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The Role of Women Spies What was the role of women spies in the Civil War? By: Abi.

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Presentation on theme: "The Role of Women Spies What was the role of women spies in the Civil War? By: Abi."— Presentation transcript:

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2 The Role of Women Spies What was the role of women spies in the Civil War? By: Abi

3 How did they Spy? Women Spies had different ways of spying A popular way was to dress as men and join the army. They would have to change their names to make it fully convincing. Sometimes they would pose/act as slaves. This way they could act as a servant and listen in on a conversation. Many would fly up in hot air balloons and watch the troops. By watching them they could see how many soldiers there were and what supplies they had. Also, they made sure to keep their ears open in a social circle.

4 How they Got Messages Back How did spies send messages back to the leaders? Spies would hide messages in hollowed out vegetables. Sometimes they even wrote on silk or carved a message into a button and then sewed it into clothing. They would hide messages or medicine in dolls’ heads. The medicine was usually morphine to help kill pain for soldiers. Even balls were used to keep papers in.

5 Maria “Belle” Boyd Maria “Belle” Boyd was a sneaky Civil War spy First of all, you might be wondering why her middle name, “Belle”, is in quotation marks. Her middle name was Isabelle, so that’s pretty obvious why, but a famous nickname she was given by people was, “La Belle Rebelle”. So that’s another main reason. She was born on May 4 th, 1844 in Martinsburg, Virginia, and died on June 11 th, Her career as a confederate spy began at age 17. Her father was a soldier in the Stonewall Brigade, and at least three other members of her family were convicted of being a spy. I described her as “sneaky”, because she had been arrested 6-7 times, but always managed to find her way out, or in other words, escaped. The way she spied was also very sneaky, (not that it shouldn’t be) because once she managed to eavesdrop on a council of war while visiting relatives whose home in Front Royal, Virginia was being used as Union headquarters. Boyd would also carry on conversations by sewing papers into balls and sending them off to there destination.

6 Pauline Cushman Pauline Cushman Pauline Cushman was a well known spy. Pauline Cushman was born on June 10 th, 1833 in New Orleans, Louisiana, and died on December 2 nd, Her real name was Harriet Wood, but no one knows why she changed it. She had an ordinary childhood that she spent with six brothers. Her father was a merchant, and as soon as he lost his job, the Cushman family moved to Michigan. In Michigan, Pauline heard about the theatres in New York, and instantly went there to fulfill her knew dream of being an actress. One famous play she did, became the reason for a huge turn of events in her life. It was called Seven Sisters, and the reason it changed her life was because a few days before the play, one or two Confederate soldiers said they’d give her $300 if she toasted the Confederate side. Cushman was a Union, but really needed the money, so she agreed. So, on the night of the play, when the building was jam-packed with people, she toasted the enemy side in the middle of a scene. With no one knowing about the agreement between Pauline and the soldiers, she was arrested being seen as a traitor. While on death row, she was asked by a Union officer to become a Union spy. Pauline agreed and her new job as a spy had started. The information came naturally to her, since Confederates thought she was on their side. She even was able to get the general to spill some important messages. Pauline was caught a few times, and once was able to use her acting skills to weasel her way out of it.

7 Why did Women become spies? Why? Woman were tired of having to stay in their homes all day cleaning and working for their husband and children. They were frustrated by their limitations. So they… Many became spies or soldiers. Several hundred women joined their husbands, sons, or brothers with fighting or spying since men were spies, too.

8 The role of women spies in the civil war was to deliver information to the generals of the troops to help postpone battles and/or save lives. The definition of a spy: (In my words) Somebody employed to collect secret information. Someone who seeks secret information in or from the other/enemy side. Usually about military matters or… Rival organizations What was the Role of Women Spies in the Civil War?


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