There were many spies in the Civil War. One of them was Rose Greenhow. Rose Greenhow was a very skillful spy. She did a lot to help the Confederates. Without her there would have been many failures for the Civil War.
Rose Greenhow’s friend, John C. Calhoun, (Confederate politician) convinced Rose to follow Confederate interests. Her husband taught her history and allowed her to view state department documents. Her parents were slave owners so they probably supported the Confederate cause. Her Aunt introduced her to politics because when she was moved to Washington D.C. her Aunt introduced her to important figures, through social climbing.
Four of Rose’s children died as infants and one died as a teenager. Her oldest daughter, Florence, married a Union captain in the Army. However, while Florence had some loyalty for her mothers cause she had some concern for her husbands career, as did he. Rose sent Leila west to live with Florence in fear of her safety. Little Rose stayed with Rose. Little Rose accompanied her mother for five months at old capitol prisonment.
Rose did not want her freedom to have slaves be taken away from her. She said, “I am a southern women born with revolutionary blood in my veins.” She held parties with people of political influence to find out information. She also flirted with men to find out information. She had to learn to write in code in order to send secret messages. Her ability to sew helped her to hide secret messages in her clothing. Rose sent a secret message to General Beauregard helping him to gather more troops, in time to defeat the Union. Rose was unassuming because she was a women therefore she was a clever spy. She was known for putting secret messages in a chignon (sheen-yon) and her clothing.
Rose did survive the Civil War, but when she was bringing gold to the Confederates her boat got capsized and she drowned. She held parties to find out information and her husband also allowed her to view state department documents. She was also a hostess.
Rose Greenhow was a very brave spy. She did a lot more than most spy’s have done. But after the civil war she died in 1864. She was buried at Wilmington, North Carolina.
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