Georgia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans

 

    Confederate Heritage Month!
provided by the:
Georgia Division of The Sons of Confederate Veterans

Confederate History and Heritage Month Committee

Georgia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans

 

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Day - 6 Confederate Heritage Month Minute
By: Calvin E. Johnson, Jr.

Belle Boyd-Confederate Spy

The use of men and women in intelligence operations has always been vital to national security. It is important to know what others are doing.

Among the famous spies of the War Between the States was Belle Boyd who did intelligence work for President Jefferson Davis and the Confederacy.

Boyd was born in Martinsburg, Virginia on May 9, 1843, and war correspondents nicknamed her "La Belle Rebelle." New York newspapers called her "That Secesh Cleopatra." The vivacious and outspoken Belle Boyd loved the attention she received. Her career as a Confederate spy started at the beginning of the War Between the States, and she would become the most colorful and famous of the Southern agents.

Belle was a natural for spying and would use her keen eyes and charms to coax secrets from the Union officers. She thrived on daring and risky night rides to pass on information to General's Stonewall Jackson and JEB Stuart.

By age 21 Belle Boyd had been arrested 7 times and imprisoned twice by the federals. Even when she was serving time in Washington, D.C. at Old Capitol Prison she still found a way to get messages of vital information to the Confederates. She was sent twice back to her lines and told to stay away, however, in 1863 she accepted a mission to take diplomatic dispatches to England for President Jefferson Davis.

After the War Between the States, Belle Boyd became an actress. She also lectured on her war time experiences as a spy and wrote an account of her exploits, entitled, "Belle Boyd in Camp and Prison." She was well received in the North and South.

Belle Boyd died of a heart attack in Kilbourne, Wisconsin on June 11, 1900.

By: Calvin E. Johnson, Jr.,
Chairman,
Confederate History and Heritage Month Committee
Georgia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans.

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