Civil War Spy and Theater ActressPauline Cushman, a Union spy, was born Harriet Wood on June 10, 1833, in New Orleans and spent some of her early childhood there. Her father then moved the family to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Pauline did not like it there, and at seventeen she ran away to New York to become an actress. She landed some small parts and caught the attention of a theatre owner from New Orleans, who hired her on the spot.
While Pauline was in New York, she married Charles Dickinson, a musician, on February 7, 1853. Sometime after their wedding, Charles and Pauline moved to his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, where he found work as a music teacher.
In Cleveland, they frequently lived in the same house with his parents until their children were born. Pauline's oldest child, Charles, was born in March of 1858, followed by a daughter, Ida, in 1860.