Belles War 1861-1865 The Memoirs of a Confederate Spy-Volume One (Confederate spy Belle Boyd)

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He died later that same year, on July 9. According to missionary reports, several thousand Hurons occupied present-day West Virginia, including the Eastern Panhandle region, during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. During the 17th century, the Iroquois Confederacy then consisting of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida, and Seneca tribes drove the Hurons from the state.

Instead, they used it as a hunting ground during the spring and summer months.

Women Spies of the Confederacy

During the early 18th century, West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle region was inhabited by the Tuscarora. They eventually migrated northward into New York and, in , became the sixth nation to be formally admitted into the Iroquois Confederacy. The Eastern Panhandle region was also used as a hunting ground by several other Indian tribes, including the Shawnee then known as the Shawanese who resided near present-day Winchester, Virginia and Moorefield, West Virginia until when they migrated into Ohio.

The Mingo, who resided in the Tygart Valley and along the Ohio River in present-day West Virginia's Northern Panhandle region, and the Delaware , who lived in present-day eastern Pennsylvania , New Jersey and Delaware , but had several autonomous settlements as far south as present-day Braxton County , also used the area as a hunting ground.

Following the French and Indian War , the Mingo retreated to their homes along the banks of the Ohio River and were rarely seen in the Eastern Panhandle region. Although the French and Indian War was over, many Indians continued to view the British as a threat to their sovereignty and continued to fight them. In the summer of , Pontiac , an Ottawa chief, led raids on key British forts in the Great Lakes region.

Shawnee chief Keigh-tugh-qua, also known as Cornstalk, led similar attacks on western Virginia settlements, starting with attacks in present-day Greenbrier County and extending northward to Berkeley Springs , and into the northern Shenandoah Valley. During the American Revolutionary War — , the Mingo and Shawnee, headquartered at Chillicothe, allied themselves with the British. Nearly half of the soldiers manning the fort were killed in the three-day assault. The Indians then left the area celebrating their victory.

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For the remainder of the war, smaller raiding parties of Mingo, Shawnee, and other Indian tribes terrorized settlers throughout northern and eastern West Virginia. As a result, European settlement throughout present-day West Virginia, including the Eastern Panhandle, came to a virtual standstill until the war's conclusion. Following the war, the Mingo and Shawnee, once again allied with the losing side, returned to their homes. As the number of settlers in present-day West Virginia began to grow, both the Mingo and Shawnee moved further inland, leaving their traditional hunting ground to the white settlers.

In , John Lederer, a German physician and explorer employed by Sir William Berkeley, colonial governor of Virginia, became the first European to set foot in present-day Berkeley County; their safety was not guaranteed. The next known explorer to traverse the county was John Van Meter — in the s. The state of West Virginia erected a monument in Bunker Hill commemorating the event, and placed a marker at Morgan's grave, which is located in a cemetery near the park.

Morgan Morgan and his wife, Catherine Garretson, had eight children. His son, Zackquill Morgan, later founded present-day Morgantown. In , Heydt Hite and fifteen families set out from York, Pennsylvania , passed through present-day Berkeley County, and settled near present-day Winchester, Virginia.

His brother John settled and died in Winchester, Virginia. He later returned to Bath Berkeley Springs , West Virginia several times over the next several years with his half-brother, Lawrence, who was ill and hoped that the warm springs might improve his health. The springs, and their rumored medicinal benefits, attracted numerous Native Americans as well as Europeans to the area. Berkeley County was reduced in size twice during the 19th century. On January 8, , Jefferson County was formed out of the county's eastern section.

Then, on February 9, , Morgan County was formed out of the county's western section and parts of Hampshire County. Berkeley County was of strategic importance to both the North and the South during the American Civil War from to The county, and Martinsburg , the county seat, lay at the northern edge of the Shenandoah Valley, and Martinsburg was very important because the main line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad ran through the town. The rail line was of great importance to both armies.

Also, Martinsburg was close to the Union arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Control over Martinsburg changed hands many times during the war, especially prior to the Battle of Gettysburg in July It ran over nine series with over hours of film broadcast every weekday from 10 am. The gadget spec URL could not be found. For that same reason he also formatted the text to fit the newer eBook readers and other modern reading devises. It is the publishers wish that these changes will bring forth a new age of reading of the older classics in literature.

Parsons Publishing Co. They formed aid societies, gathering to darn socks and underwear for the soldiers. To raise money for supplies they hosted raffles and bazaars, despite widespread resistance from the very men they aimed to help protested one general, It merely looks unbecoming for a lady to stand behind a table to sell things. They even served as informal recruiting officers, urging men to enlist and humiliating those who demurred, sending a skirt and crinoline with a note attached: Wear these, or volunteer.

Some—privately or publicly, with shrewd caution or gleeful abandon—chafed at the limitations society set for them and determined to change the course of the war. In the pages that follow I tell the stories of four such women: a rebellious teenager with a dangerous temper; a Canadian expat on the run from her past; a widow and mother with nothing left to lose; and a wealthy society matron who endured death threats for years, and lost as much as she won.

Each, in her own way, was a liar, a temptress, a soldier, and a spy, often all at once. This is a work of nonfiction, with no invented dialogue. Anything that appears between quotation marks comes from a book, diary, letter, archival note, or transcript, or, in the case of Elizabeth Van Lew, from stories passed down by her descendants—details about her incredible operation that have never before appeared in print.

In any instance where the women may have engaged in the time-honored Civil War tradition of self-mythology, rendering the events too fantastic, I make note of it in the endnotes or in the narrative itself. In the town of Martinsburg on the lower tip of the Valley, a seventeen-year-old rebel named Belle Boyd sat by the windows of her wood-frame home, waiting for the war to come to her.

Civil War Collections H-Z

It was July 4 and the war was still new, only two and a half months old, but Belle—known by one young rival as the fastest girl in Virginia or anywhere else for that matter —had long been accustomed to things operating on her schedule, and at her whim. She tracked the progress of Union forces as they stormed down from the North, all those boys sweating and filthy under blue wool coats, lean as the rifles slung at their sides—nearly fifteen thousand of them, a few as young as thirteen, away from their mothers for the very first time.

She felt they had no respect at all, waving American flags with the stars of thirty-four states when eleven no longer belonged. There Confederate colonel Thomas Jackson was waiting with four cannon and boys of his own. When the rebels retreated, they left the field scattered over with blankets and canteens and, most regrettably to Belle, only twenty-one Yankee wounded and three Yankee dead. She took the loss at Falling Waters personally. She had family in this war, uncles and cousins and even her forty-five-year-old father, a wealthy shopkeeper and tobacco farmer who depended on a team of slaves to grow and harvest his crop.

The mood in her home shifted overnight, with Belle noticing a general sadness and depression in her mother and younger siblings, all of them too consumed by worry even to sleep. The entire town seemed unsettled. Berkeley County of which Martinsburg was the county seat had voted three to one against secession, the only locale in the Shenandoah Valley to do so.

Civil War Collections A-G

Seven companies of soldiers were recruited from the county, five for the Confederacy and two for the Union, and now neighbor fought against neighbor, friend against friend. No one dared trust anyone else. Citizens formed a volunteer Home Guard, sitting up all night and arresting anyone prowling about, an enterprise that lasted until one member was fatally shot by a stranger passing through town. The women of the Valley got to work supporting the war effort, gathering to sew clothing and raise money for supplies.

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At first Belle joined them, wielding her needle and laundering sheets, but she soon found such activities too tame and monotonous. Instead she scandalized the ladies of Martinsburg by openly waving to soldiers on the street, and organized trips to the Confederate camp at nearby Harpers Ferry, where all of them temporarily escaped the gloomy atmosphere of their homes. They danced the Virginia reel and sang Dixie and forgot about the prospect of impending battle. Belle herself exchanged fond vows with several young soldiers, even as she wondered how many of them would soon be dead.

War will exact its victims of both sexes, she mused, and claims the hearts of women no less than the bodies of men. Occasionally she wandered around camp, handing out religious tracts denouncing everything from profanity to gambling to procrastination soldiers, one cautioned, must avoid the sin of being surprised by either the enemy or the devil , not because she objected to such vices but because she longed to be useful. Any unfamiliar man might be a Yankee spy, and she believed it was her duty to entrap him. Be very careful what you say, she warned one trespasser dressed as a photographer.

I was born at the North, but have lived among these people seven years. My sympathies are all with the Northern people. I am trying now to get a pass from General Beauregard that I may visit my sister in New York, who is a teacher in one of the public schools. I will gladly take any message you may want to send to your friends.

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This respite at camp was interrupted by reports that the enemy was marching down the Shenandoah Valley; the men went to fight at Falling Waters on July 2 and the women went home. After the Confederates retreated, the Union continued on south toward Martinsburg, scheduled to arrive in time for a victory parade on the Fourth of July. Belle recognized that this day now belonged only to the Yankees—the eighty-fifth birthday of a nation that had amputated a third of itself, split into uneven halves.

Staring out her window onto South Queen Street, she heard the soldiers before she saw them. They announced their presence with laughter and song, hollering about that damned Yankee Doodle riding on his pony, booted feet stomping to the burst of bugle and the grumble of drums. The beat thrummed in the air, keeping time with the tap of her heart against her ribs. It was late afternoon, the sun shedding its heat layer by layer, hunkering down toward the baked dirt roads.

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They slashed bayonets at the pale Virginia sky, marching closer and closer still. House servants, a common euphemism for slaves, rounded up children in the public square and hustled them to safety. The church bells sat untolled, the hour unmarked. Field hands hid in their quarters instead of harvesting wheat or quarrying native limestone. Clusters of homes sat darkened and deserted, the owners having packed up their silverware and their help and fled farther south. A few bold spectators arrived on horseback from neighboring towns, waiting for whatever came next.

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There were thousands and thousands of them, an endlessly advancing blue line, a menacing horizon almost upon her. She told herself she would not hesitate to use the pistol; she had never hesitated at anything. All her life she had been blissfully unburdened by doubt or introspection.