29.07.

1864: Capture of the Southern Spy Belle Boyd

1864: Capture of the Southern Spy Belle Boyd
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/Members of slave-owning planter aristocracy dominated society and politics in the South

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 29 July 1864
  • Belle Boyd became a spy when she was only 17 years old. The famous Confederate general Stonewall Jackson was very grateful to Belle and gave her the honorary rank of captain and she was also awarded the Southern Cross of Honor.

On this day, during the American Civil War, Belle Boyd, a young woman who worked as a spy for the Confederacy, was arrested.

 She was born in Southern Virginia, and became a spy when she was only 17 years old. Namely, Northern troops occupied her town at the beginning of the Civil War. 

When they saw the southern flag at her house, they took it down and hanged the flag of the Union instead. 

This made young Belle very angry, and when, on top of that, one of the Northern soldiers cursed her mother, she shot him. The court acquitted her, but she was kept under surveillance in her home.

This gave her the opportunity to become familiar with Northern soldiers who were guarding her. 

She learned useful information about the Northern army and sent them by Eliza Hopewell to Southerners. 

Later, she was allowed greater movement, so on one occasion she was able to overhear a conversation between the Northern General James Shields and members of his staff at a local hotel. 

She learned that Northerners will significantly reduce the number of soldiers that guarded the city. With this message, she rode toward Southern army and notified the famous Confederate general Stonewall Jackson to freely invade and take over the city. General did it and succeeded. 

He was very grateful to Belle and gave her the honorary rank of captain. She was also awarded the Southern Cross of Honor.

On this day she was arrested by the Northerners and put in jail in the capital of the Union – Washington. She was later sent to Europe.

 When she tried to return, Northerners took her ship. However, she fell in love in Yankee captain who captured the ship. He allowed her to escape to Canada and then to England. 

There, the two of them married, after he was expelled from the Northern army because he allowed her to escape.

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