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Women Spies Essay

1042 words - 5 pages

Elizabeth Van Lew, Rose O’Neal Greenhow, and Mary Elizabeth Bowser. These names don’t sound familiar, but all three were important women during the American Civil War. Without these women, the Civil War would have drug on longer than it did. These women helped uncover important information and made great contributions as spies in the War.

Elizabeth Van Lew turned her house into a hideout for escapees. She would use freed slaves to deliver her messages. Elizabeth supported the Union but lived in Virginia. She led her own ring of spies that contained African Americans and whites. She was 43 and still lived with her mother. He mother owned a mansion. She helped the union a lot but, ...view middle of the document...

Soon after Allan Pinkerton arrested Greenhow and Allan raided her house. They found enough evidence to put Greenhow under house arrest. Greenhow was put in prison with her daughter who was eight years old. But Greenhow still got necessary messages from prison. She has interesting ways of doing so too. She was deported to Maryland. After that, her second career was giving dramatic accounts of her wartime experience. On September 24, she went back to the south, Rose died when her boat got into choppy waters. She carried gold meant for the confederate Treasury and that weighed her down. She was buried with honor.

Mary Elizabeth Bowser was born into slavery, but later was a free black woman who worked as an undercover maid. She has ties to Elizabeth Can lee because when she was a slave she worked for her father. When slavery was abolished she stayed with the family and worked for them as a servant. Elizabeth sent her to a Freeman’s school to be educated. Mary returned and married Wilson Bowser. They were married just days before the Civil War began. We do not know if they ever had children. They were close to the Van Lew family so they shared their political views and hopes. To get useful information Bowers’ cover identity was "Ellen Bond.” She was a faithful servant. When Mary brought tea she would overhear or read the documents that were in the rooms. It was easy because the servants were not supposed to be seen. They were to act like they themselves were invisible. She would sometimes tell some of the other spies the information herself. But when people became suspicious she fled. She was so good at her job that when she died she was put in the US Army's military intelligence Corporation
Hall of Fame. Mary’s grave was never found after her burial.
Harriet Tubman pretended to be an old woman. She was often called Moses. She worked for the Union because she was...

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