Did you know there was once a woman who lived during the Civil War who was a spy, actress, and author in her lifetime?
Her name was Isabella Boyd, and she was one of the most famous Confederate spies during the Civil War.
Born in West Virginia in 1844, Isabella’s family had deep Southern roots. Born to a tobacco farmer and shopkeeper, Isabella attended school as a teenager before the Civil War broke out. She graduated from the Mount Washington Female College of Baltimore when she was 16.
The following year, the Civil War began. The Union had taken over her hometown of Martinsburg, Virginia. Her involvement in the war happened early on, and she did something practically unheard of.
When Union soldiers heard Isabella’s family supported the Confederacy and had Confederate flags in their home, one soldier began verbally attacking her mother. So what did Isabella do? She grabbed a pistol and shot the soldier, killing him.
This incident gave Isabelle a ton of respect amongst the Confederate states. As a result, she was acquitted of her crime and returned home, where she became even more involved in the war.
Union soldiers stayed around Isabella’s house and were told to keep an eye on her. She used this as a way to advance the South.
She soon became a messenger for Confederate generals, listening to whatever secret information she could sneakily get from Union soldiers and passing it on.
Isabella got more and more daring throughout her espionage years. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that she always got away with everything. She was arrested at least six times.
Her most famous moment as a spy was when she helped Confederate General Stonewall Jackson in 1862 with information on Union officials that she had learned by listening to them speak through a keyhole in her hotel room door. At one point, she literally arrived on a battlefield to deliver news to General Jackson.