sarah Emma Edmonds on horseback dodging a bullet fired by a southern woman.
Elizabeth Van Lew
From a wealthy family well-known in Richmond society, Elizabeth Van Lew was educated in Philadelphia and returned home an ardent abolitionist. Elizabeth was in her forties when the War began, and steadfastly loyal to the Union. She started writing to Federal officials to tell them about the "seccession mania" occurring in Richmond, but she was soon sending information about Confederate troop locations, numbers and movements. Once regular mail was no longer safe, she recruited her servants as her messengers.