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Confederate Spy 

Also by 


DOUHET AND AERIAL WARFARE, G. P. Putnam's Sons, N. Y. City, 1941. 
An Analysis of the Douhet Military Doctrine. 


Confederate Spy 



Former Lieutenant-Colonel, Military Intelligence 

Reserve, U. S. Army; Commanding Officer, 

Corps of Intelligence Police, A. E. F. 

in World War I. 




All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, must 
not be reproduced in any form without permission. 


"I looked for Belle Boyd and found 
her. . . . Her cheeks were rosy with 
excitement and recent exercise, and her 
eyes all aflame. When I rode up to 
speak to her she received me with much 
surprised cordiality, and as I stooped 
from my saddle she pinned a crimson 
rose to my uniform, bidding me re- 
member that it was blood-red and that 
it was her 'colors/ " 


lelle Boyd in Photographs 

Where Belle Boyd was twice imprisoned. 

Plate 2 


Courtesy of the Confederate Museum. 

Plate 3 

Frontispiece in her own book, Belle Boyd m Camp and Prnon 
Belle was twenty years old at the time of this picture.' 

Plate 4 


From an original Brady negative. 

This photograph may be dated probably a decade after the preceding picture, 
made for Belle Boyd's book, for late in the eighteen-seventies, Matthew B. Brady, 
famous photographer of the- War Between the States, was forced to give up his 
negatives. Discovered years later, they formed the basis of Photographic History 
of the Civil War in which a photograph of Belle Boyd is prominent among the 
secret service operators of the Confederacy. 

The above photograph was made especially for this book, Belle "Boyd, The 
Confederate Spy., from an original negative from the Brady collection in the 
L. C. Handy Studios in Washington, D. C, 

Plate 5 


Surviving daughter of Belle Boyd 

and Colonel Hammond. 

Listed on the theatre poster as 

"Isabel Hammond." 

Plate 6 


Known on the stage as ''Sarah Boyd." 
Daughter of Belle Boyd and 

Colonel Hammond. 

Died in 1932 as Mrs. H. W. Mowery. 

Listed on the theatre poster as 

"Boyd Swainston." 

Plate 8 


Nathaniel Rue High, third husband 

of Belle Boyd. 

Famous on the stage in his young 
manhood for his handsome profile. 

Plate 7 


Son of Belle Boyd and Colonel 


Served in Battery O, First Artillery 
Regiment, *U. S. A., in 1899. 

"She is the original." 



Of StonuwaUJackaon ami Shftnaodoah Valley fame, 
better known as 



Belle Boyd: is BKjeompained by an up-to-date organiza- 

tion of C<jmdj*ui, luafcruawMitaiiats 

and Yocalist) including 

La Belle Petite Soubrerte, 

flh fluuil** Of wdlM wEo fa*, vfefcft Uw : 'S<wtb. tip* . 
tt' day, , { V , 



'. : Mflsieal Oificiw, 


" ''' ' ' ' 

Plate 9 


Belle Boyd's success excited 
several women to impersonate her 
and she was forced -to carry 
letters of identification. 

The statement by (General) 
Clement A. Evans is a significant 
endorsement of Belle's character. 
A most distinguished Georgian, 
lawyer, state senator, and presi- 
dential elector before the War, 
Evans became Colonel of the 31st 
Georgia Infantry, Army of North- 
ern Virginia, "under "Stonewall" 
Jackson. Later he served under 
Ewell, Early and Gordon, becom- 
ing Brigadier-General in 1864. 

After the War he began a 
ministry in the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, South, that lasted 
twenty-five years. In 1895, the 
date of ^he poster, he was Com- 
mander of the Georgia Division, 
and in 1908' became Commander- 
In-'Chief of the United Confed- 
erate Veterans. He edited the 
twelve volume Confederate Mili- 
tary History and wrote the 
Introduction to Myrta Lockett 
Avary's Dixie After the War. 

The significance of this is that 
against the vicious attacks of 
some writers, we have .this fact: 
General 'Evans, knowing that 
Belle iBoyd married Northerners; 
knowing .that she placed her 
daughters on the stage; knowing, 
presumably, that as Belle Boyd 
Hammond-High she was divorced 
and her third husband was her 
stage manager ; knowing surely 
that she claimed to have served 
the Confederacy and Jackson as 
a spy; he, as a minister of die 
gospel and a distinguished veteran, 
endorsed her when she appeared 
in his own community. 


Championing Belle Boyd 

"She was a mystery while yet she lived, and she 
remains a mystery today." Editorial on Belle 
Boyd, Washington Star (D. C), May 8, 1943. 

"Sir, will you 'take my life?" 

Startled by this desperate plea, George Sala, the friend of Dickens 
and Thackeray, stared in amazement at the lady he was calling upon at 
the Brunswick Hotel in Jermyn Street, London. She was young, cer- 
tainly no more than twenty-one years of age, with a tall, supple figure, 
light hair, and bright grey-blue eyes. Features too irregular to be merely 
pretty suggested firmness, and even joyous recklessness. Graceful, self- 
assured, and exquisitely gowned according to the latest fashion, she was 
unmistakably a disturbingly attractive person. 

Before he could speak, Belle Boyd moved swiftly toward the famous 
English journalist and writer and actually placed her life in his hands. 
In a low, musical voice she told the man who had reported the war 
in America for the Daily Telegraph that the manuscript she had just 
handed him was the story of her adventures as a Confederate agent. 
Funds sent her from home were being intercepted by the Federal Gov- 
ernment, her husband had been imprisoned as a Southern spy, and she 
was now destitute. She assured him most persuasively that what she 
had to tell was well worth publishing and that the proceeds of the book 
would relieve her financial distress. 

Later, alone in the dingy office where for thirty years ;he wrote his 
noted column, "Echoes of the Week/' London's popular "G. A. S." 
found it absurdly difficult to shift his rebellious thoughts from the 
charming lady and her predicament to the merits of her story. But once 
again self-possessed and practical, he realized suddenly that at the age 
of twenty-one most lives are yet to be lived. With growing doubt he 
picked up the pages he had been given so dramatically, and examined 
them casually. As he read, his interest quickened, and soon he was 
completely absorbed in a thrilling narrative. And so, in May 1865, 
there was published in London Belle Boyd in Camp and Prison, with a 


highly enthusiastic introduction by George Augustus Sala, "a friend of 
the South." 1 * 

This book is now out of print, and Belle Boyd died in 1900 in 
Wisconsin, borne to rest with military honors, not by Southern comrades 
but proudly and sadly by men and the sons of men who had fought for 
the Union. However, since her death hundreds of dramatic and con- 
troversial articles have been written about the remarkable career of the 
woman known to so many as "The Rebel Spy" and "The Siren of the 
Shenandoah." So she still lives on stirringly in the hearts of men and 
women fascinated and intrigued by these fragmentary recitals of her 

To what was actually known of her, the fertile and often malicious 
gossip of time has inevitably added many strange legends. And today 
susceptible history is on the verge of recording falsely that Belle Boyd 
was not what she said she was, and even that she was someone she could 
not have been. 

One reputable reference work brands her story as a "none too trust- 
worthy account." Another, stating she married Cole Younger, partner 
of Jesse James and right-hand man of Quantrill, the guerilla leader, 
suggests cautiously that she was also Belle Starr, the "Female Jesse 
James" of outlaw days in the Indian Territory. A noted historian of 
her native Southern State discloses that, where she was born, "some say 
she was a myth and never existed at all." 

Since her death there have been many to claim with vindictive relish 
and increasing confidence that her exploits were largely imaginary. 
Some have even sought to prove it by violent distortion of her own 
story. Further, in her native village, an influential critic recently dis- 
missed her as "just a camp-follower," and in Reveille in Washington it 
is claimed that "controversies raged as to her chastity." Several of those 
who grudgingly admit some of her achievements charge that she was 
not loyal to the Confederacy, It has even been said that General "Stone- 
wall" Jackson, to whom she carried vital intelligence at the battle of 
Front Royal, never heard of her. 

Was Belle Boyd actually a heroine, or was she an impostor? Was 
she a "good Aroman" of excellent lineage and education, or was she an 
immoral, sordid and disloyal character of obscure origin and condition? 
Did "Stonewall" Jackson know of her activities on behalf of the South? 

Carl Sandburg believes that on the evidence she could have been shot 
as a spy. Douglas Southall Freeman describes her as "one of the most 

*Num'bered notes at back of book give sources of information only. 


active and most reliable of the many secret women agents of the Con- 
federacy." And Joseph Hergesheimer, in a delightful and lyrical essay 
on her, declares "she was both a celebrated and important figure in 
the war she ornamented." 

Her own narrative, written hurriedly as the war ended, is highly 
dramatic. But, though she needed money urgently, it was still so peril- 
ous a time that a strong sense of discretion wisely counselled reticence. 
There was much that could not yet -be told. What she revealed was only 
what was not then dangerous to relate. With characteristic contempt 
for her Northern critics, she concerned herself solely with what had 
happened and forebore to mention her historic family background so 
utterly at variance with the ignoble status of prostitute and village 
courtesan imputed to her in the New York Times, the Washington 
Evening Star, and other hostile Federal papers. 

In naming most of the officers involved in her experiences, she must 
have meant to provide unanswerable contemporaneous evidence of the 
truth of her story. Not one officer ever challenged her statements about 
him. But what she could not foresee was that her eventual detractors 
would await her death and that of her witnesses before claiming she lied. 

In this book, her story is told again. But now it is amplified by the 
impressive testimony of others, by the official records, and by the papers 
and recollections of her descendants and connections. The officers she 
mentioned served at the places and in the capacities stated by her. And 
in these pages her witnesses testify eloquently that Belle Boyd was what 
she said she was, and did what she said she did. 

These additions to Belle Boyd's tale do much more than supplement 
it. They substantiate it, and in so doing give it real historical signifi- 
cance. Her sponsors at the bar of history today are now too many, too 
definite, too convincing, and too reputable to be ignored or contradicted. 
Among the many Southerners are a Confederate Lieutenant-General 
whose father had been President of the United States, and a private 
who rose to Brigade Commander and subsequently became Adjutant 
General of Maryland and a Major-General, U. S. V. Among the equally 
numerous Northerners are found the war-time Provost Marshal of the 
District of Columbia, later a Brigadier-General, U. S. V.; and a Rear- 
Admiral, U. S. N., who, as a commander, had entered in the log of his 
ship his capture of the "famous rebel lady." 

Records of the gallantry #nd the valor of the men of the South in 
the Civil War, or War Between the States, are today a priceless part of 
our historic national heritage. So is the story of the indomitable 


spiritual and physical courage of their women. Nowhere in the Con- 
federacy did this feminine patriotic ardor flame higher than in the 
Virginian Valley where Belle Boyd was born. It was the irrepressible 
aggressive spirit of the women of this region that impelled General 
Shields to wire Secretary of War Stanton in the spring of 1862: "I 
can retake the Valley and rejoin General McDowell but you must send 
new men to keep it. The women will take it if we don't." 

Belle Boyd loved the South passionately; so passionately, in fact, that 
when Secretary Stanton had her brought to Washington in the summer 
of 1862 and placed in close custody in the Old Capitol Prison, the 
Washington Evening Star complained bitterly that she was "insanely 
devoted to the rebel cause." It was this whole-hearted, unswerving 
devotion to the Cause that led her inevitably to further it constantly, 
heedless of consequences, with all the vitality and skill at her command. 

Belle Boyd was quick-tempered, and feared no man. Had she lived 
to confront those who pretend that she was far more imaginative than 
truthful, or who say that she was Belle Starr, one more adventure could 
be related about her. Its precise nature is more than hinted in the 
graphic warning she sent a youthful aide of "Stonewall" Jackson in 
1862, that if she ever caught that young man in Martinsburg she would 
cut off his ears. 

Eighty years have elapsed since Belle Boyd gave Harry Douglas her 
"colors" to wear into battle, and the Lady and her Knight have long 
since passed on. Yet today it is still a high privilege to champion her 
blood-red colors ardently. 

Louis A. SIGAUD. 
Brooklyn, New York. 
July, 1944. 













































NOTES , , , 231 


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ' . . . . 243 

INDEX 245 







and Prison , 3 









Childhood Years of Belle Boyd 

|N a pleasant day in 1855 the Boyds of Martinsburg, 
Virginia had been entertaining distinguished guests at 
dinner. Young and charming Mary Boyd was smiling 
happily at her husband Ben while their friends, about 
to leave, paid her gracious compliments as their hostess. 
Everything had indeed been perfect. But now, abruptly, hosts and 
guests were startled by odd rattling noises just outside. These increased 
alarmingly in volume. The door was thrust open violently and a white 
and brown spotted horse clattered into the room. He was brought to a 
halt by a slim tawny-haired girl about eleven years old who sat firmly in 
the saddle and eyed the company with evident indignation and defiance. 
Ben Boyd moved forward quickly, but before he reached her, the 
child spoke. 

"Well," she said with combative emphasis, "my horse is old enough, 
isn't he?" 

For Mary and Ben, it was a most embarrassing moment. The 
mounted invader was Belle, their first born, who had been told earlier 
that day that she was still too young for social functions. Characteristi- 
cally, she had ventured to dissent dramatically. 

Her reception, at least on the part of her mortified parents, was 
ominous. For them, Belle had again gone too far, and parental exas- 
peration threatened immediate and impressive retribution. But, as was 
to happen so often in later years, her spirited conduct completely con- 
quered the most eminent among her victims. Greatly impressed by her 
reckless assurance and much diverted by her resolute defiance, the guest 
of honor, a high State official, interceded warmly for her and averted 
the Boyds* wrath. 

"Surely," he declared, "so high a spirit should not be thoughtlessly 
quelled by severe punishment! Mary, won't you tell me more about 
your little rebel?" 

Much of what be learned then about the youthful mischief with 

, which Belle delighted to plague her family, her mammy, and her 

neighbors is still current gossip in Martinsburg. What she wished to 

do, and could see no good reason for not doing> she did. And so, a law 


unto herself, and frequently indulged by her affectionate parents, she 
challenged at an early age the strict conventions of her community and 
the even sterner code of her loving but inflexible and respectably 
prominent Presbyterian relatives. 

In Gerrardstown it is still told how, as a six-year-old visiting her 
Campbell kin, Belle shocked her adult .cousin Jimmie. Looking out of 
her window early one morning, she spied some unusually fine apples 
on a tree near the house. Impulsively, without waiting to dress properly 
or adequately, or to weigh the propriety of her act, she pattered out in 
bare-footed innocence to pluck the inviting fruit. 

Among other relatives horrified by similar misbehavior were Maria 
and Eliza (nee Reed), who were first cousins of Belle's paternal grand- 
mother. Maria, with her husband Alex Cooper, had donated the land 
and much of the money for the erection of the Presbyterian Church in 
Martinsburg, and Alex was its ruling elder for forty-five years. Eliza 
had married Samuel Baker, also a church elder, and among her warm 
friends were the socially elect Pendletons, Faulkners, and Strothers, 
including the famous Strother known as "Porte Crayon." Eulogizing 
Maria Cooper after her death, Senator Faulkner of Virginia wrote that 
she was "a lady of great intelligence, brilliant conversational powers, 
and of great religious fervor and piety." 2 * What he omitted was that 
Maria Cooper was also a firm believer in stern discipline for children 
a belief to which 'Belle certainly contributed extensively. 

Bom at Martinsburg on May 9, 1844, Belle was named Isabelle .in 
honor of a great-aunt. Belle's godmother and her grandmother, Maria, 
were sisters who had married brothers: John and Samuel Boyd respec- 
tively. John and Isabella Boyd, after their marriage in 1803, had left 
Virginia and settled in Knoxville, Tennessee, but they kept in close 
touch with their Martinsburg kin, and were delighted when young Mary 
and Benjamin became parents. 

Though Belle was born in Martinsburg, probably at the home of her 
grandmother, Mrs. Samuel Boyd, she was soon taken to Bunker Hill, 
a cross-roads hamlet some ten miles away. Here her parents had a 
pleasant two-storied house with walls completely hidden by roses and 
honeysuckle, 'the memory of which remained with Belle always. Around 
the house silver maples swayed their branches gently in breezes heavy 
with the scent of flowers in summer; and before it, at a short distance, 
Mill Creek flowed swiftly a cheerfully talkative stream on an urgent, 
never-ending errand from the mountains to the sea. 

^Numbered notes at ba-ok of book give sources of information on-iy. 


Sometime between 1849 and 1854 Benjamin Boyd, who had a 
general store at Bunker Hill, erected a stone building on Queen Street 
east of the railroad in Martinsburg, moved his store there and brought 
his family to live at 126 East Burke Street. At this time Benjamin was 
also directing a tobacco plantation. This must have been the one hun- 
dred and twenty-five acre farm adjoining "Glenn Burnie" in Jefferson 
County, inherited by Mary Boyd from her father, Captain James Glenn. 

During her childhood Belle enjoyed the constant companionship of 
younger brothers and sisters, and probably saw much of her numerous 
young cousins. Outside her family, her particular playmates were her 
neighbors, Virginia and Betty Doll. What her favorite recreation was, 
is nowhere recorded. Yet her later experiences suggest it clearly. Long 
after her imprisonment in the Old Capitol, one of her jailers took 
pleasure in recalling the perfect figure of "a splendid specimen of 
feminine health and vigor/' And in 1915 another had not yet forgotten 
that "open air and horseback exercise were in her case constitutional 
necessities." As a child she must have spent very many happy and 
energetic days afoot and on horseback exploring the lower and middle 
reaches of her beloved Valley. As for its past, legend and folk-lore 
had much to impart. 

"I have discovered God's country!" exclaimed Governor Spotswood 
of Virginia, when in 1716 he and his roving Knights of the Golden 
Horseshoe passed through Swift Run Gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains 
and gazed with delight upon the fine land west of the Ridge. In the 
lovely Valley they came upon a limpid, murmurous stream, and to show 
that they had truly found a Garden of Eden they called it "Euphrates" 
in honor of that ancient river in Asia Minor fabled to have watered the 
first earthly abode of man. But the Indians had already given its crystal 
clear water an equally poetic origin and a more softly melodious name. 

Since time primeval, the transparent current of the river has reflected 
the light of the stars brightly at night and mirrored -the blueness of the 
sky faithfully by day. To the imaginative mind of the Redskin, the 
totem of its descent was no mystery. Born of the stars and of the sky, 
here was surely "Shenandoah" Daughter of the Stars, Daughter of 
the Sky. 

To the Indian, all that moves lives. The Shenandoah had its being 
in the Valley and drew its fluid life from that scenic land and its guardian 
mountains. In time the name of the river covered its whole dominion. 
But the stream retained its sovereignty, and the earth remained its 


tributary. The river alone is Daughter of the Stars. Where she dwells 
is her Valley the Valley of the Shenandoah. 

The daring white settlers who ventured over the Blue Ridge to this 
charming, fertile Eden prospered. Soon, beyond their hills was "Out- 
side." Within, they carved out a rich spiritual and material heritage. 
Hardy, impulsive, courageous, they bred a Valley people with an ardent 
love for their native soil and a fierce pride. 

It was to this historic Valley the Valley of the Shenandoah that 
Belle's ancestors, the Boyds, the Reeds, and the Stephensons, had 
gradually found their way. 

When Belle reached the age of twelve, her parents decided that it 
was time for her to acquire a formal education outside the Valley. 
Accordingly, she was sent in 1856 to Baltimore to attend the Mount 
Washington Female College directed by the Reverend George Lewis 
Staley, D. D., of whom she always cherished a most grateful recol- 
lection.* She completed a four-year course at Mount Washington with 
emphasis on French, classical literature, music, and singing. Belle ap- 
parently took an active and happy part in the social life of her comrades, 
and it was here that she enjoyed the intimate companionship of her 
chum, Nina, which she was to commemorate in her selection of a stage 
name almost a quarter of a century later. 

While Belle was in Baltimore, the Boyds in Martinsburg moved from 
East Burke Street to South Queen Street. Here, where the subsequently 
erected Gray Silver residence at No. 501 now stands, they occupied a 
substantial house which was to be their home throughout the war years. 
Directly across the street, at what is now No. 502, lived "Petey." 

"Petey", the special friend of Belle and her very young brother, 
William, was a Mr. Peterman. He and his wife became greatly attached 
to their new neighbors and Belle, when home, was often across the road 
visiting. She was a great favorite of Mr. Peterman, whom she loved to 
tease, and he was proud of his nickname. It had fallen to his lot when 
tiny William had "uttered it in a valiant attempt to say "Peterman." 

Today f at No. 502, a pleasant, alert, active lady, who is more than 
eighty years old, tells of this friendship and shows a photograph of Belle 
Boyd in stage costume, a copy of Belle Boyd in Camp and Prison, and 
a small bowl bought in the Boyd store at Bunker Hill almost one hundred 
years ago. The lady is Miss Rebecca Peterman, and the picture and 
book were presented to her mother by Belle Boyd after the war. Though 

*For data on school, see Item i, Sec, I, Appendix A. 
tNovember 1942. 


in the region some may now venture to say Belle Boyd was only a myth, 
here in the old home of her friends there is still this much of a remem- 
bered and treasured yesterday to protest that not all has gone with the 

At sixteen, Belle made her entry into the social life of Washington. 
One of the homes in which she was often a guest was the residence of 
Secretary of War Floyd who was so soon to become a Confederate 
general. Belle's social status in the capital was hardly surprising, for 
the standing of her family and its connections was such as to open all 
doors to her.* 

The Boyds claimed to stem from the Boyds of the County of Ayr in 
Scotland. In Ayr the proud record of the family goes back even beyond 
the Robert Boyd who died some time prior to 1240. For many centuries, 
the Boyds, a sept of the royal Stuart clan, and wearing the Stuart tartan, 
lived in Dean Castle, and the ruins of this fortress can still be found a. 
mile from Kilmarnock in Ayr. 3 

Belle's grandmother Maria, who married Samuel Boyd in Berkeley 
County, Virginia in 1798, was a daughter of Private James Stephensoa 
who served as a wagoner in the 15th Virginia Regiment and was at 
Valley Forge in 1778. Maria's grandfather, James Reed, was Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel of the First Battalion, Philadelphia militia, and his seven 
sons were also officers during the Revolution. Of these, Joseph, ensign 
in the Fifth Pennsylvania Line Regiment, died of wounds and exposure, 
Samuel, a lieutenant in the Fifth Pennsylvania, became a prominent 
lawyer in Martinsburg, and William, who served in several units, was 
later a member of the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention, State 
Senator, Major General of militia, and State Adjutant General. 4 

Maria's brother, Major James Stephenson, was one of Martinsburg's 
most distinguished citizens. He held office as a local magistrate, was & 
County Delegate to the Virginia Assembly, and from 1803 to 1825- 
served three terms in Washington in the House of Representatives. He 
had led a company of riflemen under General St. Clair in 1791 , and in 
the Fourth Sub-Legion one of his comrades-in-arms had been James 
Glenn, an officer with a distinguished military record in and after the 
Revolution. 5 No matter how intimate they became as officers, however, 
neither could foresee that Stephenson's nephew, Benjamin Boyd, would 
marry Glenn's daughter, Mary, almost fifty years later, and that one 
fruit of that happy union would be Belle Boyd. 

In the winter of 1860-61, when Belle reached Washington, growing: 
*Full genealogical data in Appendix. 


thunder clouds on the political horizon foretold plainly the rapid ap- 
proach of inevitable conflict. For four years Belle had dreamed of pretty 
dresses, gay balls, official dinners, and attentive cavaliers. Now the 
dream faded before the impending storm of war and destruction. She 
was barely in time to take part in that last brief, feverish fling of 
entertainment in which, with forced animation, gayety, and amity, the 
sons and daughters of the North and of the South mingled before 
they became mortal enemies. In the divided nation's Capital there had 
already begun the underground struggle of deception and intrigue which 
was to influence military operations so greatly. In the armed services 
of the United States, officers from the South suffered bitter spiritual 
agony as they sought to decide honorably between two great but hence- 
forth incompatible loyalties. 

Though so eager to enjoy the happiness due her budding woman- 
hood, the clear-thinking young girl, fresh from school at Baltimore, 
understood what was happening. Conscious of no need to make a 
decision as to her own allegiance, she engaged in no soul-searching. As 
she saw it, Lincoln's election had made the secession of Southern States 
certain. The North really intended more than the freedom of the 
Negro. It also meant to exclude the landed proprietors of the South 
from participation m national legislation. This she thought was parti- 
cularly true of the New England merchants. To such an arrogant at- 
tempt to dominate, harness, and enslave the South, to such a threat to 
change its pleasant, leisurely, manorial way of life to a frenzied tempo 
of incessant trading for profit, the intensely partisan Southern girl saw 
but one answer. There remained, she believed firmly, but one effective 
way to make it. 

South Carolina was first to secede. Other States followed her lead, 
and the cruel prospect of civil war became a far more dreadful reality. 
President Lincoln asked the States to furnish recruits for the service of 
the United States, and fixed a quota for each State. The Old Dominion 
supplied the men but, as Belle wrote proudly and still defiantly four 
years later, Virginia provided them for the Stars and Bars. 

Her own place was no longer in Washington. Without delay, she 
left the Capital for her Valley. 

In that magnificent land of incomparable beauty and bounteous 
plenty, the forces of the North and of the South were destined to fight 
back and forth savagely and incessantly. On the floor of the Valley, in 
its gently-rolling hills, and on its high, rugged mountains, its own 
knightly Ashby was to lead the cavaliers of his famed Laurel Brigade 


to great deeds; the Stonewall Brigade was to march and fight its way 
to renown; and the military genius of Jackson was to write its immortal 
saga with his mighty sword on the pages of history. 

At the call to arms, from every farm, from every village, from every 
town, men swarmed in neighborly groups eager to uphold the cause of 
the South and to fight for the Valley. Their companies, their battalions, 
their regiments, were not military units only. They constituted embattled 
communities. The Fourth Company of the Second Virginia Infantry 
was not simply Company D. It was Martinsburg in arms. The Second 
Company of the same regiment was not just Company B. It was Shep- 
herdstown in martial array. And so it was with other units. Their sum 
total was more formidable and indomitable than any army. It was the 
Valley incarnate. 

Such was the stature of the men of the Valley. Its daughters came 
from a no less heroic mold. Scorning the conventional passive womanly 
role, they were eager to serve the Confederacy in every possible way with 
the same high courage as their men. They were ready to scout and spy 
for the Southern forces, run the Union land blockade, nurse the wounded 
and the sick, defy the occupying troops of the North, and, above all, 
by their heartening example and infectious devotion, to keep alight the 
flaming spirit that animated the Confederate forces to the very end. It 
was to the womanhood of the Valley that the habitually impassive 
Jackson paid eloquent homage when he told Henry Kyd Douglas im- 
pulsively that the ladies of Winchester were the "truest in the South." 6 


First Adventures 

MONO the earliest to volunteer to fight for the South 
was Belle's father. Although forty-four years old, and 
not a man given to much physical activity, he decided 
someone else could run the store. His great-grandfather, 
Lieutenant-Colonel James Reed, had thought nothing of 
joining the American Revolutionary forces at the age of sixty-five, only 
five years short of his golden wedding anniversary. His grandfather, 
James Stephenson, had gladly served as a wagoner. So Ben Boyd con- 
sidered it a privilege to become a private in Company D, Second Vir- 
ginia Infantry, C. S. A. 7 

His choice was typical of men of his standing who could have 
sought and obtained military preferment. Recalling the spirit of those 
early days, Harry Douglas, himself then a private in Company B of 
the same regiment, wrote later in I Rode With Stonewall that "Society 
was plentiful for the ranks were filled with the best blood of Virginia; 
all its classes were there/' 7 

Manhood of the lower Valley made up the regiment. But its arms 
and equipment came from the women, and Belle was prominent among 
those who raised funds for this purpose. Led at the outset by its 
organizer, Colonel J. A. Q. Nadenboush, the Second Virginia Infantry 
was soon ordered to Harper's Ferry. Dedicated by its Regimental Flag 
to "Our God, Our Country, and 'Our Women," it now proudly took 
its first martial step along the historic road thai was to bring it im- 
mortal fame and honor as one of the five regiments of the Stonewall 
Brigade. By mid-June Mrs. J. W. McGuire confided to her diary 
(Diary of a Southern Refugee) ; 

"The Second Regiment, containing some of our dear boys, has 
been lately very actively engaged in .the pursuit of these (Yankee) 
marauders, and we are kept constaatly anxious about them." 

It was at about 'this time that audacious Belle shocked the ladies of 
Martinsburg by openly waving to soldiers on the street. There could 
be no respectable reason, said convention, for 'such improper behavior. 
Yet historians relate that the ladies of the village descended en masse 


upon "Stonewall" Jackson a year later, cut off his coat buttons as 
souvenirs, and were about to snip off locks of hair when the embar- 
rassed general contrived to escape. That these admirers knew him well 
enough to justify such familiarity is unthinkable. To suggest that their 
conduct was indiscreet would be unpardonable. Surely they were 
actuated by the same patriotic fervor and innocent affection that im- 
pelled Belle to wave to the soldiers and later inspired her on the 
battlefield of Front Royal to cap her fateful message to Harry Douglas 
with the stirring words: "Goodby. My love to all the dear boys." 8 
Such a message would arouse no feminine resentment today. But 
in our yet recent yesterday ladies were far more censorious. Typical of 
Belle's feminine critics was her Front Royal acquaintance Miss Lucy 
Buck. Lucy frail, reserved, and fully two years older than Belle did 
not think 'highly of the latter and said so frankly and often in her Diary 
of Lucy Rebeccd Buck. The following comment by Lucy based on sec- 
ond-hand observation, hints gently, however, that she may have envied 
younger Belle her vitality, her popularity, and even her forthrightness. 

"In the late evening Belle Boyd, Alice Stewart and Mr. Jeffries 
came in. Belle told them all soon after she got here that, she and 
Dr. Bogardus had traced up their relationship and found that they 
were cousins, and when he came in they were evidently very well 
acquainted from the way .they conducted themselves. This I learned 
from Nellie I was fortunately confined to my bed." 9 

With the departure of the regiment, the Boyd household became a 
desolate, lonely place. The habitually smiling face of Mrs. Boyd 
assumed gradually an anxious and careworn expression. She was a 
soldier's wife, but she was also a soldier's daughter, and her father's 
experiences offered no assurance that her husband would escape danger. 
In these difficult days Mrs. Boyd probably reviewed for her children 
the military background of their maternal grandfather. 

Her father, James Glenn, had been born on the western slope of 
the Blue Ridge in Frederick County, Virginia. Restless, talkative, ' and 
aggressive, this grandfather of Belle Boyd ran away from home in 1777 
at the age of fourteen and enlisted in Captain BlackwelTs Company of 
the 10th Virginia Regiment. Four years later he was a scout and 
sharpshooter in the harried command of General Greene, racing in 
forced marches for the river Dan with the British in dose pursuit. 
In October, 1781 he was among those at the taking of Yorktown a 
triumph so momentous to him that Valley folklore relates he used it 


invariably as a -historical landmark from which to reckon the occurrence 
of all other events. 10 

In 1791, when the Indians became dangerously active in the North- 
west Territory, Glenn rode hurriedly from Shepherdstown to Win- 
chester to join Captain Nicholas Hannah's Company in Major George 
Bedinger's Battalion. On September 29th he was made an ensign in 
the First Regiment, United States Levies, commanded by Lieutenant- 
Colonel Darke of the Valley. When shrieking Shawnees, Delawares, 
Wyandots, and Miamis struck and almost wiped out General St. Clair's 
entire force at daybreak on November 4th near the banks of the 
Wabash, Glenn led his company in place of its fallen commander. 
Later, seeing his friend, Raleigh Morgan, dangerously wounded, he 
placed Morgan on his own horse and, turning often to repel several 
Indians in close and persistent pursuit, led the animal to the compara- 
tive safety of the main body in retreat. 10 

Less than four months later, James Glenn was a lieutenant of infan- 
try in the Regular Army, and assigned by General Anthony Wayne in 
September, 1792 to the Fourth Sub Legion. On the same day another 
officer, who had led a company of riflemen at St. Clair's defeat, joined 
the regiment. This was Captain Jame's Stephenson, oldest child of 
Private James Stephenson and Colonel James Reed's daughter Mary. 10 

After taking part in the American return to the scene of St. Clair's 
disaster and the establishment of Fort Recovery at that spot, Lieutenant 
Glenn resigned from the Army in 1794, probably because of illness 
due to hard service and exposure. In September the restless soldier was 
again on duty as a captain of militia, and once more with James 
Stephenson. Reporting the peaceable quelling of disturbances in Mary- 
land where Liberty Poles had been raised, Edward Carrington wrote 
the Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia, "I arrived at that place (Hagers- 
town) with Colonel Moses Hunter, Major Stephenson, and Captain 
Glen of Berkeley, who were kind enough to go over with me on the 
17th inst." There is local evidence that as late as 1798 or 1799, when 
war with France threatened, James Glenn and his old comrade, Raleigh 
Morgan, were elected lieutenants in a company of men raised by 
Abraham Shepherd. 10 

In his early days as a soldier James Glenn had married Jane, young- 
est daughter of John and Margaret Duke. Surviving Jane and their 
three children, James Glenn married again. His second wife was Ruth 
Burns, a descendant of ancient families that pioneered in the Valley. 
To James >and Ruth four children were born, one of whom, Margaret 


Ann, died in infancy. The others were two daughters, Mary Rebecca 
and Frances Elizabeth, and a son, James William. To this son Captain 
Glenn, upon his death in 1832, left the home plantation near Charles 
Town known as "Glenn Burnie," and made ample provision for his 
widow and daughters from his extensive land holdings in Berkeley and 
Jefferson Counties. 10 

Mary Rebecca Glenn, mother of Belle Boyd, was born between 1825 
and 1827. Some time between the beginning of 1841 and the middle 
of 1843 she married Benjamin Reed Boyd. Now, after about twenty 
years of marriage, she found her husband exposed to the same perils of 
war her father had courted most of his life. 

Troubled Mary Boyd sought relief from her thoughts in her house- 
hold duties. Her restless daughter Belle sought refuge in the com- 
panionship of books and the production of soldierly luxuries to send 
to her father. But these tame and monotonous employments palled 
quickly and became intolerable. 

Some form of action became imperative. There must be something 
more women could do than to wait, and hope, and fear. Why not visit 
the Confederate camp at Harper's Ferry? With characteristic decision 
and energy, Belle gathered a group of neighbors who had friends and 
relatives among the Southern forces, and they were off. 

Coming from the oppressively sad atmosphere of their homes, the 
visitors were amazed to find in camp the utmost animation and cheer- 
fulness. Officers and men were as joyous and carefree as though they 
were not awaiting battle. And ladies, once more in the society of 
husbands, brothers, sons, and lovers, cast their sadness and worries to 
the winds, and lived only in the enjoyable present. It was a delightful 
picnic, and one that it seemed might last indefinitely. Said Henry Kyd 
Douglas: "Mothers and sisters and other dear girls came constantly 
to Harper's Ferry and there was little difficulty in seeing them. Nothing 
was serious yet; everything much like a joke." 11 

But the last of June brought an abrupt end to this fleeting happiness. 
The Federal Army under General Patterson was reported to be ad- 
vancing, and so the ladies at the last moment and with the utmost 
reluctance, were sent home. Thereupon Colonel Thomas Jonathan 
Jackson, with some five thousand untried but eager men, marched out to 
reconnoiter and, if possible, check the enemy. 

Before the approach of superior forces, the Confederates withdrew 
slowly from Falling Waters and deliberately engaged the Yankee 
advance guard in a heavy delaying skirmish. This was early on the 


morning of July 3rd, and in nearby Martinsburg the roar of artillery 
and the rattle of musketry was not only heard but also, growing in 
volume, indicated unmistakably the unfavorable outcome of the con- 
flict. At about ten o'clock Jackson's men passed quickly through the 
town in full retreat but admirable array, their rear well covered by the 
protective screen of Turner Ashby's cavalry. 

At a respectful distance behind the effective striking range of the 
horsemen of Ashby, came the Federal Army in triumphant procession. 
Fife and drum sounding, colors rippling in the breeze, and bayonets 
gleaming, twenty-five thousand Northerners marched into Martinsburg. 
Their gun-carriages rumbled through the streets, the gay plumes of 
their cavalrymen nodded and danced in victorious rhythm, and their 
infantry, flushed by their initial progress southward, cheered lustily. 
For the residents, it was an imposing but sad sight, and one destined 
to be repeated with tragic frequency in the years just ahead. 

On this very first day of hostile occupation, Belle had her initial 
experience with the enemy. In itself a minor clash, it further inflamed 
her feelings against the North, and fanned her desire to take a more 
active part in driving the invader from her native soil. 

With her Negro maid, Eliza, she had gone to the temporary hospital 
and, with several other ladies, was taking care of two Southern soldiers 
badly stricken with fever. All other patients had been evacuated by 
Jackson, but these men, because of their condition, he had been forced 
to leave behind. 

As she stood by the bedside of one of them who raved in violent 
delirium, she was startled by the sound of heavy footsteps. Turning, 
she faced a captain of Federal infantry and two privates. The officer, 
holding a Federal flag in his hand, advanced to the beds, waved the 
flag over the sick men, and called them " rebels." 

Astounded by such ungallant behavior, Belle said with cool scorn, 
"Sir, these men are as helpless as babies and have, as you may see, no 
power to reply to your insults/' 

"And pray," said he, "who may you be, Miss?" 

To this inquiry, she made no reply. But her maid answered wrath- 
fully, "A rebel lady." 

The officer turned on his heel and, as he and his two companions 
withdrew, swore emphatically, "A independent one, at all events." 

Much disquieted by this unpleasant incident, the ladies did not 
permit it to interfere with their duties. As it seemed desirable to 
remove the two patients to more comfortable and private quarters, they 


were placed on litters and a start made for the new location. But in 
the street Federal soldiers quickly crowded about "them and began to 
threaten the defenseless Confederates. Their gestures and language 
grew so violent that Belle singled out an officer and appealed to him 
for aid. To her great relief, he quieted the turbulent men and made it 
possible for her party to proceed to a place of safety. But there re- 
mained with her one hateful thought: Might not her father also be 
the victim of such brutality? Under the goad of that fear, what had 
been a high resolve to serve the South effectively became a grim 

The next day was July 4th. The eighty-fifth anniversary of the 
signing of the Declaration of Independence, it was the first not to be 
celebrated by a united nation. To make it even more sadly memorable 
for Belle, there occurred on that day one of the most tragic events of 
her life. 

"Very much to the disappointment and possibly to the chagrin of 
the Secessionists/' gloated the American Union 12 , a paper printed by 
the Federal troops of occupation, the Fourth was fittingly observed in 
and about Martinsburg. Most of the regiments paraded, the military 
bands played national airs everywhere, and in the evening the surround- 
ing hills were illuminated with fireworks. The rejoicing was enthusias- 
tic and long, yet, said the paper, not the slightest disorder occurred, and 
the town provost-guard reported later that no arrests had been made. 

But Belle found reality amazingly different. On that bright, sunny 
morning, to the harsh accompaniment of cheers, shouts, and impre- 
cations, she heard the strains of "Yankee Doodle" resound early in 
every street. Whiskey began to flow freely. Quarrelsome soldiers defied 
officers who tried in vain to quell the budding tumult. Doors were 
crashed in, -and houses forcibly entered. Intoxicated men destroyed 
private property wantonly. Shots were fired through windows. Chairs 
and tables were hurled into the streets. And when women begged 
that some cherished object be spared, they were rudely repulsed with a 
volley of blasphemous curses. 

The home of the Boyds was not overlooked. A party of soldiers 
forced its way into the house and began to pillage. Having been told 
that Belle's room was decorated with "rebel" flags, they decided to seek 
these offensive emblems. However, her alert Negro maid, Eliza, rushed 
upstairs, tore down the Stars and Bars and managed to burn them 
before the soldiers could find them. The balked Federals then resolved 


to hoist a Federal flag over the house to mark the submission of the 
occupants to its authority. 

The patience of Mrs. Boyd had gradually worn thin. At last she 
found it impossible to remain passive any longer. Moving toward the 
pillagers with a firm step, she said quietly, but with unmistakable 
determination: "Men, every member of my household will die before 
that flag shall be raised over us!" 

In response, one of the soldiers thrust himself forward and ad- 
dressed Mrs. Boyd and her daughter in the most offensive language. 
Sensing that violence would inevitably follow invective, and already 
inflamed herself by the alarming incidents of the past twenty-four 
hours, Belle reacted instinctively. 

"I could stand it no longer. My indignation was aroused beyond 
control, my blood was literally boiling in my veins. I drew my pistol 
and shot him. He was carried away mortally wounded, and soon 
after expired/* 

Taking their wounded comrade with them, the soldiers left the 
house hurriedly. But once outside, some of them lingered to seek 
vengeance, for an agitated servant rushed in to announce that material 
was being piled against the sides of the building to set it afire. A 
messenger was immediately sent to Federal headquarters for aid. For- 
tunately, this arrived quickly, and the lurking offenders were arrested 
before they could accomplish their purpose. 

At. Federal headquarters, the report that a Southern woman had 
shot a Northern soldier caused much excitement and great indignation. 
The officer in charge and several members of his staff called speedily 
to investigate. Their inquiry was conducted with strict impartiality, and 
witnesses were put to detailed examination. The conclusion reached by 
the officer was that Belle Boyd "had done perfectly right." To aveid 
further trouble, he posted sentries around the house, and daily there- 
after Northern officers visited the house as an additional precautionary 
measure. Otherwise the resentment of the Federal troops might have 
led to impromptu retaliation. Then, too, there was a civilian minority 
of Northern sympathizers, and some of them had just presented an 
American flag to the Twenty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers as a me- 
morial of that unit's entry into the town. 13 

Probably because discretion was advisable while the war continued, 
Belle did not give the name and regiment of the man she shot. Writing 
in 1941, Mr. W. O. Stevens in The Shenandoah and Its Byways, 


states there is no Union record of the shooting, and implies it was 

Most of the Federal units at Martinsburg were "three month* * 
volunteer regiments. There are therefore no comprehensive records 
regarding them except as to their muster rolls, engagements, and 
casualties. However, in the advance on Martinsburg, the Seventh 
Pennsylvania Volunteers captured at or near that town one hundred and 
fifty barrels of whiskey. Officially it appears that all the barrels were 
staved. 15 Unofficially, it is reasonable to surmise that some of the 
contents may nevertheless have been consumed rather than destroyed. 

Coincidences alone may not fully account for the fact that Private 
Frederick Martin, Company K, Seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, was 
buried in Martinsburg Cemetery on July 7th, and for the further fact 
that the official Pennsylvania records show his existence but not his 
death or burial 16 . War Department records confirm his death (cause 
unknown), but do not give the place of burial. That appears only in 
the newspaper of the Federal army of occupation with the report of 
his death. 17 

It does not follow that Frederick Martin was shot by Belle. But the 
absence of a State record of his death and the inadequacy of the War 
Department record suggest strongly that official records are hardly 
conclusive when they do not confirm privately reported incidents. It 
was surely not an imaginary event to which the Daily Register of Knox- 
ville, Tennessee referred on February 14, 1863 when it spoke on its 
front page of Belle as "this fair and fearless Virginia heroine whose 
daring defense of her father's house * * * and whose invaluable 
services * * * have won for her from the Northern press the title of 
the most courageous and dangerous of rebel female spies." 

When word reached the Confederate camp at Darkesville that Belle 
had shot a Union soldier, it was coupled with a false report that she 
had been thrown into jail. Immediately men clamored that she be 
rescued and volunteered to storm her prison. For their reaction they 
had valid sentimental reasons. She was the daughter of one of them, 
her grandfather James Glenn had served in the regiment commanded 
by the general for whom Darkesville was named, and General Darke 
had been an intimate friend of Ben Boyd's uncle, Major Stephenson. 
. In fact, the intimacy of General Darke and Belle's great-uncle had 
developed from an- odd encounter between them on the field of honor 
where some grievance had brought them to cross swords. The one- 
tall, spare, and energetic appeared armed with a tremendously long 


curved blade that suggested strongly to the startled onlookers a farmer's 
scythe rather than a cavalry weapon. The other duellist short, rotund, 
and lethargic had as his weapon a stubby blade not much longer than 
a dagger. The contrast was ludicrous, but no one saw it more quickly 
than Darke and Stephenson. Succumbing helplessly to uncontrollable 
laughter, they dropped their astonishing weapons, made peace, and 
became close friends for life. 

Though it became unnecessary for the Confederates at Darkesville 
to attempt her rescue, Belle had learned with alarm of their foolhardy 
intentions. 'It is with pride and gratitude that I record this proof of 
their esteem and respect for what I had done. It is with no less pleasure 
I reflect that their devotion was not put to the test and that no blood 
was shed on my account/' 

The leniency of the Federals in allowing the shooting of one of 
their men to go wholly unpunished seems incredible. But Washington 
was then practicing appeasement seriously. How seriously is best 
shown by the case of Mrs. Rose O'Neal Greenhow, aunt of Mrs. 
Stephen A. Douglas. Having transmitted from Washington to the 
Southern forces information which contributed materially to the Con- 
federate victory in the first Bull Run (Manasks) battle, she was 
arrested. After a few months of genteel detention she was released and 
sent South in exchange for her promise to stay south of the Potomac. 
No Northerner was more shocked by this mild action than Allan 
Pinkerton. His detailed report on Mrs. Greenhow's activities is an 
interesting part of the official records. 18 


Courting the Death Penalty 

HE daring seventeen-year-old Martinsburg girl soon found 
that exoneration did not mean freedom. The Federals 
realized she was potentially a highly dangerous foe and 
kept her under strict surveillance. Undiscouraged by 
their watchfulness, she began to take an active part in 
free-lance undercover activities. Far more enthusiastic than experienced, 
she was speedily in trouble again. 

Belle's first step was to profit by her enforced acquaintance with the 
enemy. She was living within the Federal lines in a house guarded by 
Union soldiers, and visited frequently by their officers. Surely she 
should be able to learn something of what they knew. 

Not every military man can refrain from speaking too freely to 
attractive and persuasive young women. Those most responsive to 
feminine charm often overlook the alert mind behind it and fail to 
fear that a pleasant lady may also be mercilessly hostile. Piecing to- 
gether the careless remarks of her victims, Belle obtained much infor- 
mation as to the designs of the occupying troops. This was written 
down promptly and sent off by trusted Negro messengers to "Jdb" 
Stuart or other Confederate leaders. 

Foremost among these messengers was Eliza. This young Negress, 
whose maiden name was Corsey, had married Samuel Hopewell, one of 
the Boyd slaves. Only a few years older than her mistress, Eliza was 
too young to have been her "Mammy'* but she was Belle's body servant, 
or personal attendant. In this role, her life was always full of excite- 
ment. Before the war, Belle took great delight in horrifying the 
devoted young Negress by youthful pranks and misbehavior. During 
the war, she used the constantly terrified but thoroughly reliable Eliza 
as both messenger and accomplice in her activities on behalf of the 
South. ' 

That the memories of those earlier days with her adventurous and 
irrepressible "Miss Belle" sweetened the old age of Eliza appears in 
many letters her grandchildren wrote for her. In some written as late 
as 1910, ancient Eliza, who died about ten years kter, mourned the 
colorful past, thanked Belle's daughters for tjieir gifts, and implored 


them to come back South to live. At the very end her mind mercifully 
erased the present and she lived again with her mistress in their great 
moments of the past. 19 

What soon brought Belle to grief was her lack of training in the 
art of transmitting military intelligence. Acting on her own initiative, 
and without instructions or guidance from the Confederate Secret 
Service, she wrote her messages in "clear" (not enciphered) and in 
her own hand. This violated the important rule that the nature of 
data transmitted and the identity of the sender must be concealed from 
the enemy in case of interception. When one of her messages fell 
into the hands of the Federals, her handwriting betrayed her. 

Less than a week after the shooting on July 4th, the Third Assistant 
Provost-Marshal of the Federal army called for her and took her to 
headquarters. This provost officer was Captain James Gwyn of the 
Twenty-third Pennsylvania Infantry who later so distinguished himself 
that he was made a major-general. 20 

At headquarters Captain Gwyn ushered her into the office of an 
exceedingly irate colonel. This angry gentleman informed her that a 
letter of hers had been intercepted. He declared, with the utmost 
emphasis, that her offence was a very serious one. Mingled threats and 
reprimands followed, and finally an Article of War was read to Belle 
in a most solemn and significant manner: 

"Whosoever shall give food, ammunition, information to, or aid 
and abet the enemies of the United States Government in any 
manner whatever, shall suffer death, or whatever penalty the honor- 
able members of the courtmartial shall see fit to inflict." 

To the Federal officers, so youthful a prisoner must have seemed 
incapable of appreciating the gravity of her offence an impression she 
doubtless did her utmost to foster. They warned her sternly, however, 
that if it were repeated the punishment prescribed would be carried out. 
Neither frightened nor abashed. Belle listened carefully. Then she 
arose, made a low bow, said with mock humility, ' Thank you, gentle- 
men of the jury," and departed. 

To sustain her during this ordeal, Belle must have 4 drawn heavily 
upon the strength of character she had inherited from the stubborn, 
assertive, irrepressible Reeds. Merely the thought of James Randolph 
Reed, most spirited member of the Reed clan, would surely have steeled 
her to meet any calamity. 

One of the seven sons of Lieutenant-Colonel James Reed, James 


Randolph Reed was an -intimate friend of General William Irvine. 
A lieutenant at Three Rivers and Ticonderoga in Anthony Wayne's 
Fourth Pennsylvania Battalion, James became a major in the "Congress* 
Own" Regiment, and ultimately a member of the Continetal Congress. 
Another friend of his was brilliant Thomas Lee Shippen, whose father, 
Dr. William Shippen, headed the Medical Department of the Con- 
tinental Army. To Thomas, second cousin of "Lighthorse Harry" 
Lee (father of Robert E. Lee), Major Reed left by will his Eagle of 
the Society of the Cincinnati. 21 

Ever a thorn in the side of higher authority, Major Reed carried on 
a bitter feud with his immediate superior, Moses Hazen. On one 
occasion, a petition by Major Reed to which Colonel Hazen objected, 
by threatening to withdraw his men from the service, was approved by 
General Washington., On another occasion Major Reed brought charges 
against Hazen which were dismissed upon trial. When Hazen brought 
counter-charges against his subordinate, which were also dismissed after 
trial, Major Reed's tranquil answer to the charge of insubordination 
was that he had already been reprimanded for this by General Wash- 
ington in person. 21 

Though Belle had seemed as calm as James Randolph Reed would 
have been in her place, she knew she had been in great danger. How 
great it really was, she probably never learned. Legend has it that on 
this occasion she was spared only because of intervention by President 
Lincoln. Considering the facts, the legend may thinly disguise the truth. 

Belle's wording of the Article read to her is a remarkably accurate 
condensation of the actual provisions of Articles 56 and 57 in effect 
in 1861. These were new provisions, and it was then seriously doubted 
that American civilians could be tried by court-martial under them in 
place of civil trial. President Lincoln was greatly interested in these 
and other Articles giving military courts jurisdiction over civilians, and 
the Federal 'Government, anxious to have their validity affirmed, un- 
doubtedly was unwilling to put them to the test except in a specially 
selected case under the most favorable circumstances. 

No one could then foresee that the real test would come in the 
Lincoln assassination trial. In that case, which resulted in the hanging 
of a woman, the distinguished Reverdy Johnson of Maryland argued 
that Articles 56 and 57 could not apply to American civilians. (A' 
more recent instance of unsuccessful objection to these provisions in 
their current form was the 1942 trial by military commission of the 


saboteurs landed on the shore of Long Island by a German submarine. 
Among those condemned and executed were American citizens.) 

As the Federals began to suspect but could not prove. Belle had 
now extended her activities. "It is with unfeigned joy and true pride 
I confess that the suspicions of the enemy were far from being un- 

Among other things, she was engaged in systematic pilfering of 
Union sabers, pistols, ammunition and other supplies, and these were 
quickly smuggled into the Southern lines. The South was in sore need 
of such equipment, and the flow of small individual con'tributioins 
produced really substantial results. The extent of such traffic is best 
indicated by the experience of the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Infan- 
try. In October, 1861 this alert unit found hidden in barns and out- 
houses and buried in the ground two hundred sabers, four hundred 
pistols, cavalry equipment for two hundred men, and some fourteen 
hundred muskets. 22 Most of these concealed items awaiting transfer 
Southward were doubtless of Northern origin. 

Belle's decidedly unpleasant experience at Federal Army head- 
.quarters made an impression upon her. It was quite obvious it would 
not do to be caught again. To be sure, she could discontinue her 
activities. But that was unthinkable. So she continued fearlessly, but 
more cautiously, to do all she could for the Confederacy. It took the 
first battle of Bull Run (Manassas) to divert her momentarily to less 
dangerous channels. 

Confederate Courier and Agent 

T seventeen, a year older than the age at -which her 
mother had married, Belle, physically and mentally, was 
a woman grown. Tall, slender, well-proportioned and 
graceful, her figure is the only point on which all her 
observers of both sexes have been unanimous. In their 
carefully considered judgment, it was nothing less than perfect. 

Her face formed a long, shapely oval dominated by expressive grey- 
blue eyes that could be tenderly warm, brightly aflame, or as cold as Ice. 
Light hair of a tawny shade, with a lurking hint of red that vanished as 
she grew older, was drawn back fully from a high forehead. A bold, 
aquiline nose, and a full-lipped mouth of generous width that parted to 
reveal even, white teeth above a firm but pleasantly rounded chin, 
completed features which have been described variously as homely, 
plain, or handsome. Too irregular to be merely pretty, they reflected 
habitually so pleasant and disarming an expression of youthful and 
artless animation that, coupled with other qualities, they made her a 
most attractive, if not a beautiful woman. 

A voice low, musical, and vibrant, added much to her charm; and 
her laugh, like her disposition, was light-hearted and merry. She was 
intelligent, well-read, and an able and witty talker. She was also a most 
daring and accomplished equestrian, and a tireless dancer. But across 
her natural gayety rested heavily the shadow of, a sadness born of the 
war, and a deep sense of responsibility demanding to be translated 
into action. 

Vivacious in manner, in mood she could be gentle or furious, per- 
suasive or commanding, beguiling or demanding, and she knew with 
unerring feminine discernment which would best serve her needs. 
Normally kind, indulgent, impulsive -and forthright, when crossed, no 
matter by whom, she could be as severe, implacable, deliberate, and 
subtle as occasion required. And not the least of the qualities of this 
fearless and self-reliant young girl was an unfailing instinct to vitalize 
any appropriate occasion or event with dramatic utterance, action, or 
becoming attire. 

Though martial in spirit, she had a thoroughly feminine urge for 


fastidious neatness of person and elegance in dress which she permitted 
no predicament to thwart. Hence Major Harry Gilmor carried forever 
with him the pleasant recollection that before a scouting expedition, 
"Down came Miss Belle, dressed in her neat- fitting habit, with a pretty 
little belt around her waist." A few months earlier at Culpeper Court 
House, an officer's wife met Belle and remarked forty years later: 
"What made her an object of special interest to every woman present 
was that she was exceedingly well dressed. It had been a long, long 
time since we had seen a new dress!" When released from the Old 
Capitol Prison for the second time Belle had with her two Saratoga 
trunks and a bonnet box crammed with many items she had contrived 
to have smuggled into her jail. 

Late in July, 1861 when the first battle of Bull Run (Manassas) 
took place, Belle was at Front Royal, some forty miles south of Martins- 
burg, staying with relatives. This picturesque Virginian village at the 
western base of the Blue Ridge is located in a highly scenic setting 
which Belle loved, and often lamented was beyond her ability to 
describe. To her, one of its most attractive features was Happy Creek, 
a mountain torrent murmurous or turbulent according to season, and 
which, "stealing around obstacles to its course, sometimes bounding 
over them with headlong leap, at last finds its way to the valley and 
glides by the village in peace and beauty." 

Belle's Front Royal relatives were the Stewarts. Frances Elizabeth 
Glenn, sister of Belle's mother, had married James Erskine Stewart of 
Martinsburg. He was a lawyer who had been in the Virginia Legisla- 
ture, and for a time editor of the Mdrtinsburg Gazette. 23 Having moved 
to Washington, the Stewarts, ardent Southern sympathizers, found their 
position there intolerable when war came, and fled to Front Royal. 

As Confederate wounded came in from the battlefield of Manassas,* 
an extensive hospital was organized in the village. Immediately, the 
niece of the Stewarts joined the staff as a matron. Despite this digni- 
fied title, Belle found her duties extremely laborious and heart-rending. 
Technically a "matron," her youth must have insured for her the un- 
envied performance of the myriad unpleasant tasks that are the normal 
lot of the lowest subordinate. What her surroundings were must be 
visualized in the light of the fact that modern military hospitalization 
was born of the lessons learned from the unspeakable horrors that made 
the hospitals of the Union and Confederate forces at least as deadly as 
their battlefields. 

Yet Belle, wishing to do more, felt only that she was at least doing 


all a woman was usually permitted to do in her country's cause. In 
time the incessant strain of her hospital activities, and perhaps the 
resultant lack of outdoor exercise, affected her health severely. It be- 
came necessary for her to return home to recuperate. 

Her mother welcomed her with understandable maternal pride and 
praise for the hospital work which she "in her fond affection styled 
heroic." Belle viewed her recent occupation more objectively. More 
than ever she wanted to play a man's role in the great conflict, and now 
she had a definite plan. 

At the Front Royal hospital among the wounded she had overheard 
a conversation about army couriers. Why couldn't she be one? It was 
an idea certain to appeal to a venturesome girl, particularly one whose 
grandfather, James Glenn, had served as a scout and was said to have 
carried dispatches for St. Clair. She had also been greatly moved by 
the story of the exploit of "Miss D" whom she knew as "a lovely, 
fragile-looking girl, remarkable for the sweetness of her temper and 
the gentleness of her disposition." 

All the South had been tremendously stirred by the great triumph 
of Manassas, and the exciting tale of its winning. But what the South- 
erners really took to their hearts was the simple account of the delivery 
of a message to the Southern command containing decisive information 
as to the impending movements of the Union troops before battle was 

A few days before Manassas, a cart stopped in front of General 
Bonham's tent. From it descended a girl in country garb who insisted 
upon seeing the general immediately. When he appeared, the young 
woman uncoiled her long, black hair, took from it a small, damp, 
crumpled note and handed it to the Confederate officer. It was a fate- 
ful dispatch brought through the lines by "Miss D" from Mrs. Rose 
O'Neal Greenhow, able agent of the South in Washington. 

What the daring messenger, Betty Duval, had done, Belle must have 
felt certain she could do. She would become a courier. But how? 

Further inactivity at home quickly produced unbearable restlessness. 
So in October Mrs. Boyd and her daughter set out for Manassas to visit 
the Confederate camp. 'At the camp, Belle and her mother lived in a 
large house occupied by wives and daughters of Southern soldiers. In 
these pleasant surroundings they passed several happy weeks made 
doubly cheerful by family reunions and the recent great victory. The 
relatives and connections they saw during this period must have in- 
cluded Mrs. Boyd's brother, James William Glenn. 


Fifteen years earlier Belle's uncle had been a cadet at Virginia 
Military Institute for eighteen months. He was now a lieutenant in 
Company A, Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, and soon to be a captain. On 
October 15th a resident of Jefferson County had written Jefferson Davis 
that new recruits had taken the field under "Baylor, Glenn and Hess/' 
Two days later Lieutenant^Colonel Turner Ashby reported to the Acting 
Secretary of War that at the skirmish at Bolivar Hill one hundred and 
eighty men "under command of Lieutenant Glynn" had been with him. 

Young Glenn soon earned high praise from Ashby. On one oc- 
casion accompanied by only three men, he daringly captured a guarded 
enemy flag at night on the Potomac. When Ashby became a general 
he offered Glenn a majority. A record in Glenn's handwriting pre- 
served at V. M. I. says tersely: "Declined promotion urged by Gen. 
Ashby. Ill-health, asthma."** 

Like Belle, her uncle James W. Glenn was restless, daring, and 
popular. And like her he had also proved himself very much at home 
on a horse. In his case, the horse incident took place in Milldale, 
Virginia at "Mount Zion," one of the notable residences of Warren 
County. Erected in 1768, this fine mansion of spacious and harmonious 
design has been the home of the Earles, kinsmen of Belle Boyd, since 
1840. One day Glenn and some friends were in the saddle before 
the house. A companion, knowing his adventurous temperament, said 
banteringly: "James, I dare you to ride your horse into the house!" 
Without the slightest hesitation, Glenn guided his mount up the steps 
and slowly traversed the fifty-foot long assembly hall. Such unexpected 
conduct may have disturbed the startled household momentarily but, 
like his impetuous niece in Martinsburg, James had someone close at 
hand to plead powerfully for him. This was his wife, Susan, a daugh- 
ter of the Earles of "Mount Zion." 

Who brought about at Manassas Belle's appointment as courier is 
not known. Perhaps Glenn mentioned his niece's name and ambition 
to Ashby, then commanding the Seventh Virginia Cavalry, and the 
latter, then in charge of scouting, took the necessary action. Or brave 
Harry Gilmor may have had a hand in it. Gilmor was, at the time, an 
officer in Company F of the same regiment in which Belle's uncle 
served. Years later in his stirring epic, "Pour Years in the Saddle, the 
daring cavalryman and scout praised the unflinching courage and 
boundless devotion to the Southern cause of the girl "whom I had 
known since the autumn of '61. " 2S 

Belle thereafter rode as courier between Generals Beauregard and 


Jackson and their subordinates. On these occasions her favorite mount 
was "Fleeter." In an area where cavalry units of both sides raided and 
scouted deep into enemy lines, "Fleeter" was invaluable. Trained to 
kneel at command, his prompt obedience to such an order often enabled 
his rider to evade detection by Union patrols. 

As a courier, Belle was now an official member of the Confederate 
intelligence .service. Though not comprehensively organi2ed at the 
outset of the war, this service was far more extensive than its Federal 
counterpart. This was natural for the Union troops were occupying 
hostile territory where resolute inhabitants were eager to 'collect military 
information and transmit it to the 'Southern forces. As early as August, 
the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry learned how great this activity 
was in its sector. Innumerable agents, spies and sympathizers among 
the residents were busily engaged in signalling the Confederates. With 
Federal passes procured at Washington on plausible pretexts, men and 
women were constantly crossing from one side of the Potomac to the 
Southern forces on the other. 22 

At the end of 1861 the Confederate intelligence system was thor- 
oughly organized. By then one of its most important phases was 
inland blockade running. The South had little manufacturing capacity 
and would soon be short of food. The North was seeking victory by 
cutting off supplies as well as by force of arms. If the South was to 
win, it haid to break the land blockade. 

At Jones' Ferry the Potomac is narrow, and Pope's Creek was an 
ideal place for small boats to land and hide. Here was the chief 
junction point on the route of agents from the North and couriers to 
the South. Tom Jones had a farm *on the Maryland side and Ben 
Grimes one on the Virginia side. Both cooperated closely. But what 
made the Ferry really attractive, at least to male Confederate agents, 
was the pretty daughter of Major Watson. Hers was the exacting task 
of displaying guiding signals. To those who looked anxiously for 
them they were doubly welcome for it was well known that the person 
who often held their lives in her hands was a young and most charming 
rebel. 26 

The land blockade runners were specialists. They were also highly 
versatile for they had to function as necessity required as spies, letter- 
carriers, purchasing agents, and smugglers of contraband. Their activi- 
ties, at -first organized in the field, eventually came under the direction 
of the Confederate War Department through its Signal Corps. The 
full measure of their achievements, unfortunately, will never be known, 


for the records of the Confederate Signal and Secret Service were 
destroyed by fire. 27 

Nevertheless, some reliable information is available from a South- 
erner who, later editor of the Mobile Register, was an administrative 
official in the War and Navy Departments, C. S. A. throughout the 
war. His older brother, Edwin, a friend of President Davis, was 
Special Agent of the Confederate Government in France. Speaking in 
praise of the land blockade runners' exacting service, T. C. De Leon 
wrote in Four Years in Rebel Capitals that it required tact, fertility of 
resource, and cool courage. 28 He commented further that its most 
singular and romantic aspect was that many women engaged in running 
the border blockade. 

These women, says De Leon, were almost all successful, and well 
nigh invaluable for the information they brought sewed in their riding 
habits or coiled in their hair. Nor were they coarse camp women or 
reckless adventurers. 

"Belle Boyd's name became as historic as Moll Pitcher/' declared 
De Leon. Others he recalled too. Among them were petted belles 
who cheerfully confronted danger to bring back news that women can 
best acquire, and who could if they would relate a quarter of a 
century later tales of adventure and night riding well calculated to raise 
the hair of the younger beaux about them. 

But the name of Belle Boyd acquired even more than historic 
renown. In time, as the wonder of her exploits grew in the telling, it 
came to be legendary. To many of the younger generation she sfeemed 
an imaginary heroine akin to titys other fabulous figures in the tales 
heard at their mother's knee. The poignant recollection of one of these 
children, going back more than a half-century in time, was revealed as 
recently as May 14, 1943 in a letter to the Washington Evemng Star by 
"A. C. C" who said of Belle Boyd, 

"She was one of the 'story' subjects of the tales my mother told 
me. It was not so much as a Southern spy that my mother spoke 
of her, but as the bearer of much needed quinine for the malaria 
patients of Virginia/' 

In his History of Berkeley County, Willis Evans relates that Belle 
Boyd was a noted Confederate spy and scout who, donning male attire, 
rendered valuable service to the South. 29 But he adds conscientiously, 
"Some say that she was a myth and never existed at all." 

Possibly "A. C. C." really thought her childhood heroine was an 


imaginary character. If she did, this belief did not endure, for, as told 
later*, her mother in the late '70s came to know the woman "who had 
been beloved of many malaria victims for the quinine she successfully 
had smuggled across the lines during the Civil War." 

But Belle carried messages more often than quinine. And Martins- 
burg still remembers that the late Zephaniah Silver used to tell that as 
a sixteen-year-old boy in Jim Sencindiver's company he and a comrade 
took important dispatches to the Boyd home at night for Belle to "get 
across" to ranking Confederate leaders. 

*(Seep. 192.) 


The Night Ride to Ashby 

HEN the weather grew cold at Manassas, the Boyds, 
mother and daughter, returned to Martinsburg. With 
the onset of winter, field activity was halted temporarily, 
and fears for the future were dissipated by the mirth 
and laughter of balls, sleigh-rides, and other seasonable 
festivities. In these the men of the Seventh Virginia Cavalry, com- 
manded by Colonel Turner Ashby, took an outstanding part. They 
were very well acquainted in the region and their regiment had its 
headquarters in the village. 

On December 14th, an important event occurred. In the hall in 
which the Masonic Order still holds meetings today, the Valley's be- 
loved Turner Ashby was "entered an apprentice, raised and passed to 
the sublime degree of a Master-Mason in Equality Lodge, No. 136, 
Martinsburg." Among the Lodge Brothers he thus acquired was a 
middle-aged private of the Second Virginia Infantry. This soldier was 
B. R. Boyd Belle's father. 30 

With the coming of milder weather early in 1862, Colonel Ashby 
and his men evacuated the town, and prepared for action. Like Jackson, 
Turner Ashby was an adopted son of the Valley. He came from just 
outside it in Fauquier County, Virginia, and was one of the most heroic 
and chivalrous figures the South has ever produced. A superb horse- 
man, always well dressed, he seems to have first won Jackson's admira* 
tion and favor by a daring exploit during which his mount was a sorry 
looking plow-horse and -he wore a farmer's suit of homespun, 

On this occasion, in the spring of '61, the JCnight of the Valley, his 
saddle-bags crammed with remedies for spavin and ring-bone, had 
impersonated a rustic horse-doctor and visited the Federal camp of 
General Patterson at Chambersburg. From this adventure he returned 
with a great amount of useful information. In time he became Jackson's 
main source of intelligence about the enemy, and Jackson upon Ashby' s 
death paid him this remarkable tribute: "As a partisan officer, I never 
knew his superior. His daring was proverbial, his powers, of endurance 
almost incredible, his tone of character heroic, and his sagacity almost 
intuitive in divining the purposes and movements of the enemy/' 31 


But Ashby did not rely solely upon his sagacity and intuition to 
secure intelligence. 

Jackson's strategy has rightly been termed Napoleonic in concept 
and execution. His "foot cavalry" was infantry that could march thirty 
miles a day. Accompanied by mounted men and some light artillery, 
it formed a compact, hard hitting, fast moving force. It appeared un- 
expectedly, struck savagely at larger enemy forces, slipped away be- 
tween armies converging to annihilate it, and turned about occasionally 
to thrash some overconfident pursuer. 

Yet, whatever credit may be due the principles of Napoleon and 
Jackson, the latter could never have won the Valley campaigns without 
vital military information from two sources: his cavalry, and the people 
of the Valley. 

Both kept him thoroughly informed as to the location and move- 
ments of Union forces, and withheld knowledge of his whereabouts 
from the enemy. For the type of warfare he waged, this was essential 
to success. His information came not only from behind the Federal 
lines, beyond which his own scouts could not operate freely, but even 
on occasion from the very homes in which the staffs of Federal com- 
manders were located and held their councils. 

Jackson did more than accept this information gratefully. He de- 
manded it constantly and earnestly. "The information I desire from 
beyond the lines," he instructed Ashby on April 7th, "is the position 
of the enemy's forces, their numbers and movements, what generals are 
in command, and their headquarters, and especially the headquarters of 
the commanding general." 32 

Some of this Ashby could secure through scouts and raids and 
patrols. But much had to be acquired from persons behind the enemy 
lines. Some of them were merely civilian sympathizers like the Win- 
chester ladies who late in March had come out to Ashby with news 
that the Federals were evacuating the town and that a large column 
had moved to Berryville that morning. Others were actual Confederate 
agents. With 'both Ashby maintained contact and obtained all the data 
he could. By the end of May, Belle Boyd had risked her life at least 
twice to deliver information of the type Jackson demanded. 

Before the Confederates had left Martinsburg, her father, home on 
sick leave, had given thought to his daughter's safety. As he prepared 
to rejoin his regiment, he decided that she would fare better deeper in 
Southern territory. The village was in constant danger of Union occu- 
pation and her past activities would hardly commend her favorably to 


the Northern troops. Accordingly, he sent her to her aunt at Front 

Belle was warmly received by her aunt and uncle, and gleefully by 
Alice and Fannie, cousins of about her own age. But Miss Lucy Buck 
was not so pleased by Belle's reappearance at Front Royal. When she 
had first met Belle on New Year's Day, 1862, Lucy had jotted down in 
her diary that she was "not at all favorably impressed/' and that the 
visitor from Martinsburg "seemed all surface, vain, and hollow." That 
same night, reviewing the events of the day, she added, "there was a 
consciousness of having compromised my dignity in mingling upon 
terms of equality and apparent friendship with persons whom in my 
heart I despise persons I felt to be false and heartless. I never am 
brought into contact with such persons without feeling a conviction that 
if forced to confine myself to their society I shall become as frivolous 
apparently as they/' 33 

Now in March, two months later, Miss Lucy still did not suffer 
Belle's presence gladly. On the llth she went to the village from 
"Bel Air/' the Buck estate, and later recorded under that date: 

"From Mrs. Boone's went to the hotel to see Miss Polly Haynie. 
Was seized on my way by Alice S.* and Belle Boyd who insisted 
on carrying us captive into the parlor. Made our escape but were 
re-captured in Miss Pollie's room and forced in self defense to 
comply with their request to sing and play. Our audience consisted 
of Dr. Dorsey, the young physician and some of the ladies. Made 
Dr. Blackford's acquaintance. Not at all favorably impressed/' 33 

This musical soiree was probably not a social success. Whatever 
illusion of tranquility and enjoyment good manners may have been able 
to fashion, it could hardly prevail against the knowledge that the 
Northern forces would soon occupy Front Royal. The very next sen- 
tence Miss Buck wrote in her diary on March llth was: "Fannie 
Stewart and her father leaving tomorrow for the South fleeing the 
enemy/' 33 

When Mr. and Mrs. Stewart and their daughter, Fannie, left hastily 
for Richmond, Alice, Belle, and their grandmother, Mrs. Ruth Burns 
Glenn, remained behind to take care of the Stridder House and direct 
the staff. The Strickler House, now a weather-beaten, shabby structure 
still standing on East Main Street at the comer of High, was then a 
hotel, formerly known as Fishback's. Belle's aunt had taken it over 
when she and her husband had sought refuge in Front Royal. 

*BeLle's cousin, Alice Stewart, 


After Kimball of Shields' division administered a setback to Jackson 
at Kernstown on March 23rd, the village of Front Royal was laid open 
to the Federal advance. Upon its occupation, the Confederates retreated 
far up the Valley. Daily Belle became increasingly alarmed for her 
mother's safety at home and finally decided to rejoin her. She had no 
trouble securing a pass from General Shields and, accompanied by 
faithful Eliza, reached Winchester without incident. 

Here the local Federal Provost-Marshal interfered with her further 
progress, for someone had denounced Belle as a spy. The Provost, 
pending investigation, had determined to detain her. 

Unaware of this dangerous development, Belle had entered a rail- 
way car to go on to Martinsburg. A Federal officer, who was taking 
some prisoners to Baltimore, noticed her and suspected her identity. 
Introducing himself as Captain Bannon, he asked: "Is this Miss Belle 

Startled and perturbed, she answered curtly, "Yes." 

Captain Bannon then said, "I am the Assistant Provost, and I regret 
to say orders have been issued for your detention, and it is my duty to 
inform you that you cannot proceed until your case has been investi- 
gated. So you will, if you please, get out, as the train is on the point 
of starting/' 

Belle was never one to obey an order docilely, no matter how ele- 
gantly expressed. Besides, she had a safe-conduct which even a Provost- 
Marshal could not safely disregard. "Sir," she replied coldly, as she 
settled herself more firmly in her seat, "here is a pass which I beg you 
will examine. You will find that it authorizes my maid and me to pass 
on any road to Martinsburg." 

As she expected, the Assistant Provost was impressed and bewilder- 
ed. If he held her, he flouted the general's orders. If he allowed her 
to proceed, he disobeyed his immediate Superior. Meanwhile, the train 
was about to leave, and he had his prisoners to convoy. With typical 
Irish ingenuity Captain Bannon solved the dilemma. He wouldn't 
quite disobey either higher authority and he would pit one general 
against another. Sighing with relief, he told Belle: "Well, I scarcely 
know how to act in your case. , Orders have been issued for your arrest, 
and yet you have a pass from the General allowing you to return home. 
However, I shall take the responsibility upon my shoulders, convey you 
with the other prisoners to Baltimore, and hand you over to General 

Further discussion being useless, Belle submitted as gracefully as 


possible. At Baltimore, she was taken to the Eutaw House, given 
permission to see friends, and treated with all possible courtesy. In 
fact, she was handled as gently as Mrs. Greenhow ever was. 

At the end of a week, the commandant, General John A. Dix, 
having learned nothing against her, released her and sent her home to 
Martinsburg. In this speedy disposition of her case, Belle was most 
fortunate. Other Federal generals would probably not have released 
her so readily for many considered denunciation without proof of guilt 
sufficient to warrant prolonged imprisonment. But she had fallen into 
the very gentle hands of a most particular Northerner. General Dix 
opposed arresting civilians solely on suspicion, and indicated his attitude 
by writing General Mansfield several months after Belle's release, 
"The exercise of this power of arrest is at the same time the most 
arbitrary and the most delicate which a state of war devolves upon a 
military commander. * * * I find that many of the persons imprisoned 
at Fort Wool were arrested by Colonel Dodge, and some of them on 
suspicion. This must not be repeated. * * * Imprisonment at Fort 
Wool is a most severe punishment at this season. * * * No citizen 
should be sent there for a light cause, and without pretty clear evidence 
of guilt." 3 * 

In Martinsburg Belle discovered that the Federals suspected her 
more than ever. She was immediately placed under very strict surveil- 
lance and forbidden to go beyond the village limits. These irksome 
restrictions quickly became intolerable. Mrs. Boyd appealed to the 
local Provost-Marshal, Major Charles Walker of the Tenth Maine 
Infantry. 35 This officer, probably as anxious to get rid of Belle as she 
was : to get away, gave her mother a pass valid for both of them to 
proceed to Front Royal by way of Winchester. It was now about 
May 12th. 

At Front Royal they hoped to get permission for Belle to continue 
on to Richmond to join relatives. What Belle probably also hoped was 
that the Federals would not happen to think that she might also want 
to report in Richmond what she had observed and learned in Martins- 
burg, Baltimore, Winchester, and Front Royal. 

At Winchester Belle and her mother found that General Shields 
had forbidden travel between there and Front Royal. The local Provost- 
Marshal, Lieutenant Colonel James S. Fillebrown of the Tenth Maine 
Infantry 36 , assured them that it distressed him to be unable to help 
them. But, as Belle suspected, he was a gallant and susceptible gentle- 


man and soon, probably more to his surprise than hers, he had relented 
and the ladies were on their way. 

When they reached the Strickler House, night had fallen and Mary 
and Belle Boyd, tired and hungry, were eager for food and rest. To 
their great surprise, they found the hotel brightly illuminated and' the 
scene of much military hustle and bustle by the Northerners. Inquiring 
at the main building, they learned that it had been taken over by the 
Federals and was now occupied by General Shields and his staff. 

But what had happened to Cousin Alice and Grandmother Glenn? 
Eventually Belle and her mother located them in a little house in the 
hotel court-yard to which they had been relegated by the Federals. 
Here, in what is locally known now as the "Belle Boyd cottage," Alice 
and her grandmother fervently welcomed Belle and her mother. 

After dinner, Belle sent her card to General Shields and he called 
promptly to pay his respects. To her request for a pass to Richmond, 
he replied gayly that he did not dare entrust her to General Jackson's 
tender mercies. Courteous, well-mannered, and amply endowed with 
sparkling Irish wit, he teased her with carefree badinage. And he 
assured her that Jackson's army would be annihilated in a few days. 
Then she could freely wander whither she willed. 

Though he spoke seemingly in jest, his unguarded words revealed 
that he expected immediate and complete success. What he said was 
definite and informative enough to be turned to good account. 

Accompanying General Shields was his aide-de-camp, Captain 
Daniel J. Keily, a young Irishman, who later was made a brevet- 
brigadier-general for gallant and meritorious conduct. 37 The general 
presented his aide to Belle and thereafter,' whenever he had the oppor- 
tunity, Dan Keily besieged her with flowers and effusive messages. His 
nosegays and tender notes were unsentimentally discarded. But the 
military information he occasionally unwittingly disclosed, Belle gladly 
passed on to her receptive countrymen. 

In her memoirs she discreetly refers to this young officer only as 
"Captain K." It is no fault of hers that he can be named now. As 
will be seen later*, the clue to his identity was furnished by a gentle- 
man of Front Royal who described in 1914 a whirlwind visit Belle 
made to his home in June, 1862. 

When, on the evening of May 14th or 15th, General Shields and 
"Captain K." left the little cottage, it was to attend a council of war 

*See page 60. 


held in the drawing-room of the Strickler House. Belle was right 
behind them. Whether she had learned from her visitors that the 
council was to be held is not clear. At any rate, she ventured in their 
wake to the main building, ready to profit by any opportunity that 
might present itself. 

Immediately above the council room was a bedroom containing a 
small closet. In the floor of the closet someone had bored a hole. 
While Belle had never learned for what purpose it had been made, she 
recalled that it was there and realized that she could probably make 
good use of it. So she stole upstairs, put her ear to the opening, and 
found that she could hear distinctly the conversation going on below. 

The conference lasted for several hours. When it ended at about 
one A. M., the concealed listener returned to her room in the cottage 
and enciphered hurriedly in a note all she had overheard that she con- 
sidered important.* To rouse a servant to dispatch the message would 
cause enough disturbance to create suspicion. She must go herself 
She slipped out to the stables quietly, saddled a horse and headed for 
the mountains. 

As a precaution, she took with her several passes she had received 
from paroled Confederate soldiers returning South. These proved in- 
valuable, for twice she was challenged by Federal sentries who accepted 
her false credentials without question. 

After a rapid ride of some fifteen miles through the darkness, she 
reached the home of Mr. M. Urging her mount up the steps, she 
knocked furiously upon the door, and at length a window was raised. 

"Who is there?", a voice called out sharply. 

"It is I," she answered. 

"But who are you? What is your name?" 

"Belle Boyd. I have important intelligence to communicate to 
Colonel Ashby. Is he here?" 

"No; but wait a minute. I will come down." 

As the window was lowered, she dismounted. Almost immediately, 
the door opened and Mr, M. drew her in quickly, exclaiming in 
astonishment, "My dear, where did you come from, and how on earth 
did you get here?" 

"Oh, I forced the sentries," she replied, "and here I am; but I have 
no time to tell you the how, and the why, and the wherefore. I must 

*For Confederate Army cipher Belle probably used, see Appendix B. 


see Colonel Ashby without the loss of a minute. Tell me where he is 
to be found/' 

Mr. M. told her promptly that the Colonel's party was about a 
quarter of a mile farther up the wood. She turned to go, and as she 
was about to mount her horse, a door on the right of the threshold was 
thrown open and Ashby himself came out. Surprised by her presence, 
he cried "Good God! Miss Belle, is this you? Where did you come 
from? Have you dropped from the clouds, or am I dreaming?" 

Tersely, she explained why she had come. She told him hurriedly 
the essence of what she had overheard, gave him the enciphered note, 
and for a brief moment relaxed to enjoy the satisfaction of a mission 
successfully completed. But she could not loiter. She must get back 
before her absence was noted. Without further delay, she took once 
more to her saddle and headed her horse for Front Royal, 

Federal vigilance had weakened as the night waned. From the dark 
there came no sudden loud challenge as she rode along. At only one 
point did the rapid drumming of the hoofs of her horse rouse a sleep- 
ing sentinel to belated attention. As he came awake, she flashed by him 
and vanished from his sight and out of range around an abrupt turn in 
the road. Two hours after leaving Ashby, she was back in her room. 
Exhausted, as dawn broke she fell on her bed and slept. 
.. With what news did Belle ride to Ashby? To what did it lead? 
Belle is exasperatingly silent on these points, but the official records 
strongly suggest the answers. 38 

In the East, McClellan was moving against Richmond. Northwest 
of the Southern Capital General McDowell was acting in support of 
McClellan' s drive, and needed reinforcements. Banks in the Valley 
was instructed by the War Department that his operations there must 
be defensive only and confined to protection of the Northern Capital 
against attack by Jackson's greatly reinforced command. Accordingly, 
Banks fell back to Strasburg, about fifteen miles west of Front Royal. 
He was stripped of much of his force, for on May 2nd both Shields 
and Geary had been detached from his Valley command and placed 
under McDowell. 

By May 15th, Geary's main force was already east of the Valley. 
But he had left a very small detachment at Front Royal under Major 
Hector Tyndale to protect the bridges. Shields, however, was still in 
the Valley, having moved eastward more slowly and much* more 

Shields was not primarily interested in taking Richmond. His con- 


suming desire was to catch Jackson and destroy him. Hence, when 
detached from Banks with more than ten thousand men and ordered to 
join McDowell, preferably via Front Royal, Chester Gap, and Warren- 
ton, he moved eastward unwillingly and constantly tried to have his 
route changed so he could trap Ewell and Jackson and wipe them out. 
McDowell was so well aware of Shields' obsession that he wired him 
Jackson was on his way east to Hanover Junction on the line -toward 
Richmond, "so in coming east you will be following him." 

At the council overheard by Belle, two important matters must have 
been discussed. These were: the exact route to be followed the next 
day and thereafter to join McDowell; and how to trap and destroy 
Jackson, who, according to McDowell, was somewhere along Shields' 
route and heading east toward Richmond. 

Jackson, of course, was still in the Valley and actually southwest of 
Front Royal. He knew where Banks was, and that Geary and Shields 
were moving eastward, but he probably did not know how far they 
were going or that they had been officially detached from Banks and 
assigned to McDowell. 

What he undoubtedly learned from Belle Boyd via Colonel Ashby 
was that Shields and probably Geary were joining McDowell and had 
therefore been taken away from Banks; that Shields and McDowell 
thought Jackson was moving east; that Shields meant to seek and trap 
Jackson's "demoralized" army eastward; that Banks' command was 
greatly reduced; and that most likely only a very small detachment 
would remain at Front Royal after Shields marched off. 

To Jackson, certain possibilities must have been clear immediately. 
By cutting in at Front Royal, the Federal forces there could be de- 
stroyed, and the Confederate forces would then stand between Banks 
and the East. Banks could not move toward McDowell or toward 
Washington without being intercepted and, in view of his reduced 
strength, it might be possible to wipe him out completely. Shields and 
Geary might start back, but this would relieve McDowell's pressure on 
Richmond. Then, too, Fremont might race in from the west. But, if 
he struck hard and fast, they would all be too late. If Banks were 
completely destroyed, if McDowell were slow in sending Shields and 
Geary after him, if Fremont lagged, the road to Washington would be 
well ajar. . . 

As Belle slept on, General Shields and his command left Front 
Royal. Before she rose, another Federal force had marched in. When 
she saw these new Northerners, it is likely that she believed Shields 


had left them behind. But he had not. They were a detachment of 
Banks' command which the War Department had ordered him to send 
to Front Royal to strengthen and maintain an impossible line of com- 
munications between Banks at Strasburg and McDowell far to the east. 
The new troops, totalling about one thousand men, were led by Colonel 
Kenly, and consisted of his First Maryland Infantry Regiment, some 
companies of the Fifth New York Cavalry, and a battery of field 
artillery. 39 


"Kindness of Lieutenant H " 

T took a week for sudden and violent action to result 
from the various military developments in the Valley. 
During this period Belle remained in Front Royal. She 
had hoped to go farther South, but it seemed preferable 
to wait until she could travel more safely than roaming 
Federal columns then permitted. Once her decision to stay over with 
old Mrs. Glenn and young Alice was made, her mother returned to 
Martinsburg. Meanwhile Belle, unable as usual merely to sit and wait, 
found something exciting and dangerous to do. 

On May 20th, Belle and Alice decided to visit Winchester, and 
asked the Provost-Marshal, Major Hector Tyndale of the Twenty-eighth 
Pennsylvania Infantry 40 , for a pass. At first, he refused flatly, then 
reconsidered, and finally, probably remembering that he wouldn't be 
accessible, promised to issue one the following day. The next morning, 
May 21st, the two girls, accompanied by Eliza, prepared to leave, by 
carriage. All they needed was the pass, but it hadn't arrived. They 
inquired, and learned to their dismay that the Provost-Marshal had left 
on a scouting expedition and would probably not be back until late 
that night. 

Greatly perplexed by this untoward development, the two cousins 
wondered what to do. Had they known the nature of Major Tyndale's 
mission, Belle, at least, would have been even more greatly disturbed. 
1 At midnight on- the 20th, says Major Tyndale's official report 41 , The 
set out with about one hundred and thirty men to scout southward. 
Over a mountain road "not on any map I have ever seen" he reached 
Browntown, eleven miles away. Here he learned that men of the Eighth 
Louisiana Regiment, previously reported as far off as Swift Run Gap, 
had been in Browntown the 'night before. He also learned that drums 
had been heard five miles southwest, that small -bodies of enemy cavalry 
were on other roads, and that Confederate infantry and cavalry were 
expected to arrive in strength. 

Back in Front Royal at noon on May 21st, Tyndale saw General 
Geary who was temporarily in the village. That afternoon the major 
wired General Banks about his scout and was thanked for his energy 


and enterprise. Possibly Tyndale, who later became a major-general, 
realized that his news indicated a probable attack in force on Front 
Royal very soon and perhaps over the Gooney Manor Road he had 
found on no map. But he said that this road could be defended against 
four-fold odds. And he stressed that Ewell's command must be in 
terrible condition, for a Confederate soldier, captured in civilian 
clothes, explained that Ewell had been unable to outfit him. 

There is nothing to show whether Tyndale's wire to Banks on the 
2 1st was as informative as his official report sent to Geary on the 22nd. 
If it was, surely Banks, who expected disaster to follow when left in 
the Valley with only a few thousand men, should have taken some 
action. Had he done so, the history of the next few days in the Valley 
and their effect upon vital operations elsewhere would undoubtedly 
have been materially different. But, as will be seen, Banks believed to 
the very last that Jackson's main attack would be at Strasburg from 
the south. 

While Major Tyndale was making his way back over the Gooney 
Manor Road, Belle and Alice had found someone else who, with a 
little urging, might help them. This was Lieutenant H., an officer of 
the cavalry force stationed in the village. -He was known to them and, 
noting that they seemed to be in some difficulty, he had stopped and 
asked politely what the trouble was. Belle outlined their predicament 
and, realizing that the Union pickets they would have to pass were 
from the lieutenant's own troop, said pleadingly: "Now, Lieutenant 
H., I know you have permission to go to Winchester, and you profess 
to be a great friend of mine. Prove it by assisting me out of this 
dilemma, and pass us through the pickets." 

After some hesitation, the young Northerner consented. He mount- 
ed the carriage box, the ladies got inside, and they started off. 

Meanwhile, at "Bel Air," Miss Lucy Back had risen early to write a 
letter which Belle was to deliver for her. Miss Lucy, with two friends, 
Nellie and Kattie, walked over to the Strickler House to meet Belle. 
There, Miss Buck has recorded in her diary, she "found a carriage at 
the door in which was seated the young lady with a Yankee officer." 
She was quite willing to let Belle, whom she disliked so obviously, 
run the risk of delivering letters for her within the enemy's lines, and 
she must have understood that it was often necessary to have out- 
wardly friendly relations with the enemy. She was nevertheless ap- 
palled by the discovery that Belle would consort so freely with the foe, 
no matter for what end. Upset beyond measure, she "concluded not to 


intrust my letter with one who appeared upon such familiar terms 
with those whom we most dreaded, so crossing the street we went on 
up to see Cousin Mary." 42 

Lieutenant H. did not accompany the ladies into Winchester. Short- 
ly before they reached there, he left the carriage and continued on 
foot, having matters to attend to at the Federal camp on the outskirts. 
In town, possibly because of the delay in their departure, Belle and 
Alice found they could not return to Front Royal the same day. Ac- 
cordingly, they remained overnight at the home of friends. 

Early the following morning a gentleman of high social standing 
came to the house, and handed Belle two packages. His instructions 
regarding them were most explicit. 

"Miss Boyd," he said, "will you take these letters and send them 
through the lines to the Confederate Army? This package is of great 
importance; the other is trifling in comparison." Then, handing her a 
little note, he continued: "This is also a very important paper. Try 
to send it carefully and safely to Jackson, or some other responsible 
Confederate officer. Do you understand?" 

She replied earnestly, "I do, and will obey your orders promptly 
and implicitly." 

Negroes were then conveniently considered by the Federals as non- 
suspect. Belle therefore concealed the more important package about 
the person of Eliza. The other she placed openly in a little basket 
and, without giving the matter much thought, wrote heedlessly on it, 

"Kindness of Lieutenant H ." She knew that this notation would 

get it by any casual inspection. What she did not stop to consider was 
that if real trouble arose these words might brand the indulgent cavalry 
officer as a willing accomplice. 

The small note, by far the most significant paper given her, she 
decided to carry negligently in her hand and thereby convey the im- 
pression that it was of no consequence. 

Her next problem was to obtain permission to leave Winchester. 
This promised to be most difficult for the Federals had pickets every- 
where and their requirements as to passes had become more and more 
severe. Only recently, at the cottage in Front Royal, with a picket 
stationed between the farm-yard and the dairy, the dairy maid had 
perforce to go to the cows to milk them and to display to the picket a 
pass signed by the proper authority. The cows, having milk but no 
pass, were not permitted to come to her. In flippant protest against 
this nuisance, Belle had prepared a pass to which she somehow ob- 


tained the necessary official signature. This pass, pasted between the 
horns of the leader of the herd, read 

"These cows have permission to pass to and from the yard and 
dairy for the purpose of being milked twice a day, until further 

At Winchester, Belle knew the situation would have to be handled 
more seriously and subtly. Deciding that a bit of flattery might be 
helpful in the case of an officer who had been a little difficult on a 
previous occasion, she went to a florist and selected a handsome bou- 
quet. This she sent to Lieutenant Colonel Fillebrown with her com- 
pliments and a demure request for a pass to return to Front Royal. 
The answer was not long delayed. The pleased Provost-Marshal wrote 
that he thanked the "dear lady for so sweet a compliment" and 
enclosed the pass. 

Meanwhile Lieutenant H. had finished his business at the camp and 
had rejoined the ladies. The reunited party set out for Front Royal. 
But when they reached the picket lines outside Winchester, their 
further progress was rudely halted by two unpleasant looking men who 
later proved to be Federal Army detectives. They rode up, one on each 
side of the carriage, and, looking in at the window, one addressed 
Belle: "We have orders to arrest you." 

'Tor what?" she inquired. 

"Upon suspicion of having letters," came the ominous reply. He 
then peremptorily ordered the coachman to turn about and drive back 
to the headquarters of Colonel George L. Beal, commander of the 
Tenth Maine Infantry. 43 Upon arrival there, the alarmed passengers 
were curtly requested to alight and to enter the Colonel's office. 

Alice Stewart was openly frightened and shook like a bird caught in 
a snare. Belle, equally upset by their unexpected arrest, realized that 
their only hope depended upon maintaining her presence of mind, and 
so she steeled herself for the inquiry. Outwardly she betrayed no 
symptoms of agitation other, perhaps, than the signs of irritation and 
annoyance natural in an innocent person wrongfully detained and 

The stern colonel asked her immediately whether she had any letters 
in her possession. She knew that if she answered that she had none, 
a thorough search would follow. Accordingly, she drew out of the 
hand-basket the less important package she 1 had placed there, and 
handed it to her questioner. 


He glanced at it and suddenly, in an angry tone, exclaimed "What! 

What is this? 'Kindness of Lieutenant H '! What does this mean? 

Is this all you have?" 

"Look for yourself," she replied coldly, and shook out the contents 
of her basket on the floor before him. "As to this scribbling on the 
letter/' she continued, "it means nothing. It was a thoughtless act of 
mine. I assure you Lieutenant H. knew nothing about the letter, or 
that it was in my possession." 

At this point, the young cavalry officer turned very pale. He had 
just recalled that he had in his pocket a small package which Miss 
Boyd had asked him to carry for her. He drew it out hastily and, 
without a word, tossed it oa the table before the colonel. To his con- 
sternation and his superior's astonishment, this also had on it the fateful 
words: "Kindness of Lieutenant H ." 

This undeniably made matters worse, and the situation was scarcely 
improved when the package was found to contain a copy of the 
decidedly rebellious journal, The Maryland News-sheet. From that 
moment on, Colonel Beal entertained no further doubt as to the 
Lieutenant's actual complicity and consequent guilt. 

In vain Belle fought to exonerate him. She asserted his innocence, 
and pointed out repeatedly that the suspected officer could not have 
known that the packet contained so obnoxious a publication. It was 
obviously impossible, she insisted, that he could have been a willing 

Her efforts failed. The colonel's only response was to turn upon 
her and demand: "What is that you have in your hand?" 

"What? this little scrap of paper? You can have it if you wish; 
it is nothing. Here it is." 

She stepped forward as though to give it to him. Actually, however, 
she meant to swallow it as a last desperate measure if its seizure ap- 
peared inevitable. Fortunately, the Federal colonel's concern with her 
and fche small piece of paper she held negligently in her hand was only 
momentary. Thoroughly incensed by the behavior of Lieutenant H., 
his wrath was, in Belle's own words, "diverted from the guilty to the 

Colonel Beal not only seemed to ignore her presence thereafter and 
the precious note which she still held, but eventually ordered that she, 
her cousin, and Eliza be dismissed. However, as usual, she was to be 
kept under close surveillance. 

Belle states that the investigation of Lieutenant H. continued, and 


that later upon the doubtful evidence of bare suspicion a court-martial 
dismissed him from the Federal service. 

Subsequently she learned how their arrest had come about. A ser- 
vant in the house at Winchester had seen the papers handed to her. 
He had informed the Union authorities there and they had wired Major 
Tyndale at Front Royal. The Major, already angered by her passage 
through the picket lines at that point without a pass, had communicated 
with Colonel Beal and arranged for the arrest. Belle adds: "Had it 
not been for the curious manner in which Lieutenant H. was involved 
in the affair, and in which that unoffending officer was so unjustly 
treated, very much to my regret, I should not have escaped so easily." 

That Colonel Beal, later a distinguished major-general, conducted 
his investigation in so bungling a manner, completely ignored her role 
as the chief offender, and carelessly permitted her to return to Front 
Royal to carry out her mission, seems incredible. Yet on May 31st, 
"Correspondence of the Associated Press" in the New York Times and 
other newspapers throughout Federal territory, and a related article in 
the Washington Evening Star, contained the following significant item: 

"I have the following statement from an officer who participated 
in the battle of Front Royal: 'After you left Front Royal Belle 
Boyd made a trip to Winchester in company with a cavalry officer. 
While there she was arrested by the military authorities, but with 
her usual adroitness and assumed innocence she got clear of any 
charge of treachery, and returned to Front Royal again/ " 

Who was Lieutenant H.? Belle considerately withheld the identity 
of her dupe. Nevertheless, there are several clues that point unmistak- 
ably to a specific individual. 

Lieutenant H. was a cavalry officer and on May 21st he was station- 
ed at Front Royal, with a unit which was on duty in the village and 
charged with the maintenance of outlying pickets. This suggests that 
his regiment was the Fifth New York Cavalry of which two companies 
were a part of Colonel Kenly's command. However, he could have 
been an officer of the Third Indiana or the First West Virginia Cavalry, 
a company of one of these regiments having been left at Front Royal 
earlier in May by General Geary. Or his regiment could have been the 
First Michigan Cavalry, as Major Tyndale took men of that unit with 
his scout on May 21st. 

But in all the cavalry regiments in the commands of Generals Banks 
and Geary, there was only one lieutenant whose name began with the 


letter H who was dismissed by court-martial. He was Lieutenant Abram 
H. Hasbrouck of the Fifth New York Cavalry, and adjutant of its 
Third Battalion. 

Though this tends to show this officer was Belle's escort to Winches- 
ter, it is known that he was captured by the Confederates at Harrison- 
, burg on May 8th. A history of the regiment states that his captors sent 
him to Richmond, but his official record indicates he was paroled and 
rejoined the regiment. While no date is given for his parole, if he 
was not sent to Richmond and was paroled in the field he could have 
been back with the regiment almost immediately and could have been 
at Front Royal on May 21st. 44 

Lieutenant Hasbrouck was not court-martialed until December 1863. 
If he was really Lieutenant H., Belle erred in stating he was dismissed 
from the service as the result of Colonel Seal's inquiry. She probably 
learned of his dismissal and assumed the inquiry had brought it about. 
But under General Orders, No. 106, Headquarters, Army of the Poto- 
mac, December 20, 1863, Hasbrouck, then a captain, was dismissed 
because a general court had found him guilty "on the charge of selling 
government horses/' 45 


Belle's Famous Exploit 

HE achievements of General Jackson in the Valley have 
been set forth fully by profound thinkers on strategy 
and tactics. But for classic simplicity there is nothing 
to equal the following terse description of his initial 

"Stonewall Jackson's men were few 
In the spring o' Sixty-two, 
But he kept the Bluecoats busy 
Fact, he almost made 'em dizzy 
Stealin' marches, quickly cuttin' 
Round about the Massanutten." 46 

The Massanutten is a scenic mountain range completely within the 
Valley and divides it into two branches for a distance of fifty miles. 
Rising abruptly from the plain near Harrisonburg, it runs north and 
ends suddenly near Strasburg. Parallel with the Blue Ridge and of 
equal height, its sharper peaks have a bolder and more picturesque 
aspect. Its strategic value, pointed out by George Washington before 
the Revolution, was heightened by a good road crossing the mountain 
midway of its length and connecting Newmarket on the west with 
Luray on the east. 

On May 15th, when Belle spied on Shields planning to trap Jackson 
southeast of the Valley, "Stonewall" was actually far southwest at 
Lebanon White Sulphur Springs. After a few days' rest, he moved to 
capture or disperse the Federal garrison at Front Royal and so get in the 
rear of Banks' greatly reduced force or compel him to abandon his 
fortifications at Strasburg. A message to Ewell brought the latter west 
into the Valley. Taylor's brigade left Ewell and marched west along 
the southern end of the Massanutten to join Jackson near Harrisonburg. 
The rest of Ewell*s command turned north to go east of the Massa- 
nutten for a rendezvous with Jackson and Taylor near Luray, set for 
May 21st or 22nd* 

On May 21st Taylor, whose father before becoming President of 
the United States had been "Old Rough and Ready" of Mexican War 
fame, Jed Jackson's advance north to Newmarket and then east across 


the Massanutten toward Luray. But Ashby's cavalry brigade had con- 
tinued due north to maneuver impressively before Banks at Strasburg to 
create the impression that a frontal attack was intended there. Ashby, 
however, was under orders to rejoin Jackson in time for the assault on 
Front Royal and to leave behind small detachments to prevent or im- 
pede communication between Strasburg and Front Royal. 

East of the Massanutten Ewell joined Jackson, and on May 22nd 
the latter* s entire command moved north toward Kenly's force. That 
night the advanced elements of the Confederates bivouacked only ten 
miles from Front Royal and just west of the mountain road Major 
Tyndalc had scouted the day before. 

"Moving at dawn on Friday, the 23rd/* reads Jackson's report, "and 
diverging to the right so as to fall into the Gooney Manor Road, we 
encountered no opposition until we came within one and a half miles 
of Front Royal when about two p. m. the enemy's pickets were driven 
in by our advance, which was ordered to follow rapidly/' 47 

In the village a few moments earlier, Belle had been reading quietly 
to Mrs. Glenn and Alice when a servant rushed in and cried: "Oh, 
Miss Belle, I t'inks de revels am a'comin'!" 

Springing up, she ran to the door of the cottage and looked into 
the street. It certainly seemed to be true. The Yankees, upset by some 
unexpected occurrence, were hurrying about in the greatest confusion. 

Among those going by was an officer. She asked him what was 
happening. He replied that the Confederates were approaching in 
force under Generals Jackson and Ewell, They had surprised and 
captured the outer Federal pickets and had come within a mile of town 
without an attack being suspected. 

"Now," he added, "we are endeavoring to get the ordnance and the 
quartermaster's stores out of their reach/' 

Instinctively, Belle wanted more details. 

"But what will you do," she asked, "with the stores in the large 

"Burn them, of course!", came the reply. 

"But suppose the rebels come upon you too quickly?" 

"Then we will fight so long as we can by any possibility show a 
front, and in the event of defeat make good our retreat upon Winches- 
ter, burning the bridges as soon as we cross them, and finally effect a 
junction with General Banks' force." 

Turning over in her mind the information she had just received, 
and its relation to the facts already in her possession, she reentered the 


house and started upstairs. At that moment, the sharp crack of a rifle 
came from outside, and immediately someone came rushing down the 
stairs and very nearly knocked her over. It was Mr. Clarke, Special 
Correspondent of the New York Herald, billeted in her aunt's home, 
and whose persistent attentions to her she had found very distasteful. 

"Great Heavens! What is the matter?" he cried. 

"Nothing to speak of," she said coldly. "Only the rebels are com- 
ing, and you had best prepare yourself for a visit to Libby Prison." 

He turned about quickly and rushed back to his room without a 
word. She followed him upstairs, secured her field glasses and made 
for the balcony at the front of the house. As she passed Mr. Clarke's 
door, she noted that it was open, that the key was on the outside, and 
that he was inside packing his belongings. Such an opportunity could 
not be resisted. She drew the door shut quietly, and turned the key in 
the lock. Then she went out on the baJcony. With her glasses she 
could see the Southern advance guard about three-quarters of a mile 
away marching on the town. 

Seeing them approach, she felt conflicting emotions of hope and 
fear. At the heart of 'the latter was the knowledge that her father was 
with the oncoming Confederates. She knew that the Yankees had been 
planning to trap the Southern forces, but she felt that 'the information 
she had, if conveyed to Jackson, would secure victory. Without it, he 
was doomed, she thought, to defeat and disaster. 

The intelligence she had was that Kenly had only a thousand men 
at Front Royal; that General Banks was northwest at Strasburg with 
four thousand men; that the small force north at Winchester could be 
readily reinforced by General White who was at Harper's Ferry; and 
that Generals Shields and Geary were a short distance southeast of 
Front Royal, while Fremont was west just beyond the Valley. To her, 
the real significance of these dispositions was that all of these separate 
units could unite to cooperate against Jackson. 

Not all this information was personal knowledge. Some of it must 
have been contained in the little note given her in Winchester the day 
before and which she had probably read so as to be able to transmit 
the news verbally if necessary. What the complete picture undoubtedly 
meant to her was that the Confederates could strike a smashing blow at 
Front Royal and perhaps against other isolated Federal units provided 
they knew where all the Union forces were and could avoid being 
trapped if they converged. 

But the note still had to be delivered, and with it the latest news as 


to the Federal force in the village, its strength, its disposition, its plan 
to burn the bridges, and its proposed line of retreat. 

Animated by this realization, Belle hastened to the door. Standing 
about in voluble groups, she saw several men who had always loudly 
professed their attachment to the Southern cause. She told them 
hurriedly that she had valuable information to transmit to General 
Jackson. Would anyone there take it? With one accord, these oral 
patriots promptly refused the honor. Quickly they answered, "No! 
No! You go!" 

No further time could be lost. Without hesitation and without 
conscious thought, she picked up a white bonnet and started at a run 
down the street, still crowded with scurrying Northerners. Soon out of 
the village, she continued on through the open fields without slackening 
her pace. 

Meanwhile, after the Federal pickets had been driven in and their 
small body of supporting infantry had been routed, the Confederates 
came momentarily to a stop on a hill overlooking the town. Below 
them, the hurried movements of the enemy and the galloping of horse- 
men revealed the confusion created by the initial onset. 

During the Confederate halt, says Henry Kyd Douglas,- now a staff 
officer, General Jackson was taking in the situation before ordering an 
advance. He did not yet know that the Federals were so weak or "so 
unprepared by reinforcements for his approach/' 48 

As "Stonewall" pondered, Douglas observed a woman in white glide 
out of town on the Confederate right. Heeding neither weeds nor 
fences, she ran rapidly up a ravine toward the Southerners and, waving 
a bonnet, seemed to be trying to keep the hill between herself and 
the village. 

Douglas called General Jackson's attention to her just as she dis- 
appeared from sight and "Stonewall," at the suggestion of General 
Ewell, sent his young staff officer to meet her and learn her errand, a 
mission the latter confides "was just to my taste/' 

Racing on, and using the uneven terrain for shelter as much as 
possible, Belle hoped desperately that she would remain unobserved by 
the Yankees until she reached the advancing Confederates. But she 
knew that the dark-blue dress and the fancy white apron she wore over 
it made her far more conspicuous than was desirable, and she felt sure 
they made her visible at a great distance. 

The Federals had placed their artillery on an eminence commanding 
the road by which the enemy was advancing. The Union infantry 


occupied the hospital buildings in force and both artillery and infantry 
kept up a constant fire on the Confederates. 

Until now Belle had apparently escaped detection. But the Federal 
pickets, falling back, soon noticed her and immediately turned their 
fire in her direction. Many shots came dangerously near and some balls 
struck the ground so close to her as to throw dust in her eyes. The 
Yankees in the hospital, noting the new target of the pickets, also fired 
at her. Several balls pierced her clothing, but not one even grazed her 
skin. As she pressed on, she came under a cross-fire of artillery, and 
one Yankee shell struck the earth a scant twenty yards away. As it 
burst, she hurled herself to the ground, and shell fragments rained 
about her. Still uninjured, she rose and struggled on. 

Fully aware now of the great peril into which her impetuous dash 
had carried her, fear and courage, the love of life and the steadfast 
determination to serve the cause of the South without faltering, fought 
their own battle within her. Recalling her sensations three years later, 
she marvelled at the ease with which she tore across the fields and 
"bounded over fences with the agility of a deer/' 

As she neared the Southern advance-guard, she waved her bonnet 
vigorously and significantly to indicate that it should press forward. A 
loud cheer from the First Maryland (Confederate) Regiment and Hay's 
Louisiana Brigade rang out in immediate reply and spontaneous tribute. 
Both units, without waiting for further orders, swept by her and dashed 
on toward the town at a rapid pace. 

The main Confederate force was still hidden from her view by a 
slight elevation. As she realized that the advance-guard had charged 
on, the dreadful thought came suddenly to her that the Southerners 
might not be in sufficient force for a real assault and that the very men 
who had just cheered her would then be rushing to certain death. 
Overcome at last by fatigue, despair, and this frightful possibility, she 
faltered and sank to her knees. Instinctively, in that suppliant position, 
she prayed briefly and earnestly. 

Strangely inspired and refreshed anew, all uncertainty forsook her. 
She rose again and went on. To her indescribable relief and joy, she 
caught sight of the Confederate main body within a short distance, aad 
soon "an old friend and connection of mine, Major Harry Douglas, 
rode up, and recognizing me, cried out, while he seized my hand, 'Good 
God, Belle, you here! What is it?' " 

"Oh, Harry," she gasped, "give me time to recover my breath," 

For some seconds, she could say no more. But as soon as she could 


speak, she produced the -little note given her in Winchester. Then she 1 
told Harry Douglas all the news she had, and urged that the cavalry be 
hurried on with orders to seize the bridges before the Federals could 
destroy them. 1 

Belle relates that Douglas galloped off to report the matter to 1 
General Jackson. The General then rode forward and asked her 
whether she wished a horse and an escort for her return. She thanked 
him, refused his offer, and made her own way back to Front Royal.- 

Romantic young Douglas never forgot this encounter, and it is one 
of the high-lights in his memoirs, I Rode With Stonewall, published' 
in 1940. When he rode out to meet the tall, graceful woman he had 
glimpsed, he was startled, momentarily, to hear her call out his name.- 
"But I was not much astonished," he wrote, "when I saw that the visitor 
was the well known Belle Boyd whom I had known from her earliest 
girlhood. She was just the girl to dare to do this thing." 

The young officer's story of what she told him is far more detailed 
and graphic than hers. 

"Nearly exhausted, and with her hand pressed against her heart, 
she said in gasps 'I knew it must be Stonewall, when I heard the 
first -gun. Go back quick and tell him that the Yankee force is 
very small one regiment of Maryland infantry, several pieces of 
artillery and several companies of cavalry. Tell him I know, for 
I went through .the camps and got it out of an officer. Tell him 
to charge right down and he will catch them all. I must hurry 
back. Goodby. My love to all the dear boys and remember if 
you meet me in town you haven't seen me today/ " 49 

As Belle gasped out her message to her friend Harry, numerous 
interested spectators of the stirring scene stored various details of it in 
their memories. Conspicuous among them were Dick Taylor, the sol- 
dierly son of "Old Rough and Ready, 1 ' the fascinated adjutant of 
Swell's command, and a private of the Fifty-second Virginia Infantry. 

To General Taylor, commander of Jackson's advance units, the in- 
formation that breathless Belle gave with the precision of a staff officer, 
was vital. He wrote later in Destruction and Reconstruction that 
Jackson knowing it earlier, had riot mentioned it to' him. And he 
revealed that it was he who, acting on it, launched the assault. "Con- 
vinced of the correctness of the woman's statements, I hurried forward 
at a 'double 1 hoping to surprise the enemy's idlers in the town, or swarm 
over the wagon bridge with them and secure it/' 50 

In the case of Swell's adjutant, it was the woman rather than her 


news which made the greater impression. In the manuscript records of 
his brigade he recorded that she "was to my eye pleasant and lady-like 
in appearance and certainly had neither 'freckled face, red hair, and 
large mouth 1 as the New York Herald said she had. She seemed em- 
barrassed by the novelty of her position, and very anxious that we 
should push on." 51 

But it was probably the humble private of the Fifty-second Virginia 
Infantry who was most observant. Thirty-six years later, in a pathetic 
booklet he hawked about to make a living as a one-legged veteran, 
Ex-Private John Robson made two shrewd comments. He surmised that 
the news Belle brought was what "perhaps General Jackson may have 
been expecting/' As to the statement by General Taylor that Stonewall 
had had the same information at least two days earlier, Robson, prob- 
ably having in mind that the situation could have changed materially b7 
the afternoon of the 23rd, added slyly that the old information Jackson 
had "only needed Belle Boyd to confirm it." 52 

According to Douglas, General Jackson and Belle Boyd did not 
meet on this occasion. He says that as he raised his cap and left her to 
carry her message to Jackson, she kissed her hand to him, and was gone. 
While he told "Stonewall" what she had said, and answered his com- 
mander's inquiries about her, he caught one last wave of her white 
bonnet as she regained the village and disappeared among the houses. 

Soon, writes Douglas, the First Maryland Infantry and Wheat's 
Louisiana Battalion were rushing down into the town. It was then that 
General Jackson, who had never heard of Belle before, suggested, half 
smiling, that Douglas go on with the troops and see if he could get 
more information from "that young lady." No order was ever obeyed 
with more willingness and alacrity. And the distinguished author of 
/ Rode with Stonewall relates: 

"I looked for Belle Boyd and found her standing on the pave- 
ment in front of a hotel, talking with some few Federal officers 
(prisoners) and some of her acquaintances in our army. Her 
cheeks were rosy with excitement and recent exercise, and her eyes 
all aflame. When I rode up to speak to her she received me with 
much surprised cordiality, and as I stooped from my saddle she 
pinned a crimson rose to my uniform, bidding me remember that 
it was Hood-red and that it was her 'colors/ I left her to join the 


Consequences of Belle's Exploit 

HEN Belle got back to Front Royal, she was utterly ex- 
hausted. However, a most potent and pleasant tonic 
quickly revived her. This was the enthusiastic acclaim 
of the Confederate soldiers now filing through the village 
and recognizing their heroine. 
After young Harry Douglas, wearing her colors, left her to rejoin 
"Stonewall," Belle sought rest and quiet in the little cottage. Mean- 
while, the news of her exploit spread from home to home, and soon 
came to the ears of Miss Lucy Buck. 

The last time Miss Lucy had seen Belle, that young girl, two years 
her junior, had shocked her by being, seemingly, on familiar terms with 
the enemy. Alice Stewart was, of course, "a sweet girl" and she 
wished Alice would visit "Bel Air" more often, but Belle, she felt, was 
superficial, vain, and frivolous. Yet now she had to jot down in her 

"Speaking of boldness reminds me of an exploit attributed to 
Miss Belle Boyd Wednesday. 'Tis said that she wished some infor- 
mation conveyed to -the army about the time of the keenest firing 
and not being able to get anyone to go for her, she went herself to 
a most exposed point, where the bullets fell like hail stones about 
her riddling her dress/ 1 

Still doubtful, she added candidly: 

"I know not what truth there is in the rumor." 54 

In better-informed circles, it was more than a rumor. That night a 
courier rode to the Strickler House with a brief note for Belle written 
hurriedly at the home of Mr. Richards, just outside Front Royal. It 

"May 23, 1862 
Miss Belle Boyd, 

I thank you, for myself and for the Army, for ,the immense 
service that you have rendered your .country today. 
Hastily, I am your friend 

T. J. Jackson, C S. A."* 

*See pp. 211-12, for discussion of this letter. 


By now the tide of battle had rolled on beyond the village where the 
Federails had abandoned about $300,000 worth of stores that they had 
been too hard pressed for time to burn. The Confederate cavalry, hav- 
ing forded the Shenandoah, had cornered Kenly and compelled him to 
surrender. The infantry, headed by Taylor, had raced for the wagon 
bridge. It. had gotten across, thanks solely to Belle, but it had been a 
very near thing indeed. The Federals had already set it afire and many 
Confederates burned their hands severely tossing flaming brands in the 
river. General Taylor's horse and clothing were badly scorched as he 
galloped over the bridge, stirrup to stirrup with an impatient Southerner 
he suddenly recognized as an aroused "Stonewall." 

Had the bridge been destroyed before the Confederates could have 
crossed, it is unlikely that the great success achieved thereafter would 
have been possible. Once across, 'the roads west to Strasburg and north 
to Winchester were open, and Banks, his flank turned, could be trapped. 
He must fall back. But where? A knotty problem for Banks, it puzzled 
"Stonewall" as well. 

If Jackson marked time at Front Royal or moved on Strasburg, Banks 
would head north for Winchester and get there first. If "Stonewall" 
marched headlong for Winchester to cut off that exit, Banks might 
slip east through Front Royal and add to the Union forces massing 
against Richmond. 

The solution adopted by Jackson was to move diagonally northwest 
toward Banks' rear so that, whether the Federals chose to go north or 
east, the Confederates would be close enough to both routes to intercept 
them either way. At that, had Banks started immediately for Win- 
chester he might still have escaped, for news of the attack at Front 
Royal reached him quickly. 55 

When Charley Greenleaf of the Fifth New York Cavalry rode to 
him with news of the attack on Kenly, the Federal general refused to 
consider the situation as serious. Still feeling Jackson intended a 
frontal assault on Strasburg, he sent only a regiment and two pieces of 
artillery to reinforce Kenly. But Greenleaf, returning toward Front 
Royal, turned back to tell Banks he had run into the Eighth Louisiana 
Regiment and learned that Jackson's forces against Kenly totalled 
twenty thousand. 55 

Banks, at last convinced, praised Greenleaf, and told him he had 
saved the Union army. In less than an hour, the Federals were moving 
toward Winchester. But it was then too late. Jackson struck Banks' 
column near Middletown, broke it in two, and pursued the forward 


part on through Winchester and Martinsburg to the Potomac, over 
which the Northerners hurled themselves to come to a halt at Williams- 
port, Maryland. But for inexcusable delay on the part of the Con- 
federate cavalry under Ashby and Stuart, said Jackson, Banks might 
well have reached Winchester minus his entire army. "Never have I 
seen,'* he wrote, "an opportunity when it was in the power of the 
cavalry to reap a richer harvest of the fruits of victory." 56 

As it was, this Federal disaster was great enough to create in the 
highest military circles of the sensitive Northern Capital a panic almost 
hysterical in intensity. The Northern papers, possibly with public 
morale in mind, minimized the seriousness of the situation. Hence only 
the official records reveal fully the consequences that ensued when a 
young girl gasped out in General Taylor's hearing, on a hill above 
Front Royal on May 23rd, that the bridges must be seized before the 
Federals could destroy them. 

Before May 23rd the Federal War Department had believed that 
Jackson, strongly reinforced, would erupt from the Valley in a drive for 
Washington. Yet it had stripped Banks of most of his strength to aid 
McDowell in the east and had then ordered Banks to hold off "Stone- 
wall." When Kenly was overwhelmed, and Banks' flank was struck, 
the situation seemed so desperate that President Lincoln, the coolest and 
most resolute man in the Northern capital, found it necessary to take 
full control of remedial measures. 57 

On the morning of the 24th, the greatly flustered Geary had reported 
to Washington that he was reliably informed that Jackson with twenty 
thousand men was moving eastward from Ashby's Gap through Aldie 
toward Centreville, a town only twenty miles from the District of 
Columbia: The President disturbed, but not at all convinced, relayed 
the report to Saxton at Harper's Ferry, and asked pertinently, "What 
has become of the force which pursued Banks yesterday?" 57 

Meanwhile, on the same day, as it developed that Banks was being 
chased toward Martinsburg by Jackson, Lincoln ordered McDowell to 
lay aside the drive planned against Richmond and to set twenty thou- 
sand men in motion at once for the Valley. They were to capture 
Jackson and Ewell with or without the aid of Fremont. Banks was not 
to be counted upon for support. It was increasingly evident that he 
would have -to be rescued. 57 

McDowell, acknowledging his instructions and sending Shields and 
Geary back toward the Valley, admitted the disaster was "a crushing 
blow/' Also on the 24th, Fremont was urged eastward by Lincoln to 


relieve Banks by attacking Jackson. The presidential order left no doubt 
that the situation was most grave. It ended: "Much perhaps all 
depends upon the celerity with which you can execute it. Put the 
utmost speed into it. Do not lose a minute." 57 

Fremont, however, advanced slowly and with great reluctance, ob- 
viously impressed by reports that Jackson had between sixty and seventy 
thousand men. With the exception of Banks, already engaged, and the 
rash Shields, anxious to fight "Stonewall" anywhere, any time, the 
Federal field generals were alarmingly eager to steer dear of Jackson. 
Their excessive caution at -length so exasperated the President that he 
wired sarcastically to McDowell on the 28th: 

"You say General Geary's scouts report that they find no enemy 
this side of the Blue Ridge. Neither do I Have they been to the 
Blue Ridge looking for diem? 

A. Lincoln."*? 

Probably Jackson could have reached Washington. But it would 
have served no useful purpose. He hadn't destroyed Banks, and the 
latter, with Geary, Shields, Fremont, and others, could now converge 
and overwhelm him. Moreover, his own men and supplies were ex- 
hausted. The best course for him was to withdraw quickly up the 
Valley to escape being trapped. And when his pursuers became bolder, 
he might turn on them, particularly if a Northern advance guard got 
too far ahead of its main body. Fremont was too cautious for that, but 
it was the sort of thing that might readily happen to a rash Irishman 
like Shields. 

Pricked onward by Shields, JGmball, heading Shields* first brigade, 
reached the ridge east of Front Royal early on May 29th. The Twelfth 
Georgia Infantry, commanded by an 'officer with insufficient combat 
experience, held the village. He withdrew immediately, and the Federals 
entered so quickly that they were able to release some of the Northerners 
captured on the 23rd. In addition, they captured many Confederates. 
General Kimball noted later that there were "160 prisoners, including 
Miss Belle Boyd, a famous spy in the service of the Confederates." 
And General Sawyer records : "Among our prisoners was the celebrated 
Belle Boyd." 58 

Belle probably did not intend to remain behind. Her exploit was so 
well known that she could hardly hope it would remain a secret if the 
Federals returned. The sudden withdrawal of the Twelfth Georgia 
Infantry may have taken her by surprise. Or she may have felt that she 


could accomplish more behind the Federal lines and could talk her way 
out of any difficulties that might develop. She may even have decided 
to stay with the Confederate wounded. Already the dark blue dress she 
had worn in her dash across the battlefield had been cut up to make 
shirts for them. 

It was a woman who betrayed her a Northern woman Belle had 
impulsively befriended. Taken prisoner by the Southerners on the 23rd, 
the captive professed to be the wife of a soldier in the First Michigan 
Cavalry. Distressed by her forlorn condition, Belle provided her with 
clothing and saw in other ways to her comfort. 

As soon as the Federals were back in Front Royal and had freed the 
prisoners held by the Confederates, Belle's protege took great pains to 
reward her benefactress in a tangible but disconcerting manner. Hurry- 
ing to General Kimball, she denounced Belle as a most dangerous rebel 
and a malignant enemy. The general thereupon placed Belle under 
arrest, and sentries were stationed about the cottage. But when General 
Shields arrived, she was at once released. Thereafter she did not see 
" Annie Jones" again, or even learn her actual identity, until late in 
1863 when, under far more distressing circumstances, both Belle and 
Annie were prisoners in the Old Capitol at Washington.* 

By now the Northern press was acquainting its readers with Belle's 
activities as a Southern agent and her role in the battle of Front Royal. 
On May 31st the New York Herald \ the Philadelphia North American, 
the New York Times, and other Federal papers contained an Associated 
Press item sent from Banks' headquarters at Williamsport, Maryland. 

In this dispatch a war correspondent related that on the 18th at the 
hotel in Front Royal he had seen "an accomplished prostitute" who had 
figured largely in the rebel cause. Having seen her only recently at 
Martinsburg, he suspected that her presence at Front Royal meant 
mischief. He had pointed her out to the military authorities and 
recommended her arrest. Now it had become known that she had been 
carrying extensive correspondence through the opposing lines. And, 
speaking of the same woman, he quoted a Federal officer as saying: 

" 'An hour previous to the attack on Kenly, Belle went out on 
a rise of ground south of the town, and was seen to wave her 
handkerchief toward the poiat from which the center of the attack 
was made/, " 

This item was read widely in the South as well as in the North. 

*See .pp. 132 and 135. 


That it came to the attention of Miss Lucy Buck and that she did not 
overlook the attack on Belle's character seems clear from her comment: 

"Had a paper announcing the evacuation of Corinth * * * It 
also took complimentary (?)* notice of Miss Belle Boyd's heroism 
on the 23rd." 59 

Belle always believed it was A. W. Clarke, correspondent of the 
New York Herald, who first defamed her in the Northern press. More 
than once he had intruded upon her and Alice so persistently that she 
had been compelled to bolt the door of their sitting room against him. 
She knew, too, that although he had escaped through a window when 
she locked him in his room he had later been captured by the Confed- 
erates. She had seen him being led away down the street with other 
prisoners, and he had called out to her vengefully: "I'll make you rue 
this. It's your doing that I am a prisoner here/' 

It was the vivid memory of these things that led Belle to write later: 
"It is to him that I am indebted for the first violent undisguised abuse 
with which my name was coupled in any Federal journal." 

Yet Belle was wrong. Clarke could not have written the Associated 
Press item. After escaping from his room, he had cut the ferry line 
over the Shenandoah, and carried messages for Colonel Kenly who 
subsequently cited him for valuable service as a volunteer aide. Clarke, 
taken prisoner that day, was ornly released through the intervention of 
General Jackson on June 5th. Captured on the 23rd, he could not have 
written the dispatch sent from Williamsport, Maryland on the 28th. 60 

Whoever did write the abusive item was not entirely without qualms. 
At its very end he added a cautious hand-washing disclaimer that he had 
personal knowledge of anything other than undeniable proof of treason. 
His disavowal read: "Your correspondent cannot vouch for the strict ac- 
curacy of all the foregoing, but undeniable proof exists of her treason." 

Where he secured some of his proof is clear. It must have beea 
from the Fifth New York Cavalry, the regiment which maintained the 
picket lines which Belle slipped through. The history of this cavalry 
regiment states, regarding Banks' disaster: 

* 'Belle Boyd, the noted Rebel female spy;" was undoubtedly 
instrumental in causing our defeat. It was afterwards ascertained 
that she was the bearer of an extensive correspondence between. 
Rebels outside and inside our lines." 61 



But the late Dr. Thomas A. Ashby, a distinguished citizen of Front 
Royal, tells a different story. According to his recollection of Jackson's 
Valley campaigns, written in 1914, Belle simply rode into the Confed- 
erate lines on May 22nd, gave "Stonewall" information that proved 
unreliable, -and, <c as far as I know, was never under arrest/' 62 

His error as to the date may be dismissed as typographical. But 
when he asserts that Belle's information proved unreliable, he offers no 
proof and is flatly contradicted by General Taylor's, statement that "it 
was true to the letter." 

His claim that Belle was never under arrest is refuted by the written 
testimony of Generals Kimball and Sawyer that she was taken prisoner. 
Moreover, in May, 1862 Thomas Ashby was less than fourteen years old. 
At that age, his lack of knowledge of an event would hardly be con- 
clusive proof that it did not occur. That he managed to remain in 
ignorance of it for more than half a century is even less impressive. 


The War Department Arrests Belle Boyd 

OTING that Northern papers published extravagant ac- 
counts of what they termed her "exploits" on May 23rd, 
the eighteen-year-old Virginian girl was no more favor- 
ably impressed by them than when they had called her 
a prostitute. 

She mentioned disdainfully that one credited her with having directed 
the fire of the Confederate artillery throughout the engagement. A 
second, she pointed out, claimed that she had sustained the wavering 
counsels of the Southern generals by the force of her genius; and a third 
had described her, sword in hand, leading the attack on Front Royal. 
This arrant nonsense she dismissed with the scornful words: "As I 
believe that the veracity of the Yankee press is pretty well known and 
appreciated, I shall give no more extracts from their eloquent pages." 

As all the surrounding area was again in Federal control, Belle 
thought once more of going farther South. General Banks, who had 
ventured back across the Potomac as Jackson withdrew up the Valley, 
was now at Front Royal, and his headquarters were at her aunt's. It 
was to him that, with probable misgivings, she applied for permission 
to leave. 

"Where do you wish to go?" he asked. 

"To Louisiana, where my aunt resides," she replied. 

"But what will Virginia do without you?", he inquired teasingly. 

"What do you mean, General?" 

He smiled and said, "We always miss our bravest and most illus- 
trious, and how can your native State do without you?" 

Laughingly, she thanked him for his galknt compliment, and he 
then engaged her with the utmost good nature in conversation on the 
part she had played in his defeat. So considerate was his behavior under 
the circumstances that she thought him one of the most affable gentle- 
men she had ever met. Yet, as prudent as he was agreeable, he did not 
consent to het departure. 

Meanwhile Shields had rushed westward and had been soundly 
thrashed at Port Republic* on June 9th. Several of his officers 'had re- 


turned to Front Royal, and their story of the defeat dismayed the 
Federals stationed there. 

One afternoon, about a week later, a boy of the village was startled 
as a young woman riding a spirited horse and accompanied by a Federal 
officer dashed up to his home. Springing from her saddle, she rushed 
into the house, asked a servant "where she could find the wounded 
officer," then hurried upstairs and entered the officer's room without 
ceremony. "This woman/' says Dr. Ashby, "was the then celebrated 
Belle Boyd." 

Belle does not mention this incident, and her reason for this visit 
can only be surmised. But young Tom Ashby, outraged by her abrupt 
invasion of his home, wrote more than fifty years later: "When she 
rode up to my home to see the wounded German officer she was playing 
the game of flirt and lowering the dignity of her sex/' 63 

He added that there were two wounded officers in the Ashby home 
at the time. One was a Federal, attached to General Shields' staff, who 
had been shot in the face at Port Republic. The Ashbys had been told 
that this man was an officer in the German army, on leave of absence, 
who had joined the Union forces to learn about American warfare. A 
handsome, dashing fellow, quite popular with his comrades, he was the 
man Belle had come to see. 

It is unfortunate that in the writing of his memoirs Dr. Ashby's 
recollections were so often inaccurate. The records show that only one 
member of General Shields' staff was wounded in the battle of Port 
Republic, and that he was not a German officer on leave from the 
German army. He was Captain, Daniel J. Keily, an Irishman, aide-de- 
camp to General Shields. Cited for bravery and energy in the Port 
Republic engagement, he had received "a severe wound in the face 
while urging forward the men, and was carried off the field." For- 
tunately he recovered, and later was made brevet brigadier-general for 
gallant and meritorius conduct. 6 * 

In view of Tom Ashby's youth in 1862, it is likely that in later life 
he confused his recollection of Captain Keily with that of a German 
officer on a general's staff who was wounded in the throat in June of 
the next year. But this was the valiant Major Heros von Borcke, aide- 
de-camp and assistant adjutant-general of the Confederate cavalry' leader, 
"Jeb" Stuart. 65 

When it is realized that Belle was calling on Dan Keily, her errand 

1 becomes less mysterious and in fact solves a mystery. For Captain 

Keily was surely the Captain JC., aide-de-camp to General Shields, who 


had been writing Belle love-notes, sending her flowers, and giving her, 
unintentionally, valuable military information. That she called on him 
when he was severely wounded merely to flirt does not seem reasonable. 
Her visit was more likely a polite and purposeful call upon one with 
whom continuance of friendly relations might still yield military advan- 
tage. Or, in a period when courtesy toward a stricken enemy was often 
instinctive, it may have been simply an act of natural kindness. 

Even to Thomas Ashby, Belle was a well-bred woman of some per- 
sonal beauty, vivacious, attractive, and a skilled rider of spirited horses. 
He admitted that she did not lack energy, dash, and courage. "But," he 
asserted loftily, "she had none of the genius, inspiration and fervor of 
the true heroine." At the time of her visit to his home, she had, he 
wrote, already attracted considerable notice by her activities, but, in his 
opinion, neither the Federals nor the Confederates took her seriously. 

She played with both sides, he continued, a game that inspired no 
confidence in either, and was as far below the standards of the pure and 
noble womanhood of the South as a circus rider. "So much for Belle 
Boyd," he concluded. "Her heroism has long faded into the forgetful- 
ness of her generation. She has found no decent place in history/' 

Tom Ashby, at least sixteen and a half years of age when the war 
ended, was older than many youthful Confederate volunteers. That he 
took no part in the conflict is stressed by his description of his book as 
' the "reminiscences of a non-combatant." As for his parents, he relates 
that through the Federal General Duryee, billeted in their home, they 
purchased with Southern gold enough food and supplies in the North to 
last them throughout the war. 66 

His critical comments cannot be ignored. But as a child in 1862 he 
could have known little about Belle at first hand, and this little is shown 
to have become a highly confused and warped recollection. Many of 
his conclusions were undoubtedly hearsay derived from his parents and 
other elders. And no matter how estimable and patriotic they were, the 
Ashbys were not qualified by superior achievement to determine arro- 
gantly Belle Boyd's place in history, or to complain that she lacked the 
spiritual qualities of true heroism. 

Despite Dr. Ashby' s prophecy, Belle Boyd has won an honorable 
place in Front Royal's history. In 1936 the County Centennial of Prog- 
ress folder claimed 'proudly that "Belle Boyd, the famous Confederate 
spy, sometimes used Front Royal, as the base of her operations." During 
the Centennial celebration the Strickler House was a museum of which 
the most noted exhibit was the "historical Belle Boyd cottage." At the 


same time the local Warren Rifles Chapter, United Daughters of the 
Confederacy, sponsored a pamphlet entitled * 'Belle Boyd, Southern Spy 
of the Shenandoah." In it these ladies lauded Belle as "the pride of 
the Southern soldier, the admiration of Northern firesides, and the toast 
of the British Empire." 67 

Not long after Belle's visit to Dan Keily in the Ashby home, most of 
the Federals in and about Front Royal were withdrawn. Only the Third 
Delaware Infantry remained, commanded by Colonel Samuel H. Jenkins. 
A very large and stout man, Belle considered him coarse in both 
manners and appearance. 68 

Two other officers who remained behind produced a far more favor- 
able impression. These were Major McEnnis, the provost-marshal, and 
his assistant, Lieutenant Preston, who were very courteous and kind. 

It was on a day late in July that Belle noticed two men dressed as 
Confederate soldiers standing by a flag-tent pitched near the Stewart 
cottage. It was here that Federal passes to go South were issued. At 
her request, her grandmother sent for Major McEnnis, learned the men 
were paroled Confederates heading South, and secured permission to 
invite them to dinner. 

Belle extended the invitation in person to one of the men. He ac- 
cepted gladly. But he hoped they would dine soon for he had only 
two or three hours to get beyond the pickets. To his hostess, this 
promptly suggested an idea. Why not have him take news to the 
Southern lines? Impulsively she asked: "Won't you take a letter from 
me to General Jackson?" 

He agreed readily, and she went off to write her message. But a 
hovering servant followed her, and asked: "Miss Belle! Who's dat 
man you's a-talkin' to?" 

She answered, "I know no more about him than that he is a paroled 
rebel soldier going South." 

The woman shook her head dolefully, and continued earnestly: 
"Miss Belle, dat man ain't no rebel. I seen him 'mong de Yankees in 
de street. If he has got secesh clothes on, he ain't no secesh. Can't fool 
Betsy dat way. Dat man's a spy! , Dat man's a spy! Please God, he am." 

Unconvinced, her mistress went to her room and wrote her letter. 
In it she detailed valuable information regarding the Yankee forces, 
their movements, and activities. Then she called the Confederate aside, 
gave him the letter, and said: "Will you promise faithfully, upon the 
honor of a soldier, to take the utmost care of this, and deliver it safe to 
General Jackson? They tell me you are a spy, but I do not believe it." 


He denied the charge hotly, and left, swearing to act with fidelity 
and dispatch. Shortly after his departure, a Federal officer mentioned 
casually that the man was a Union spy headed for the Confederate lines. 
Belle became really alarmed. She had given the man a paper which 
would enable him to move freely about Jackson's headquarters and 
command. Something had to be done promptly to remedy this. After 
much anxious thought, a possible solution occurred to her. Hastily she 
scribbled a few lines addressed to Captain Harry Gilmor of the Con- 
federate cavalry. She described the man carefully, explained he was a 
spy, and admitted she had been duped into giving him a letter for 
General Jackson. Then she dispatched this message by "underground 

An old Negro was the locomotive, and an enormous silver watch 
with its works removed served as the mail car. Under forced pressure, 
the old man shuffled off to seek Gilmor in the hills, reminding himself 
to be sure to say, if asked for the hour, that his watch was broken and 
no longer kept time. 

However, as Belle learned later, the Union spy did not go to the 
Confederate lines. Instead, he travelled north straight to General Franz 
Sigel who, since the end of June, was in command of a Union corps in 
the Valley. Placed in Sigel's hands, the letter was forwarded immedi- 
ately to Secretary of War Stanton in Washington who lost no time 
taking action fraught with dire consequences for the writer of the 

For the Yankee agent, the consequences were even worse. Belle, 
with characteristic interest in what happened to those who matched wits 
with her, records laconically that he was later caught on the Rappa- 
hannock and hanged. However, on this one point she seems to have 
been misinformed for he not only survived the War, but his own version 
of this adventure is now available to confirm her recital and to add 
some amazing details. 

It was in July, 1862 that C. W. D. Smitley, chief of scouts of the 
Fifth West Virginia Cavalry, was sent from New Creek to Front Royal 
with orders to report to General ,R. C. Schenck. Upon arrival one of 
the General's aides informed him that Belle Boyd was in town on 
parole and was suspected of violating her parole. His assignment was 
to entrap her. . 

Presenting himself under an assumed name as a paroled Confederate 
officer, Smitley secured lodgings with a prominent resident of Southern 
sympathies. Discussing Belle Boyd with his host, and ptaising her 


valuable services, he learned, writes a comrade of Smitley, "that Miss 
Boyd was the sensation of the village, that the intensely loyal Confed- 
erates idolized her, and that she had a large following of Federal offi- 
cers who were ready to do her homage/' 

That same afternoon his host's daughter invited Smitley to have tea 
with the fair Southern scout. Calling at the address given him, he was 
introduced to her in his assumed character, and found her "a lady of 
culture, a brilliant conversationalist, expert with the piano, and rather 
pretty." Other ladies called, squired by Federal officers, but Miss Boyd 
was the center of attraction. When she played and sang "The Bonnie 
Blue Flag," the Federal scout stepped forward boldly in his Confed- 
erate role and defiantly added his powerful bass voice to hers. 

This audacious conduct, he claimed, gained him Belle's complete 
confidence. Soon she told him how she was violating her parole and 
urged him not to consider binding his own parole to the hated Yankees. 
A few days later at an evening party she favored the masquerading 
Smitley with marked attention. Incensed by this and the contrasting 
coldness with which Miss Boyd treated him, the aide of General 
Schenck, who had assigned Smitley to his task, taunted Belle Boyd with 
the revelation that her favorite was a Yankee scout. 

Scornfully resentful, the Southern girl refused to believe this treach- 
erous disclosure. But, relates Smitley 's comrade, the following morn- 
ing she called on Scout Smitley for an explanation, greatly agitated and 
crying like a child. 69 

.So ends abruptly the Northern version of the story, leaving much 
untold. Both narratives agree fundamentally, yet vary significantly. 
And of the two principals, it is certainly Belle Boyd who is more 
discreetly reticent. 

After this incident, the Federals in Front Royal knew what Belle's 
activities were, either through the message she had given their agent or 
through her revelations to Smitley. They were certain to do something 
about it, and Belle's immediate problem was to figure what their course 
would be. 

For two months she had been trying to get permission to go farther 
South. But the Yankees did not want her to leave for they felt she 
would take information to the Confederates. Detaining her, however, 
meant that she might gather information within their lines, and would 
only have to worry about transmitting it. Now that the Northerners 
had proof that she was actually sending out intelligence they had to 


decide immediately whether it was wiser to send her South or to 
imprison her. 

Belle knew or suspected what their local decision would be. On 
Saturday, July 26th, she appeared in Warrenton, said the New York 
Tribune, in the company of a wounded captain of the rebel Black Horse 
Cavalry who had been paroled. Here Belle openly offered to take 
letters to Richmond for three dollars each. 

On the 29th, three days later, what she apparently desired happened. 
A Federal officer called upon her in Front Royal, speaking plainly of 
her activities and saying that further misconduct would produce de- 
cidedly unpleasant results. He stressed that the Yankees, once thor- 
oughly aroused, would not hesitate to inflict the severest punishment. 

He urged her to leave Front Royal immediately. It was no longer a 
matter of granting her earlier requests for permission to leave. She 
was being asked to go willingly, or suffer the consequences. Belle ad- 
mitted she would not mind going to Richmond, and the relieved officer 
promised to secure a pass for her. It was agreed that she would leave 
on Thursday, the 3 1st. 

A most unpleasant situation had produced remarkably helpful de- 
velopments. She was going to Richmond and would have a Yankee 
safe-conduct. But the private letters she had accepted were merely 
incidental to her main purpose. What she undoubtedly planned was to 
report to the Confederate War Department the information she had 
been able to collect within the enemy lines and had already tried to 
send to Jackson. 

The intelligence she possessed must have been along lines similar 
to the news in the report sent from Oharlottesville to the Southern 
Secretary of War on July 28th by a Confederate courier. This agent 
stated that General Pope's forces, in the very region Belle had visited 
on the 26th, totalled about thirty-five thousand men. Located mainly 
around Sperryville and Washington, they, were on the move, headed, 
perhaps, lor Swift Run Gap and the Valley. This dispatch was signed 
"S. D. Boyd, Courier, War Department." 70 And it was addressed to 
George W. Randolph, Secretary of War, who was, as Appendix A 
shows, a cousin of the widow of Belle Boyd's cousin, Dr. William S. 
Bell, former mayor of Chattanooga. 

That Stephen D. Boyd and Bellq Boyd collaborated closely in their 
Confederate intelligence work is likely. Stephen Boyd's son, now 
Commissioner of Revenue, Warren County, Virginia, recalls that Belle 
and his father were very close friends. She visited Stephen Boyd often 


after the War at his home in Browritown and claimed the Browntown 
Boyds as kinsmen. Among the possessions of S. D. Boyd's descendants 
is an autographed photograph of "Belle Boyd of Virginia" which she 
presented to him many years after the "War. 

But Belle did not get to Richmond. The Federals in the village were - 
willing to let her go to be rid of her. Higher authority, however, had 
other plans. She must leave Front Royal, but for a destination other 
than Richmond. Orders were issued, and in Washington and the Valley 
men moved to obey them. 

On Tuesday, July 29th, in the late afternoon, Belle, her cousin Alice, 
and Lieutenant Preston were on the cottage balcony. Watching the 
setting sun sink slowly behind the serene hills, their conversation turned 
to nostalgic memories of the peaceful past. They recalled its happiness 
and joys, deplored the divided and unhappy state of "our country/' and 
agreed sadly that the future promised but a continuance and even an 
increase of calamities. For the moment, they were not enemies, but 
heart-sick Americans conscious only of national disaster. 

As twilight deepened into gloom, and their forebodings grew darker, 
the sound of horses' hoofs drew their attention, and they saw a large 
body of cavalry approaching the house. Belle, aroused from her sad 
thoughts, took it to be a Federal scouting party on its way to the moun- 
tains to surprise Harry Gilmor's cavalry. Again a rebel, and her mind 
once more attuned to purposeful activity, she hurried to her room and 
wrote Giknor a brief note of warning. As soon as this was off by the 
reliable "underground railway/' she retired, and slept soundly, her 
sleep undisturbed by her unhappy reflections at twilight or by any 
premonition of impending disaster. 

She rose early the next morning. After breakfast she stood at the 
cottage door observing idly the movements and activities of those at 
headquarters. Her attention was soon drawn to several Yankees en- 
gaged in dragging put a carriage and preparing to harness horses. A 
strange feeling came over her, and she found herself ruled by a single 
insistent thought. She must know for whom the carriage was intended. 

Going up to the balcony, she had a better view. The street before 
the house was filled with cavalrymen. They were dismounted, and 
lounged about, but their horses were at hand and they were evidently 
waiting for the order to -mount. As she sought to interpret the meaning 
of this scene, a servant came and said: "Miss Belle, de Provo' wishes 
to see you in de drawin' room and dere's two oder men wid him." 

She descended immediately. Awaiting her, she found Major Me- 


Ennis, the Provost-Marshal, whose face betrayed nervousness and ex- 
citement, and two other men. One, a tall, fine-looking officer, was 
Major Francis T. Sherman of the Twelfth Illinois Cavalry, later a 
brigadier-general, whose regiment had been stationed at Martinsburg 
since late June. 71 The other man, a coarse-looking civilian with an 
unkempt, grizzly beard, was short, and had a mean, vile expression. 
He glanced about constantly with small, restless eyes incessantly watch- 
ful and suspicious. His features were, Belle thought, extremely repel- 
lent, and depicted ferocity, cunning, and cowardice. She was not sur- 
prised when he proved to be one of Secretary Stanton's hirelings a 
detective of the United States Secret Service. 

Without further preamble, Major McEnnis said briefly: "Miss 
Boyd, Major Sherman has come to arrest you/' 

"Impossible!' she cried. And then, angrily, demanded, 'Tor what?" 
Before the Provost-Marshal could answer, Major Sherman spoke. 
He assured her in a very kind but firm tone that although the duty he 
had to perform was painful to his feelings he must nevertheless exe- 
cute the orders of the Secretary of War without question. As he 
finished speaking, the detective produced a document and proceeded 
to read it. As far as Belle could recall later, it ran as follows: 

"War Department 

You will proceed immediately to Front Royal, Virginia, and 
arrest, if found there, Miss 'Belle Boyd, and bring her at once to 

I am, respectfully, 

E. M. Stanton." 


In Close Custody to Washington 

TUNNED by this order signed by the dread Secretary of 
War, and instantly aware of its implications. Belle made 
no further protest. 

But the detective then announced that he must ex- 
amine her belongings. Thinking of the evidence he 
would find if not hindered in some way, she begged a few moments of 
grace to enable her servant to prepare her room for his visit, and asked 
leave to withdraw. Taking his consent for granted, she started upstairs 
and stopped short in amazement as the Secret Service man promptly 
followed. Again she asked him to wait. Saying gruffly that he knew 
she had papers she wanted to hide, he pushed violently past her and 
entered her room. 

First, her clothes were turned inside out in a thorough search, and 
cast upon the floor. Then the detective noticed her desk and port- 
folio and made ready to examine their contents. Eliza forestalled him, 
however. Snatching up as many papers as she could hold, she rushed 
headlong to the kitchen. There she thrust them into the fire. But 
among the documents not destroyed were several in Belle's handwrit- 
ing. These Mr. Stanton's agent confiscated, as well as a handsome 
pistol which a Federal staff officer had given her the year before in 
token of his admiration of her spirit in protecting her mother. 

The detective also broke open a private writing-table and took 
from it personal papers of Mr. Stewart. He then turned to Belle and 
in a rude tone and most offensive language ordered her to be ready 
to leave in thirty minutes. Her request that Eliza be permitted to 
accompany her was denied, and the one trunk she was allowed as 
luggage was soon strapped to the back of the waiting carriage. 

Bracing herself for the ordeal ahead of her, Belle walked into the 
drawing room and announced in steady, unbroken accents that she 
was ready. Her composure remained unshaken as her grandmother 
and Alice wept bitterly, and Elifca, clasping her about the knees, beg- 
ged leave to attend her. The servant's hold was broken, and Belle 
was hurried out the door and into the carriage. 

News of her arrest had spread quickly, and many citizens had 


joined the soldiers in the street. Head high, she met the gaze of her 
neighbors proudly. In most eyes she saw the comforting tribute of 
unmistakable sorrow and sympathy. But there were others, too, which 
reflected with equal clarity both satisfaction and exultation. Finding 
herself so closely watched by friend and foe, she resolved to be neither 
an object of pity to the one nor a subject for derision to the other. 
Though her heart throbbed violently, her eyes remained dry and not a 
muscle of her face quivered. Not a single outward sign betrayed the 
inner turmoil and emotion in the heart of the eighteen-year-old girl at 
the prospect of prolonged captivity or worse. 

If Belle caught the eye of Miss Lucy Buck on this occasion, what she 
saw there was certainly neither sympathy nor sorrow. Miss Lucy's 
journal contains this unfeeling comment: 

"Belle Boyd was taken prisoner and sent off in a carriage with 
an escort of fifty cavalrymen today. I hope she has succeeded in 
making herself proficiently* notorious now. They say they are 
going to put her within our lines and keep her there." 72 

Of course, Thomas Ashby maintained Belle was never arrested as 
far as he knew. Why he did not know of this particular instance is 
best suggested by the fact that he had typhoid fever that summer, 73 

As Belle's carriage moved off, the Federal cavalry formed about it. 
She estimated that her escort numbered about four hundred and fifty 
men, and their formation was that of cavalry proceeding through 
enemy territory. The usual advance and rear guards preceded and 
followed the carriage, and upon each flank fifty scouts were detached 
in skirmish order to guard against lateral attack. 

In this fashion they went on until a hill was reached commanding 
a clear view for several miles in all directions. Here the cavalcade 
halted, field-glasses and signal whistles were put to considerable use, 
and other unusual activity was engaged in. To the youthful prisoner, 
still suffering severely from shock and apprehension, the behavior of 
her escort was most disturbing. 

She noted with dismay that the carriage had been stopped under a 
large maple tree. From its sturdy trunk there extended significantly 
across her line of vision a long, heavy limb from which her imagination 
immediately suggested an inert human figure might soon, dangle. 
Could it be that she was about to be dragged out and hanged? 

In silent, solitary agony she awaited fearfully the brusque announce- 



ment that here was her journey's end. Instead, to her immeasurable 
relief, the now welcome command "Forward!" rang out suddenly, and 
they went on again, her carriage at a walking pace. 

Later she learned that the great precautions taken for her removal, in- 
cluding the halt upon the hill, had been due to fear that Ashby's cavalry 
would attempt to rescue her. Ashby had been killed in June, but his 
brigade was as active as ever, and such men as Belle's uncle, Captain 
Glenn, and his comrade Harry Gilmor, were quite capable of following 
her captors well into Federal territory in a mad effort to free her. 

Upon the outskirts of Winchester, another unit of the regiment 
joined them. As the carriage rolled solemnly through the town, 
guarded closely by the impressive force of some five hundred brave 
sabers, residents rushed to their windows and doors to watch the 
unusual procession. What they thought was happening, Belle did not 
know. Her senses of humor and perspective restored, she suspected 
that they could only believe that the vehicle containing her small 
person was a funeral car bearing some noble and heroic Federal 
warrior fittingly to his eternal resting place. 

At six o'clock on Wednesday evening the carriage came to a stop 
before the headquarters of General Julius White, a quarter of a mile 
beyond Winchester. She was ordered to alight, and was ushered into 
the presence of the general. He received her with a graceful bow and 
bade her welcome with marked courtesy. She returned his salutation 
with as much ease as she could muster, and asked what he meant to 
do with her. 

"Tomorrow," he answered, "I shall send you on to the commanding 
officer at Martinsburg. He can best inform you what is to be done 
with you. You will rest here after your journey for the night." 

General White's reply was clearly a polite evasion. He had earlier 
that day wired Mr. Wolcott, Assistant Secretary of War: 

"Mr. Cridge is here with Miss Boyd as prisoner. What shall 
be done with her?" 74 

From Washington, Mr. Wolcott had telegraphed the Secretary of 
War's orders: 

"Direct Cridge to come immediately to Washington and bring 
with him Belle Boyd in close custody, committing her on arrival to 
the Old Capitol Prison. Furnish him such aid as he may need to 
get her safely here." 74 

With her normal assurance almost completely regained, Belle 


promptly asked leave to spend the night with friends in Winchester. 
The Federal commander refused this request fretfully. He added that 
it would take a whole cavalry regiment to guard her, and that though 
the rebel cavalry might not enter the town to attempt a rescue, he had 
no doubt the citizens themselves would try it. 

Undismayed, the artful girl made another attempt to escape, at least 
temporarily, from the intimate vigilance of her captors. "But, surely," 
she pleaded, "you do not mean that I am to stop here, defenseless and 
alone in a tent, at the mercy of your brigade? I never yet slept in a 
tent when I was present with our army, and/' she queried audaciously, 
"how can I endure such a penance in the camp of my enemies?" 

"My own tent/' replied the general, with a low bow, "has been 
properly prepared for the reception of a lady. Whenever you wish to 
retire you can follow your inclinations; and you may rest assured you 
shall sleep in perfect security." 

Further protest was clearly useless. Supper was brought in and 
placed on a table arranged with a dazzling display of rich silver plate. 
The thought that the real owners of this fine tableware were probably 
at the moment miserable outcasts in want of food effectually destroyed 
any appetite her sufferings had left her. She ate sparingly and silent- 
ly, then rose from her camp-stool, and begged leave to retire. 

The General rang a small bell, and ordered the Negro who an- 
swered it to show her to his tent. There she listened to the steady 
tramp of sentries pacing to and fro outside, and sought in vain to 
distract her thoughts from her plight. Body and spirit again over- 
whelmed by the heavy burden of her grief, she sat restlessly upon her 
camp-stool, feverish hands pressed hard against her aching head. Yet 
in time, exhaustion triumphed, and she fell asleep. But while she 
slept in security, as the general had promised, her sleep did not remain 
long undisturbed. 

At about three-thirty in the morning she was awakened suddenly 
by the sound of several muskets fired in rapid succession. Then fol- 
lowed the ominous beating of the long roll on the drums. Just out- 
side her tent she heard several officers stumble out to their horses and 
gallop off to the outposts. Her heart beat high with hope. Did this 
night alarm mean her deliverance? Lighting a candle, she sat down and 
anxiously awaited developments. The first came in a roar from the 
darkness. "Put out that light! It is some signal to the rebels. Do 
you hear me?" 


She blew out the light, and a few minutes later -the drums signalled 
the end of the disturbance and of her hope of rescue. What had 
caused the commotion, as an upset sentry explained to his incredulous 
superiors, was an obstinate cow which had strayed from a nearby field 
and had disregarded an order to halt, although twice repeated. The 
soldier, knowing something was moving in front of him, and unable 
to distinguish it clearly, fired when his command was ignored. His 
nervous comrades on adjoining posts had immediately done likewise. 
The offended cow had promptly betaken herself back to her field, and 
the equally annoyed Yankees, once they grasped the Confederates were 
not really upon them, retired again to their tents. 

Roused at dawn, Belle was ordered to make ready to leave at once 
for Martinsburg. As her carriage set out, she noted her cavalry escort 
had been reduced to about two hundred troopers. Their destination 
was reached at about one o'clock in the afternoon. Major Sherman, 
observing that the prisoner was exhausted by fatigue and renewed 
anxiety as to her fate, had his wife accompany her to the Federal camp 
just north of the village. 

Here in the tent of the commanding officer she learned she was to 
be taken to Washington at two o'clock on the morning of the next day. 
Her head bursting with pain, she begged the Union commander to 
permit her to spend the intervening period at her home on the out- 
skirts of the village. But for Mr. Cridge, this request might have 
been granted. He pointed -out to the colonel that Secretary Stanton 
would probably take exception to an indulgence which would enable her 
to communicate with enemies of the United States. Then, having pre- 
vented her transfer to the Boyd home, he went there and looked for 
any, letters she might have sent her mother. 

Meanwhile a carriage arrived at the camp from which a lady stepped 
dressed in deep mourning and wearing a heavy veil. Despite this 
attire, Belle recognized her mother immediately and rushed into her 
arms. f 

Mrs. Boyd renewed her daughter's plea to await her departure at 
home. Again the colonel refused to grant it. However, he permitted 
her removal to Raemer's Hotel next to the railroad station. As soon 
as the prisoner, her mother, and Mrs. Sherman reached the hotel, a 
cordon of twenty-seven sentries was placed about it, three guards were 
posted in the passage leading to the captive's room, and -one stationed 
outside her door. Only then were the other members of her family 
allowed access to her. 


For the trip by rail to Washington, it had been arranged that Mr. 
Cridge should be the prisoner's only escort. The idea of his company 
was so offensive to her, however, that she sent for Colonel Holt 75 and 
implored him to substitute an officer in his place. Under the War 
Department's orders, this was impossible. But the colonel relented to 
the extent of detailing First Lieutenant William J. Steele, Company C, 
Twelfth Illinois Cavalry, to "escort duty/' 76 

As the time to leave approached and Belle realized that she was 
indeed beyond hope of rescue, her self-control gave way to a passionate 
outburst of grief. After this long repressed emotional disturbance had 
subsided, she passed into a stupor which nothing penetrated but the 
sudden ominous whistle of the locomotive of the waiting train. Pull- 
ing herself together by a tremendous effort, she rose to meet the 
demands of the next few moments and soon found herself seated in. a 
railway carriage. 

How she reached the station remained a blank in her memory. 
She only recalled that Lieutenant Steele was constantly beside her and 
that she felt grateful for his presence. Once more fully conscious of 
her surroundings, she thought for a moment that Mr. Cridge had 
remained behind. Looking about, she found, however, that Mr. Stan- 
ton's agent had taken the seat on her left. 

Lieutenant Steele, not -knowing that she was to be taken to the Old 
Capitol Prison, suggested that upon arrival in Washington she should 
go to Willard's Hotel, enjoy a short rest and then go to the Secretary 
of War's office. But Mr. Cridge' s instructions were otherwise, and he 
used sharp words to tell the young cavalry officer so. 

The train reached the capital at nine in the morning. News of 
Belle Boyd's arrest having preceded her arrival, many persons had 
gathered at the station to see the "wonderful rebel." As she stepped to 
the platform, the chief of detectives, Lafayette C. Baker, who had 
been, wired by Cridge, seized her roughly by the aim and shouted 
gruffly: "Come on! I'll attend to you." 

He pushed her through the crowd, but Lieutenant Steele came 
forward and protested vehemently against such ill usage. The only 
reply he received was a torrent of profane abuse. The prisoner was 
thrust into a carriage, and the driver given the order: "Drive to the 
Old Capitol/' But before he could drive off, 'the persistent lieutenant 
rejoined them and asked to accompany her to the prison. Though this 
was bluntly refused, he insisted and warned the detectives that he 
meant to stay with her until she was out of their hands. 


The ride was short, and the jail soon came into view. A vast brick 
building, somber, chilling, and repellent, its dull, damp walls were 
pierced by narrow windows darkened by heavy iron staunchions. At 
this first sight of her new home, Belle reflected bitterly that those who 
were casting her into prison without preliminary accusation and trial 
were the tender-hearted emancipators who shuddered so at the mere 
thought of the wrongs done the blacks. 

Her lament was not without justice. Hundreds of persons were 
now being subjected to military arrest and detention without formal 
accusation or trial. It was an easy, though illegal, way to render them 
harmless, and whenever further detention became useless, military 
commissions released them informally without establishing their inno- 
cence or their guilt. That their constitutional civil rights were violated 
was officially neither of concern nor consequence. 

As the prison doors closed with seeming finality upon Belle, the 
conscientious historian Frank Moore jotted down in his notes for his 
great work: 

"A woman named Belle Boyd, who had been acting as a rebel 
spy and mail carrier to Richmond from points within the lines of 
the Union Army of the Potomac, was captured near Warrenton, 
Va. and sent to the Old Capitol Prison at Washington/ >77 

At about the same time more piquant details were being retailed 
by the Northern press. Notable among the articles was an item from 
Martinsburg by a correspondent of the Philadelphia Inquirer which 
appeared later in Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, was printed in part 
in the Washington Star, probably appeared in many other papers, and 
may have played a part in Belle's arrest. 78 

It related that Belle, leader of the rebel female spies in the Valley, 
was sharp-featured, black-eyed, and twenty-five years old in appear- 
ance, at least. Enjoying all the advantages that society, position, and 
education could confer, she had a subtle mind suited to the days of 
Charles II or Louis XIV and which Mazarin and Richelieu would have 
delighted to employ. 

She had, wrote the correspondent, a certain dash "a smart pert- 
ness, a quickness of retort, and utter abandon of manner and bearing 
which were attractive from their very romantic unwontedness/' And 
for pathos, he provided her with a "pious, good old mother" who 
greatly deplored her daughter's activities. But he neglected to explain 
how the attractive, fun-loving Mrs. Boyd could be, at the age of 


thirty-seven, a pathetically venerable figure afflicted with a vexatious 
daughter twenty-five years old. 

The Inquirers man complained that Belle was exercising her wiles 
upon young and inexperienced lieutenants and captains to whom she 
was presented as "Miss Anderson" or "Miss Faulkner." Paternally 
and patriotically he had warned many of her victims. But, neverthe- ' 
less, he had to admit that, aided by a trained band of youthful feminine 
assistants, she continued to identify Federal regiments and learn their 
strength by pumping new arrivals. 

Moreover, within a mile of Martinsburg, Mrs. Charles J. Faulkner 
and her two accomplished daughters were also extracting intelligence 
from Federal officers. This Virginian lady, whose husband had until 
lately been United States Minister to France, was, the correspondent 
added, "the wiliest and most experienced diplomat in the Valley of 
Virginia. She is more dangerous than Belle Boyd because she is more 
adroit and has a large social influence and greater means of accom- 
plishing her purposes." 

One immediate consequence of this article and similar ones was a 
belief, persistent to this day, that Belle and the Faulkners were inti- 
mately related. Within a few days it was being stated that the two 
ladies were sisters. Perturbed friends of the ex-minister's wife wanted 
no Federal interest either in the Faulkners' well-known activities for 
the South or in their alleged connection with a recently arrested rebel 
spy. On August 8th the Washington Stdr printed two indignant letters 
about both subjects. One, signed by "A Unionist," denied Mrs. Faulk- 
ner was a secessionist and called the item about her cruel and unjust. 
The other asked that the false statement that Belle Boyd was a sister 
of Mrs. Faulkner be contradicted, "for this young lady is not connected 
in any way with Mrs. Faulkner." 

Mrs. Faulkner, a daughter of General Elisha Boyd, was Miss Mary 
W. Boyd prior to her marriage. It was therefore easy for Yankees in 
the Valley to confuse her with the Mary Boyd who was Belle's mother, 
or to assume that the two Boyd families were closely related. More- 
over, the Faulkners lived in Martinsburg at Boydville, an estate in- 
herited by Mrs. Faulkner from her father, and Belle Boyd and her 
parents lived on South Queen Street within a stone's throw of Boydville. 

No American record is found of any blood tie between the Boyds 
of Boydville and Belle Boyd's family. However, both lines seem to 
descend from the Boyds of Kilmarnock, Scotland, and in that case are 
branches of the same parent stock. 


The First Day in the Old Capitol Prison 

ITHIN the famous prison, Belle was ushered into a small 
office. A clerk looked up casually and said her business 
would be attended to immediately. As he finished speak- 
ing, Mr. Wood, the Superintendent, entered. A potent 
personage in official Washington, he was a powerfully 
built man of medium height, with brown hair, a fair complexion, and 
keen bluish-grey eyes. 

His greeting to her was: "And so this is the celebrated rebel spy. 
I am very glad to see you, and will endeavor to make you as comfor- 
table as possible. So whatever you wish for, ask for it and you shall 
have it. I am glad I have so distinguished a personage for my guest. 
Come, let me show you to your room." 

They crossed the hall, ascended a flight of stairs and came to a 
narrow passage with several doors opening upon it and a sentry pacing 
its length. Mr. Wood led her to Room No. 6 and informed her it 
was hers. 

Repeating that she should ask for anything she wished, and promis- 
ing to send her a servant, he added cryptically that she would not be 
locked in her room as long as she ''behaved/' and then withdrew. His 
meaning became clear when she read a copy of regulations sent her a 
few minutes later. This warned that communication with other 
prisoners would be punished by locking her door. 

A casual, half-hearted inspection of her quarters did not take long. 
The scant furnishings consisted of a wash-stand, a looking glass, an 
iron bed-stead, a table, and some chairs. Two very large windows 
took up almost all of one side of the room, and from them she could 
see Pennsylvania Avenue and, in the distance, the former residence of 
General Floyd, ex-Secretary of War, where she had passed many happy 
hours. This memory reminded her forcefully that her present situation 
was deplorably different and plunged her into a sad reverie from which 
she sought to rouse herself by asking for a rocking chair and a fire. 
Though the weather was hot, and the room very warm, she imagined 
that the sight of a bright blaze would make her immediate surroundings, 
seem more cheerful. 


But nothing could erase the bitter realization that she was a prisoner 
of state in the famous Old Capitol. 

A large brick building on A and First Streets, it had acquired its 
name by housing Congress temporarily after the actual Capitol was 
burned by the British in 1814. When Congress moved to permanent 
quarters, it became a very fashionable boarding house much patronized 
by members of the Senate and House. Within its walls the inaugural 
ceremonies for President Monroe were held in 1817, and John C. 
Calhoun died here in 1850. From its portals Commodore Stephen 
Decatur walked forth to the duel in which he lost his life. In 1933 
an article in the Presidential Inauguration Program pointed out that 
where the Supreme Court Building now stood the Old Capitol had 
held prisoner, "Belle Boyd, the celebrated Confederate spy." 

In 1861 it was already a dilapidated structure, but still capable of 
housing many guests, provided they were forcibly detained. Putting it 
to such use, the Government increased its accommodations greatly by 
connecting the facilities of "Duff Green's Row," an adjoining building 
also known as the Carroll Prison. Most of the rooms in the combined 
buildings were less than thirty feet square, but eighteen to twenty-five 
prisoners were placed in -each. On November 9, 1863 the Washington 
Star recorded that the arrival of more than two thousand prisoners 
jammed every corner thoroughly, including the yard where "they stand 
packed as closely as apples in a barrel." 

The rooms and bedding were filthy and alive with vermin. The 
food, according to one finicky captive, was generally musty rice and 
pork or beef in a state of semi-putrefaction served in heaps on the 
mess-room tables without knives, forks, or plates; and, says another 
fastidious patron, it had an odor strongly suggesting an ancient garbage 
heap. The halls were constantly patrolled by sen-tries, the guard was 
changed very noisily every two hours, and the stench from the ^ery 
primitive and inadequate sanitary arrangements was nauseating and 
noxious. The only relief from these conditions was a half-hour out- 
doors daily which some prisoners, including Belle, were not allowed 
to enjoy. 79 

One wing had rooms devoted to prisoners kept in solitary confine- 
ment, and cut off from all conversation or privilege of recreation. In 
a room on the second floor of this section, says John Marshall, "the 
well-known Belle Boyd was confined/* Here the list of names of 
occupants scribbled on the walls vied in length and respectability with 
the registers of the largest and best hotels. Though the Old Capitol 


housed thousands of no particular prominence, It was also the reposi- 
tory for all notable prisoners of war and of state. Among newly 
arriving "Fresh Fish!" so greeted by the inmates, were such dignitaries 
as Governors Vance, Letcher, and Brown. 80 

When Belle requested a fire and a rocking-chair, her needs were 
promptly supplied. Her trunk, having been most carefully searched, 
was brought in shortly after this. An intelligent Negress was then 
assigned to attend her, and this woman soon became extremely useful 
in ways her jailers had not intended. To secure her services, the 
prisoner first had to ask the sentry at her door to summon the corporal 
of the guard, and the latter would call her attendant. But as the 
Federals believed all Negroes loyal to the Union cause the woman was 
never searched. So, although sentinels were posted within sight and 
call of each other upon every floor, Belle experienced no difficulty in 
maintaining communication with friends in the city and elsewhere. 

As the rocking-chair and the fire failed to comfort her, Belle began 
listlessly to unpack her trunk. At that moment her dinner arrived. It 
hardly promised to be satisfactory or adequate, and, moreover, she had 
understood that Secretary Stanton had ordered her placed on a bread- 
and-water diet. However, to her surprise, she was offered then and 
throughout her imprisonment her choice of such items as soup, chicken, 
steak, Irish stew, boiled corn, potatoes, tomatoes, cantelopes, peaches, 
pears, and grapes. 

As this was not the revolting fare about which the inmates com- 
plained loudly and long, and which they suspected consisted of army 
provisions condemned as unfit for human consumption, plainly some- 
one had worked a miracle. The meals probably came from the Old 
Capitol sutler from whom prisoners in funds could buy supplies. But 
Belle, though she had money, did not pay for them. As early as 
August 4th, the Washington Star reported that a leading secessionist 
had visited her in jail two days earlier and provided her with luxuries. 
He may have arranged for her food, but she thought it was furnished 
by her jailers in defiance of Stanton's orders. In the light of subse- 
quent developments, she was possibly right. 

Close upon the heels of the armed guard who removed the tray 
after her first meal, came two official visitors. These were Superin- 
tendent Wood and Mr. Baker, chief of detectives. The latter an- 
nounced formally that he desired an interview on behalf of the Secre- 
tary of War. In him and his companion, Mr, Stanton had selected to 
deal with his eighteen-year-old captive his two most dangerous and 


unscrupulous aides. Both men were skilled in the examination of 
enemy agents, and, although they did not ordinarily get along well 
together, they formed the Federal Government's most successful and 
merciless pair of inquisitors. 

Baker was a special agent of the War Department and for the past 
six months had headed the National Detective Police. Later, in recog- 
nition of his important services, he was made colonel of the First 
District of Columbia Cavalry Regiment, and eventually a brigadier- 
general. It was he who, when President Lincoln was assassinated, 
hunted down John Wilkes Booth. 81 

Wood was understood to have served with Walker's guerillas, had 
long been acquainted with Secretary of War Stanton, and was believed 
to exercise great power over that high official. This belief was held 
so widely that it was commonly said in Washington that Stanton was 
at the head of the War Office and Wood at the head of Stanton. 
Strong-minded, thoroughly self-possessed, and incessantly aggressive, 
Wood respected no authority, military or civil, and was rarely bested in 
any controversy. His lack of political finesse proved no appreciable 
disadvantage. By 1865 he had become head of the Secret Service 
Division of the Treasury Department. 82 

Belle's two callers were redoubtable enough to anticipate little diffi- 
culty in her case. They probably expected a routine performance end- 
ing with an admission of guilt and satisfactory expressions of repent- 
ance and abjuration. 

Seating himself at her request, Mr. Baker promptly launched into an 
impressive but evidently habitual exhortation. He felt sure, he said, 
that she was already tired of prison life, mentioned casually that he 
had come to secure a confession regarding her offences against 'the 
Union cause, and suggested that, as the Federal authorities had plenty 
of proof, she might as well admit her guilt at once. 

"Sir/* she replied, with a knowledge of her rights, to be expected 

of a lawyer's niece, "I do not understand you; and, furthermore, I have 

nothing to say. When you have informed me on what grounds I have 

. been arrested, and given me a copy of the charges preferred against 

me, I will make my statement; but I shall not now commit myself/' 

Unabashed by this first rebuff, Mr. Baker continued the usual pro- 
cedure. He read aloud to her the oath of allegiance prisoners were 
customarily invited to take, waxed eloquent about the enormity of her 
offence, professed that the cause of the South was hopeless, and asked 
her to take the oath. Had she done so, she would, of course, have 


been released instantly. But then she would have been scorned and 
shunned by the South as a renegade, and forever distrusted by a 
Federal Government ready to charge her with treason if she ever again 
served the Confederacy. 

As Belle struggled to find words sufficiently vigorous and yet lady- 
like to answer him, Mr. Baker again pressed the oath upon her. 
Unwisely he reminded her that the dread Secretary of War, Mr. 
Stanton, who had sent him, would receive a faithful report of the 
interview. In a tone certain to be heard well beyond the door her 
inquisitors had carelessly left open, she retorted boldly: "Tell Mr. 
Stanton from me, I hope that when I commence the oath of allegiance 
to the United- States Government, my tongue may cleave to the roof of 
my mouth, and that if I ever sign one line that will show to the world 
that I owe the United States Government the slightest allegiance, I 
hope my arm may fall paralyzed by my side." 

Mr. Baker patiently recorded this outburst in a notebook, and then, 
realizing that he had failed to subdue this young rebel, declared 
angrily: "Well, if this is your resolution, you'll have to lay here and 
die; and serve you right/' 

But the thoroughly aroused Belle was now past all fear of restraint 
and punishment. Warming to her theme, and in a raised voice ad- 
dressed more to the world at large than to her harassed tormentor, 
she cried out: "If it is a crime to love the South, its cause, and its 
President, then I am a criminal. I am in your power; do with me as you 
please. But I fear you not, I would rather lie down in this prison 
and die, than leave it owing allegiance to such a government as yours. 
Now leave the room, for so thoroughly am I disgusted with your 
conduct towards me that I cannot endure your presence longer." 

To her great surprise, she was answered by loud calls of "Bravo! 
Bravo!" But these hearty explosions of approval were not uttered by 
the stunned Mr. Baker and Mr. Wood. They came from outside the 
open door, where delighted Confederate officers and English prisoners 
crowded about 'their own doors and hailed her outspoken denunciation 
of the Federal Government and its overtures with an enthusiastically 
responsive outburst. r 

At this point, Superintendent Wood, who -at the moment seemed to 
hold Mr. Baker in less 'esteem thau usual, decided to intervene. Turn- 
ing to his frustrated companion, he said curtly: "Come, we had better 
go. The lady is tired." And he prevailed upon him to leave. 

What did the flouted Baker now think of the prisoner? His report 


to Stanton is not available, but he mentions her significantly in his 
history of the Secret Service. Here, in his description of the Lincoln 
assassination conspiracy, he assessed the qualities of Mrs. Surratt, who 
was hanged, by quoting a distinguished correspondent of a New 
York paper: 

'Treason never found a better agent than Mrs. Surratt. She 
was a large, masculine, self-possessed female, mistress of her house, 
and as lithe a rdbel as Belle Boyd or Mrs. Greenbrough.* She had 
not the flippancy and menace of die first, nor the social power of 
the second, out the rebellion has found no fitter agent.'* 83 

As to Wood, he was clearly delighted by Belle's performance. "She 
was," he said, "a good talker, very persuasive, and the most persistent 
and enthusiastic rebel who ever came under my charge." He noted 
that while she received large sums of money from her father she spent 
these freely for the comfort of her fellow-prisoners. And he did not 
overlook that "her figure was perfect" and that the flippant and dan- 
gerous rebel was "a splendid specimen of feminine health and vigor." 84 

As a matter of fact, the tough-fibered Superintendent was as much 
Belle's captive as he was her jailer. Though Stanton headed the War 
Department and Wood was said to govern Stanton, the "rebel Joan of 
Arc," as the Philadelphia North American termed her, was never very 
firmly under the thumb of either. 

Wood, contradictory and yet likeable, was a Virginian, pledged to 
the North, with a weakness for Southerners. Among the more turbu- 
lent of his charges, he quickly recognized kindred spirits. In protect- 
ing them against ill-treatment by higher authority, he keenly enjoyed 
'the added satisfaction of ignoring the express orders of his superiors 
and particularly of Secretary of War Stanton. 

Among the women prisoners in the Old Capitol, he had a particular 
liking for Belle Boyd and Mrs. Greenhow. Mrs. Greenhow clashed 
with him often in tilts that 'both greatly enjoyed, and in her memoirs 
gave him in oblique words a respect utterly at variance with her usual 
disdain for all men. The more forthright Belle wrote of him that he 
was prone to be proud of his plebeian extraction, and added, with 
understandable assurance: "I can safely aver that beneath his rough 
exterior there beats a warm and generous heart." 

She had many reasons to think and say so, and one may well have 
been that her jailer was perversely defying Stanton's orders regarding 



her food. The record is certainly clear that he defied Stan'ton as to 
solitary confinement and other matters, and the only question is how 
much he was actuated by regard for the lady and how much by con- 
tempt for his chief. 

The extent of Belle's subjugation of Mr. Wood is probably best 
indicated by a delightful bit of gossip in the reminiscences of General 
W. E. Doster who, as a youthful major, was Provost-Marshal of the 
District of Columbia in 1862. He relates that when Belle was released 
from the Old Capitol and sent South, Secretary Stanton refused to 
allow her to buy a wedding trousseau in Washington. But the lady 
and Mr. Wood again proved a match for the Secretary of War. Doster 
continues: "After she arrived at Richmond, however, she sent a sche- 
dule of the articles she wanted to Mr. Wood, the superintendent, who, 
I understood, forwarded them to her under flag of truce." 85 

Naturally the prisoners in the Old Capitol did not allow their jailers 
precedence in honoring Belle. Scarcely had Wood and Baker with- 
drawn from the inhospitable atmosphere of Room No. 6 when an 
impetuous fellow, enthused by the sentiments and courage of the 
newest inmate, hastened to pay tribute. A low, significant cough drew 
her attention, and as she turned toward the door something small and 
white fell at her feet. Picking it up, she found it was a minute nutshell 
basket upon which were painted miniature Confederate flags. Round 
about it was wrapped a small piece of paper bearing a few eloquent 
words of sympathy. Greatly comforted by this gift, she wrote a hasty 
reply to the Englishman who had sent it, and at the first opportunity 
tossed it to him through the open door of his room across the passage. 

That night Belle found it impossible to sleep. The spontaneous 
expressions of sympathy she had received were greatly cherished, but 
her situation was too dangerous to permit lasting consolation. As the 
need for defiant action receded, reaction set in, and fatigue gained 
ground. Yet her mind dwelt tirelessly upon her predicament. Rising 
from her bed, she walked to the window and looked out over the quiet 
city. Its slumber seemed agitated and unnatural Both her mind and 
body ached for the healing touch of the clear, fresh air of the cool 
fields beyond it 

Throughout the night she remained by the window watching, 
thinking, and praying. Her room had formerly been a committee- 
chamber of Congress, and during her seemingly endless vigil she 
imagined that she heard Clay, Webster, Calhoun, and other legislative 


giants declaim again against the abuses and errors of their time and 
give powerful aid to the cause of liberty. As the first faint light of day 
touched her windows, exhaustion finally triumphed, and the feverish 
images vanished. Throwing herself upon her bed, she surrendered 
gratefully to deep and dreamless slumber. 

Incidents of Prison Life 

HEN Belle rose the next morning, she was somewhat 
refreshed. But again she had to face the realities of her 
situation. What was to happen to her? How long must 
she wait to know? To brood over these questions was 
to invite a mental collapse. Desperately she sought to 
occupy her mind with other things. 

Shortly after nine o'clock, her attendant appeared with breakfast. 
A few moments later the guard outside her door was relieved. Listen- 
ing attentively, she heard the new sentry receive his instructions. He 
was not to permit the lady to come outside her door or to talk with the 
men in the opposite room. If she requested anything, the corporal of 
the guard must be summoned. Then caipe the emphatic parting in- 
junction: "Now don't let these d n rebels scare you. 1 ' 

After breakfast, she turned to the local papers for distraction and 
found accounts of her capture and distorted summaries of her career. 
These publications being Federal, their references to her character, 
motives, and exploits were far from complimentary. 

Probably the most significant item about her in the local press ap- 
peared on August 4th in the Washington Star. This paper, edited by 
a close relative of the mayor of Washington, had unusual facilities for 
the gathering of inside information, and the article on Belle Boyd was 
so revealing as to cause an investigation by the War Department. 

The deeply interested ladies of the Northern Capital learned from 
the Star's reporter that when seen at the Old Capitol, -two days earlier, 
Belle was wearing a plain frock, low in the neck, and her arms were 
bare. Though "romancers" had described "this notorious female spy" 
as beautiful and educated, it now seemed, said the paper, that she was 
merely a brusque, talkative woman, perhaps twenty-five years of age, 
with keen, courageous -grey eyes. Her teeth were prominent, too, and 
she was disappointingly meager in person. 

Washington also read that in Martinsburg Belle had -been steadily 
disliked by "the proper people," had been groaned at there the week 
before, and was considered in her native village to be, if not a village 
courtesan, at least something not far removed from 'that low station. 


"Being insanely devoted to -the rebel cause/ 1 this unsavory person had 
decided to become a spy. She went riding with young officers, was 
said to have been "oddly associated" with a Union general, about 
whose head she boasted she had once wrapped a rebel flag, and in 
various ways had acquired a regular budget of intelligence of Federal 
plans for the Southern forces. 

The Star asserted that she had admitted in prison that she had 
informed Jackson of the Union situation at Front Royal, and it claimed 
that her admissions would convict her as a spy. It added that a leading 
secessionist of Washington had already visited her in jail and given her 
luxuries. In fact, several gentlemen had waited upon her. She had 
talked with them freely, saying she intended to be paroled. Jackson, it 
appeared, was her special idol, and she expressed romantic desires to 
occupy his tent and. share his dangers. 

Having shown clearly that Belle was sordid, unprepossessing, and 
none too bright, the Star's writer allowed patriotic exasperation and 
exaggeration to be tempered suddenly by instinctive admiration. He 
concluded lamely: "She takes her arrest as a matter of course; and is 
smart, plucky and absurd as ever/' 

The War Department's reaction to this article was violent. The 
prisoner had been ordered kept in solitary confinement. Who had 
dared to violate that order, and why? The Department fretted and 
fumed over these questions for a day or two, and then proceeded to 
get them answered. 

Meanwhile Belle was becoming more closely acquainted with her 
fellow-prisoners. On their way to their half hour of recreation out- 
doors, most of them passed by her door. Soon her identity became 
generally known and she recognized several old friends and acquaint- 
ances formerly in the Confederate Army in Virginia. Late one evening, 
-two new arrivals were placed in the adjoining room and, learning that 
their friend, Belle Boyd, was their neighbor, lost no time in communi- 
cating with her. 

At about eleven o'clock, as she sat reading her Bible, a sharp knock 
on the wall to her right brought her attention back to earthly matters. 
There followed the rasping sound of a busy knife scooping out plaster. 
When the point of a long blade pierced the wall, she sprang up and 
went to work with a will on her side to enlarge the hole. Soon it -was 
big enough to afford passage to tightly rolled notes no bigger around 
than a man's fore-finger. The clandestine correspondence begun in 


this way proved to be a source of much pleasure to both sides and 
helped while away many a tedious hour. 

In the room just above hers, where the aggressive Mrs. Greenhow 
had been lodged, were some gentlemen of Frederkksburg. Loosening 
a plank in the floor, they also entered into correspondence with her. 
As to the rooms across the hall, there were no vulnerable wal!3 to 
pierce. But small notes wrapped securely around marbles were rolled 
deftly from one room to another behind the backs of sentries. This 
particular pastime had the added merit of reducing the guards to a 
highly nervous condition of constantly whirling and unsuccessful 

On August 6th the War Department was upset further by another 
indication of continued public interest in its prisoner. On that day a 
monster war meeting had been held in front of the Capitol at which 
President Lincoln and other 'high officials had spoken. At the height 
of the ceremonies, a woman had been arrested, the Star reported on the 
7th, for speaking and acting in a manner annoying to loyal persons. 
Questioned by the authorities, the woman admitted she had been born 
in Richmond and that her people were there. Interrogated about Belle 
Boyd, she said she was anxious to see her. Her husband had already 
seen Belle and wondered why she hadn't been arrested earlier. She 
herself had passed frequently by the prison, but she denied that she 
had ever waved her handkerchief. However, on one occasion when 
ordered to move on she had replied that if they did arrest her she 
would not care. She had friends in the prison and would then have a 
chance to see them. 

On the day the Star published this intriguing item, the War De- 
partment began its investigation. In a letter authorized by Secretary 
Stan'ton, Assistant Secretary of War Watson wrote the District Military 
Commandant, General Wadsworth, that the Star's article on the 4th, 
if true, showed that the Secretary of War's order to keep "the rebel 
prisoner and spy, Belle Boyd" in close custody had been violated. Mr. 
Watson then set forth that a demand had been made on the editor for 
the names of those alleged to have had access to her and the authority 
giving them permission to see her. No answer had been received, 
however, because, "as this Department is just informed, the editor is 
absent from the city." 

Wisely deciding that the editor would be in no hurry to return to 


reply to these pointed questions, the Assistant Secretary of War gave 
the Military Commandant the following order: 

''You are directed immediately to cause a strict investigation to 
be -made on" the following points, viz: 

1. Whether the order committing Belle Boyd to dose custody 
has been violated? 

2. When and by whom and under what authority every such 
violation was committed? 

You will report to this Department the result of the investi- 
gation." 86 

With promptness that stressed the seriousness of the matter, General 
Wadsworth made a detailed report the same day. He informed Mr. 
Watson that his aide, Major Meneely, had visited the prison on the 
2nd with Mr. Van Buskirk of the Post Office Department. Both men 
saw and conversed with Belle Boyd. The order to commit her to close 
custody had not been communicated to General Wadsworth. Mr. Wood 
had received it though -and he did not object to the gentlemen seeing 
Miss Boyd. In fact, Major Meneely had understood Mr. Wood to say 
that a Dr. Hale had also seen the prisoner. General Wadsworth ended 
his report by stating he would try to learn whether Mr. Van Buskirk 
had given the Star its information. 86 

General Wadsworth's report reveals War Department inefficiency 
in failing to communicate to the Military Commandant its order to 
keep the prisoner in close custody. Further, it suggests that the Wash- 
ington secessionist who visited Belle in the Old Capitol may have been 
Dr. Hale. It also shows Mr. Wood disregarding an important order 
of the Secretary of War, known to him. And it emphasizes how much 
Belle Boyd withheld in writing her book. She made no indiscreet 
reference to Dr. Hale or other visitors on this occasion, no statement 
that Mr. Wood allowed her to see them, and no revelation that the 
Superintendent later sent her a wedding trousseau by flag of truce. 
Instead, she wrote warily: "I can safely aver * * * there beats a 
warm and generous heart/ 1 

Soon after this Major Doster, the youthful Provost-Marshal of 
Washington, became interested in 'this disturbing prisoner. Writing 
about her more than half century later, the sedate and distinguished 
general's pulse quickened again pleasantly as he reminisced. 

The first time he called upon Belle, the prisoner was reading 
Harper's and eating peaches. She was plainly a lively, spirited young 


lady, full of caprices, and a genuine Rebel. Her dashing manner and 
air of recklessness made her interesting, but her features he thought 
too irregular to be pretty. She had become noted because of the infor- 
mation she had given Jackson and the influence she had acquired 
through coquetry over Union officers under General Banks. 

Major Doster never saw the charges against the prisoner. Signifi- 
cantly he explains that this was because she was arrested by order of 
the Secretary of War. However, Mr. Cridge, the detective who had 
arrested her, told him she had been a Confederate scout riding between 
the Northern and the Southern lines, and equally intimate at head- 
quarters on each side. 

The only woman prisoner then in Washington, she was the center 
of much attention, and evidently enjoyed it. Flippantly, she remarked 
to Major Doster that she could afford to stay in prison if Stanton could 
afford to keep her. There was so much company and so little to do, 
she said, and, besides, she could brush up on literature and get her 
wedding outfit ready. But the outdoors and horseback riding were 
constitutional necessities for her, and as time went on her cheerful 
defiance waned. She languished for want of physical activity and 
begged leave to walk outdoors accompanied by an officer. This request, 
Doster says, was referred to Secretary Stanton and denied. The impu- 
dent Mr. Wood, however, promptly overruled the Secretary. 

Though she became gradually more subdued, the Provost Marshal 
relates that she was never ill-humored. Courageously enduring her 
tedious and companionless imprisonment, she jested with the prison 
surgeon and asked him often when he intended to give her the pleasant 
medicine he had wittily prescribed for her, and which was freedom. 
She openly admitted being a rebel to the backbone, and constantly 
expressed her willingness to help the Southern cause to the limit of 
her ability. 

Yet, when about to be sent 'to Richmond, she was, perversely, not 
quite ready to go. Her fiance, a Confederate officer, was also a prisoner 
in the Old Capitol and, like her, scheduled for return South, So, with 
the possibility of an early wedding in the offing, Belle expressed a 
desire to buy her trousseau in the Northern Capital before leaving. It 
was then, states Major Doster, that the unromantic Secretary of War 
refused her plea, and that the gallant Mr. Wood once more rushed to 
her assistance. 87 

At the beginning of her imprisonment, sitting -at her open door to 
observe the varied activities going on beyond was Belle's main occu- 


pation. But it was a privilege she soon forfeited. About the fourth 
morning after her arrival, as the prisoners filed downstairs to break- 
fast, a little Frenchman managed to hand her, unobserved, a half 
length picture of Jefferson Davis. It was not in her nature to conceal 
this symbol of her allegiance. Jubilantly she hung it over her mantel- 
piece with the provocative inscription: 'Three cheers for Jeff Davis 
and 'the Southern Confederacy!" 

Lieutenant Holmes, a prison official better known as "Bullhead," 
caught sight of the picture, and rushed into her room like a madman. 
Tearing the picture down to the accompaniment of violent oaths, he 
declared: 'Tor this, you shall be locked in/' Thereupon he closed 
the door, turned the key in the lock, and departed. 

This severe punishment was enforced for several weeks. In the 
sultry summer heat, the air in her room became so oppressive and 
noxious that she grew ill and believed she might die. At last, Mr. 
Wood paid her a visit. Noting her conditiion, he ordered her door to 
be kept open again. Soon after, ignoring Mr. Stariton's refusal of 
permission, he granted her the indulgence of a half-hour walk daily 
in the prison yard. 

For part of the period she was locked in, Belle was nevertheless in 
touch with all the inmates. She had established contact with the room 
on her left, and as it joined with many others it became a channel 
through which intelligence was freely transmitted to all parts of the 
prison. Much of this information was more recent and reliable than 
the rumors circulating in Washington, for Belle's two neighbors on 
the left were a Major Morse of General Swell's staff and Major 
Norman R. Fitzhugh, adjutant-general of Jeb Stuart. 88 Major Fitzhugh, 
with important Confederate plans in his possession, had been captured 
on August 17th near Louisa Court House by the First Michigan Cavalry. 


Friendship, Tumult, Romance 

S Belle's strength gradually left her, she found it increas- 
ingly difficult to stand the hardships of prison life. 
Though she was the only woman held in the Old Capitol, 
there was one prisoner in a worse situation. Her sensi- 
tive heart overflowed with sorrow and pity for him as she 
watched from her doorway the "old gentleman almost bent double with 
age. His long, white hair hung down to his shoulders, whilst his 
beard, gray with the touch of old Father Time's fingers, reached nearly 
to his waist." 

Who was this enfeebled ancient, and what awful crime was laid to 
his account? In answer to her circulated query the answer came whis- 
pered back through the prison walls that he was a Mr. Mahony, editor 
of a paper in Dubuque, Iowa, and that his offence was upholding the 

However, D. A. Mahony was far .more vigorous, in spirit, at least, 
than his sympathetic feminine observer suspected. In his paper, the 
Dubuque Herald^ he had fearlessly denounced certain Federal policies. 
The not unexpected result had been his seizure at home without ob- 
servance of due process of law and without consideration for his age or 
welfare. Hurried away like the victim of kidnappers fearing pursuit 
and apprehension by aroused neighbors, he had been removed to 
Washington -and flung into the Old Capitol. His arrival there on 
August 21st was announced the next day by the omniscient Star with the 
comment that he was "charged with discouraging enlistments and aiding 
the rebels." Undeterred by his fate, his numerous and militant sup- 
porters at home continued his campaign. Shortly they notified him in 
the Old Capitol that he had been nominated for Congress in the Third 
Congressional District of Iowa. 

Today, outside of the modern Telegraph-Herald building in Du- 
buque, the name and career of this courageous spirit are barely remem- 
bered. But in significant literature he has -left an imperishable 
memorial. This is the scathing indictment of the War Department's 
crusade against civilians in his book The Prisoner of State which he 
had the temerity to publish in mid-war in 1863, and the distribution of 


which is said to have been forbidden by express order of Secretary of 
War Stanton. 89 In this volume the grateful author laid aside his politi- 
cal sword of vengeance long enough to devote many eloquently respect- 
ful pages to the young girl from whose heart when she first saw him in 
the Old Capitol welled up the cry, "Poor old man! What an unfit place 
for you!" 

It was on the night of the 21st, his first in the jail, that Mahony, 
haunted by thoughts of home, was startled to hear a woman's voice 
singing, "Maryland, My Maryland !" What was a woman doing in 
the Old Capitol? Was she a prisoner? It was the first time he had 
heard this Southern song. Its words, so stirring to Southern hearts, 
were so warmly expressed by the singer that even the sensibilities of 
those not in sympathy with the cause of the South could not fail to be 
profoundly touched. No one indeed could listen unmoved to this lady 
putting her whole soul into sentiments of devotion to the South and 
defiance to the North. The pathos of her voice, her forlorn condition, 
and her melancholy manner when singing, affected all hearers with 
compassion, and on this and other occasions, wrote Mahony, aroused 
an interest .which came near "bringing about a conflict between the 
prisoners and the guards." 

Despite a natural concern with their own troubles, the Dubuque 
editor and some of his roommates immediately manifested a lively 
interest in the lady. On inquiry, they learned she was Belle Boyd. 
Several had never heard of her, and all wished to know more. "Who 
was she, where was she from, and what did she do?" 

The variety of available information was bewildering for legend 
was already in the making, and nowhere more industriously than in 
the Old Capitol. The most generally acceptable story included a weird 
and distorted mixture of the items Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper had 
just printed about the three redoubtable "feminine desperados" of the 
South Belle Boyd, Mrs. Faulkner, and Belle Jamieson. 

The inquirers were told by Confederate prisoners, who proudly 
professed to know her family, that Belle Boyd was the daughter of a 
respectable Presbyterian clergyman of Martinsburg, and the sister of 
Mrs. Faulkner whose husband was the late Minister to France. 

When General Banks was in the Valley, the tale continued, Belle 
had invited him and other Union officers to a ball. She then rode at 
night some sixty miles to "Stonewall" Jackson, informed him of her 
action, and gave him details of the strength and disposition of the 
Federal forces. She rode back immediately and, having no equal, man 


or woman, as an equestrian, completed one hundred and twenty miles 
in twenty-four hours. 

On the night of the ball according to the story Bell contrived so 
successfully to divert General Banks' attention from military affairs 
that he even permitted her to drape the folds of a large and elegant 
secesh flag over him. Meanwhile, "Stonewall" had marched up and, 
knowing from Belle the weak points of the Federals, attacked Banks' 
forces so boldly that panic ensued and resulted in an overwhelming 
defeat which left the Valley in the hands of the Southerners. 

After this great exploit, the description of which is a fantastically 
embroidered but still recognizable blending of Belle's night ride to 
Ashby and her great service to Jackson at Front Royal, she, according 
to the inspired informants of Mr. Mahony, went to Washington. Here, 
with entree to the best society, she did not spend her time uselessly. 
She decided to sketch the Federal fortifications across the Potomac, 
procured a pass to cross the long bridge and, unfortunately, being less 
cautious than zealous, was detected making a sketch of a fort, and was 
arrested. Following this incident, which obviously credits Belle Boyd 
with some of the activities of Belle Jamieson in Florida, Belle was 
promptly sent to the Old Capitol. 

Mr. Mahony and his comrades did not rely for long on others for 
information about the young woman whose voice had charmed and 
uplifted them. Their room, No. 10, was directly over hers, and Mr. 
Mahony and a Mr. Sheward, rummaging in a closet, quickly uncovered 
the opening in the floor their predecessors had used, and saw Belle's 
light below. Soon they were exchanging mail regularly with her by 
means of lowered strings, and the lowan journalist wrote later that this 
prison correspondence would make a most interesting chapter of Old 
Capitol history. "But/' he added, "the time for this is not yet/' 

It is also Mr. Mahony who reveals that the young girl an Associated 
Press correspondent termed an accomplished prostitute and the Wash- 
ington Star called a village courtesan impressed her fellow-prisoners 
very differently indeed. Whenever Belle appeared in the prison yard 
the Confederate prisoners paid her every mark of respect their miserable 
situation permitted. Most of them doffed their caps as she neared 
them, and she, with natural grace and dignity a queen would have 
envied, extended her hand to them as she passed along. When she left, 
prisoners and jailers alike felt deeply that they were parting from some- 
one for whom they had high personal regard. So great and impelling 
was this sentiment that every inmate sought to secure some token of 


remembrance from her, and nearly every one bestowed upon her in 
return such mark of esteem or affection as his means allowed. All 
rejoiced whole-heartedly when she was released. "There was not a 
gentleman in the Old Capitol whose emotions did not overcome him 
as he saw her leave the place for home." 89 

According to Miss Leech in Reveille in Washington Belle was 
fond of shouting insults at passing Federal soldiers. But the Dubuque 
editor in pointing out that she was the target for coarse jests and foul 
talk by such soldiers makes it clear that there was nothing vulgar in 
the effective taunts and rejoinders with which she defied them. JFor 
instance, after the decisive Northern defeat at the second battle of 
Manassas, she called out gleefully to the foot-sore soldiers coming back 
to the Capital, "How long did it take you to come from Bull Run?" 
'When the infuriated men shouted back: "Hush up, you d n b h, 
or I'll shoot you!" she cried back scornfully: "Shoot me? Go meet 
men, you cowards!" Whenever answering comments provoked or out- 
raged her too much, she stuck her secesh flag through the bars and, 
leaving it there, retired from the window and closed her ears to further 

That one very sensitive individual might react strongly to the pres- 
ence of any woman in so fearful a place as the Old Capitol is under- 
standable. Mr. Mahony's sincere tribute to Belle Boyd might therefore 
be minimized as simply the graceful and facile exaggeration of a par- 
ticularly impressionable newspaperman. Fortunately, there is available 
surprising confirmation of the homage paid her in the even more 
emotional testimony of another prisoner. 

It was, says James J. Williamson, some time in February, 1863, more 
than five months after Belle had been released, that he and several other 
prisoners were singing "Maryland., My Maryland!" As they finished, 
another prisoner, Gus Williams, walked over to them and said approv- 
ingly: "You boys sing that well, but I've heard 'My Maryland! 1 sung 
here in the Old Building in a way that would make you feel like jump- 
ing out of the window and swimming across the Potomac/* 

Who had sung like that, they asked him. The answer made by rustic 
Gus in artless phrases that echoed emphatically Mr. Mahony's more 
polished words has been preserved in the recollections of prison life in 
the Old Capitol which James Williamson wrote almost fifty years later: 91 

'* 'When Belle Boyd wais here,' said Gus, 'I was on the same 
floor. She would sing -that song as if her very soul was in every 
word she uttered. It used to bring a lump up in my throat every 


itime I heard it. It seemed like my heart was ready to jump out 
as if I could put my finger down and touch it. I've seen men, 
when she was singing, walk off to one side and pull out their 
handkerchiefs and wipe their eyes for fear someone would see 
them doing the baby act. 

" 'She left soon after I came in. I was glad to know that she 
was released, but we all missed her. Even some of the Yankees, 
although they would not show it while she was here; but when 
she was sent away they missed her sweet singing Rebel songs 
though they were. One of them told me it -made him feel sad to 
hear her sing.' " 

To Gus and his comrades, Belle was no accomplished prostitute no 
village courtesan. Nor was she just a pleasant, brave and patriotic girl 
of the Southland. By the grace of her womanhood and her warm- 
hearted affection for them, she was to these ragged, filthy, poorly-* 
nourished, sickly, vermin-infested countrymen of hers all of the beloved 
women they had left at home. In her smile, her glance, and her voice, 
in the touch of her hand, in her comradeship, they sought in the agony 
of their captivity and found miraculously the cherished qualities of 
every remembered daughter, sweetheart, mother, and wife. For unless 
Gus Williams lied, this is all he meant when he said: 

" 'And on Sundays, when there was preaching down in the yard, 
she would be allowed to come down and sit near the preacher. 
If you could only have seen how the fellows would try to get near 
her as she -passed. And if she gave them a look or a smile, it 
did them more good than the preaching. You wouldn't hear a 
cuss word from any of them for a week, even if one of the guards 
would swear at them or threaten them/ " 

But not all the esteem and affection surrounding her could protect 
Belle fully from many consequences of captivity. On one unhappy 
occasion, an involuntary breach of the rule prohibiting communication 
between prisoners brought punishment upon a relative. This happened 
when, walking up and down the seven-by-nine*feet area available to 
her outdoors, she suddenly recognized among the men nearby her 
cousin, John Stephenson, a young officer who served with Mosby, and 
probably in the First Virginia Cavalry. Impulsively, she rushed to him 
to exchange a few words of greeting. But the quickly advanced bayonet 
of a guard came between them. She was sent back to her room im- 
mediately, and her cousin John was at once removed to the guard-house. 

A more serious occurrence took place shortly after this. Having a 
loaf of sugar she wished to present to officers across the passage, she 


asked the sentry's permission to pass it over. As he said gruffly, "I 
have no objection/' she thought this sufficient. But as she placed the 
sugar in an officer's hand, the sentry, without warning, struck her left 
hand so violently with the butt-end of his -musket that her thumb was 
broken. The attack was so unexpected and the pain so great that she 
burst into tears. 

When her feelings were again under control, she demanded that the 
sentry summon the corporal of the guard. He refused, and she cour- 
ageously stepped forward to exercise this right personally. The en- 
raged sentry thereupon lowered his musket and presented his bayonet 
at her menacingly. She, says Mr. Mahony in his flowery style, was 
brave and unterrified, and dared the craven-hearted fellow to carry out 
his threat. As she advanced, the guard's bayonet blade pinned her to 
the wall by her dress and inflicted a flesh wound on her arm. 

Fortunately, before the maddened soldier could do her more serious 
injury, the corporal of the guard, attracted by the commotion, came 
rushing upstairs to learn its cause. The sentry was immediately taken 
off post. What punishment, if any, was given him Belle never learned. 
She suspected it was no more than brief confinement in the guard-house. 
It is Mr. Mahony who reveals what might easily have occurred. The 
temper of the Confederate prisoners witnessing this scene was such that 
had the guard hurt Belle badly, "he would have been torn in pieces 
before it could be known to the prison authorities what had happened." 

As Gus Williams said, the prison guards may have missed Belle's 
sweet singing when she left, but one part of her performance, which 
Mr. Mahony records, it is unlikely they ever became unduly enthusiastic 
about, and it may be that the guard who attacked her may have found 
it particularly offensive. Often, when singing "Maryland, My Mary- 
land!" she would stress the words, "Huzza! she spurns the Northern 
scum!" Invariably, the guard before her door, knowing himself to be 
the only Northerner in view, would take personal offence and harshly 
tell her to hush. Flaring up, she would reply defiantly, "I shan't do it!" 
Then, repeating the objectionable words: she would act them out by 
seizing a broom and vigorously sweeping the floor behind the walking 
guard. The sheer bravado of this dramatic gesture never failed to 
reinvigorate and inspire even the most dejected Confederate prisoner. 89 

Secret service work taught Belle to be close-mouthed about official 
matters. As her reticence often extended to her private affairs, it is not 
surprising that she wrote nothing about her prison romance. 


Who was the Confederate officer to whom she became affianced in 
the Old Capitol? Neither General Doster nor Superintendent Wood 
gives his name. But Editor Mahony was well informed. The old 
gentleman from Dubuque confides that Belle's fiance was Lieutenant 
McVay, a handsome, dashing, and gentlemanly individual in the room 
across the passage from her, and that many envied him his good fortune. 

It was said of McVay that he had been left for dead on a field of 
battle, was subsequently revived, and taken prisoner to the Old Capitol. 
That he was highly enterprising is evident from his successful courtship 
of a young woman confined alone in her room, locked in during most 
of her stay, and forbidden to communicate with other prisoners. There 
was romance in his courting, but it was far from private or intimate. 
It was pathetic love-making restricted exclusively to ardent notes per- 
sistently rolled to and fro on marbles under the eyes of their comrades 
and behind the backs of their guards. 

When Robert W. Chambers' stirring story of a Union woman spy, 
Special Messenger, first appeared as a magazine serial about thirty-five 
years ago there were so many who professed to believe that it was a 
record of Belle Boyd's career that the famous author made their ob- 
session the subject of a special preface when the tale appeared in book 
form. He wrote, not too cryptically: "In the personality and exploits 
of the 'Special Messenger/ the author has been assured that a celebrated 
historical character is recognizable Miss Boyd, the famous Confederate 
scout and spy. It is not uncommon that the readers of a book know 
more about that book than the author. R. W. C" 92 ' 

Why any of Mr. Chambers' readers should have confused his heroine, 
a Union spy, with Belle Boyd, a Confederate agent, is not readily 
apparent. To be sure; one episode takes place in the mountains of West 
Virginia and the heroine is reported to have been .educated in an ex- 
clusive Southern school. But these two items are hardly adequate 
justification. ' 

However, there is in Mr. Chambers' story a soldier left for dead on 
a field of battle, who is subsequently revived, and is loved by the woman 
spy. So, despite Mr. Chambers' preface and 'the fact that nothing else 
in the 'book even remotely resembles Belle Boyd's adventures, it is still 
being said that the Special Messenger is a book of stories about Belle 
Boyd. Meanwhile, with equal obstinacy, it is being overlooked that a 
quarter of a century later, Mr. Chambers made Belle a fascinating and 
authentic character under her own name in his great success, Secret 
Service Operator 13?* 


While Belle actually got her trousseau, she did not marry Lieutenant 
McVay, and there is nothing to indicate what happened to him and 
their romance. However, Mrs. John Burns Earle of "Mount Zion" at 
Milldale, Virginia, recalls having seen a letter written in 1862 by Susan 
Glenn, Belle's aunt by marriage, stating that Belle was about to marry 
a Confederate soldier. 


the Lines by Flag of Truce 

ATE in the evening of August 28th, the Old Capitol 
became a bedlam. The cause of the uproar was an 
announcement by Mr. Wood. Belle, reading by her open 
door, first heard it when the excited superintendent 

reached her floor. Neither she nor the other prisoners 

could believe their ears when he roared out: "All you rebels get ready! 
You are going to Dixie tomorrow, and Miss Belle is going with you." 
There was a moment of incredulous silence, and then all the prisoners 
gave three hearty cheers, while Belle cried out with joy. Thereafter 
pandemonium prevailed throughout the night. 

At last the Federal and Confederate Governments had completed 
arrangements for the formal exchange of prisoners, and this step at the 
Old Capitol was the first result. The next day General Wadsworth, 
commandant of the district, wrote General Dix at Fort Monroe that he 
had been directed to forward to him all prisoners of war at the Old 
CapitoL He added: 

"I forward likewise Miss Belle Boyd, a young lady arrested on 
suspicion of having communicated with the enemy. I have agreed 
that she shall be -placed over the lines by the first flag of truce, 
which is in accordance with her wishes. No specific charge or 
information have been lodged against her." 94 

On the same day Special Orders, No. 175, of the District, provided 
that the prisoners were 'to be taken forthwith via the transport Juniata 
to Fortress Monroe by a detail of one officer and twenty men. It also 
directed that "Miss Belle Boyd" was to be turned over to General Dix 
to be sent through the lines to the South. 94 

In accordance with this order, the prisoners, to the number of about 
two hundred, were lined up in the Old Capitol courtyard, taken into the 
street, and formed into line. A carriage was furnished for Belle and 
she stepped into it with Major Fifehugh who had been detailed to stay 
with her. There was a dense throng outside the prison, and as the 
carriage drove off the Confederate prisoners cheered and 'the street re- 
sounded with applause, the crowd joining in joyfully. 

On August 30th the Washington Star published some exceedingly 


shrewish comments on the turbulent scenes thai had occurred at the 
prison gates when the prisoners left. It revealed that "a few" persons 
had gathered there, and that most of them, unblushingly and without 
disguise, made a full display of Secesh sympathies. It described many 
very carefully and warned them to take a hint from the fact that they 
had been observed. 

These Secesh sympathizers included, "a female arrayed in black silk, 
the one arrayed in spotted delaine, * * * the one arrayed in light colored 
bombazine, and also the gentleman carrying the baskets." The latter, the 
paper remarked with malicious significance, was young and seemed quite 
healthy enough to stand a draft. It mentioned also an elderly lady with 
auburn curls whose hif aluting expressions of sympathy were absolutely 
sickening, a brazen woman with a child in her arms who appeared to 
enjoy kissing her hand to the rebels, and a rather pretty young woman, 
wearing a white straw bonnet with green ribbon, who drove by in a 
carriage to which a "gray" horse had been treasonably hitched. 

The outraged Star further recorded bitterly that it could relate num- 
erous other evidences of Secesh sympathy, that a small Confederate flag 
hung from the bars of a window drew numerous nods and smiles, and 
that "a man dressed like a gentleman rode by in a carriage, and delib- 
erately waved his hat, and gave a slight cheer." 

Why the Federals freed Belle is no clearer than their release of Mrs. 
Greenhow after she sent Beauregard information enabling him to win 
the first battle of Manassas. They may have felt it desirable to get rid of 
Belle to break her ties with Confederate sympathizers in Washington, or 
because she improved the morale of her fellow-prisoners too greatly. 
And they may have reasoned that if she were sent South she would not 
dare to enter the Union lines again and would therefore be harmless. 

But it is unlikely that they released her without securing adequate 
compensating advantage. In the case of soldiers, exchanges were usually 
made on a basis of numerical equality. As to officers, they were often 
exchanged man for man on a basis of equal rank, or on terms of several 
of lower rank for one of higher standing. With respect to Belle, in a 
special class as a spy, it is possible that she was exchanged for some 
Union secret service agent held in the South. But the legend that oa 
this occasion she was traded for Colonel Michael Corcoran of New 
York is without foundation. As the records and General Corcoran's 
memoirs show, he was exchanged for Colonel Hanson of Kentucky. 

Belle was no ordinary prisoner. The War Department's intense 
interest in her makes this obvious. It began with her arrest by special 


agent Cridge, sent from Washington. It continued with efforts to keep 
her incommunicado, and the reference of her slightest requests to the 
Secretary of War for decision. At the time of her release, the Depart- 
ment's interest was still great enough to cause special provisions to be 
inserted about her in the orders for a general exchange. 

The War Department had ample evidence on which to convict her 
if she had been tried. There was the letter she wrote to General 
Jackson which fell into the hands of General Sigel. There were the 
incriminating papers Cridge found in her room. There were the reve- 
lations she made to Union scout Smitley. And there was her conduct 
at the battle of Front Royal, not only openly admitted by her in jail but 
also a matter of common knowledge in the Northern Capital and in the 
Old Capitol, and freely discussed* in the Federal press. 

General Wads worth's statement that Belle Boyd was arrested on 
suspicion did not mean that she was merely suspected. It meant only 
that she was arrested without a formal accusation having been made 
against her. This had made it possible, in line with the arbitrary pro- 
cedure then practised by the Federal Government, to keep her in jail 
indefinitely without trial and without offering evidence. 

As General Wadsworth also wrote, no specific charge or information 
had been lodged against Belle. In other words, no accusation against 
her had taken the form of charges under the Articles of War triable by 
a military court or commission, or the form of an "information" 
(formal accusation) presented to a non-military court and alleging 
commission of a criminal offence. Why General Wadsworth wrote 
this to General Dix was probably to provide legal clearance for her 
release. No prisoner could be released or exchanged against whom 
formal military or civil charges were pending. 

Before Belle's capture, the enemy press resorted to fantastic exag- 
geration of her ability, achievements, and charm. When she was arrested 
and therefore no longer to be feared, it gave a gusty sigh of relief, and 
turned vengefully to equally immoderate disparagement of the allure it 
no -longer dreaded. When, in the summer of 1862, Leslie's Weekly 
reported the glad tidings that, "Belle Boyd, the Secesh Cleopatra, is 
caged at last/' it could not resist adding: "It appears that she has red 
hair and large teeth and a loud, coarse laugh/' And when the New 
York Herald sent a tough-minded reporter to gaze upon her he found, 
as Mr. W. O. Stevens puts it, that her glamour was not working, and 
that she had "a freckled face, red hair, and a large mouth." 95 

General Swell's young adjutant is not the only one who has taken 


exception to the minimizing of Belle's activities by stripping her imagi- 
natively of her great personal charm. In his magnificent biographical 
work on Abraham Lincoln, the historian Carl Sandburg brushes such 
journalistic trivia aside impatiently with the explanation: "This was 
mere propaganda, for Belle Boyd had moderate-sized teeth and could 
laugh pleasantly when she chose/* 96 

Mr. Sandburg was, of course, far more concerned with her achieve- 
ments than with her personal appearance. How they impressed him he 
indicates, after outlining her career up to this point, by stating: "On 
the evidence she could have been legally convicted as a spy, shot at 
sunrise, and heard of no more, but she became one of two hundred 
prisoners exchanged and sent to Richmond/' 

Strange as was the treatment of Belle Boyd from arrest to release, 
her case was not unique. There is a remarkable parallel in the Federal 
proceedings against the noted Antonia F. later in the same year. 

In his history of the Federal Secret Service, General Baker relates 
that Miss F. at Fairfax Court House was suspected of enemy activity.. 
Accordingly, he sent a female detective there to investigate. This- 
woman soon wormed herself into the confidence of the suspect and! 
obtained confidential disclosures. The Southern girl was then arrested 
and taken to Washington, and on her person were found private letters 
from men in the rebel service together with her commission as an 
honorary aide-de-camp, issued by General J. E. B. Stuart in October, 

Baker's report to Secretary Stanton charged that Miss F. had per- 
formed active service under her commission, had come within the Union 
lines as a spy, had secretly and perfidiously obtained information and 
treasonably communicated it to the Confederate forces. The report 
concluded: "I have ordered Miss F. to be placed in confinement in 
the Old Capitol Prison," 97 

Miss F., later identified as Miss Antonia Ford, was released several 
months later. Like Belle Boyd she was severely affected by her im- 
prisonment in the Old Capitol. In his campaign memoirs, Colonel 
John Esten Cooke of General Stuart's staff relates that "when she was 
released and sent South to Richmond, where I saw her, she was as thin 
and white as a ghost the mere shadow of her former self/' 98 

It is possible therefore that the Federal Government, with unwar- 
ranted optimism, thought constant recollection of their sufferings in 
prison would deter Belle Boyd and Antonia Ford from further ob- 
jectionable activity. 


Suspect or Aide-de-Camp ? 

T dawn on the 30th the Juniata cast off and went down 
the Potomac. Late in the day, it dropped anchor at the 
mouth of the river and here the night was passed. At 
four o'clock the following morning, it continued on its 
way and arrived at Fortress Monroe that evening, where 
it was boarded by Lieutenant Darling of General Dix's staff. 

On each side lay General McClellan's transports laden with soldiers 
preparing for a drive on Richmond. Inspired instead of dismayed by 
this sight, the happy home-f arers reacted patriotically by singing .South- 
ern songs interspersed with loud cheers for "Jeff Davis.' 1 The Juniata 
got under way again and steamed up the muddy waters of the James. 
Later, as it rounded a bend in the stream, the house of Mr. Aikens came 
in view, and from a window waved the Stars and Bars. Only then, at 
the sight of that banner flying over Confederate soil, did Belle realize 
that she had been freed, and was really going home. 

The ship was met at the wharf by Colonel Robert Ould, the Con- 
federate Commissioner for exchange of prisoners, and his assistant, 
Mr. Watson. Both supervised the landing of the passengers. That 
evening Belle enjoyed the society of the Aikens' family and spent the 
night under their hospitable roof. The next morning, September 2nd, 
a Colonel Allen sent his carriage and horses from Richmond to convey 
her to that city. 

That Robert Ould permitted Belle to enter the Southern lines is 
significant. It indicates that this strict Confederate Commissioner did 
not share the views of the biased Associated Press and the Washington 
Star as to her moral character. 

Recently, in Reveille in Washington, Miss Leech has asserted, with- 
out giving a single supporting detail, that "controversies raged about 
her chastity." 9 * The only apparent "controversies" were of a singularly 
odd nature. Some Northern papers smeared Belle's name as gleefully 
as some Southern papers characterized "Abe" Lincoln as "Ape," and 
with as little justification. Later, when Belle Boyd was in the North 
and was interviewed, more reputable Union publications, particularly in 
New England, were surprised to find her a lady in appearance and 


conduct and were honorable enough to say so. As the Southern press 
never viewed her otherwise, it engaged in no "controversies" about her. 

Had Belle been even the most repentant of all errant Magdalens, 
Commissioner Ould would nevertheless have refused to admit her. In 
a letter of reproach to his Federal confrere regarding two immoral 
women sent through by the Federals in 1863, his words, "Sir: I sead 
back to you two strumpets." are but the beginning of a classic of out- 
raged morality. Continuing nobly, the Commissioner wrote of "holy 
feelings/* stressed "the sanctity of a pure woman's character," and 
mourned the dishonor cast upon "the purity of a flag of truce." So irate 
^did the high-minded Mr. Ould wax that he seems to have taken the 
affair as a possible reflection upon his own honor, for he said sternly, 
"If I did not believe you were imposed upon, I would be justified in 
taking this matter as a personal affront." 100 

Mr. Ould and Southerners in general undoubtedly knew how vilely 
the Northern press had assailed Belle's character, for the Federal news- 
papers were read widely in the South. But if they paid any heed to 
these attacks, it must have been solely to honor her for having suffered 
such abuse in the service of the Confederacy. The warmth of her 
home-coming reception permits no other inference. 

Her first welcome occurred on the road to Richmond. Riding now 
as an honored guest, and no longer a captive, the young woman was 
surprised to note, as they passed close by the encampment of the Bich- 
mond Light Infantry Blues, that the famous Confederate unit was 
drawn up in review order. Her heart swelled with understandable 
pride and pleasure when the Blues presented arms as her carriage 
went by. 

In town, she proceeded to the Ballard House where she had been 
told rooms were in readiness for her. That evening she was serenaded 
by the city band, and received such flattering greetings from everyone 
that the bitter recollections of her captivity began to seem unreal. 

On September 3rd the local press mentioned her arrival. In report- 
ing that on the 2nd* about two hundred Confederate exchange prisoners 
had reached the "city, the Richmond Daily Dispatch named but two of 
this great number. "Among the officers," it said, "was Maj. Norman 
1 R. Fitzhugh, A. A. Gen. of Stuart's Cavalry Division, a brave officer, 
who was captured a short time since." Then it added: "Miss Belle 
Boyd, of Winchester, who has become celebrated from the fear in 
which the Yankees held her, was also among those who arrived/* 

After about ten days at the Ballard House, she moved to Mrs. W.'s 


boarding house on. Grace Street, where she enjoyed the company of 
many old and warm friends. Among celebrities then at Mrs. W:'s 
were General and Mrs. Joseph Johnston, General Wigfall, members of 
the latter's family, and many others. Here one evening, while she was 
engaged in desultory conversation, an officer who had been a fellow 
captive at the Old Capitol came up to her, bowed, and silently placed 
in her hands a note and a small box. 

The box contained a gold watch and chatelaine, both handsomely 
enamelled and richly set with diamonds. Mystified by such costly gifts 
and doubting that they were actually intended for her, she read the 
accompanying note and learned that they were presented "in token of- 
the affection and esteem" of her fellow-prisoners in the Old Capitol. 
For more than a month the young girl had withstood bravely and 
calmly all that had happened to her, but now she could not master the 
emotion that overwhelmed her when suddenly confronted by this un- 
mistakable evidence of the cordial sentiments entertained for her by 
those whose hardships she had shared and made more endurable. So, 
as the varied scenes of her existence in the Old Capitol flashed through 
her mind, many moments passed before she could find words to express 
her appreciation to her comrades' spokesman and trust herself to speak 
them with some pretence of self-possession. 

After this, Belle remained in Richmond but a short time, for her 
father came to take her home. Martinsburg was now held by the 
Southern forces, and she was most eager to be there. 

Soon after the battle of Antietam on September 16th, Belle rode out 
to the Confederate encampment, accompanied by a friend of the family, 
to pay a visit to General Jackson. According to her description of this 
incident, the General came out as she dismounted at his tent, placed his 
hands gently on her head, and assured her of his pleasure at seeing her 
well and free once more. Then he warned her that if his forces were 
obliged to retire it would be necessary for her to leave Martinsburg to 
avoid being found within the Northern lines and* imprisoned again. 
He added that he would give her timely notice, and tot she should be 
prepared to act accordingly. As she left, he said fervently: "God 
bless you, my child." This parting phrase, the last words she was to 
hear from the General's lips, she treasured forever in her memory. 

An aide-de-camp of "Stonewall" Jackson has also left a record of a 
call made on the General by Belle at about this time. This officer, later 
the Reverend James Power Smith, was originally a corporal of artillery, 


became a lieutenant and subsequently a captain. His interesting histori- 
cal contribution, relating to a date shortly after September 20th, 1862, 

"One day at Bunker Hill, the notable female scout, Belle Boyd, 
made her appearance on horseback, with die escort of a young 
Confederate cavalryman. She was well mounted, and quite a 
soldierly figure, and asked to see General Jackson. But the General 
was averse, and more than once refused to see the young woman, 
of whose loyalty he was not altogether assured. She was much 
disappointed and went away quite angry with the aide who had 
denied her admission to the general's tent. -Some days after this 
she sent a message that if she ever caught that young man in 
Martinsburg she would cut his ears off/' 101 

Captain Smith's factual and not unfriendly recital requires full 
acceptance. But it presents several problems. Were Belle and he re- 
ferring to the same occasion? If so, why does her story differ so greatly? 
And, above all, why was " Stonewall' ' Jackson less than absolutely 
'Certain as to Belle Boyd's loyalty? 

In view of Belle's remarkable accuracy regarding all other matters, 
it may -be that she went to Bunker Hill twice. Why she remained 
silent regarding so painful an incident on one of these visits can be 
readily understood. After her imprisonment in the Old Capitol, she 
would have expected, quite naturally, a far more agreeable attitude on 
the part of the General. And her temperament was such that while 
her militant message to "Stonewall" Jackson's aide was in character, it 
also represented a remarkable exhibition of restraint, under the circum- 
stances. Subsequently, when any temporary misunderstanding was 
cleared up, it is possible Belle decided not to mention so distressing a 
matter as much out of consideration for the General as for her own 
pride, and to set forth only the details of her satisfactory call. 

That the misunderstanding was temporary is reasonably clear. To 
begin with, had the General possessed definite evidence that she was 
disloyal he would not merely have refused to see her when she, with an 
angry perseverence hardly suggestive of guilt, insisted on seeing him. 
He would have taken decisive measures to make her harmless. What 
Captain Smith wrote was not that the General had real cause to doubt 
her loyalty but only that he was not altogether assured regarding it. 
Had these suspicions been subsequently confirmed or even never dissi- 
pated, Belle's after career would inevitably have been greatly different. 
She would not have been permitted to serve the South again, and she 


would certainly not have become a bearer of official dispatches to 
England. Harry Gilmor, one of Jackson's most daring cavalry scouts, 
would have been among the first to know Jackson's doubts. Had they 
been justified in the least, Major Gilmor would not thereafter have 
praised Belle for her boundless devotion to the Southern cause. 

What made General Jackson a little uncertain about her? She had 
just been released by the Federal authorities, had spent about two weeks 
in Richmond, and had visited the General right after coming back to 
her home which was then within the Southern lines. Consequently, 
she seems to have had no opportunity to do anything after her release 
which could have seemed questionable. Being held captive by the 
Federals for a full month was hardly an indication of anything else 
than unlimited devotion to the South. True, the North had been 
strangely lenient, and she quotes "Stonewall" as writing her a little 
later that if she were taken prisoner once more she "possibly might not 
be released so soon again." Had he then feared for a time that her 
inexplicable release by those who had actual proof of her services to 
him was a trap? Did he believe for a moment that she had secured 
her freedom by promising to serve the enemy and betraying him? Had 
he heard, too, and been made uneasy by earlier irresponsible gossip to 
the effect that her associations with Federal officers were not solely on 
behalf of the Confederacy? 

Whatever General Jackson did think, Captain Smith's words convey 
unmistakably that the young girl he referred to deliberately as a noted 
scout was eager to confront the general, and that "Stonewall" was 
equally anxious not to see her. Their respective attitudes were surely in- 
consistent in that they actually reversed the usual conduct of suspected 
scout and mistrustful general. Moreover, there is a magnificent assur- 
ance in Belle's aggressive and irate behavior which reveals all of the 
fierce anger of outraged innocence and loyalty and nothing of the appre- 
hension of one conscious of wrong-doing. 

By now it had become necessary for General Jackson's command to 
leave the Valley in line with Confederate plans for military action to 
the east. His first move was to Winchester, and, as arranged, he sent 
word in advance to Belle and placed an army ambulance at her service 
for transportation. 

Acting upon his advice, she went to Winchester, and while there 
indicates she was commissioned a captain and made an honorary aide- 
de-camp honors more in accord with her services than the doubts 
disclosed by Captain Smith. Two months later her relatives in Ten- 


nessee were admiring the evidence of this distinction. "When she 
came to us she showed us a handsome 'Riding Habit* new; made of 
the grey Confederate cloth and trimmed in black braid, with the rank 
of 'Capt/ on the collar/' Proudly she confided to her kinsfolk that 
this uniform had been presented to her by the Confederate Army in 
appreciation of her heroism and loyalty, 102 

Her new rank carried with it various privileges. One was that she 
be accorded the respect and courtesies due officers. Another was that 
she might assist at reviews of troops. Subsequently, when Confederate 
forces were reviewed in the presence of Lord Hartingdon and Colonel 
Leslie, and again when General Wilcox's division was inspected by 
Generals Lee and Longstreet, she attended these ceremonies on horse- 
back with the staff officers of the various commanders. But while her 
new status pleased her, it did not change her. 

It was only a matter of weeks before stories began to accumulate 
about her informal conduct in her new station. A typical one, told at 
Culpeper Court House, has it that "Once, when riding out to review 
some troops near Winchester, she met a soldier, a mere boy, trudging 
along painfully on his bare feet." General Jackson's new aide-de-camp 
immediately dismounted, took off her own shoes fine cloth gaiters 
laced at the side and trimmed with patent leather and made him put 
them on. A companion remonstrated with her, and suggested that 
such shoes would not last the boy long enough to justify her sacrifice. 
With true maternal instinct and understanding, the young woman not 
yet nineteen years of age, replied gently: "Oh, if it rests his poor feet 
only a little while, I am repaid. He is not old enough to be away 
from his mother." 103 

Then Belle rode on serenely, unshod, and unconcerned by the fact 
that at the review her lack of footgear would attract attention and invite 
comment. With characteristic indifference as to what was thought of 
her, she left it entirely to others to remember and relate this and many 
similar instances ,of her kindness of heart. 


To Tennessee at "Stonewall" Jackson's 

HILE the main Confederate force in the Valley remained 
near Winchester, Martinsburg changed hands often. 
When it was held by General Wade Hampton, Belle 
paid many visits to her home and on one occasion was 
almost captured. A large party had accompanied her, 
and upon arrival a dance had been improvised. The dancers were soon 
warned that the Yankees were coming, but paid no heed as similar 
alarms had proved groundless in the past. But in this case the cry of 
"Wolf!" was justified. The party broke up hurriedly and its members 
barely got away under cover of a heavy skirmish. It was on this fleeting 
visit that Belle saw her mother for the last time in almost a year. 
Meanwhile the Yankees were advancing in strength by way of 
Culpeper Court House, and the Confederates left the Valley to take part 
in General Lee's counter-move. Belle, in company with the wives of 
officers, was well in advance of General Jackson's main body, but the 
servants and luggage of the ladies were somewhat , to the rear in 
divisional ordnance wagons. The ladies themselves passed through 
Flint Hill and went on to Charlottesville. En route Belle stopped off 
at Culpeper Court House, where General Lee was assembling his forces, 
and spent a night at the home of Mrs. Rixey, a favorite starting point 
for runners of the Federal blockade. 

As General Burnside had just replaced McClellan in command of the 
Northern forces, this was about November 10th. Snow had fallen the 
first week of the month and the Confederates were already suffering 
keenly from the early wintry weather. Insufficiently clothed and shod, 
they particularly lacked overcoats and many were wearing blankets 
wrapped around them like shawls. 

When Belle reached Mrs. Rixey s in search of food and shelter, 
snow was falling heavily and a strong, icy wind was piling it into- 
drifts. But inside the house all available rooms were taken, and the- 
tired traveler knew no other place to go. She would accept anything. 
Was there no accommodation at all in weather like this for an unex- 


jpected but not unknown guest? Not even a spare cot in another lady's 

A few moments later Mrs. Rixey was asking the wife of the regi- 
mental adjutant of the Thirteenth Virginia Cavalry whether she would 
share her room with a lady who had just arrived. Mrs. Grey to give 
her the name used to conceal her identity in her reminiscences, A Vir- 
ginia Girl in the Civil War 1 * consented immediately. Not more than 
twenty years old and recently married to a gentleman of Petersburg, 
Virginia, she herself was embarking on a strange adventure for a young 
woman gently reared. Within a day or two she was to run the Federal 
blockade for personal reasons. She had determined to see her mother 
in Baltimore and to smuggle through on her way back a fine Confed- 
erate uniform and accessories for her husband. 

After agreeing to share her room with a stranger, Nellie Grey de- 
scended to the parlor and found it crowded with a merry party of 
Confederates. Many, including several high-ranking officers, belonged 
to the nearby army. Others, like herself, were waiting for a favorable 
opportunity to run the blockade. 

Mrs. Rixey brought over and introduced the lady who had just come, 
but Nellie did not catch her name. She seemed to be nineteen, or, 
perhaps, twenty rather young, Nellie thought, to be traveling alone 
unless one were married. And how exceedingly well dressed! Natural- 
ly, it made her the immediate center of interest to women who had 
gone so long without seeing, much less wearing, a new gown. 

Soon everyone in the room had been attracted for the men discovered 
also that the fascinating newcomer was a brilliant talker with much to 
tell and seemed to prefer to converse with them. Her monopoly of 
masculine attention piqued the other ladies momentarily, but when they 
learned how devoted she was to the Cause they were willing to forgive 
her anything. 

She told her listeners that she had recently returned from Washing- 
ton where she had been a Federal prisoner. And she showed them a 
watch presented to her by her fellow-captives. She then spoke of her 
prison life and adventures. In later years Mrs. Grey was to regret that 
she could not recall the details of this narrative. But on that evening 
as she listened, her attention was gradually distracted by insistent 
thoughts of her own family. 

Deserting the circle about the speaker, Nellie Grey slipped out of 
the room, went upstairs to bed and fell asleep before her roommate 
came up. It was only the following morning when they woke up face 


to face in the same bed that, said Nellie, "she told me she was Belle 
Boyd; and I knew for the first time that my bedfellow was the South's 
famous female spy." 

If Nellie had any doubt that her companion was a Confederate 
agent, what happened next dissipated it effectively. Belle, preparing 
to bathe, produced a large bottle of cologne and casually emptied its 
contents into a basin. Such luxuries were then available to very few 
women in the South and foremost among them, naturally, were the 
daring ones whose task it was to run the blockade, and who alone could 
look forward with any confidence to renewing their supply. The 
youthful bride was tremendously impressed. Forty years later she re- 
vealed: "It was the first cologne I had seen for more than a year, and 
it was the last I saw until I ran the blockade." But it was later that 
day at dinner that the wife of the adjutant of the Thirteenth Virginia 
Cavalry really came to -know and love Belle Boyd. 

As Mrs. Rixey's guests dined, a servant informed Mrs. Grey that 
a soldier wished to see her. In the hall, she found Dick, her brother- 
in-law, once a noted dandy and now, arrayed in miserable and -filthy 
misfit rags and tatters, a most abject and pitiable-looking creature. 

Nellie begged Dick to dine with her but, embarrassed by his 
frightful appearance, he refused to enter the dining room or the 
parlor and tried to screen himself behind a hatrack. As they spoke, 
the dining room door opened and the ladies, including Belle Boyd, 
came out. Retreat was out of the question for Dick, and with what 
grace he could muster under the circumstances, he went through the 
introductions that followed. 

The understanding women who surrounded him took in the situation 
at a glance and went into action. One purloined a shirt of her husband, 
another fetched a pair of socks, and a third contributed homespun 
drawers. As they rushed about to gather these sorely needed contri- 
butions, their only hesitancy was a fear of offending him and they 
discussed how to make him accept their offerings. 

But Mrs. Grey's brother-in-law was far beyond any concern with 
punctilious' ceremony. He was radiantly grateful for any assistance, 
and his strength and courage had greatly revived, thanks to the thought- 
fulness of two ladies. According to Nellie: "While we held council 
he had been in Mrs. Rixey's and Miss Boyd's hands, and had had a 
good dinner/* 

But Belle knew, too, that he needed something more warming than 
just a good dinner. As Dick prepared to leave, she came running 


downstairs with a large, new, blanket shawl. "You must let me wrap 
you up, Lieutenant,' 1 she said quietly, and, putting it around his should- 
ers, pinned it together snugly. 

He blushed, and mindful of his manners sought half-heartedly to 
refuse. Such a shawl was too fine, too costly for him. He could not 
take it. But the determined young lady paid no heed. Firmly, yet 
gently, she replied: "I can't Jet you go back to camp in this thin jacket 
while I have this shawl. It is serving our country, Lieutenant, while it 
protects her soldier from the cold." As he ventured a last protest that 
she might have use for it, she continued: "I may need it? No, no. 
I can get others where this one came from." 

In the face of such pleasant and insistent feminine solicitude, Dick 
yielded gladly. As he started off, after taking leave of the ladies, Nell 
Grey rejoiced to see that his warm reception had brought some of the 
old care-free humor back to his eyes again. But even as the ladies 
watched him go, they saw him stop, take off his shoes, and carry them. 
The army had given him the shoes that very morning but they did not 
fit, and his bruised feet could no longer endure them. As he went on, 
those who still watched were grieved to see that his blood etched his 
foot-prints on the snow. 

It must have been then that Mrs. Rixey or someone else told Mrs. 
Grey that Belle on her way to attend a review near "Winchester had 
removed her shoes and given them to a bare-foot Confederate lad. 
Surely it was then too that Nellie Grey was informed of the many 
similar incidents that caused her to say at the turn of the century: "I 
have heard of many generous deeds like this done by Belle Boyd/' Of 
course, according to the arrogant and inaccurate Dr. Ashby's verdict on 
Belle: "her own sex in the South repudiated her." But it may well be, 
in the discerning eyes of history, that Nell Grey and the other ladies at 
Mrs. Rixey's repudiate and even indict Tom Ashby. 

That same day, Belle left Culpeper Court House. Mrs. Grey says 
thoughtfully: "She seemed to feel that she had the weight of the 
Confederacy on her shoulders, t and took the afternoon train for Rich- 
mond." Possibly Belle did go to Richmond before proceeding to Char- 
lottesville. But as trains ran to both towns from Culpeper Court House, 
Mrs. Grey may have erred as to her immediate destination. 

Did the young traveler actually feel that she carried the weight of 
the Confederacy on her shoulders? Perhaps. But her gravity may have 
had another and more personal cause. The night before she had worn 
a new gown. If this dress was part of the trousseau bought and for- 


warded so gallantly by Mr. Wood, was she not still thinking of 
Lieutenant McVay? Had he been killed, or was he missing in action, 
and again abandoned for dead on some battlefield? Or had their ro- 
mance ended because of a lovers' quarrel? Whatever the reason, there 
must have been a hidden sorrow in her heart regarding her engagement. 
And had they known its nature, the envy the ladies had felt the night 
before at the sight of her new dress might well have been surpassed by 
silent but understanding sympathy. 

After a few days in Charlottesville, Belle became restless away from 
home and longed to rejoin her mother. She knew, of course, that the 
village was held by the Federals but she apparently cherished an un- 
reasonable but understandable hope that the Union forces would over- 
look or not detect her return. Even the fact that her uncle, Captain 
James W. Glenn, had been taken prisoner recently did not seem to 
daunt her. 

In his service with the Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, Captain Glenn 
had had several narrow escapes. In Warren County, Virginia, the 
following story of one of these adventures is still often told. Glenn 
and several of his friends, some of whom are said to have been Mosby 
rangers, were heartily enjoying a substantial dinner in the old Earle 
home at Milldale when someone ran in and warned, "The Yanks are 
coming!" By the time the enemy entered the house, not a Confederate 
was in sight. They had been hidden in a recess under the front stair- 
way behind a secret panel, children in the house had been hurriedly 
seated at their vacated places, and the apologetic Federals found that 
they had intruded upon a large Southern family at dinner. 

But Captain Glenn was not always so fortunate and, like his niece, 
eventually spent many unhappy days in a Federal prison. All that is 
known of his capture is this laconic statement in his own handwriting 
in the records of the Virginia Military Institute: (f Prisoner. Four 
months in Fort Delaware, late in fall of sixty two inside Federal 
lines." 105 

The last three words suggest that he was captured after entering the 
Federal lines on a scouting expedition or raid. In that case, his fate 
was well calculated to make his niece realize her return home might 
well end even more disastrously. Her uncle, being presumably in 
Confederate uniform when captured, was at least safe from the severe 
penalties applicable to spies which might well be invoked against her. 

Eventually Belle's unrest grew so great that she wrote General 
Jackson and asked his opinion as to the advisability of her return home. 


She indicated that she was quite prepared to run the risk of capture, 
but would abide by his decision. The General promptly sent the fol- 
lowing reply: 

"Headquarters, Army of Virginia. 

Near Culpepper Court House. 
My clear 'Child: 

I received your letter asking my advice regarding your returning 
to your home, which is now in the Federal lines. I think that it 
is not safe; and therefore do not attempt it until it is, for you 
know the consequences. You would doubtless be imprisoned, and 
possibly might not be released so soon again. You had better go 
to your relatives in Tennessee, and there remain until you can go 
with safety. God bless you. 

Truly your friend 

T. J. Jackson"* 

In Belle's memoirs the date of this letter is given incorrectly as 
January 29, 1862. As it was written after she left the Valley late in 
September and after she stopped off at Gilpeper Court House in 
November, Joseph Hergesheimer, in Swords and Roses, is quite right 
in saying of the January date, "that is impossible, it must have been 
later." But how much later? 

In an article on Belle Boyd by R. Q. Nicholson in the Northern 
Virginia Daily, Mrs. E. R. Richardson suggests that the date intended 
was January 29, 1863. She then points out that Jackson was not near 
Culpeper Court House that month, 106 But Belle arrived in Tennessee 
before the end of 1862 which shows that the correct date for the letter 
is between November 10th and the end of December. The original 
letter not being available, only one clue remains. When did Jackson 
reach Culpeper Court House? 

In General Longstreet's account of the battle of Frederidcsburg, he 
states that on November 5-th Lee's headquarters were at Culpeper 
Court House. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia consisted of two 
corps: the First Corps, under Longstreet, at the Court House, and the 
Second Corps, commanded by Jackson, still at Winchester. General 
Longstreet adds that in the latter part of November General Jackson 
was ordered down to Fredericksburg. 107 And the route "Stonewall" 
followed is carefully given by one of his staff officers. 

Major Harry Douglas writes that Jackson left Winchester the last 

*See pp. 211-12, for discussion of this letter. 


week in November and made long and rapid marches via Strasburg and 
Woodstock to New Market, then went east over the Massanutten 
Mountain and the Shenandoah River to Luray Valley. His forces next 
crossed the Blue Ridge at Fisher's Gap, and continued by way of 
Madison Court House and Orange Court House, arriving in the vicinity 
of Guinea Station and Fredericksburg not only in time for the battle 
which occurred on December 13th, but with some days to spare. 108 

What is significant is that at Madison Court House General Jackson 
was no more than fifteen miles from Culpeper Court House and was 
therefore, as the heading of his letter reads, "near Culpepper Court 
House." That Jackson got even much closer is quite likely. His letter 
to Belle Boyd was not addressed from his headquarters but from Army 
headquarters, and Lee, the Army commander, had headquarters at. 
Culpeper Court House while Stuart was located nearby. Presumably 
Jackson, while proceeding to his station east of Lee's center, went to 
report to his superior or to see General Stuart. Whether he did or 
merely went through Madison Court House, the letter was evidently 
written at the end of November 1862 and probably on the 29th. 

When Belle did get the letter, she spent no more time thinking of 
returning to Martinsburg. She headed South, and though she doubtless 
did so reluctantly she learned in a few months that she had received 
sound advice. This happened when the General's prophecy that im- 
prisonment was certain to follow her discovery within Federal lines 
came to pass. 


Belle's Reception by the South 

]]ELLE reached Tennessee about the end of December, 
1862. Here she was warmly welcomed by numerous 
hospitable descendants and connections of her great uncle 
and great aunt, John and Isabella Boyd, who had moved 
to Tennessee from Virginia more than half a century 
earlier. And in Knoxville lived Belle's first cousin, Samuel B. Boyd, 
who had left Martinsburg when Belle was seven years old and had 
married one of their Tennessee cousins, Isabella Reed Boyd. It was in 
Samuel's Knoxville home that his and Belle's grandmother, Maria 
Stephenson Boyd, had died only four years earlier while on a visit 
from Martinsburg. 

So for six weeks or more Belle visited numerous kinsfolk with 
whom her family had maintained intimate contact through travel and 
correspondence. But as there were no young persons of her age among 
them, she became restless and even discontented and wanted to be "on 
the go" once more. It was then that the widow of her relative, Judge 
Samuel B. Boyd, a former mayor of Knoxville 109 , prevailed upon Belle 
to spend the winter and spring in her home. Mrs. Boyd had a lively 
family of boys and girls, and they lived in the old Blount Mansion, one 
of the showplaces of the town and the former residence of Governor 
William Blount. 110 

It was on February 12th, 1863, that Belle's stay at the Blount 
Mansion began. News that "the rebel spy" was with her cousins 
spread through Knoxville quickly and on the following evening a large 
and enthusiastic assemblage gathered before the Boyd home to see and 
serenade her. After several airs had been played, the crowd clamored 
for her to come out on the balcony. Reluctant to make a public appear- 
ance, Belle asked General "J-" to thank the gathering for her. But they 
insisted on seeing her, so she stepped out, said a few words, and was 
vastly relieved when this ordeal was over. 

This is merely Belle's account of what happened. But the article 
that appeared the next day on the front page of the Dally Register 


makes it possible to determine beyond question whether Belle recorded 
events factually or imaginatively. 

'This fair and fearless Virginia heroine, whose daring defense 
of her father's house, when Charlestown,* Va. was first invaded 
by the Yankees, and whose invaluable services in conveying in- 
formation ,to our lines in spite of the espionage of the craven foe, 
have won for her from the Northern press the title of the most 
courageous and dangerous of rebel female spies, is now sojourning 
in this city at the residence of her cousin, Samuel B. Boyd, Esq. 
She was serenaded last night by the Florida Brass Band, and on 
being loudly called -for by the crowd appeared at the window and 
made the following laconic and graceful response: 

'Gentlemen, like General Johnston, I can fight, but cannot make 
speeches. You have my heartfelt thanks for your compliment.' " 

In her memoirs, the officer who attempted to speak in her place to 
the citizens of Knoxville is referred to only as "General J." But the 
Register's quotation of her remarks suggests strongly that he was 
General Joseph E. Johnston and that her comment on him related to 
his lack of success in addressing the crowd in her stead. This possi- 
bility is strengthened by the fact that this distinguished Confederate 
soldier was then ranking commander of the Southern forces in Tennes- 
see and was in the State at the time by order of the War Department to 
investigate the military fitness of General Bragg. He had probably met 
the Virginia heroine before as she records he was at Mrs. W.'s board- 
ing house in Richmond when she stopped there five months earlier 
after her release from the Old Capitol Prison. 

"Aunt Susan" Boyd and her four children knew and loved Cousins 
Ben and Mary of Martinsburg, and so exerted themselves whole- 
heartedly to make Belle's stay with them delightful. As party succeed- 
ed party in the Blount Mansion and other Knoxville homes, one of 
these young Tennessee cousins, much like her in temperament and her 
own age, became particularly attached to Belle. This pleasant, vivacious 
comrade was Sue Boyd, a lively, fine-looking girl who lived to reach 
the age of ninety and whose vitality of mind and body were still so 
great in 1932 that, recording recollections of her noted relative, she 
wrote gallantly: "Next birthday, I'll be eighty-eight years young!" 110 , 

To candid young Sue, her Virginia cousin seemed quite homely in 
face and feature. But otherwise she found her very attractive. She 
was gracious, a witty and brilliant talker, and had "the most perfect 



form or figure I ever beheld." She rode horses fearlessly and magnifi- 
cently, danced wonderfully, and was so merry and light-hearted that 
she seemed without a care or responsibility in the world. Somewhere, 
evidently, she had resolutely put behind her all thoughts of her first 
and unfulfilled romance. 

With all who visited the Boyd home, the gay Virginian girl was very 
popular especially with the Confederate officers and soldiers who were 
welcomed there. On occasion, she matched the attire of the latter for 
she proudly displayed in the home of her Knoxville kin the fine riding 
habit which was the uniform of a Confederate captain. For months she 
enjoyed herself thoroughly but, inevitably, she again grew restless, and 
though she often told Aunt Susan sincerely that she had never been 
happier she at length confided to Sue -that she was tired of home life, 
and "wanted something more ex-ci-ting and 'new fields to conquer.' " no 

Soon after reaching this decision, she took reluctant and affectionate 
leave of her Tennessee relatives, and went on to visit friends in Ala- 
bama and Georgia. There, as in Tennessee, she was welcomed warmly 
as the "Virginia heroine/' While, in her own words, the incessant 
kindnesses of her countrymen made her trip through the South one 
long ovation, she explained carefully that it must be borne in mind 
that the war period furnished such exciting extremes of peril and 
pleasure and grief and joy as to justify such outbursts in a people 
naturally warm-hearted and sensitive. She was deeply moved and 
highly grateful, but her appreciation of the compliments paid her was 
disarmingly free of egotism or complacency. 

In Alabama Belle had a long and delightful stay in Montgomery, 
and then, at the beginning of May, went on to Mobile. Here, at the 
Battle House, she received a telegram which she opened casually. For 
a moment or two after she had read it she still failed to gtasp its terrible 
significance. Then she felt the full impact of the terse message, "Gen- 
eral Jackson now lies in state at the Governor's mansion/' 

There had been no merciful premonition to soften the shock of 
General Jackson's death. True, before reaching Mobile, she had heard 
a rumor that he had been wounded at Chancellorsville. But it had been 
reported that the wound was trifling. She had probably reflected then 
that nothing could happen to "Stonewall/* After all it was then a 
custom with the Northern press to kill off or disable prematurely all 
the Southern leaders it particularly feared and such rumors were now 
rarely credited in the South. 

Yet "Stonewall" was really dead. Due to the belief of Colonel S. 


Bassett French, aide-de-camp to both General Jackson and to Governor 
Letcher of Virginia, that Belle already knew of it, the news had come 
in a particularly abrupt and shocking fashion. 

Belle's grief at the loss of the famous commander, who had conde- 
scended to be her friend, was most poignant. Its sole outward ex- 
pression was the band of crape upon her left arm which she wore for 
the next thirty days, in conformity with the military rules as to mourn- 
ing. But inwardly the intensity of her grief was such that she found it 
too painful to discuss the death of the military idol of her Valley. Even 
later in her memoirs she could only bring herself to say that she left to 
abler pens the honor of tracing his career and describing his virtues. 

It was with a heavy heart that she left Mobile and continued to 
Charleston, South Carolina, where she remained but one day. This 
gave her time, however, to go aboard two gunboats in the harbor and 
to make out with the aid of sea-glasses nearly all the ships of the 
Yankee blockading squadron. That evening she dined with General 
Beauregard, who was in charge of the harbor defenses, and several of 
his staff officers. 


With the Southern Forces to Martinsburg 

HEN Belle finally reached Richmond, she was extremely 
anxious to get home. Though Jackson had left the 
Valley forever, the Federals were still there and his 
warning to her to remain out of their hands continued 
to dictate her movements. It was therefore with intense 
satisfaction that she learned from the best authority in 'the Southern 
Capital that Confederate troops were about to advance down the Valley 
with the capture of Winchester as their immediate objective. So ardent- 
ly did she long to see her parents and her village again that she decided 
instantly to follow the Confederate advance closely. 

This she did, and that the Valley had no doubts of her loyalty, is 
convincingly related in the Rockmgham Register of Harrisonburg, Vir- 
ginia, of Friday, June 5, 1863: 

"Miss Belle Boyd, the Confederate heroine, and the victim of 
Yankee persecutions, has been in Harrisonburg 'for a few days past. 
She is stopping at the American (Hotel) , and is probably en route 
for her home in Mamnsburg." 

On June 14th, when the attack on Winchester began, Belle was only 
four miles away and most impatient to cover that small remaining 

In fact, it was not her fault that she had not already set foot in 
Martinsburg. For when Major Harry Gilxnor, known as one of the 
bravest and most reckless Southern officers, set out with ten men early 
in June to scout within the Northern lines he found her on his path 
and most insistent on going with him. 

Gilmor, warm friend of Harry Douglas, to whom Belle had given 
her vital message at Front Royal, had been ordered to scout the Yankee 
position at Winchester where the Federal commander Milroy had his 
headquarters. Whatever information he obtained was to be delivered 
to General Jenkins in command of the Valley District and used to pave 
the way for the advance of Swell's army. 

It was in the Valley at Woodstock, as Major Gilmor relates in his 
thrilling narrative of cavalry and scouting activity of the war, that he 


met his old acquaintance, Miss Belle Boyd, whom he had known since 
the autumn of '61. Immediately, she begged him to allow her to ac- 
company his expedition. He would not and could not consent and she 
would not and could not be refused. So Gilmor guilefully obtained 
a temporary respite by telling the determined young woman that she 
must first secure permission from General Jenkins. 111 

The next morning, to get an early start and to elude Belle, the leader 
of the scouting party rose before daylight. But when he was ready to 
slip off, he found that Belle, knowing he would try to do so, had 
carried off his sabre and pistols to her room to prevent his departure 
without her. There was nothing to do but wait for her. Soon, down 
came Miss Belle, fully prepared for the raid, wearing her neat-fitting 
riding habit, with a pretty little belt around her waist from which the 
butts of two small pistols emerged, cased in patent-leather holsters. 

But the intrepid young lady did not go on the scout. According to 
Gilmor, the incident ended in the following fashion: 

"She rode with me to the quarters' of General Jenkins, to whom 
I had to report before passing out through his lines. We found 
him sitting before his tent, and after dispatching my business, Miss 
Belle presented her request. I -fixed myself rather behind her, that 
I might give a signal to the general not ito consent. The fact is, 
I did not care to be accompanied by a woman on so perilous an 
enterprise; for, though she was a splendid and reckless rider, of 
unflinching courage, and her whale soul bound up in -the Southern 
cause yet she was a little mark you, only a little headstrong and 
willful, and I thought it best, (both for her sake and mine, that she 
should not go. I hope Miss Belle will 'forgive this little ruse. 
The general, of course, refused, which made her furious, but 'he was 
firm, and I rode off without her." 111 . 

Had Belle gone with Gilmor, she would have taken part in a most 
important scout. Major Gilmor reports that his small party made a 
complete circuit about Winchester and Martlnsburg, both occupied by 
the Yankees, and did it so thoroughly^ that he learned the exact position 
of every stationary Federal force, and an accurate count of their num- 
bers. This intelligence was immediately sent to General Ewell by 
courier, and the official records of the battle show that that Southern 
commander was indeed remarkably well informed as to the enemy's 
positions and placed General Early' s men accordingly. 

When, the Confederate attack started, the sound of artillery fire 
awakened Belle's memories of her part in the battle of Front Royal. 
Prevented from having a share in the events leading up to the combat, 


she resolved that she would at least witness the engagement. So, ac- 
companied by a disabled officer, she rode out to a hill commanding an 
unobstructed view of the field and became absorbed in the struggle 
taking place below. They were soon joined by several civilians, both 
men and women, who seemed to consider the hilltop a place of com- 
plete security. 

But Belle was mounted on a white horse which evidently was con- 
spicuous enough to attract the notice of a Yankee battery about three 
quarters of a mile away, and suddenly the guns of the battery were 
turned in their direction. When a screeching shell came in among 
them, a wild rush for shelter followed. Belle relates frankly that she 
joined in it wholeheartedly. 

That she observed the battle of Winchester is evident from another 
source. Some time in January, 1865, on a train taking Confederate 
prisoners from Washington to Fort Delaware, Lieutenant C. of Major 
Harry Gilmor's battalion asked a comrade casually, "By the way, did 
you ever hear tell of Miss Belle Boyd?" When the man he questioned, 
who happened to be Belle's husband, admitted cautiously that the name 
was not unfamiliar, the officer confided: 

"Well, there isn't a Southerner who would not lay down his life 
for her. When I was at the battle of Winchester, I was wounded 
and she came into the hospital where I was and inquired if there 
were any Maryland boys there. Amongst other delicacies, she gave 
me some very nice peach-brandy. She and Mrs. G. were in the 
fort, if I err not, cheering us on when we made a charge and drove 
the Yankees back." 112 

The Confederates not only succeeded in capturing Winchester and 
Martinsburg, but also pursued the Federals vigorously toward Maryland. 
This permitted Belle to return to her native village which was now 
once more within Southern lines, and she lost no time in doing so. 
Her father, whose health had been broken by the hardships of cam- 
paigning with Jackson, was on leave, and thus she had the great pleasure 
of being welcomed home by both parents. 

That campaigning with General Jackson had been too arduous for 
forty-six-year-old Ben Boyd is not surprising. The fame of the Stone- 
wall Brigade was achieved by men who had to undergo terrible hard- 
ships. They marched incredible distances with feet bruised and maimed 
by ill-fitting footgear, and in cold weather suffered frightfully because 
of want of warm uniforms and overcoats. They fought with weapons 
inferior to those of the enemies who outnumbered them, 'they were 


always undernourished and often completely lacked food. They camp- 
ed without adequate shelter or equipment and had insufficient medical 
attention and sanitary protection. Sickness and sheer physical exhaus- 
tion produced as many casualties as the battlefield, including the mortally 
weakened Private Boyd, and in the years immediately after the war 
added to the toll of deaths. Many of the victims of these conditions 
were young and sturdy men, but most were older soldiers, like Belle's 
father, whose spirit, unlike their bodies, was unconquerable. 

Though Belle did not return to her native village before June 14th, 
it is believed today by many in Martinsburg that she was there two 
months earlier and had been arrested by the Yankees. In proof they 
point to strange notations on the margin of Chancery Book No. 1 in 
the County Court House in Martinsburg. One of these reads, "Isobel 
Boyd, Confederate Spy, April 7, 1863." Another is worded, "I wonder 
if I will be shot tomorrow. B. Boyd. April 1863." 

There seems to be no valid reason to consider these interesting items 
authentic. Neither Belle Boyd nor anyone else has recorded that she 
was ever imprisoned in the County Court House. Both she and her 
cousin, Sue Boyd of Knoxville, have indicated that she was farther South 
and deep within the Confederate lines in April, and Belle's daughter, 
Mrs. Michael, who has examined these writings, states they are not in 
her mother's hand. Moreover, Belle invariably signed her name as 
"Belle Boyd" and insisted on being so designated. 

While Belle did not accompany Harry Gilmor on his scouting trip 
in early June, it is possible that about then she managed to get within 
the Federal lines on some other mission. At any rate, her presence in 
the region was not unsuspected by the inhabitants. Five days before 
the Federals were hurled out of Winchester and Martinsburg, it was 
being whispered that she was in Front Royal. When this rumor came 
to the ears of Miss Lucy Buck, she jotted down in her diary, 

" Tis said Belle Boyd is in town tonight. What next?" 113 


Captain Kellogg of Ohio Arrests Belle 

LATED by their June successes, the Confederates marched 
into Pennsylvania. The hearts of Southerners beat high 
with hope. It was said that Baltimore and Washington 
were about to be attacked, and with the fall of the 
Northern Capital it was generally felt that the War 
would come to a successful conclusion for the Confederacy. 

The happiness and fair prospects of the South were short-lived. The 
terrible battle of Gettysburg was fought in the first days of July, and 
once again the bloody tide of conflict reversed its course. As the great 
stream of Confederate wounded flowed back, Martinsburg was prompt- 
ly transformed into a vast sanitary camp. There being no established 
hospital facilities in existence, churches, public buildings, and even many 
private residences were pressed into use. The Boyd home was filled with 
wounded men, and Belle gave all her time and thought to their needs. 
That the Yankees would come again to Martinsburg was obvious. 
It was equally plain that Belle should leave before their arrival and 
seek safety within the Southern lines. But she had been away so long 
and had been at home so short a time that she and her parents could 
not reconcile themselves to her departure. Reason counseled her to go, 
and affection urged her to tarry. Keenly aware of the probable conse- 
quences, she decided to stay and she closed her mind to all but the frail 
hope that if she remained quiet the Yankees would neither notice nor 
molest her. 

On retiring from Gettysburg, the Confederates had marched through 
the village, but for some time their cavalry retained control of it and the 
adjoining region. Eventually even these Southern troops left and there 
remained no obstacle whatever to Yankee reoccupation. Even then 
Belle could still have gone. But as the cavalry withdrew, her mother, 
who was about to have another child, became very ill Nothing could 
now have caused Belle to leave, 

For a short time all was tranquil in their region. But when her 
baby sister was only three days old, and Belle sat in her mother's room, 
there came the old familiar cry from a servant of: "Oh, here comes de 
Yankees!" Belle went to the window, and what she saw took her bade 


abruptly and terrifyingly to a similar scene a year earlier at Front Royal. 
A large unit of mounted troops had halted in front of the house, and, 
as she looked, two officers advanced to the Boyd door and one rang 
the bell. 

Her father went to meet them, and sent word to her that Major 
Goff and Lieutenant . . . wished to see her. She descended to the 
drawing room, and, after introductions, the Major said: "Miss Boyd, 
General Kelly commanded me to call and see if you really had remained 
home, such a report having reached headquarters. But he did not 
credit it, so I have come to ascertain the truth." 

General B. F. Kelly, to whom Major Goff referred, had recently been 
appointed military commander of the Federal Department of West 
Virginia, Having doubtless heard of Belle's skill in duping Yankee 
officers, the General had not chosen his deputy carelessly. He had 
selected from the Third West Virginia Infantry, which had become a 
mounted unit in May, a young major of unusual ability with earlier 
service as lieutenant and adjutant. This officer, Nathan Goff, had al- 
ready demonstrated possession of the great qualities which were to 
characterize his post-war career as Federal District Attorney, Con- 
gressman, candidate for Governor of West Virginia, and Secretary 
of the Navy. On such a man General Kelly could indeed rely "to 
ascertain the truth." 114 

Major Goff's blunt announcement of his mission made no visible 
impression on the daughter of Ben and Mary Boyd. Feigning ignorance 
that she had anything to fear, she demanded coldly: "Major Goff, 
what is there so peculiarly strange in my remaining in my own home 
with my parents?" 

The Federal officer countered in turn with questions: "But do you 
not think it rather dangerous? Are you then not really afraid of being 

"Oh, no!", answered Belle, "for I don't know why they should do 
so. I am no criminal!" 

"Yes, true," conceded her visitor, "but you are a rebel and will do 
more harm to our cause than half the men could do." 

"But there are other rebels beside myself," she protested. 

"Yes," he agreed, "but then not so dangerous as yourself." 

This inconclusive and courteous verbal fencing continued for a few 
moments more, and then, with no indication as to the action to be taken, 
the two Northern officers withdrew. That their call took place on July 
18th or 19th is suggested by the history of the Third West Virginia 


Infantry which not only shows that it was "near Hedgeville and Mar- 
tinsburg" on those days but also that it had been made a mounted 
regiment in May. 115 

For several days no more was heard from the invaders and the Boyds 
ventured to hope that Belle would be subjected to no further annoyance. 
But on the fourth day, probably July 23rd, an order was issued for her 
arrest. When the arresting party, headed by -Captain Horace Kellogg 
of Company B, One Hundred and Twenty-Third Ohio Volunteer In- 
fantry 116 , came for her, Mrs. Boyd was still very ill. Mr. Boyd, fearing 
that his daughter's removal might prove fatal to his wife, begged that 
Belle be allowed to remain at home during her mother's convalescence. 
He also felt that within this period of grace he could bring pressure 
to bear at Washington which might result in her outright release. 

Obligingly enough, the Yankees granted his request. Belle was 
placed on parole, Private John B. Fairchilds of Company C of Captain 
Kellogg' s regiment was detailed to guard her, sentries were stationed 
about the house, and so strict a watch was kept that she was not even 
permitted to go out on the balcony. 

The hot July weather, her mother's illness, and her imprisonment in 
her own home combined to make her thoroughly miserable. And this 
unpleasant situation was aggravated by the requirement that all enter- 
ing or leaving the house must have passes. 

Craving fresh air and exercise, Belle succeeded one day in obtaining 
a special permit from the commanding officer. This read: 

"Miss Belle Boyd has permission to walk out for half an hour, 
at 5 o'clock this -a.m., giving her word of honor that she will use 
nothing which she may see or hear to the disadvantage of the 
U. S. troops." 

But the Yankees still feared their captive would communicate vital 
news to the Southern forces, so some high authority decided that grant- 
ing her permission to walk about was unwise under no matter what 
restrictions. A patrol sent out immediately took her into custody only 
a few blocks away and she was hastily escorted back to the house with 
guards, armed with loaded muskets, on each side of her. About an 
hour after this unceremonious return to her home, she received a note 
from the general's headquarters informing her that, although she was 
on parole, she was "not allowed to promenade freely in Martinsburg." 

For nearly a month she lived in a constant state of anxiety and 
suspense as to her fate. Then Provost-Marshal Kellogg called upon 


her with a detective and told her that she must get ready to go to 
Washington, for Secretary of War Stanton had so ordered. The time 
of departure was set for eleven o'clock the next morning. While the 
exact date is unknown, it must have been between August 15th and 
20th, allowing for the passage of almost a month after July 23rd when 
she was formally arrested. 

Mrs. Boyd, whose condition had greatly improved, immediately 
suffered a serious relapse upon learning that her daughter was to be 
taken to Washington. Despite this, Mr. Boyd 'decided to accompany 
Belle and the detective. Probably he had in mind that he could hasten 
the negotiations he had under way there, and bring Belle back with him. 

Some thirty-five years later, Belle again met Captain Kellogg, Private 
Fairchilds, and another member of their regiment at Norwalk, Ohio. 
The occasion was a gathering of veterans before which Belle gave a 
recital of her adventures. A few weeks after the meeting she related 
to a reporter: 

"It was at the conclusion of my entertainment, and a large num- 
ber of the audience had remained to be introduced, an informal 
reception as it were. Among others, I was presented to Captain 
Kellogg of the 123rd Ohio who arrested me at Martinsburg, 
Virginia in 1863 after the Gettysburg fight. He in turn introduced 
Mr. John Fairchilds whom he had detailed to stand over me until 
the arrival of secret service men from Washington. Just to make 
the chain complete, they introduced me to Mr. Walter Perrin, who 
belonged to the reserves and who stood guard over me at the Old 
Capitol Prison in Washington." 117 

For both Belle and her former enemies, this meeting released a flood 
of memories. "We old vets were like a lot of children as we talked 
over the events of those days/' One thing she must have told the 
former Provost Marshal was that in June, 1863, the month before her 
arrest, she had watched the battle of Winchester from a hilltop. In 
turn the Ohioans must have related to her that it was in that battle that 
the One Hundred and Twenty-Third Ohio had been very badly used 
up, and most of its members captured and taken to Richmond. Kellogg, 
Fairchilds, and Perrin were not among these prisoners, however. They 
had managed to evade capture, had contrived to make their way to- 
Maryland and, when they had rejoined the main Federal force, a small 
detachment of survivors from their regiment had been stationed at 
Martinsburg on provost and picket duty under command of Captain, 
Kellogg. 118 


A Rose, an Archer, and the Rubber Ball Mail 

PON arrival in Washington, Belle was taken to the 
Carroll Prison, a building adjoining and connected with 
the Old Capitol Prison. Not realizing that she would 
never see him again, she said adieu to her father at 
the gates, and was then conducted to the "room for 
distinguished guests." The room acquired its distinction solely from its 
inmates and in no respect from its furnishings. Among the Southern 
ladies who had already occupied it were Miss Antonia Ford, and Nannie 
T. and her aged mother. 

For Belle, the familiar, monotonous routine of prison life began 
again. The days and nights were interminably long and she spent 
hours gazing listlessly through her grated windows. To those who 
looked up from without and nodded in friendly greeting, she must 
have seemed just as appealing and forlorn as the attractive young lady 
George Lawrence saw at another Old Capitol window earlier in that 

In fact, legend asserts Belle was the charming girl he worshipped, 
and is convincingly abetted by two powerful aides. In his introduction 
to Bellas -book, Mr. Sala quotes extensively from Lawrence's exquisitely 
delicate portrayal of his nameless heroine and sincerely believes she was 
Belle Boyd. And in Secret Service Operator 13, Robert W. Chambers, 
assuming Mr. Sala to be correct in this assumption, describes Belle in 
almost the identical words used by the lyrical Lawrence. 

George Lawrence, a young, romantic Englishman with an enviable 
literary reputation, had come to North America to gather material for 
books, and to write articles for the Morning Post of London. Sym- 
pathizing ardently with the South, he was unwilling to see the war 
solely from behind the Northern lines or to accept uncritically the 
Federal attitude regarding the issues involved. As he journeyed from 
one side to the other, his sentiments swayed him so powerfully that he 
tried to help the Southern cause with too much enthusiasm and too 
little discretion. A natural consequence was that one day he found 
himself a prisoner in the Old Capitol There, no whit perturbed, he 
recorded his experiences for future publication, 


He relates that one day, as he walked gloomily in the court-yard, he 
glanced up casually and unexpectantly at the bars of a second story 
window. The vision he was at first not at all sure he actually saw 
there was a slight figure arrayed in the freshest summer toilette of cool, 
pink muslin. Tight braids of dark hair shaded clear, pale cheeks; eyes 
meant to sparkle held a very sad look; and the languid bowing down 
of a small head betrayed the sadness as something caused by more than 

In the background of this amazingly pretty picture in so rude and 
strange a setting stood a mature lady the mother, evidently. That 
their crime had been abetment of the South he knew instinctively even 
before he detected the ensign of her faith that the demoiselle still wore 
undauntedly a pearl solitaire fashioned in a single star. 

For days he was content to lift his cap ceremoniously, and the ladies 
punctiliously acknowledged his salute. But one evening, as he loitered 
with understandable restlessness under their window, "a low significant 
cough made me look up; I saw the flash of a gold bracelet and the wave 
of a white hand, and there fell at my feet a fragrant rosebud nestling 
in fresh green leaves." The flustered and delighted Briton conveyed 
his thanks inadequately with an expressive gesture and a dozen hurried, 
awkward words, and so proud was he of this graceful gift to a hitherto 
unlucky stranger that he wrote: "Other fragrant messengers followed 
in their season, but, if ever I 'win hame to mine ain countrie' I make 
mine avow to enshrine that first rosebud in my reliquaire with all honor 
and solemnity, there to abide until one of us shall be dust." m 

Legend's insistence that Belle was the imprisoned damozel who 
enchanted Lawrence is readily understandable. And she should indeed 
have been, for Harry Douglas has told so well how she, too, could 
bestow a rose upon a cavalier with all the grace and charm of any fair 
lady of the medieval age of chivalry. But, nevertheless, she tossed no 
floral avowals to Mr. Lawrence from her prison window. And this is 
true, not only because her hair was never dark, but also, regrettably, 
because she was not in the Old Capitol Prison at the time that George 
Lawrence was there. 

When the bewitched Englishman's story is carefully examined, its 
relation to outside events shows his imprisonment began about April 3, 
1863, and the affidavit he signed upon release is dated June 5th of that 
year. Belle did not reach the Old Capitol until late August. In April, 
her cousin, Sue Boyd, has said she was still in the South, and so she 
could not have been then either a prisoner in the Old Capitol tossing 


roses to an admirer or in the County Court House at Martinsburg 
wondering if she were to be shot on the morrow. In early June she 
was at Woodstock in the Valley hiding Harry Gilmor's weapons so he 
would not go scouting without her. 

Mr. Lawrence's tactful reference to the "mature lady" in the back- 
ground suggests that the prisoners he knew may have been Nannie T. 
and her "aged mother." Moreover, the pearl solitaire with its distinc- 
tive shape indicates a belle of the Lone Star State rather than a daughter 
of the Old Dominion. 

Usually, communication with Old Capitol prisoners via jail windows 
was of a much less idyllic character. Though citizens of Washington 
friendly to the Southern cause engaged in it freely, it was a serious 
violation of regulations and therefore a most dangerous pastime. As 
early as May 28th, 1862, Provost-Marshal Doster caused the following 
announcement to be published on the front page of the Washington 

"The officer of the Guard at the 'Old Capitol Prison' will not 
allow signals to be made to the prisoners under his charge by men 
or women passing in front of his building. This practice has led 
to insubordination, and in one case to a fatal result. 

"Any one, without respect of person, violating this order will be 
sent to the Central Guard House." 

But not even the risk of fatal consequences ended the practice, and 
among the 'many stories of such occurrences there is a classic jest which 
emphasizes the grim zest with which the prisoners goaded their guards 
with -both actual and imaginary infractions. It was perpetrated by an 
inmate who sent for the officer in charge, complained bitterly that the 
windows of her cell were too dirty, and stated that it was imperative 
that they be washed. When asked why this was so essential, die lady 
retorted with finality: "Why? Because my friends outside can no 
longer make out my signals/' 

It was an equally bold spirit who began to communicate with Belle 
by shooting winged messages into her room. Somehow she, as venture- 
some as ever, managed to procure, and to hurl out of her window, 
rubber balls containing answers to her aerial correspondent. 

This unorthodox mail service began one evening when she sat at her 
window and sang "Take me back to my own sunny South." A crowd 
collected on the opposite side of the street to listen, and when she 
stopped the gathering dispersed. Watching the retiring figures with 


envy, she rose, lowered the gas-light, resumed her seat and, leaning her 
head against the bars, fell into deep thought. 

She was abruptly aroused from reverie by the sound of something 
whizzing by her head and striking the opposite wall. Her first reaction 
was that a shot had been fired at her. Recovering from this momentary 
fear, she turned up the light and found that the missile was an arrow 
to which a note was fastened. 

This note assured her that she had many warm friends in Washing- 
ton with whom she could now correspond if she desired. On Thursdays 
and Saturdays just after twilight the archer would enter the square 
opposite the prison and whistle "Twas within' a mile of Edinbro'town." 
If alone, and safe from observation, she was to lower the gas-light as a 
signal and stay away from the window. He would then shoot an arrow 
into the room with a message attached. 

In order to reply, she should procure a large rubber ball, open it, 
place her answer within, and sew the halves together. On Tuesdays he 
would also come into the square and give the same signal. She was then 
to throw the ball with as much force as possible across the street and 
into the square. Signed to this intriguing note were the initials "C.H." 

For a long time Belle doubted the wisdom of answering this strange 
note. But natural prudence yielded to delight over so romantic a way 
of correspondence with one who professed to be a friend. So she be- 
gan- a series of communications with him, and, fortunately, had no 
cause to regret it. The archer's professions of friendship proved to be 
honorable and sincere. Through him she secured much valuable infor- 
mation regarding Federal movements. He also passed on to her small 
Confederate flags made by ladies of Washington and with these, al- 
though it was most rash to display them, she decorated her room. 

Within the prison, Belle had, of course, promptly established com- 
munication with the other captives. It was only a few days after her 
arrival that she heard the familiar sound of some instrument grating 
against the wall. When the point of a knife pierced the plaster, she 
set to work on her side and soon tightly rolled notes were being 

She had first made certain, however, that her neighbors were actual- 
ly bona fide 'Southern sympathizers. This precaution was necessary 
because the prison authorities now had functioning an effective system 
of espionage as a counter-measure against the highly organized inter- 
communication network of the prisoners, and often trapped the unwary 
by using decoy agents and messages. In this particular instance, her 


correspondents proved to be four men who nine months earlier had 
been captured while trying to go South to join the Confederate forces. 

Her contact with them did not last very long. Mr. Lockwood, 
officer of the keys, had become particularly adept in breaking up the 
exchange of messages, and one of his most successful methods was to 
locate openings through which notes were passed. While the hole used 
by Belle and her friends had been artfully concealed, nevertheless he 
discovered it. It was immediately plastered over and the four men were 
removed to another room. 

A few days later, the room they had occupied had a new tenant. 
This was a Miss Ida P. who had been arrested charged with being a 
rebel mail carrier. For some reason, Belle was permitted to visit and 
talk with her. The authorities had probably arranged to have the con- 
versation of the two women overheard and doubtless hoped they would 
discuss methods, routes, and members of the Confederate mail service. 
The Federal Government wanted very much to wipe it out and must 
have felt that Belle was well informed. 

The ladies may have been talkative but they do not seem to have 
been informative. Had they been, the privileges given them would 
probably have been continued indefinitely. Instead, Miss P. was soon 
released and Belle learned that she had given her parole to engage in 
no further activity against the Yankees, 

As Major Doster has revealed, the monotony of imprisonment was 
well-nigh unbearable for the high-spirited girl. It was therefore natural 
for her to resort to strange and even desperate means to enliven the 
deadly routine of her inactive existence. So at times she found dis- 
traction in fastening one of her Confederate flags to a broom-handle 
and then suspending her improvised flagstaff outside the window. 

This invariably produced results of a lively character. The banner 
would attract the attention of a sentinel and he would promptly bellow: 
"Take in that .... flag, or 111 blow your .... brains out!" 

Having carefully withdrawn from range, Belle would pay no atten- 
tion to this profane command, but would be on the alert for the next 
development. This was generally a musket shot, the ball hitting her 
ceiling or wall with a most ominous thud. Then, giving the sentinel 
no time to reload, Belle's next move was to step quickly to the window 
and look out casually as though nothing had occurred. This torment- 
ing of the guards was not only aggravating but also highly dangerous. 
The Old Capitol records show at least one case of a prisoner being 


fatally shot by a guard under conditions involving far less, if any, 

But Belle soon lost her zest for such diversions. The heat, the 
rigors of confinement, and the noxious fumes of the prison combined to 
sap her strength. She became seriously ill of typhoid fever, grew 
steadily worse under the awkward and unwelcome treatment of Dr. F., 
surgeon of the prison, and improved only when attended by a Confed- 
erate physician among the captives. 

After three weeks of care by the Southern doctor, he pronounced her 
convalescent and a week later she could walk about. During her illness, 
relatives and friends had tried to gain access to her but all requests to 
visit her were referred by his order to Secretary Stanton and denied. 
One application that she be removed from the Old Capitol during her 
illness drew from him the comment: "No, she is a .... rebel; let her 
die there!" 

After her recovery, one of the chief prison officials, Captain James 
B. Mix of the Eleventh New York Infantry 120 , stopped in to tell her 
that a most beautiful woman had arrived and was in a room at the 
farther end of the passage on the floor below her. Ill and listless, Belle 
received this information without interest. 

However, a day or so later, while walking down the hall, Belle came 
face to face with the new inmate. Both women stopped short in 
amazement and gazed at one another in immediate mutual and angry 
recognition. To Captain Mix the new prisoner was "most beautiful." 
But to Belle she was only "Miss Annie Jones" the woman she had 
befriended at Front Royal in May, 1862 and who had repaid her kind- 
ness by denouncing her to the Federals and causing her arrest as a 
dangerous rebel and malignant enemy.* 

After this momentary halt, Belle continued on her way. Why Annie 
Jones had been arrested, she was not able to learn. But Annie was 
believed to be a Yankee camp-follower and it was commonly said in 
the Old Capitol that she was insane. Measures soon taken for her 
removal elsewhere seem to indicate that the rumor was not wholly 
without foundation. 

Recovering some of her energy, Belle now felt keenly the need of 
outdoor exercise. Accordingly, she wrote General Martindale, com- 
mandant of the forces in and about Washington, asking for the privilege 
of walking daily in Capitol Square. To her astonishment, a gracious 

*See p. 56. 


reply granted permission on condition that she promise on her honor 
as a lady to communicate with no one verbally or by letter while walk- 
ing. She agreed gladly, and was allowed to walk in the Square every 
evening from five to five-thirty followed by a corporal and a guard 
carrying loaded muskets. 

This concession was soon withdrawn, however, for when it became 
known in Washington that Belle Boyd could be seen walking in front 
of the prison, Southern sympathizers "and their name was Legion" 
gathered to see her and manifested 'their interest and concern so strongly 
that Secretary Stanton revoked her parole. 

On one occasion some young girls passing her dropped a piece of 
Bristol board with a Confederate battle flag and the name of Belle 
Boyd worked on it in worsted. The corporal commanding the guard 
noticed the incident and picked up the memento before Belle could do 
so. He immediately stopped the girls and, but for his prisoner's en- 
treaties, would have arrested them. Instead, cajoled and mollified, he 
dismissed 'them with a light reprimand. Not content with this victory- 
over her escort, Belle, after promising not to implicate him if the 
article were found in her possession, secured it from him for five 
dollars and wore it proudly for a long time after leaving Washington. 


Belle Assists Prisoners to Escape 

N October Belle engineered the escape of three prisoners 
from the Old Capitol. She first learned of their inten- 
tion when, as she sat one evening by her door, a note 
was tossed to her behind the sentry's back. It was from 
a Mr. K. of Virginia begging her to aid him and two 
friends to get away, and asking for financial assistance. She replied at 
once that she would do all she could, and at the first opportunity handed 
Mr. K. forty dollars. 

She then enlisted the aid of her archer correspondent, C. H., and via 
arrow and rubber ball made arrangements for outside help. As soon 
as all was ready, the plan agreed upon was carried out. 

Above Mr. K/s room was a garret occupied by two friends, and the- 
initial step provided that K. was to proceed to the garret with them 
upon returning from supper. An observant sentry, however, almost 
prevented the escape at its very inception. 

The sentinel, seeing K. mounting the garret staircase, ordered him 
back. "You don't belong there," he shouted, "so come down!" Stand- 
ing in her own door-way, Belle promptly called out to the guard in 
simulated surprise, "Sentry, have you been so long here, and don't 
know where the prisoners are quartered? Let him pass on to his room/' 
Taking the hint, K. declared boldly, "I know what I am about!" It 
being so evident that he did, 'the guard became convinced he had made 
a -mistake, and let K. proceed. 

K. now being in the garret, Belle hurriedly dispatched a note to 
Superintendent Wood saying she would like to see him. When he 
came, she detained him in conversation until from around the corner 
of the prison facing the street came a loud cry of "Murder! Murder!" 
Though it represented only the ruse agreed upon to draw attention 
away from the place where the attempt to escape would be made, the 
shout was so realistic that it caused Belle's heart to beat violently. The 
moment he heard it, Mr. Wood rushed to a window and flung it open 
to find out what was happening. As he did so, soldiers lounging below 


as they awaited their turn of duty ran hurriedly in the direction from 
which the cries continued to come. 

Taking advantage of this diversion, K. and his companions removed 
a part of the roof, scrambled out upon the eaves and, descending to the 
street by means of a lightning conductor, made off into the darkness. 
Meanwhile the .cries of ' Murder!" led their investigators nowhere. 
The next morning the guards finally understood what had occurred 
when the prisoners were mustered and K. and his two associates were 
missing. Suspicion fell upon Belle, in view of her unwarranted inter- 
ference with the sentinel and her note to Superintendent Wood. But 
nothing could be proved against her and she felt amply repaid later 
when she learned that the fugitives had reached Richmond safely. 

This detailed story of escape is not without confirmation. The War 
Department records admit that three prisoners got away from the Old 
Capitol that month. And the all-seeing Washington Star tells of the 
method of escape, although it evidently believed that only one person 
was involved. 121 

The Star relates that a young man named J. G. Thompson, son of a 
Washington restaurant keeper, and charged with being a rebel mail 
carrier, escaped from Carroll Prison on the night of October 1st. 
"Thompson was confined in the upper part of the prison, and succeed- 
ed in getting upon the roof of the building, on the corner of Pennsyl- 
vania Avenue and First Street East, used as a boarding house, and 
escaped by going down the lightning rod to the ground/' 

Throughout Belle's captivity, official proceedings against her were 
conducted under the direction of Major Levi C. Turner, a noted investi- 
gator of the Judge Advocate's Department. 122 She characterizes them 
as a trial by court-martial. While it is quite possible that she was 
brought before a military court, it is more likely that her case was 
handled with greater privacy by a military commission without charges 
being filed. There were innumerable military courts and commissions 
in session at this time and the records regarding them are far from 
complete. Those available do not include her case. 

Advance notice of her fate came to Belle bluntly and indirectly, 
One day, as she was standing in the hall, Captain Mix informed "Miss 
Annie Jones" that she must leave for an insane asylum on the morrow. 
This curt announcement caused Miss Jones to scream hysterically and 
to rush away from him. She came directly toward Belle, and it may be 
that she held the latter accountable for her fate and meant to attack 
her. As Annie drew near, Belle turned away cooly to leave, but as she 


did Captain Mix gave bad news to her also with equal abruptness and 
directness. What he said was: "Oh you need not put on airs by 
getting out of the way for you've got to go to Fitchburg Jail during the 
war. You have been sentenced to hard labor there." 

Unnerved by the suddenness of the blow and the screams of Miss 
Jones, Belle fell fainting to the floor. Taken to her room, she suffered 
a relapse into fever. Her father, learning of her sentence and her 
second illness, promptly came back to Washington and resumed his 
efforts on her behalf. Eventually his exertions succeeded and his daugh- 
ter's sentence was commuted. In its modified form, it was "banishment 
to the South never to return North again during the war." 

She was to leave for Fortress Monroe on December 1st. Her father 
was still in Washington and staying with a niece, but had become so ill 
himself that he was unable to visit Belle before her departure. He had 
even planned to accompany her at least part way, but just before she 
was to leave a message was brought to her that though not dangerously 
ill he was confined to the house by a serious indisposition. Greatly 
distressed, she begged to be permitted to see him before going to 
Fortress Monroe, but her request was refused. 

Meanwhile, a Confederate colonel in the prison gave her letters of 
introduction to the Honorable Alexander Stephens, Vice-President of 
the Confederacy, and to the Honorable Bowling Baker, Chief Auditor 
of the Confederate Treasury Department, commending her to their 
"kind care and protection." Realizing that such communications were 
contraband, she determined nevertheless to get them through, if possible. 

Early on the morning of December 1st, she left the Old Capitol. 
The following day the New York Tribune stated briefly that Captain 
James B. Mix of General Martindale's staff had left Washington for 
City Point "with the notorious Belle Boyd, who is to be delivered to 
the rebel authorities at that place." And on the 4th the Washington 
Star published an Associated Press dispatch from Fortress Monroe stat- 
ing: "Miss Belle Boyd arrived last evening from Washington in charge 
of a lieutenant." Confirming the nature of the amended decision she 
stated was taken in her case, it added, "She is to be sent over the lines, 
to remain during the war." 

It is remarkable 'that regarding her second imprisonment in Wash- 
ington, the Northern press only ventured to print two items about her 
and these after her departure. Perhaps its silence was requested by the 
War Department which may have considered publicity about her second 


captivity undersirafole in view of the public interest her presence had 
aroused in 1862. It may even have been that knowledge of her im- 
prisonment was kept from the press. 

She was certainly, both in 1862 and 1863, a special and secret 
prisoner of the War Department as to whom no charges were filed and 
as to whom the prison authorities had evidently received instructions 
from Secretary Stanton to make no official records whatever. Under 
normal procedure in the Old Capitol, all prisoners were registered. 
Failure to do so in the case of Belle Boyd on two widely separated 
occasions points to intentional omission rather than to oversight. "No 
entries for Belle Boyd were found in the registers of Old Capitol and 
Carroll Prisons which are in the National Archives/' 123 

A further indication of her importance as a secret prisoner of state 
is that Captain Mix was detailed to escort her to Fortress Monroe. 
This gentleman commanded President Lincoln's bodyguard in the sum- 
mer and fall of 1862. He achieved considerable distinction and earned 
the North's gratitude when he risked his life and incurred injuries, 
which disabled him temporarily, in rendering effective aid to the Presi- 
dent who had lost control of his horse returning from the Soldiers' 
Home to the White House. Captain Mix was assigned to duty at the 
Old Capitol in May, 1863, rejoined his regiment in April, 1864, and 
later became Lieutenant-Colonel of the Seventh New York Infantry. 
Though efforts were made to oust him from presidential favor, his 
enemies failed, and he received an autograph letter from Mr. Lincoln 
stating he was greatly attached to him and had no reason to change 
his opinion. 120 

That this prominent officer was selected to take Belle Boyd to 
Fortress Monroe suggests that this duty was important enough to re- 
quire someone in whose ability and fidelity the highest authority had 
the utmost confidence. 

Had the New York Tribune and the Washington Star both failed 
to mention Belle's departure from Washington, the Federal Government 
would still have failed to conceal her second imprisonment. In 1879 a 
magazine article appeared recording her among the secret agents and 
spies of the rebel government held in the jail in 1863. The author of 
the article was Colonel N. T. Colby, military commandant of the Old 
Capitol early that year, 124 

To this officer, Belle was an undeniably good-looking woman with a 
fine figure and a merry disposition who could, he thought, 'have been 
very dangerous to the Federal Government had she possessed as much 


good sense and judgment. As it was, she impressed him as governed 
more by romance and love of notoriety than by actual regard for the 
Southern cause. And, in his opinion, all the damage she ever did the 
North was to tempt, some months later, the Federal naval officer she 
subsequently married to be disloyal. As secret agents, he considered 
Belle and her husband, who was also later a prisoner in the Old 
Capitol, just "lightweights." 

Like Wood, Baker, and Doster, he noted her flippancy. Unlike 
them, he saw nothing else, and again like them, he failed to perceive 
that this disarming quality and the assumed inability to be really 
dangerous were the very weapons she had used successfully against 
officers who had carelessly reached similar reassuring conclusions. More- 
over, he had no real opportunity to appraise her talents seriously for he 
was merely in charge of the prison as a military post and of the military 
personnel stationed there. He had no part in official investigation of 
secret service activities of prisoners. He was primarily a line officer 
with a splendid battle record, and was given an invalid's post at the 
Old Capitol because he had been incapacitated for further field service. 
The following description of him by Belle's husband reveals the casual 
nature of his contact with the prisoners. 

"Colonel Colby, the military commandant, who has charge of 
this -post, I saw but little of; but we all liked him, for he was ever 
courteous and polite, and always had a good word for us." 125 

Colonel Colby evidently never realized the strange trend of his con- 
clusion that all the damage Belle did the North was to tempt a naval 
officer in 1864 to be disloyal. Yet it suggests plainly that he believed 
she had done nothing whatever to justify her imprisonment in 1862 
and again in 1863. Secretary Stanton would hardly have relished 
learning the military commandant of the Old Capitol held this sub- 
versive viewpoint. And it was, of course, no mean or pointless achieve- 
ment for a prisoner to convince her jailer by any means that she had 
done no harm and was not dangerous. 

Legend will have it that the original sentence imposed upon Belle 
Boyd in Washington in the latter part of 1863 was the death penalty, 
and that it was commuted through President Lincoln's clemency. The 
kernel of truth from which this myth grew was undoubtedly an in- 
formal warning, like that given her in Martinsburg in July, 1861, that 
a repetition of her offence would be punished by the supreme penalty. 
After having been sent South once with the expectation that she would 


remain there, she had been found within the Northern lines in July, 
1863 and this time a specific condition of her release, as the Washing- 
ton Star confirmed, was that she must remain outside the Union lines 
for the rest of the war. 

In Forgotten Ladies, Mr. R. L. Wright refuses to take seriously the 
warning given Belle that "the next time she stepped across the lines 
would mean a firing squad." He dismisses this caution contemptuously 
as an empty threat because neither side shot a woman spy during the 
entire war. 126 The effectiveness of this observation is marred, however, 
by two significant facts. One is that Belle, with her own life often at 
stake, could hardly perceive clearly in the future what Mr. Wright finds 
so obvious in the past. The second is that right after the War the Federal 
Government proved unmistakably that women offenders were not im- 
mune. When a military commission ruled that Mrs. Surratt (held by 
General Baker to be "as lithe a rebel as Belle Boyd") must be. hanged 
for her part in the conspiracy resulting in the assassination of President 
Lincoln, the sentence was carried out. 

It has also been said repeatedly that Belle's second imprisonment 
ended with her exchange for General Nathan Goff. Nothing is found 
to confirm this. It is quite possible, though, that in releasing her the 
Federal Government secured some reciprocal advantage. Naturally it 
would have been dramatic to exchange her for the noted Nathan Goff 
who called on her in Martinsburg and was to become Secretary of the 
Navy. However, General Nathan Goff was not this distinguished 
Virginian of 'the Martinsburg encounter but was an officer of the same 
name from Rhode Island. 127 

That President Lincoln intervened to reduce Belle's sentence is not 
improbable. There is no actual evidence that he did, byt only he or 
Secretary Stanton could have made the change. Although Stanton was 
not given to leniency, it is known that the President was highly 
susceptible to requests for clemency and that Stanton was not always 
successful in preventing favorable presidential action. 


Belle Meets "The Beast" 

HEN Belle and Captain Mix arrived at Fortress Monroe, 
which was about nine o'clock on the morning of Decem- 
ber 2nd, she was more than pleased to have to suffer his 
company no longer. She had made no conquest of him 
and, for that reason, perhaps, found him most annoying 
and ungentlemanly. In fact, he seemed to go to a great deal of trouble 
to make everything as disagreeable as possible. 

At the Fortress, Captain Mix went ashore to report to Captain John 
Cassels of Company C, Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry 128 , who was 
Provost Marshal there and also aide-de-camp to General Benjamin F. 
Butler, the departmental commander. It was to the care of this Federal 
general of formidable reputation that Belle was to be committed until 
the exchange boat left for Richmond, and she fervently hoped that she 
would not attract his baneful attention before departure. 

When Captain Mix returned, he was accompanied by Major John E. 
Mulford of the Third New York Infantry 129 , then the Federal exchange 
officer. The Major, an elegant and courteous gentleman who subse- 
quently became a brigadier-general, escorted Belle ceremoniously to the 
Provost-Marshal's office. From there she was taken to General Butler's 
headquarters and, after a short wait, conducted into his presence. 

To understand the import of 'the conversation that followed between 
the Southern girl and the general -known through the South as "The 
Beast," some details on sturdy Ben Butler are essential. No Federal 
commander ever contrived to get himself more bitterly hated by the 
Confederacy not even Sherman. A very strong and forceful person- 
ality from New England, he lacked completely any consciousness of 
sectional or cultural inferiority, and the ordinarily successful Southern 
social tactics to make Northern leaders feel that they were but un- 
mannerly louts impressed him not at all. 

It was Butler who, when in command at New Orleans, enraged the 
South by carrying out the first execution 'there in eighteen years. A man 
named Mumford had led a body of men to the Federal Mint where 
they pulled down a United States flag placed there by Farragut, trailed 
it on the ground through the streets, tore it into pieces, and distributed 


bits as keepsakes. Mumford was arrested and, despite every effort 
made to save him from death, was hanged by order of the inexorable 

But it was another incident in the same city that earned him the title 
of "Butler, the Beast" This was his famous or infamous General 
Order No. 28. The ladies of New Orleans being given to manifesting 
in every conceivable way their contempt for Federal officers and men 
they met in the streets, this order provided that, "when any female 
shall, by word, gesture, or movement, insult or show contempt for any 
officer or soldier of the United States, she shall be regarded and held 
liable to be treated as a woman of the town plying her avocation/' 

The resultant storm that shook the town and the rest of the South 
disturbed Butler not at all. When the order was commented on un- 
favorably in the House of Parliament, he merely pointed out that he 
had borrowed his proclamation from the Ordinances of London. 

This Federal commander's personal appearance was hardly calcu- 
lated to make those appearing before him feel that the reports of his 
terrible severity had been exaggerated. According to one of them, 
Mr. E. A. Pollard, editor of the Richmond Examiner, Butler was a 
short, well set-up man with a large peaked head and a well developed 
chest. His eyes, under his slanting forehead, were small, muddy, and 
cruel. They had an unpleasant, smothered glow which, in one, was 
curtailed by a drooping lid, and the rest of his features were concealed 
by enormous chops of flesh with little webs of red veins in them. 
When he smiled, he used only one side of his mouth and displayed 
bad, projecting teeth. The effect, Mr. Pollard says reasonably enough, 
was not even remotely reassuring. 130 

When Belle was brought before this dread personage, he looked up 
and exclaimed: "Ah! so this is Miss Boyd, the famous rebel spy. Pray 
be seated." 

"Thank you, General Butler," she replied, "but I prefer to stand.*' 

Although she fought desperately for self-control, Belle was greatly 
agitated, possibly as much by anger as by apprehension, and she trem- 
bled violently. The General, noticing this, said again: "Pray be seat- 
ed," and inquired, "But why do you tremble so? Are you frightened?'* 

Despite her anxiety, Belle could not resist taking advantage of such 
an opening. So she answered: "No, ... ah! that is, yes, General 
Butler. I must acknowledge that I do feel frightened in the presence 
of a man of such world-wide reputation as yourself." 


This seemed to please him immensely. Rubbing his hands together, 
and smiling benignly, he insisted: "Oh, pray do be seated. Miss Boyd," 
and added, "But what do you mean when you say that I am widely 

Summoning all her courage, Belle eyed him coldly, and replied with 
emphatic firmness: "I mean, General Butler, that you are a man whose 
atrocious conduct and brutality, especially to Southern ladies, is so 
infamous that even the English Parliament commented upon it. I 
naturally feel alarmed at being in your presence." 

The Yankee commander, who had evidently expected some graceful 
compliment, did not take this forthright rebuke calmly. As Belle con- 
cluded her statement, he rose quickly and angrily ordered her out of 
his office. 

This anecdote, which is related only by Belle Boyd, has met with 
one seemingly effective abjection expressed vigorously by Mr. R. L. 
Wright in Forgotten Ladies and the uncritically imitative Mr. W. O. 
Stevens in The Shenandoah and Its Byways l This is that Belle could 
not have seen Ben Butler at Fortress Monroe because he was stationed 

This argument would be conclusive if correct. But neither the 
War Department nor grim Ben Butler supports these critics. In his 
memoirs the General himself records that he was appointed to com- 
mand the Department of Virginia and North Carolina on November 2, 
1863, and shows that on the 18th he wrote Secretary Stanton from 
Fortress Monroe about the exchange of prisoners. 132 That he was there 
on December 2nd, the day Belle relates she saw him, is clear from an 
item in The National Intelligencer on December 8th reporting that 
General Butler and staff left the Fortress on the 4th on a blockade 

Actually, Mr. Wright and Mr. Stevens do not claim General Butler 
was not at Fortress Monroe on December 2, 1863. Confusing Belle's 
second release in December, 1863 with her first release in August, 1862, 
they maintain in effect that her tale of seeing General Butler in Decem- 
ber, 1863 is false because in August, 1862 General Dix had replaced 
General Butler at Fortress Monroe and the latter was then at New 

One such absurdity, when unintentional, would be excusable and 
even mildly amusing. But this one, unfortunately, is typical of numer- 
ous other unjustifiable inaccuracies and distortions by Mr. Wright and 


Mr. Stevens regarding Belle Boyd which, as shown in Chapter Thirty- 
five, make their critical essays on her unreliable. 

From General Butler's headquarters, Belle was taken to a hotel, and 
required to give her word that she would not leave the premises with- 
out permission. Here among other involuntary guests she noticed the 
Misses Lomax, sisters of General Lomax, Miss Goldsborough of Balti- 
more, and several other persons whose names she did not dare to reveal. 
Waiting with impatience and anxiety in such agreeable society for the 
next step in her homeward journey, she reflected uneasily that her 
vengeful and tactless retort might lead 'The Beast" to take revenge by 
sending her back to prison. 

For some reason, the Misses Lomax were sent back to Baltimore.* 
But for Miss Goldsborough, like Belle, there could be no return. That 
very day the Richmond Examiner told the South why: 

"Miss E. W. Goldsborough of Baltimore, of wealthy parents, 
beautiful and refined, has been detected in correspondence with 
'rebels' and sentenced to banishment." 

The two ladies were ordered to be ready to leave that night, and 
when the time for departure came were taken to the Provost-Marshal's 
office. Belle's baggage consisted of two Saratoga trunks and a bonnet 
box and upon her arrival she was asked for the keys. A man and two 
women then went through her luggage thoroughly, although she as- 
sured them that this was unnecessary as she had just come from prison. 
They were astonished, therefore, and she was greatly chagrined when 
they found two sets of private clothing, a uniform for Major-General 
W , a dozen linen shirts, several pairs of army gauntlets, some felt 
hats, a pair of field glasses (formerly General Jackson's), and many 
items of wearing apparel. Most of these items Belle had smuggled 
into the Old Capitol. Asked how this had been accomplished, she 
refused to tell but begged to be permitted to retain the fieldglasses. 
Being contraband, like all the other articles, they were confiscated, 
however, and were given eventually, she said, to General Butler. 

The discovery of this contraband in her baggage caused the Federal 
agents to suspect that she had more concealed on her person, so she was 
told that she must submit to a personal inspection. This news was 
most disturbing for she carried $20,000 in Confederate notes, $5,000 

*Ther mother, Elizabeth Lindsay Lomax, intimates on p. 226 of Leaves from an 
Old Washington Diary, (E. P. Dutton & Co., N. Y. City, 1943-), that they were 
paroled by General Butler at Fortress Monroe aibout December 6, 1863. 


in Federal greenbacks, and nearly $1,000 in gold, as well as the letters 
she was to present to Confederate officials. 

Insisting that she had nothing contraband on her, she objected 
vigorously to the search. As it was getting late, Captain Cassels said 
impatiently: "Well, if you will take an oath to the effect that you have 
nothing contraband upon you no letters or papers you shall not be 

Being unable to make such a statement under oath, she handed him 
the letters. As she did so, he asked her if she had any money. She 
made no verbal reply, but merely handed him about $3,000 in Confed- 
erate funds which were in her pocket. This he regarded as valueless, 
and sneeringly informed her she could keep "that stuff." Possible 
further inquiry as to the more valuable currency was side-tracked when 
the Captain began to examine the papers she had handed him. 

Upon reading the passage about her services to the Confederacy, 
her kindnesses to fellow-prisoners, and other matters, the impatient 
Captain became very angry and informed her that he would send the 
papers to General Butler the next morning. 

However, he took no immediate measures to postpone her departure. 
Why? Perhaps because the call of romance was more urgent. Accord- 
ing to the diary of Mrs. Lomax, her daughter Nannie, held at Fortress 
Monroe, and the Provost-Marshal felt very tenderly toward one another. 
The Captain may, with reason, have decided that Ben Butler rather than 
Miss Nannie would have to wait. 

Throughout Belle's examination, Miss Goldsborough, who had been 
subjected to a similar ordeal earlier in the day, sat nearby, a thoroughly 
interested and sympathetic spectator. 

After Captain Cassels' statement that he would report to General 
Butler, the two women were taken to the wharf, placed on a tug, and 
sent off to the Federal exchange boat, the City of New York. Major 
Mulford received them kindly, conducted them to the salon, and pre- 
sented them to his wife a very charming lady. The boat remained at 
anchor all night, but got under way the next morning at seven. It ran 
aground an hour later, but was soon freed, and headed for City Point. 

As they resumed way, Belle noticed that the tug had again put out 
and was apparently in pursuit of their vessel. Her heart sank for she 
feared this meant 'that General Butler had ordered her detention. But 
Major Mulford, angered by the delay caused by the accident and anxious 
to proceed, paid no heed to the tug and the City of New York quickly 
left it far behind. 


Later, Belle learned that her fears had not been unfounded. When 
General Butler, already smarting from the sting of her sarcastic parting 
shot, saw the letters Captain Cassels had taken from her, he ordered 
that she be taken into custody again and sent to Fort Warren in Massa- 
chusetts Bay. In issuing these instructions, she states he remarked he 
would now indeed play a leading role in "Beauty and the Beast/' When 
the tug returned without her, he was beside himself with rage at being 
thwarted. "This I had from such good authority," she wrote later, 
"that I am confident the General will not feel it worth his while to 
contradict the statement." 

The exchange boat arrived at City Point late in the evening of 
December 4th. The next morning the two ladies were taken on board 
the Southern flag-of -truce vessel of which Captain Hatch, Confederate 
exchange officer, was in charge. On the way up the James, he had to 
proceed cautiously through military obstructions between Chapin's and 
Dairy's Bluffs, intended to prevent hostile ships from proceeding up- 
stream. In spite of all his precautions, the boat became entangled with 
one of these obstacles and was forced to put in at Drury's Bluff. Here 
the ladies were transferred to a tug which took them to Richmond. 
They arrived in the Confederate Capital at eight o'clock in the evening 
and put up at the Spotswood House. 

At breakfast the next day, friends and acquaintances of Belle ex- 
pressed surprise on seeing her for her release was totally unexpected. 
However, the morning papers announced her return and thereafter she 
was besieged with company. This warm friendly reception pleased 
her greatly, but the happiness it gave her was of short duration. 

On Saturday, December 12th, one week after her arrival, she was a 
joyous and light-hearted guest at a dinner party. Two days later, on 
the morning of the 14th, before rising, she received a note from Captain 
Hatch expressing great sorrow at being the bearer of mournful tidings 
and stating that when she was dressed he would call upon her accom- 
panied by 'the hotel proprietor's wife. She dressed hurriedly, and sent 
for him. 

Holding a newspaper in his hand, Captain Hatch approached her 
and said: "Miss Belle, you are aware that you left your father ill?" 
There was no need for him to continue. Grasping the import of his 
call instantly, she exclaimed: "My God! Is he dead?" and fainted. 

Wliile she recovered consciousness quickly, the shock of her father's 
death and her greatly weakened condition combined to cause another 
spell of severe and prolonged illness. Despite her weakness and the 


Federal sentence of banishment, she felt she must rejoin her mother 
immediately. Several Southern Senators, officers in charge of exchange 
of prisoners, and other influential persons wrote to the Federal Gov- 
ernment urging that she be granted permission to return to her widowed 
mother. At the suggestion of friends, she herself wrote to President 
Lincoln and Secretary Stanton and appealed to them as the -daughter of 
a brother Mason. But all these requests were refused. 

Her health finally became so bad that it was necessary for her to go 
farther South. In February she left Richmond for Mobile, Atlanta, 
Augusta, and other points. During this trying time, she was the grate- 
ful recipient of every possible attention and kindness. She records: 

"I cannot express one half the gratitude .that I feel to "'the many 
kind hosts whom I met in my journey through the South. During 
my illness in Richmond I was well cared for; and among the 
warmest of my friends must -be ranked the wife of the world-re- 
nowned Captain Semmes, afterwards Admiral Semmes, of the ill- 
fated Alabama. 

"Mrs. Semmes treated me with as much attention as though I 
had been her own daughter and invited me to visit them at their 
home in Mobile." 

Later she learned the details of her father's death. Her mother 
wrote that, upon hearing that his daughter had been sent South, Mr. 
Boyd's condition became steadily worse. When it became evident that 
death was certain, relatives in Washington sent for Mrs. Boyd and the 
children and they reached his side just before he passed away. He was 
conscious to the end and spoke often of his absent daughter. He de- 
clared she was hovering about his couch, became quite restive if any- 
one in the room approached a certain spot, and complained that Belle 
was being kept from him. He died on December 6th, the day after 
her arrival in Richmond. 

While her father's death was totally unexpected, she felt subse- 
quently that a strange dream should have prepared her for this grievous 
blow. On the night her father died, she had retired earlier than usual, 
and soon fell asleep. She awoke suddenly, or seemed to awaken, but 
found she had neither 'the power nor the desire to move. In the center 
of her room stood General Jackson, whose eyes rested sorrowfully upon 
her. Beside him stood her father, who looked at her but said nothing. 
As she stared at them standing together, General Jackson turned and 
said to Mr. Boyd: "It is 'time for us to go." Then, taking her father's 
hand, the General led him away, adding, as he did so: "Poor child!" 


Dispatches for England, and Capture at Sea 

f was March, 1864, when Belle returned to Richmond 
from her second tour of the South. Although her con- 
dition had improved, her constitution had been badly 
undermined, and her health required much care. To go 
home was impossible, and as, since her father's death, 
she felt more restless than ever, and very unhappy, she decided to go 
to Europe. When she made this plan known to President Davis, he 
readily approved. 

The reason he so readily approved was doubtless that Belle was to 
carry Confederate dispatches to England. Her later words, "I knew that 
the venture was a desperate one" indicate that the pretext of a Continen- 
tal voyage on the ground of ill-health was used primarily to secure for 
her the more privileged status of a private person on a personal errand 
in case of capture by the Federals. 

For a private individual to cross the Atlantic on a purely private 
matter was then very difficult. The Southern ports were blockaded 
and the only vessels operating were blockade runners carrying Southern 
goods to Europe "to sell and returning with desperately needed materials 
bought abroad. Ostensibly privately owned, the blockade runners were 
often owned fully or in partnership by the Confederacy and, though 
registered usually as British in the name of a nominal British owner 
and flying the British flag at sea, they generally displayed the Confed- 
erate flag when not in danger of capture as prizes of war. These ships 
had practically no accommodations for passengers. Those they carried 
- had to be approved by the Confederate Government and most of them 
were on official business to and from Southern agents and connections 

Orders were given to the Secretary of State to make Belle a bearer 
of dispatches, and she began her preparations for the ocean voyage. 
The dispatches were ready on March 25th, but a brief recurrence of 
illness prevented her departure, and as the papers she was to take were 
too important to be delayed, they went forward by some other messen- 
ger. On March 29th she left Richmond with other dispatches. But 


her train arrived behind schedule at Wilmington, North Carolina, and 
she found that the blockade runner on which she expected to sail had 
left several hours earlier. 

To her dismay, she learned that no ship would sail thereafter for at 
least two weeks. Not only was there no available boat in port, but had 
there been it would not have invited capture by making its departure 
visible to the Federal blockaders during the period of the full moon. 

After a prolonged wait at Wilmington, several ships arrived. Among 
them was the steamer Greyhound commanded by an officer to whom 
Belle referred only as Captain "Henry." He invited her to take pass- 
age on his ship. As she was acquainted with his family, she accepted 
gratefully and felt particularly secure because he was a skillful naval 
commander. According to her, he had held a commission in the United 
States Navy for many years, had resigned at the beginning of the war 
to enter 'the Confederate Navy, and, strange indeed to relate, had also 
served on "Stonewall" Jackson's staff. 

But Belle was not the only passenger upon whom the Greyhound's 
mysterious master made a most favorable impression. In one of his 
books, Mr. Pollard, editor of the Richmond Examiner, mentions that 
Captain "Henry/' about whose name and nationality he states blockade 
runners could have no impertinent curiosity, had been wounded while 
serving with "Stonewall" Jackson. Then he adds: "What a splendid 
fellow he was; a graceful dash of manner which yet beamed with in- 
telligence, an exuberant hospitality, a kindness that- when it did a 
graceful thing so gracefully waived all expressions of obligation.'* 133 

It was on the evening of May 8th that Belle bade farewell to her 
friends in Wilmington and went on board the Greyhound. It was then 
an anxious moment for her, she revealed, for she knew that the venture 
on which she was embarking was a desperate one. "But I felt sus- 
tained by the greatness of my cause," she added, and thus stressed that 
the improvement of her health was but a pretext for her real mission. 

The reason for such a tenuous fiction is more readily understandable 
-when it is realized that Belle Boyd was forbidden, under penalty of 
drastic punishment, to go North again during the war, and that she was 
taking the precaution to travel under the alias of "Mrs. Lewis" on a 
theoretically neutral ship that might nevertheless be captured by the 
Federals and taken North. A civilian passenger traveling for purely 
personal reasons on a contraband-carrying commercial ship taken as a 
prize by a war vessel might be simply a witness detained for prize- 
court proceedings, and not a prisoner of war. A Confederate courier 


on a vessel commanded by a former Confederate naval officer could only 
expect to be treated as an active foe. 

Excluding servants, there were several passengers on board Captain 
Henry's ship. In addition to "Mrs. Lewis/' these included Mr. Pollard 
and a Mr. Newell. Belle knew that Mr. Pollard was the noted editor 
of the Richmond paper, but he, through gallantry or actual ignorance, 
mentions nothing in his writings to indicate that he knew her real 

On the night of the 8th, all was in readiness for immediate depart- 
ure, but the ship remained at anchor, waiting for the moon to go down. 
Only six miles out, the Yankee blockading fleet lay waiting patiently, 
Its larger ships were anchored, but its lighter vessels cruised about 
inquisitively in all directions. 

At ten o'clock orders came at last to get under way. The anchor 
was raised, lights were extinguished, steam was gotten up, and the 
Greyhound moved slowly toward her destiny. Her deck was piled 
high with cotton, and on the highest bales men were perched with 
instructions to keep a sfyarp lookout for Yankee blockaders. The pas- 
sengers who, until then, had been nervously exchanging meaningless 
pleasantries, fell silent, and no one thought of sleep. "It was," says 
Belle, "a night never to be forgotten a night of almost breathless 

That anxiety would have been much greater and akin to despair had 
Captain Henry and his passengers known how well informed the 
Yankees were regarding the recent movements of the Greyhound as a 
blockade runner. 

On February 3rd the U. S. Consul at Liverpool had reported to the 
United States Navy that the owner or holder of the steamer Greyhound, 
cleared from Liverpool on January 5th, was one Henry Lafone. (Not 
to be confused with "Captain Henry.") On February 27th Commander 
(later Commodore) George H. Preble of the U. S. S. St. Louis inform- 
ed the Secretary of the Navy that among blockade runners coaling and 
clearing at Funchal, Madeira, was the screw steamer Greyhound which 
had left for Nassau the day before. To this he added: "The owner of 
the Greyhound died of delirium tremens on the 22nd inst" And on 
April 2nd, the commander of the U. S. S, Galena listed among the 
Confederate and blockade running vessels at Nassau, "a three-masted 
propeller, called the Greyhound^ nearly new, painted lead color, with 
red streak; has three fore-and-aft masts and wears the Confederate flag; 
about 400 tons; a fast sailer/' 134 


When dawn broke on Belle's twentieth birthday anniversary, many 
eyes scanned the horizon fearfully. To the great joy of all, not a 
sail was in sight, and they began to hope that they had eluded the 

As they ran close by the wreck of the Confederate ironclad Raleigh , 
the passengers lost all interest in the Yankees for they became sea-sick. 
Their sufferings were great, but there was no solace in the sudden 
shock that cured their ailment and was caused by the alarming sight of 
a hostile vessel bearing down on them. 

This took place at about noon when a thick haze on the water lifted 
and the lookout at the masthead sang out: "Sail ho!" As everyone 
rushed aft to gaze in dismay at the Yankee ship, steam pressure was 
increased feverishly and more sails were set. The object of this latter 
step was not only to add speed to the Greyhound but also to steady her. 

Despite these measures, the distance between prey and pursuer 
lessened visibly every minute. The masts of .the latter grew higher and 
higher and its hull loomed larger and larger. It was quite evident that 
unless some misfortune befell the enemy, the Greyhound's immediate 
destination was sure to be a Northern port. When this thought oc- 
curred to Belle, she also realized that, as she carried dispatches, capture 
and recognition would mean a third imprisonment and further indigni- 
ties .and suffering. 

As the chase continued, the enemy cruiser still gained steadily and 
eventually came within shooting range. How long Belle watched and 
waited for a shell to be sent after or into the Greyhound, she could not 
recall. But it came at last. 

"A thin, white curl of smoke rose high in the air as the enemy 
luffed up and presented her formidable broadside. Almost simul- 
taneously with -the hissing sound of the shell, as it buried itself in 
the sea within a few yards of us, came the smothered report of its 
explosion under water/' 

Shots now followed each other in rapid succession. Some fell very 
close, while others, wide of the mark, burst high over the heads of those 
on the Greyhound. Meanwhile, her crew rushed upon the bales of 
cotton and began to roll them overboard. As they vanished beneath 

the waves, the epitaph uttered for each bale was: "By there's 

another they'll not get!" 

Upon the captain's deck, the Greyhound's master paced to and fro, 
alternately looking hopefully at the compass and demanding desperate- 


ly: "More steam! More steam!" At last, he turned to "Mrs. Lewis" 
and cried vehemently: "Miss Belle, I declare to you that, but for your 
presence on board, I would burn her to the water's edge, rather than 
those infernal scoundrels should reap the benefit of a single bale of 
our cargo/' 

"Captain Henry," she replied with spirit, "act without reference to 
me. Do what you think your duty. For my part, sir, I concur with 
you; burn her by all means. I am not afraid. I have made up my 
mind and am indifferent to my fate, if only the Federals do not get 
the vessel." 

The ship's master did not answer, but turned abruptly and walked 
swiftly aft where he held a hurried consultation with his officers. Then 
he came back to her and said bitterly: "It is 'too late to burn her now. 
The Yankee is almost on board of us. We must surrender !" And so, 
at his command, the Greyhound luffed up into the wind and her 
engines were stopped. 

The enemy's fire still continued. With the Yankee ship but half a 
mile away, a missile from its long gun amidships came hurtling with a 
deep humming sound between Belle and the captain and just above 
their heads. "By Jove!" cried Captain Henry, "don't they intend to give 
us quarter, or show us some mercy, at any rate? I have surrendered." 

At that moment, came a stentorian hail: "Steamer ahoy! Haul 
down that flag, or we will pour a broadside into you." 

The captain of the Greyhound reluctantly ordered the man at the 
wheel to take down the British ensign. But the sailor, a Briton, sturdily 
refused. He answered stolidly that he had sailed often under the colors 
overhead, that he had never seen them hauled down, and added dog- 
gedly: "I cannot do it now." 

The Yankee ship impatiently hailed the Greyhound again and de- 
manded immediate compliance. For a tense moment, it seemed that 
defiant refusal might be their answer. But at length one of the mem- 
bers of the crew executed the captain's order. The Greyhound's colors 
slowly fluttered down. 

Meanwhile sailors were hurriedly rolling toward the ship's side, a 
keg containing some $20,000 or $30,000. As they reluctantly heaved 
it up and cast it overboard, Belle reali2ed the need of disposing 
of the dispatches and letters of introduction of "Mrs. Lewis." Im- 
mediately she rushed below and thrust these papers into the ship's fires. 
As soon as they were completely consumed she hurried back on deck. 

As the colors came down, a boat put out from the Yankee ship, and 


it quickly pulled alongside. From it, the executive officer of the Federal 
vessel. Lieutenant Louis Kempff, boarded the Greyhound, greeted 
Captain Henry politely and asked to see the ship's papers. Captain 
Henry replied curtly that he had no documents. Thereupon the unper- 
turbed Lieutenant Kempff, ceremoniously attended, says Mr. Pollard, 
by an ensign with his hair parted in the middle and wearing lavender 
kid gloves, told the Greyhound's master formally that he would have 
to accompany him on board the U. S. S. Connecticut for investigation 
by its captain, Commander John J. Almy. 

This strict observance of naval punctilio was not new to Captain 
Henry. It was part of the ritual of the regular establishment of the 
United States Navy, from which he had resigned. He was now a 
prisoner of two of his seniors in that service. In subsequent years when 
Commander Almy and Lieutenant Kempff attained the rank of rear- 
admiral, Captain Henry's thoughts must have reverted sadly to this 
moment. 135 

In their respective essays on Belle Boyd, Mr. Wright and Mr. 
Stevens are highly critical of her account of the capture of the Grey- 
hound. Both make much of the fact that Mr. Pollard does not mention 
her in his description of the affair. Mr. Stevens, by not conceding at 
all that she was on board, implies that Mr. Pollard's omission means 
that she was not. The more astute Mr. Wright, though he still con- 
siders Mr. Pollard's failure to mention her as significant, grudgingly 
admits that the Boston papers recorded her on board when the Grey- 
hound reached that town. 136 

In trying to show that Belle attached too much importance to the 
occurrence, Mr. Wright contends that Mr. Pollard treated the Grey- 
hound's capture lightly. However, the Richmond editor's narrative is 
strikingly like Belle's in most particulars, including the destruction of 
papers and of some of the cargo. He, as does she, reveals that Captain 
Henry had meant to resist capture, and adds: "But for that peculiar 
nuisance of blockade runners women passengers the Greyhound 
might have been burnt/* 137 

Mr. Pollard also used a false name probably "E. A. Parkinson" 
and considered later that he could have escaped trouble had he sup- 
pressed his true identity. But after being removed from the Greyhound 
he insisted that the Federal naval authorities place him back on board 
and allow him to go on to Boston to represent the ship's owners in 
prize-court proceedings. There he was thrown into Fort Warren and 
held prisoner for ten weeks. During that period he conducted a 


spirited correspondence with the British Ambassador as to his rights 
aboard a "British" vessel. He was paroled, but in December was taken 
into custody again and placed in solitary confinement at Fortress Monroe 
on orders from Secretary Stanton to General Grant, He might have 
rotted there until the war ended had not the unpredictable and contu- 
macious General Butler sent him South in open defiance of an order to 
hold him. Observations in the North is in essence a vehement denunci- 
ation by Mr. Pollard of the taking of the Greyhound and the treatment 
accorded him. 

The aggressive and assertive journalist may have known Belle Boyd 
on board the Greyhound merely as "Mrs. Lewis." By the time he wrote 
his book, however, he had surely learned her actual identity from the 
numerous items about her in the very Boston papers that denounced 
him. Nevertheless, he chose not to mention her name. Whatever his 
reason, his omission is of no service at all to Mr. Wright and Mr. 
Stevens. What they should have consulted to learn the facts is the log 
of the U. S. S. Connecticut. 

This official record shows that the Anglo-rebel steamer Greyhound 
was boarded at 1:40 p. m., May 10th (Belle says the 9th), had run the 
blockade the night before from Wilmington en route to Bermuda, was 
loaded with cotton, tobacco, and turpentine, had "among her passengers, 
the famous rebel lady, Miss Belle Boyd, and her servant/ 1 , and that 
between 6 and 8 p. m. a prize crew was placed aboard in charge of 
"Acting Ensign Samuel Harding." 138 

Supplementing the log is Commander Almy's personal report. In 
this, in unmasking the Greyhound's master, he states: "the Captain 
represents himself as George Henry, but his real name is George H. 
Bier, whom I formerly knew as a Lieutenant in the U. S. Navy, and 
his name appears in the Confederate Navy register as a lieutenant in 
that service." Further, George Bier's Federal service is confirmed by 
the official records. 139 

This unexpected disclosure of his identity shows that the naval record 
of Captain Bier was just what Belle said it was. Was she equally 
accurate regarding his alleged service with "Stonewall" Jackson? A 
list of General Jackson's staff contains the following data: "Major 
George H. Bier, (C. S. Navy), C. O., Sept., 1862, released January 12, 

Commander Almy's knowledge that he had captured "the famous 
rebel lady, Miss Belle Boyd," was no secret on board the U. S. S. 
Connecticut. This is evident from -the text of a letter sent by a. seamaa 


on 'the Connecticut to his father. From that ship at the Norfolk Navy 
Yard on May 15, 1864, Lawrence Priestman wrote: "we have had some 
fast running for the last two weeks, chasing blockade runners down 
the Gulf." And he remarked that the captain of English men-of- 
war lying at Fortress Monroe "seemed rather surprised to see us towing 
a Steamer with the English flag at her main peak, after sending one in 
the day before with an English flag flying on her too." 14 - 1 

The Connecticut had captured these two ships, Lawrence explained, 
since he had last written his father. One was the Minnie, taken on the 
9th, and the other the "Grey Hound/ 3 (sic.) taken on the 10th. There 
had been a rebel lieutenant on the Minnie who seemed a nice sort of 
fellow. As to the "Grey Hound" there were on board among the 

"two females, one named Belle Boyde, a spy for the Rebels. She 
was at the battle of Fredericksburg, encouraging the soldiers and 
giving the Rebel General a great deal of information with regard 
to how our armies were situated, and it was she who won the 
battle of Bull Run. This makes -the 4th time she has been captured 
and -what they will do with her I do not know. I guess they will 
keep her until 'this cruel war is over.' " 

What did the young Federal sailor think of this enemy of the 
North? In the very last sentence of his letter Lawrence Priestman 
passes judgment upon his feminine foe: 

"I think she must be a second Joan of Arc, The Maid of Or- 


Belle Meets Samuel Hardinge 

HEN Captain Henry was told that he would have to 
go on board the Connecticut, he donned his coat. Mr. 
Kempff and he then stepped into the waiting boat and 
were rowed to the Federal ship. 

Lieutenant Kempff left Acting Ensign William M. 
Swasey 142 in charge of the Greyhound. Looking at the ensign, Belle 
decided: "An officer as unfit for authority as any who has ever trodden 
the decks of a man-of-war/' 

Swasey's subordinates treated him with ridicule, and despite his 
routine issuance of disciplinary orders he was soon coaxed by an Irish 
sailor to permit him to take a bottle of whiskey from the spirit-room. 
Thereafter he allowed others the same privilege. 

It was not long before Mr. Swasey caught sight of "Mrs. Lewis." 
The moment he did, he roared out: "Sergeant of the guard! Put a 
man in front of this door, and give him orders to stab this woman if 
she dares come out." 

As Belle said later in her memoirs: "This order, so highly becom- 
ing an officer and a gentleman, so courteous in its language, and withal 
so necessary to the safety and preservation of the prize, was given in a 
menacing voice, and in the very words I have used." 

To her astonishment and disgust, the Federal officers and men were 
allowed to walk into her cabin at their pleasure. Over the protests of 
the sentry at the door, who seemed to her better qualified to exercise 
command than his superiors, they helped themselves freely to Captain 
Henry's private store of wine. Swearing and swilling by both officers 
atid men of the prize crew are also recorded by Mr. Pollard, who points 
out that their gross behavior drove a Negress on board to vow that she 
hadn't seen a Christian since leaving Petersburg. 

As Belle watched the Yankees in amazement, Acting Ensign John 
M. Reville 143 walked up and said with studied insolence: "Do you 
know that it was I who fired the shot that passed dose over your h$ad?" 

"Was it?" she replied icily. "Should you like to know what I said 
of the gunner? That man, whoever he may be, is an arrant coward to 
fire on a defenseless ship after her surrender.' " 


The discomfited ensign withdrew hastily. Belle's attention was 
then drawn irresistibly to another Federal officer -who had just come 
over the side of the ship. Crossing the deck by the wheel, he approach- 
ed the cabin. As he came closer, she -knew instinctively that this officer, 
the first gentleman she had seen in this hour of trial, was made of finer 
stuff than his comrades. 

"His dark-brown hair hung down on his shoulders; his eyes 
were large and bright. Those who judge of beauty by regularity 
of feature only could not have -pronounced him strictly handsome. 
Neither Phidias nor Praxiteles would have chosen the subject for 
a model of Grecian grace; but the fascination of his manner was 
such, his every movement was so much that of a refined gentleman, 
that my 'Southern proclivities, 1 strong as they were, yielded for a 
moment to -the impulses of my heart, and I said to myself, 'Oh, 
what a good fellow that must be!' " 

To her intense disappointment, this fine-looking young officer passed 
by 'the cabin without entering or making any inquiry about her. But' 
she lost no time in inquiring about him. Turning to one of the Con- 
necticut 's officers standing nearby, she asked the name of the new 
arrival and was told he was, "Lieutenant Hardinge." 144 

Hardinge had sought the officer left in charge and soon Belle over- 
heard the following conversation. 

Mr. Swasey hailed the newcomer with: "Hallo, Hardinge, anything 
up? What is it?" 

"Yes, sir;" Hardinge answered, "by order of Captain Almy, I have 
come to relieve you of command of this vessel. It is his order that you 
proceed forthwith on board the Connecticut. You will be pleased to 
hand over to me the papers you have in relation to this vessel." 

The disgruntled Mr. Swasey did not take this change calmly. "It is 
a lie! It is a lie!," he exclaimed. "It ain't no such thing! I won't 
believe it. You have been lately juggling with the captain. Confound 
it! That's the way you always do!" 

Young Hardinge put an immediate stop to this, tirade. "Mr. 
Swasey," he said quietly, "I am but obeying my orders. You must not 
insult me. If you continue to do so, I shall report you." 

Mr. Swasey glumly handed over his papers, flung himself into the 

, boat alongside and was rowed to the Connecticut. As soon as he had 

left, Mr. Hardinge called the sergeant of marines, and instructed him 

as to the posting of the men. Later, Belle heard the sergeant tell an 


officer of the Greyhound that though Mr. Hardinge was a strict dis- 
ciplinarian on duty, there wasn't a finer young fellow in the Navy. 

Once he had taken over command and issued his orders, Mr. 
Hardinge promptly indicated that "Mrs. Lewis' 1 had not escaped his 
notice. Coming aft, and bowing, he requested permission to enter 
the cabin. 

"Certainly/' replied the lady with assumed meekness, "I know that 
I am a prisoner." 

His courteous rebuke assured her that her heart had indeed not 
misled her. "I am now in command of this vessel/' he said, "and I 
beg you will consider yourself a passenger, not a prisoner." In the 
light of subsequent events, he might well have added: "Indeed, from 
now on, consider me your prisoner." 

At eight o'clock in the evening the Greyhound was ordered to get 
under way and proceed north, keeping just astern of the Connecticut. 
Earlier in the day, all those originally on the Greyhound had been re- 
moved to the Federal ship except Captain Henry, Belle Boyd and her 
maid, the steward, the cook, and the cabin-boy. Shortly after the ships 
headed north, Belle retired but sleep was impossible. Throughout the 
night her imagination 'conjured up feverishly the walls of the Federal 
prison toward which she felt certain she was now proceeding, and it 
is more than likely that they resembled those of the Old Capitol. 

The next morning at daylight she heard loud hails from the Con- 
necticut. A boat was sent over from the latter and she then learned 
that their immediate destination was Fortress Monroe, so well known to 
her, and that the Greyhound was now to be towed by the Connecticut. 
Towlines were quickly secured and both vessels got under way. 

By the second night after the blockade runner's surrender, Belle 
had recovered her customary good spirits and, with Captain Henry, had 
found that the young and attractive officer in command of the prize 
was a most congenial companion. That evening, the three were seated 
together, close by the wheel. 

"The moon shone beautifully dear, lighting up everything with 
a brightness truly magnificent. The ocean, just agitated by a slight 
breeze that swept over its surface, looked like one vast bed of 
sparkling diamonds, and 'the rippling of the little waves as they 
struck the boat's side seemed but soft accompaniment to the vocal 
music -with which Captain Henry had been regaling us/* 

But the Greyhound's perceptive and considerate master was soon 


aware that his companions found their own society even more delightful 
than his singing. 

"Presently Captain Henry went forward to converse with Mr. 
Hall, the officer on watch. We two were left to ourselves, and 
Mr. Hardinge quoted some beautiful passages from Byron and 
Shakespeare. Then, in a decidedly Claude Melnotte style, he en- 
deavored to paint 'the home to which, if love could but fulfill its 
prayers, 'this heart would lead thee!' And from poetry he passed 
on ,to plead an oft told tale. . ." 

Few women have been wooed more romantically. Captured on the 
high seas by a Federal cruiser. Belle still hoped to conceal her identity 
as an enemy agent against whom a sentence of banishment had been 
pronounced. Meanwhile she was being courted ardently and poetically 
in the moonlight by the handsome young officer of the Federal navy 
who had her and the captured ship in his charge. Powerfully drawn 
to him, her emotions were deeply stirred and urged her to fervent 

But she could not completely forget in this charming interlude that 
her situation was desperate. She had known Mr. Hardinge for so short 
a time! What would happen when he had to choose between his coun- 
try and his heart? Then came the thought that if he really felt as he 
professed to feel, he 'might be useful to the Southern cause. Unwitting- 
ly, or willingly? Either way, perhaps, but in her heart immediately 
blossomed the hope that he might come to love for her sake the ill- 
used South. 

By the time Mr. Hardinge climaxed his declaration of affection by 
asking her to be his wife. Belle was again mistress of her emotions. 
With a tantalizing assumption of feminine reserve that yet conveyed 
she was not at all indifferent to his pleading, she answered quietly that 
his proposal involved serious consequences. These must be carefully 
considered, so he must not expect a definite reply until they reached 
Boston, their ultimate destination. 

This seemingly tepid reception of his avowal did -not dampen Sam 
Hardinge's ardor in the least. Throughout the remainder of the voyage, 
he was as kind and courteous to everyone as though Belle had accepted 
him. Even Captain Heniy took a great fancy to him and swore eternal 


Belle Accepts Hardinge and Helps 
Captain Henry Escape 

the morning of May 12th, the Connecticut and her 
prize arrived off the Capes. After waiting for a fog to 
lift, they steamed on to Hampton Roads. Here Belle 
learned from Sam Hardinge that "Butler, the Beast," 
was still at Fortress Monroe. This made her very de- 
spondent for she knew, in view of their last encounter, that she could 
expect no consideration from him. As they approached their anchorage, 
the grim outline of the fortress loomed larger and larger. Gazing at 
it she felt much like a helpless fly nearing a cunning old spider. 

When the Greyhound anchored, Ensign Hardinge went on board 
the flagship Minnesota to report and was absent for about two hours. 
Upon his return, the prize ship again got under way and rejoined the 
Connecticut which had kept on to the mouth of the James. To Belle's 
dismay, Sam Hardinge had been unable to learn what was in store for 
her, and his failure made him as unhappy and desperate as she! 

The Greyhound was now under orders to stop close by the ironclad 
Roanoke, commanded by Captain Guert Gansevoort 145 , then acting in 
place of Admiral Lee. As they came up with the Roanoke and anchor- 
ed, a gale of hurricane proportions sprang up, followed by a heavy 
rain. The Greyhound began to drag toward a lee shore and for a 
moment Belle and Captain Henry, disregarding their own danger, 
enjoyed the hope that the Yankees were about to lose their prize. But 
this pleasant expectation was quickly disappointed, although Belle 
presumably found solace in Captain Henry's professional comment that 
"the vessel was admirably handled by Mr. Hardinge/' 

After the storm, Captain Gansevoort came aboard to inspect the 
captured ship. As he 'entered the cabin, he greeted "Mrs. Lewis" 
jovially. "So this is Miss Belle Boyd, is it?" 

Before she could respond, Captain Henry came in. The Federal 
captain turned around and, recognizing him, exclaimed: "Wttat! By 
! George, old fel " Then, suddenly remembering his own offi- 


cial status, and the delicate position of "George" as master of a block- 
ade runner, he cut his friendly greeting short. 

However, champagne was now brought in, and as the golden liquid 
circulated, Captain Gansevoort resumed his friendly air. He swore 
Captain Henry should have a parole extending as far as Boston and 
asked for pen, ink, and paper so it might be granted at once. These 
materials Belle produced swiftly. The Captain's executive officer wrote 
out the parole, and Captain Gansevoort signed it. Mr. Hardinge then 
requested that he be given the original document or a copy but the 
Captaifi refused. His orders, he said, were sufficient. 

As Captain Gansevoort rose to depart, he turned to Belle: "You, 
Miss, when you arrive at New York, can go on shore, provided Mr. 
Hardinge accompanies you. And," he added gallantly, "I will not 
enforce a written parole with you, but will take a verbal promise. Don't 
be at all alarmed. You shan't go to prison." 

Unfortunately, the Captain's visit did not end on this cordial note. 
The Greyhound when she entered Hampton Roads displayed the United 
States flag at the fore of the boat but at her stern the English ensign 
was still flying. When Captain Gansevoort saw this, he ordered the 
latter ensign lowered immediately. Mr. Hardinge ventured to suggest 
that this was a violation of law respecting neutral vessels captured in 
time of war. The ruffled Captain brushed this aside roughly with the 
emphatic rejoinder: "I don't want any sea-lawyer's arguments!" Upon 
his return to his own ship he sent Mr. Hardinge a written order for- 
bidding him to fly the foreign ensign. 

Later, a boat from the Roanoke brought an order for the Greyhound 
to be brought under the lee of the Federal ship. Once there, various 
contradictory orders were received. Mr. Hardinge grew increasingly 
restless, and upon receipt of an order to leave his station, he had the 
Greyhound steam off instantly. However, Commander Almy of the 
Connecticut, observing her departure and that a gale of wind was 
blowing, stopped her farther down. 

The following day a tug from Fortress Monroe went alongside the 
Connecticut and, with one exception, all officers, passengers and mem- 
bers of the crews of the Greyhound and the Minnie then on the Con- 
necticut were transferred to the tug and taken ashore. The exception 
was Mr. Pollard who was returned to the Greyhound. 

Belle, to her surprise and elation, was not disturbed aboard the 
Greyhound and thus did not have to face General Butler again. Yet it 
was probably known at Fortress Monroe that she had been captured, 


for Commander Almy knew who she was and she had learned from 
Captain Henry how her secret had been revealed. Commander Almy 
had been informed by someone on board the previously captured 
Minnie that the Greyhound was ready to leave port and that Belle Boyd 
would be a passenger. 

What probably saved her from 'the personal attention of "the Beast" 
was the fact that she was a prisoner of the Navy and that the Navy 
Department instead of the Secretary of War had immediate jurisdiction 
over her. Even this was not at all reassuring for the Navy would 
undoubtedly consult the "War Department regarding her. 

After Mr. Pollard had been brought aboard, the ship finally put out 
to sea and headed for Boston with an intermediate stop to be made at 
New York for coaling. As the prize ship entered New York harbor, 
Belle, from the vantage point of a seat on the deckhouse, gazed at the 
sight spread out before her and enjoyed "a panorama of sea and shore 
scarce equalled in beauty by the approach to any other city in the world/' 

Off Q uaran tiiie in The Narrows, the Greyhound was .boarded by a 
health officer. When his inspection was ended, the ship proceeded up 
the East River and anchored off the Navy Yard. Mr. Hardinge prompt- 
ly went ashore to report the Greyhound's arrival, and when he returned 
in the afternoon the dock was crowded with persons who had gathered 
to witness the landing of the female rebel spy. They were disappointed, 
however, for a Navy Yard 'tug came alongside the Greyhound and took 
the lady, Mr. Hardinge, and Captain Henry to the foot of Canal Street 
on the New York side of the river. 

Here Belle procured a carriage and drove to the house of a friend 
where she enjoyed the great relief of removing from her person the 
gold coins she had concealed about her and the burdensome weight of 
which had at times almost caused her to faint. This gold belonged to 
her and to Captain Henry. It was not, as some of the Yankee papers 
subsequently claimed, part of the funds the Confederate Government 
had shipped on the blockade runner. 

On this day Belle visited Niblo's Theatre and saw a performance of 
Bel Demonio, the romantic drama of John Brougham in which the 
noted lyric artiste, Mademoiselle Vestivali, was then appearing. 14 - 6 The 
following morning Mr. Hardinge called for his prisoner, and, after she 
had finished shopping, they returned to the Greyhound, now in mid- 
stream. Mr. Pollard, who had been paroled by Mr. Hardinge, and- 
Captain Henry had both rejoined the ship earlier. 

At about four o'clock in 'the afternoon the ship sailed for Boston 


via Long Island Sound. Shortly after, Sam Hardinge came to Belle's 
cabin to repeat with even greater fervor his earlier declaration of affec- 
tion. Belle could no longer withstand his plea. So generous and noble 
had he been in everything that she had to acknowledge to herself and 
to him that her heart was his. The intimate details of the tender con- 
ference that followed she kept secret. But she wrote later that in 
promising to be his wife she realized keenly how much their political 
principles differed. Against the perils and unhappiness that these 
fundamental differences might create, she once more set up the hope 
that for her sake he might in time come to love the South. It was 
probably expecting too much. Yet had not Sam Hardinge dared to 
declare to Captain Gansevoort that the Greyhound was a neutral vessel? 

The first person to learn of the engagement was Captain Henry and 
he was delighted. Joining their hands, he said: "Hardinge, you are a 
good fellow, and I love you, boy! Miss Belle deserves a good husband 
and I know of no one more worthy of her than yourself. May you 
both be happy!" 

Despite this romantic development, the thought of escape was con- 
stantly in Belle's mind. In fact, shortly after the Greyhound was 
captured it had been agreed that an attempt should be made to seize 
control of the vessel from the prize crew. This plan was abandoned, 
however, for the aid of the chief engineer of the blockade runner was 
essential to operate the ship. Wisely Commander Almy had refused to 
let that officer return to the Greyhound. 

But another plot succeeded admirably, and was carried out as they 
came to anchor off the Boston Navy Yard. At the time when Mr. 
Hardinge was forward, busy giving orders, Captain Henry, Mr. Pollard 
and Belle were aft in the cabin. The latter engaged the attention of 
the two pilots on board by asking them if they would take a glass of 
wine. When they accepted, she nodded significantly to the Confederate 
naval officer. 

Receiving this signal, the master of the Greyhound casually put on 
his hat, picked up his umbrella, and strolled out on deck. He walked 
slowly toward the stern of the boat and stood there for some moments. 
Over the side was a harbor-boat which Mr. Hardinge had summoned 
in order to go ashore to report their arrival, but just before going, he 
had re-entered the cabin to get certain papers. When he failed to find 
.them, he asked his fiancee where they might be. She suggested the 
lower cabin where he had been dressing, 

The instant he went below to seek the papers, Captain Henry 


stepped quickly into the waiting harbor-boat. Aided by the tide, it 
disappeared rapidly astern. By the time Mr. Hardinge had regained 
the deck, Captain Henry was on shore. 

Finding his boat gone, the unsuspecting Hardinge assumed the man 
had grown tired of waiting and had rowed off, so he called another, 
and went ashore to make his report. Three hours elapsed before he 
returned. Then he was accompanied by several gentlemen, including 
United States Marshal Keyes. The observant Mr. Pollard records him 
as "a little Yankee with gimlet eyes" who wore "a long-tailed coat, 
scrupulously blue, and garnished with immense metal buttons marked 
TJ. S.' " 

Marshal Keyes soon asked for Captain Henry and in an offhand way 
Belle replied, "I think he is on deck." 

Mr. Hardinge and the Marshal went out to find him. Almost im- 
mediately they were back to announce excitedly that the blockade run- 
ner's master was not aboard. They were certain he had escaped. 


Belle is Exiled. The Navy Dismisses Hardinge 

HE mere arrival of the captured Greyhound aroused much 
interest in Boston and Washington. When it became 
known that the dangerous Belle Boyd and the hated 
Mr. Pollard were among the passengers, public excite- 
ment succeeded general interest. And when Captain 

Henry made his dramatic escape, the affair of the Greyhound became 
a sensation. 

On May 20th, the Boston Post recorded the arrival of the captured 
"British" steamer Greyhound on the 19th: 

"The steamer * * * had on 'board as passengers the somewhat 
famous rebel spy, Miss Belle Boyd, and Mr. Pollard of Richmond, 
author of a Southern history of the Rebellion. Miss Boyd came 
on board the steamer at Wilmington as Miss Lewis, and her deport- 
ment on shipboard is described by the officers as very lady-like.'* 

On the same day the Washington National Republican in announc- 
ing the arrival of the Greyhound at Boston stated: "The famous Belle 
Boyd is a passenger." 

The following day, the 21st, the Boston Post had much more to say 
for it had succeeded in interviewing Belle. This had not been achieved 
without considerable difficulty as, said the paper, "There is much 
curiosity to see her, but the Marshal is so choice of his charge that but 
few are gratified." 

The Post, revealing that the Confederate spy had taken passage for 
Nassau, commented that the armed intervention of Uncle Sam had 
supplied a vastly different destination. Instead of being welcomed at 
Nassau, she had been politely waited upon in Boston by Marshal Keyes 
and "invited" to take lodgings at the Tremont House until the pleasure 
of the Government became known. 

The Post's reporter found the Southern girl to be a tall, blond, 
well-formed woman, graceful in her manners, who conversed freely 
and well and was obviously a person of intelligence and quick under- 
standing. She was also very well attended for she was accompanied by 
three servants a Vhite woman, a black girl, and a black boy. 


Could such refinement be real in a person the Associated Press, the 
Washington Star, Leslie's Weekly, and others had stridently assured 
the North was a female desperado and an immoral character? The 
Post sought evidence from different sources as to her behavior on board 
ship. What it learned and related was that her bearing in action and 
speech had been strictly becoming and proper in all respects. But was 
she courageous? How had she acted during "the attack on the Grey- 
hound"! The answer was that "Miss B. came on deck, took a seat 
upon a bale of cotton, and quietly sat fanning herself and watching the 
explosion of the shells." 

By now the Post was sufficiently impressed by her quality to ask 
the youthful Confederate agent her views as to the issues involved in 
the war. It found that she held and expressed freely, but not in offen- 
sive terms, strong admiration of and sympathy with the South. That 
was hardly surprising, but what the Post learned next most certainly was. 

How, the Post's man asked, did she think the conflict would termi- 
nate? The twenty-year old Virginian girl did not hesitate or quibble. 
In her opinion, the outcome of the struggle then going on between Lee 
and Grant would also decide the war. These two Generals, she main* 
tained, were the two ablest in the country. 

More than ten months later, her prophecy was vindicated at Appo- 
mattox, and today eminent historians enjoying the inestimable advan- 
tage of hindsight are unanimous as to the military greatness of Lee and 
Grant But when Belle spoke with such prescience and assurance, 
Grant had commanded the Union forces for only two months. Yet she 
had already perceived his ability, and felt 'that the North would have 
to make no more changes in command. It was to be to the death 
between Lee and Grant. Was this her purely personal conviction, or 
did she echo what she had learned in Richmond? 

In concluding its article, the Post expressed the belief that she 
would be paroled and "Boston left without a Belle." As to Captain 
Henry, it had, as yet, but little to say. However, it did mention that 
on May 19th, when the Greyhound arrived, he could not be found. It 
added, with unjustifiable optimism, "he will, probably, soon turn up.'* 

Five days after his disappearance, it became quite apparent that he 
would neither turn up nor be turned up. So Boston, in the following; 
telegraphed item which the National Intelligencer in Washington 
printed on the 24th, admitted his escape and revealed that, as the Navy 


Department subsequently confirmed, it had occurred because the taking 
of necessary precautions had been neglected. 

'The captain of the captured blockade runner Greyhound, which 
reached Boston on Thursday noon, escaped during the excitement 
incident to her arrival. The ship was surrounded by boats from 
the shore and there being little or no lookout kept the captured 
captain availed himself of the neglect, and got ashore, dodging 
his captors." 

There was no negligence, however, with respect to pursuit of 
Captain Henry. Detectives were hot on his trail, and Marshal Keyes' 
gimlet eyes peered frantically into every possible hiding place. The 
Boston police were also exerting all their skill but found themselves 
bewildered and baffled by a wealth of identification data. 

The trouble was that there were conflicting descriptions of the 
fugitive on every point. For example, some persons were certain he 
wore a black hat. Others were equally positive it was white. As to his 
nose, it was asserted by many that it was definitely aquiline. Yet there 
were several who were convinced it was decidedly retrousse. With such 
evidence to mislead them, and much of it furnished by Belle and others 
with intent to confuse, the authorities were exasperated. 
r While the search was at its height, Captain Henry lay perdu at a 
Boston hotel under an assumed name, and Belle received several com- 
munications from him. Two days later, when the hue and cry had 
subsided somewhat, he left for Canada by way of New York. In the 
latter town, he was imprudent or impudent enough to put up at a large 
hotel on Broadway, With almost fifteen years of service in the United 
States Navy, it was not improbable that he might see there many old 
friends of pre-war days. Fortunately, not one recognized him and 
eventually he made his way north and crossed 'the border into Canada. 

Only one thing could have made Captain Henry's escape more 
dramatic. That would have been for Belle to have vanished with him. 
This omission legend has tried desperately to remedy in the form of the 
strange tale of Captain James H. Reid of Medford, Massachusetts, who, 
in his time, was dean of the Boston harbor pilots. 

In 1864 Reid, as his story was still being told in 1914 147 , was an 
employee of a news association competing with the Associated Press, 
His particular assignment was to row out to incoming boats, gather 
news, and take it back to town. One evening at dusk a remarkable 
adventure befell him when he went out to meet the blockade runner 


Bat which had been captured off Charleston, South Carolina, and 
brought to Boston by a prize crew. 

When he first reached the Bat, nothing unusual happened, and he 
went about gathering news tranquilly. But, as he was about to shove 
off, a man in the uniform of a naval officer hailed him. Would he 
accept twenty-five dollars to row a woman ashore? He consented im- 
mediately. A woman and the officer got into his -boat and he took 
them to land. 

The following day he learned to his great astonishment that the 
woman was the Confederate spy, Belle Boyd. Questioned by the au- 
thorities regarding her escape, Reid told his story. As his explanation 
that he thought the lady was some officer's wife seemed convincing, no 
action was taken against him for his part in the escape. She was, he 
recalled distinctly, one of the handsomest women he had ever seen, 
"with jet black eyes and raven hair, with a lace mantilla thrown over it." 

All efforts to capture Belle Boyd failed, goes the tale, $nd she 
eventually reached England. As to her male companion, his identity 
remained a mystery forever. 

James Reid undoubtedly had a thrilling, profitable, and even pleasant 
experience. Perhaps he was the man who took Captain Henry ashore 
from the Greyhound, and in later years he may have enjoyed embellish- 
ing that incident a bit. Or he may have taken a naval officer and a 
woman off the Bat at some time and subsequently convinced himself 
and others that the lady was Belle Boyd. But Captain Henry left the 
Greyhound alone. As for the Bat and what may have happened aboard 
her, that blockade runner was not captured until October 1864, more 
than four months after Belle reached Boston aboard the Greyhound}-** 

So, despite the gallant service Captain Reid rendered some black- 
eyed and raven-haired beauty, the blue-eyed and light-haired Belle was 
still a prisoner aboard when Captain Henry left. After Hardinge and 
Marshal Keyes had made sure the Confederate officer was no longer on 
board, the ship was brought alongside a wharf and the Marshal took 
Hardinge's fiancee ashore. Here a large crowd had gathered to see 
Belle Boyd debark for, while 'the Boston papers had not yet announced 
her presence, word had been wired from New York that she was a 

At the Tremont House, Marshal Keyes most amiably ushered his 
prisoner to the rooms provided for her. With an awkward attempt at 
gallantry which could hardly have raised her spirits, he assured her 
that in a few days he would have either the very great pleasure of 


taking her to Canada or the decidedly unpleasant task of entrusting 
her to the tender mercies of the commandant at Fort Warren. 

As time went on, the Boston press continued to discuss Belle and 
what might happen to her. Soon it announced somewhat prematurely: 
"Belle Boyd has been sent to Fitchburg Jail." The distraught Sam 
Hardinge could stand it no longer. He feared the news might event- 
ually prove correct and so he dashed off to Washington to attempt to 
bring about her release. He carried with him letters of introduction to 
many influential persons and succeeded in inducing several to exert 
themselves on behalf of Belle. 

Her own none too abundant patience now became exhausted. Since 
her capture, she had had no indication of the action to be taken in her 
case and probably feared that unless pressure were brought to bear she 
would be allowed to languish in captivity indefinitely and perhaps 
permanently. So, supplementing Sam Hardinge' s endeavors in Wash- 
ington, fihe wrote directly to Secretary of the Navy Welles admitting 
that, though she had used another name, she was actually Belle Boyd, 
and wished to go to Canada. The Washington National Republican, 
learning that this letter had been received by the Secretary on May 
24th, and acquiring a knowledge of its contents, printed this item on 
the 25th: 

"A letter was received in this city today from the notorious 
female spy 'Belle Boyd/ forwarded to the Secretary of the Navy by 
United States Marshal Keyes, of Boston, at 'Belle's' request. She 
is the 'Mrs, Davis' captured on 'board the Greyhound. She says she 
was allowed to leave die South for a foreign land -to recover her 
health, which had been much impaired by former imprisonment; 
that she was on 'board a British snip (the Greyhound) when cap- 
tured, and was intending to go to Canada to settle until 'this cruel 
war is over* in order to be as near to her mother, who lives some- 
where in this vicinity, as possible. She says she assumed the name 
of Davis 'in order to escape newspaper notoriety.' This declaration 
is positive evidence of insanity, upon which Belle's earnest plea to 
be released from imprisonment will undoubtedly receive favorable 

By this time, Sam Hardinge had done all he could in Washington to 
secure Belle's release. On the 26th he left the Capital by train for New 
York.. But his fiancee and her plight were very much on his mind and 
he expressed his views freely en route. According to a Navy Depart- 
ment record 149 , although he was in uniform he did not hesitate to make 
himself quite conspicuous in the use of language and the expression of 


sentiments considered disloyal and unbecoming an officer. Concerning 
the captivity of Belle Boyd, he was most outspoken and indignant, and 
boasted that he would have her released. He had with him a little 
silver-mounted revolver which he said had belonged to her. 

The same official record indicates that one reason for Hardinge' s 
trip to Washington was to apply for a month's leave of absence. His 
purpose in asking for leave is unknown, but it can be hazarded that he 
planned, if Belle were released, to accompany her to Canada and make 
her Mrs. Hardinge. He would then have had a most difficult decision 
to make. Should he, already involved in the escape of a Confederate 
officer, attempt to return to Federal naval duty as the husband of a 
Southern agent, and face the obvious consequences? Or should he 
neglect to return and thus, by deserting the military service of the 
United States, become an exile from his native land? 

In less than two weeks after Belle had written Secretary Welles, 
Washington acted. Marshal Keyes received a telegram ordering that 
Miss Boyd and her servants be escorted to Canada. She must leave 
within twenty-four hours, and if caught again within the United States 
or by the United States authorities, she would be shot. The Marshal 
brought her this message on a Sunday evening, and it was decided that 
she should take the next train at five o'clock on Monday afternoon. 

While this satisfactory outcome no doubt pleased Sam Hardinge 
immensely, his own affairs now took a turq for the worse and any 
prospect of a Canadian honeymoon vanished. Otf Monday morning he 
was sent for by Admiral Stringham, fhe Navy Yard commandant. Late 
that afternoon he sent Belle this letter fjopm the Receiving Ship Ohio. 

"My dear Miss Belle: , ^ \ 

It is all up with me. Mr. H| 11, the engineers and myself, are 
prisoners charged with complicity in the escape of Captain H . 
The Admiral says that it looks bad for us ; so I have adopted a 
very good motto, viz: 'Face .the music!' and, come what may, the 
officers under me shall be spared. I have asked permission of the 
Admiral to come and bid you goodby. I hope that his answer will 
be in the affirmative/' 

To Belle it must have seemed that she would have to leave Boston 
without seeing him again. But the Admiral paroled him and the other 
officers until sundown, and he met her at the station in time to say a 
sad goodby. It was only goodby, though, and not farewell, for she 
trusted he would soon rejoin her. But she could not have been too 
certain of that. The charges against Hardinge were most serious, and 


that the Federal Government could be as harsh to others as it had been 
lenient with her had been made manifest on Sunday morning. It was 
then that Mr. Pollard, against whom the Boston papers had been ex- 
ceedingly vituperative, had been imprisoned in Fort Warren. Now, as 
Belle sped toward Canada, it was JMarshal Keyes, and not her fiancee, 
who accompanied her. Among the many unhappy thoughts that 
harassed her the dominant one must have been that Sam Hardinge was 
in trouble because her devotion to the South had compelled her to trick 
him to enable Captain Henry to escape. 

As to the outcome of the charges against Hardinge, Belle to whom 
the subject was no doubt a very painful one said nothing definite in 
her memoirs. Some writers have claimed that Hardinge went to Wash- 
ington and prevailed upon his superiors to accept his resignation, and 
in Reveille in Washington Margaret Leech says ambiguously that he 
was "discharged/* 

The Navy Department makes no mystery of what happened. 
Hardinge was arrested by order of the Secretary of the Navy on June 
8th, was confined on board the Ohio until July 8th, and on that day 
dismissed from the service in the following terms: 

"For your neglect of duty, in permitting the Captain of the prize 
steamer GREYHOUND under your charge to escape, you are hereby 
dismissed from the Navy of the United States as an Acting Ensign 
r on temporary service/' 150 

Hardinge was guilty of inexcusable negligence but not of dishonor- 
able complicity. The essence of his offence was that as a young officer, 
inexperienced in the finer points involved in the paroling of prisoners, 
he did not recall on arrival at Boston that Cap'tain Henry was under 
parole only until Boston was reached. With the dropping of the anchor, 
the parole ended. The prisoner should then have been placed under 
adequate guard or paroled again by competent authority. 

According to the Navy Department, the pilot of the U. S. Supply 
Steamer Newbern, who assisted in taking the Greyhound to Boston, 
reported that "Harding allowed Captain Bier and Miss Boyd to go 
ashore in New York while they were detained there by bad weather." 
Apparently the Newbern's pilot considered this was improper. But it 
was not if, as Belle asserted, both prisoners had been placed on -parole 
by Captain Gansevoort. As to Captain George Henry Bier's parole and 
the propriety of allowing him ashore in New York, there can be no 
question whatever. The Navy Department states definitely that Cap- 


tain Bier and Miss Boyd were sent in the Greyhound from Hampton 
Roads to Boston, "Captain Bier being paroled on his promise to obey 
all the orders of the prize master, Mr. Harding, until he reached Boston 
Harbor. There he made his escape while still in charge of Harding." 151 

Why was Belle allowed to go to Canada? Even the Washington 
National Republican knew better than to take seriously her pleas that 
she wished to settle there to be as near her mother as possible, and that 
she had been traveling for her health on a British ship. As to the latter 
assertion, the well-informed newspaper pointed out on the 25th that 
while it was being said the. Greyhound was a British vessel commanded 
by a British captain with a British master's certificate, it so happened 
that "George H. Brier" was well known to Captain Gustavus Fox, 
Assistant Secretary of the Navy. The paper added that Captain Fox 
had sailed in the same ship with him before the war, and that "Brier," 
who had entered the rebel navy after the rebellion began, was, at the 
time of his capture, a rebel naval officer. 

From Belle's standpoint, her request was plausible enough. For 
months her letters from the South to her mother in territory occupied 
by the North had been intercepted, and her mother, who had telegraph- 
ed Marshal Keyes, had recently been refused permission to come to 
Boston. Belle certainly did not want to be imprisoned in the North; 
she knew 'the Federal Government would hardly let her go home to 
Martinsburg; and she surely doubted that they would simply ship her 
back South a third time. It would be much better to be sent to Canada. 
There she would be as near as possible to her mother with respect to 
unobstructed communication but, above all, if the Noith proved foolish 
enough to let her go, she could sail to England and fulfill her mission 

The proper course was surely to detain "Mrs. Lewis" like Mr. 
Pollard and, in view of her past activities, to hold her for the duration 
of the war. That she was permitted to go to Canada suggests strongly 
either unusual stupidity in handling her case or that the influence she 
claimed to possess and to have used was potent enough to insure not 
only her release but also what was equivalent to official authorization to 
proceed on her Confederate mission. She was too discreet, of course, 
to reveal the identity of those who helped her so effectively. But in an 
amiably ironic comment on the National Republican's articles she ex- 
pressed appreciation that the promised shooting had been deferred until 
they caught her again, and added: "I felt much obliged to members 
of Congress and others who used their influence in my behalf." 


The treatment accorded her in this instance was -much like 'that 
given her at Winchester on May 22, 1862, when she and Lieutenant H. 
(Hasbrouck?) were apprehended as she was taking papers and mes- 
sages to Front Royal. On that occasion she talked her way out of a 
serious predicament and was released and allowed to go on to Front 
Royal where her activities the next day were highly disastrous to the 
Federal forces. In both cases it is significant that the ire of the Federal 
authorities was felt solely by the Union officers she had duped. 

It is generally understood that Mrs. Rose O'Neal Greenhow, one of 
the most potent of Confederate female secret agents, had many in- 
fluential connections in Washington, even on the Senate Military Affairs 
Committee, which proved invaluable in gathering vital information and 
in warding off punishment. It is quite likely, too, that it took similar 
influence to induce the Federal authorities to speed Belle Boyd on her 
Confederate mission to England via Canada under the escort of a 
courteous and solicitous United States marshal. Nothing suggests this 
more than 'the great contrast as grimmer Federal officers dismissed 
Ensign Hardinge from the Navy, pursued the fugitive Captain Bier 
even into Canada, and threw into Fort Warren and then into "solitary" 
at Fortress Monroe the Richmond editor, Mr. Pollard, whose own 
political weapons were certainly not negligible. 

What may have served greatly to protect Belle was her wide knowl- 
edge of undercover activities of politicians in Washington who pro- 
fessed Northern allegiance and had Southern sympathies, or had fur- 
tively cast anchors to windward. She did not betray them in her 
memoirs, but merely hinted that she had such knowledge and could be 
driven to use it 

In his introduction to Belle's book, Mr. Sala reveals that later she 
received in London intimations threatening that the life of Sam Hard- 
inge, then in Federal prison, depended upon the suppression of her 
story then about to be published. Regarding these intimations, he 
quotes a reader of the New York World as writing of officials high in 
power at Washington concerning whom Belle knew more than was 
generally known: "They fear the truth/' Belle herself wrote: "Many 
have advised me to suppress this volume, urging that its publication 
will probably cause my life-long banishment. But I cannot I will 
not recede." ~~ 


Apparently she could have added that she need not recede. For, 
though the book was not suppressed, Sam Hardinge was released as 
mysteriously as Belle ever was, and when her memoirs appeared, Mr. 
Sala's preface included the warning passage that Belle Boyd 

"is in possession of a vast amount of information implicating 
certain high officials at Washington both in public and -private 
scandals, which she deems it imprudent at present to publish. 
'The time is not yet/ " 


Canada, England and Marriage 

T Montreal, Belle stopped at the St. Lawrence Hall. 
Learning that Captain Bier and his wife were at Niagara, 
she set off to join them. In Niagara she registered at the 
Clifton House, and from her windows had a clear view 
of the American Falls. Lower down she could see the 
Suspension Bridge crossing over to the States and offering a constant 
and almost irresistible temptation to venture back. An even more 
powerful deterrent, however, was the news given her on good authority 
that more than one hundred thousand dollars would be paid if she and 
Captain Bier were captured, and that Federal agents were stationed at 
the bridge to trap them if they tried to enter. 

She and Captain Bier soon discovered that even in Canada they 
were subject to constant surveillance by Federal detectives. They 
watched closely two very foppishly dressed men with waxed mustaches 
who were apparently very much interested in them, and became con* 
vinced that they were Yankee agents. Not long after this, they started 
for Quebec. When they stopped at Toronto en route they found the 
same sleuths at the railroad station. As the supposed Federal operatives 
also took passage with them on the steamer for Montreal, Belle and 
Captain Bier determined to make certain that they were both being 

At Montreal Captain and Mrs. Bier went to the Donegana Hotel 
and Belle stayed again at the St. Lawrence Hall. She immediately 
found one of the Federal men at her hotel and Captain Bier reported 
the other at his. 

When the Biers and Belle went on to Quebec, the two agents still 
accompanied them. It was only when Belle sailed for England that 
the one trailing her was shaken off. However, he did try to secure 
passage on the same boat but failed to obtain accommodations. 

In Liverpool Belle remained for a few days at the Washington 
Hotel and then went to London. There she visited Mr. Hotee, the 
Confederacy's commercial agent, for whom she had - been given in 
Richmond communications from the Secretary of State. She reported 
to Mr. Hotze that these dispatches had been destroyed and she states 


that this ended her connection with the Confederate Government for 
the time being. What she does not state and yet is more than probable 
is that she gave Mr. Hotze verbal information which she could not 
have delivered had she not been permitted to continue her trip to 

Mr. Hotze turned over to her a letter which had been left with him 
and the important news it contained was of a highly personal and 
pleasant nature. Sam Hardinge had come to England to join her and 
not finding her had gone on to Paris to look for her. Realising that 
she might have been delayed en route, he had left word for her in 
London. She communicated with him immediately and he quickly 
returned to England. Their meeting was joyous and Sam Hardinge 
resumed his interrupted courtship under far more favorable and agree- 
able conditions. It soon came to an end again, however, but a more 
satisfactory one, for they were married on August 25th, 1864. 

Among the most interesting accounts of the wedding were those of 
Le Moniteur Universal of Paris and the Morning Post of London as 
set forth in Belle Boyd in Camp and Prison. 

The French paper mentioned, among other matters, that the young 
bridegroom was to leave shortly for the Confederate States to volunteer 
as a private. This was one of the conditions, it was said, that the bride 
had imposed to prove her husband's present devotion to the cause he 
had so recently been fighting. And it was added that the Federal 
Government had already placed a price on his head. 

The Morning Post, then the official organ of the British Prime 
Minister, devoted a long article on August 26th to the Hardinge-Boyd 
nuptial ceremony. According to its columns, the marriage, which took 
place at St. James's Church in Piccadilly and was performed by the 
Reverend Mr. Paull of St. James's Chapel, drew a considerable number 
of English and American sympathizers with the Confederacy. These 
were most anxious to see "the lady whose heroism has made her name 
so famous and to witness the result of her last captivity, the making 
captive of the Federal officer under whose guard she was again being 
conveyed to prison." There were many prominent guests in attendance, 
and the notables included the Honorable James Williams, formerly 
United States Minister at Constantinople, the Honorable John L. 
O'Sullivan, former United States Minister at Lisbon, Mr. Henry Hotee,* 
Major Hughes, C. S. A., Captain Fearon, C. S. A., Mr. Keen Richards 

* Spelled "Henry Hog<le" in the Morning Post. 


of Kentucky, Mr. C. Warren Adams, Mr. Edward Robinson Harvey, 
and Mr. Henry Howard Barber. Among the ladies were Mrs. Paull, 
Mrs. Harvey, who attended the bride, and Madame Cerbelle Reay. At 
the conclusion of the impressive ceremony, Mr. and Mrs. Hardinge and 
their guests adjourned to the Brunswick Hotel in Jermyn Street for a 
wedding luncheon. 

Legend is most insistent that the Prince of Wales was at the wed- 
ding, and this statement is often found, with graphic pictorial embellish- 
ment, in the more imaginative articles about Belle Boyd. But there are 
two good reasons why His Royal Highness could not have been present. 
One is that the official * 'Court News/' as published in the London 
Times on August 30th, shows that on the 25th the Prince attended a 
picnic given by the Countess of Fife at the Falls of Moich in the 
Highlands of Scotland. 

The other reason is that it would have been an exceedingly grave 
faux pas in international relations for the heir to the British throne to 
have attended, even incognito, a wedding at which the bride was a 
recognized Southern agent, the groom was a dismissed officer of the 
United States Navy, and three of the guests were the leading Confed- 
erate agents and propagandists in England. England was then doing 
everything possible to help the Confederacy unofficially while avoiding 
any semblance of official recognition or entanglement. For the Prince 
to have been present at the ceremony or at the reception would have 
been uncomfortably close to official endorsement by the British Govern- 
ment of the Confederacy and its cause. 

But far more significant than the absence of the Prince of Wales 
was the presence of Henry Hotze, James Williams, and John L. 
O' Sullivan. When it is realized who these men were, and the impor- 
tance of their Confederate missions abroad is understood, it becomes 
abundantly clear that Belle Boyd ranked exceptionally high as a confi- 
dential and trustworthy agent of the South. Had these men not known 
beyond question that the Confederate Government had the utmost 
confidence in her, not one of them would have been in St. James's 
Chapel or at the Brunswick Hotel on August 25'th. 

Henry Hotze, a native of Switzerland, had worked on the staff of 
the Mobile Register before the War. In 1862, at the age of twenty- 
seven, he became the Confederacy's propaganda agent in England. At 
first he was given limited funds, but when he quickly produced results 
and Secretary Benjamin came to think highly of him, these were greatly 
increased. One of his early achievements was to have opened to him 


the columns of the London Morning Post, then the official journal of 
the Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston. Gradually other English papers 
extended him a similar courtesy and, as inspired articles in the English 
press began to gain more and more sympathy for the South, his status 
soon approached that of an unofficial and highly respected ambassador 
of the Confederate States at the Court of St. James. 

Intellectually honest and a most successful propagandist, it is claimed 
that he showed far more insight into public opinion than the more 
publicized Confederate representatives, Mason and Slidell and, in fact, 
possessed a masterly finesse in resourcefulness which would have done 
honor to Bismarck or Cavour. His fastidiousness, deftness, and light- 
ness of touch in a delicate situation were remarkable. 152 For Henry 
Hotze to go to Belle's wedding was to bestow deliberately upon her 
the highest honor within his power. 

As for James Williams, he had been made Minister to Turkey by 
President Buchanan. When the War began, he went to Europe as a 
Confederate minister at large and propagandist and gave Mr. Hotze 
highly effective aid. His articles in various newspapers played an im- 
portant part in swinging the English middle and upper classes to the 
Southern cause. It was he who visited Emperor Maximilian at "Mira- 
mar" and persuaded him it would be advantageous to ally himself 
with the Confederacy, or at least to recognize it. Further, Mr. Williams 
kept Mason and Slidell fully posted and carried on a secret correspond- 
ence with Jefferson Davis. 

But what must have mattered most to Belle Boyd and James 
Williams in London in August, 1864, was that they were in a sense 
"home folks" and could talk for hours of relatives and friends in 
Knoxville and of gay private and official parties in the old Blount 
Mansion. Williams, a Tennesseean, had founded the Knoxvzlle Post in 
1841, and had edited it for several years. He had also founded the 
Deaf and Dumb Asylum in Knoxville, and in 1843 had been elected 
to the State House of Representatives. He must have known Belle's 
cousin, Judge Samuel Beckett Boyd, who was mayor of Knoxville from 
1847 to 1852. And he must have known her first cousin of the same 
name who had left Martinsburg, settled in Rtioxville, and married a 
Boyd cousin there, for this Samuel Beckett Boyd, in whose Knoxville 
home Belle's grandmother had died in 1857, became in 1859 a trustee 
of the Asylum Mr. Williams had established. 153 

John L. O'Sullivan, the third Confederate official at the wedding, 
was a prominent journalist and diplomat. Coiner of the righteous 

178 BELLE Bo YD 

term "Manifest Destiny" to express American imperialism, he had been 
United States Minister at Lisbon from 1854 to 1858. Having estab- 
lished the United States Magazine and Democratic Review, his contri- 
butors included his warm friend Nathaniel Hawthorne, Thoreau, Poe, 
Bryant, and other great writers and poets. Later, with- Samuel J. 
Tilden, he founded the New York Morning News. As a Southern, 
"rebel" he held the official position of Special Agent of the Confederate 
Government in London. 

History records also an earlier association of their names in flagrant 
"rebellion'* which Belle Boyd and John L. O'Sullivan could hardly 
have failed to recall and discuss. Mr. O'Sullivan's great-grandfather 
John had been adjutant-general of the army of "Bonnie Prince Charlie" 
in 1745. The following year he fought at Culloden where the Duke 
of Cumberland defeated the unhappy Stuart prince. It was on that 
historic field that the English captured a probable kinsman of Belle's, 
William Boyd, fourth Earl of Kilmarnock, who was taken to the Tower 
of London, convicted of high treason, and beheaded. 154 

News of the Hardinge-Boyd marriage reached the States quickly. 
On September 8th the New York World reprinted a long and highly 
inaccurate account from the London Shipping Gazette of August 26th. 
This gave the readers of the New York paper an amazing amount of 

They learned, for instance, that the Federal vessel 'that had captured 
the Greyhound was the "Connactuca"; that Belle's father was a general 
who owned vast estates in Virginia; and that Belle, who had accom- 
panied him throughout his campaign with "Stonewall" Jackson, had 
heroically led troops to battle. They were told, too, that she and 
Hardinge had escaped from the Greyhound together; that Belle had 
enlisted her husband's support for 'the South; and that both intended to 
run the blockade to join the service of the Confederacy. 

Possibly this imaginatively embroidered tale gave Captain Reid the 
germ of his story about Belle Boyd escaping with a naval officer from 
a ship in Boston Harbor. When it came to the attention of the Federal 
authorities, who doubtless had already read in French and other foreign 
papers that Belle expected her husband to fight for the South, it surely 
induced in them a not unnatural desire to take Sam Hardinge into 
custody on sight. They did not have to wait very long to gratify this 


Hardinge in Old Capitol Prison 
and at Fort Delaware 

ARDINGE was to leave England late in September. He 
did not sail until 'November. Then, instead of boarding 
a blockade runner he took a ship for Boston. 

Why Hardinge did not sail directly to the South is 
not clear. If he carried Confederate dispatches, that 
should have been his course. According to Belle, the sole purpose of 
his trip was to communicate with her family. This was hardly an 
adequate pretext, even if coupled with a desire to see his own parents. 
After all, neither Belle nor he could fail to realize, in view of the 
Greyhound episode, their marriage, and the printed foreign reports 
regarding his intention to serve the South, that he would be arrested, if 
only for investigation, when found on Northern soil. And Boston,, 
where he was now so well known, was seemingly the worst possible 
choice as a port of entry. There must have been some other reason for 
the trip. Perhaps something had been left unfinished at Boston. 

On leaving Boston, Hardinge first visited his parents in Brooklyn. 
He then left for Martinsburg via Baltimore. Upon arrival at his wife's 
home, he found that Mrs. Boyd and Belle's sister were visiting about 
ten miles away. He was received by his wife's grandmother, Mrs. Ruth 
Burns Glenn, and the servants, and given Belle's room. The widow 
of old Captain Glenn shed tears when she learned his identity, wel- 
comed him affectionately, and spent the entire evening in conversation 
with him. Later, he wrote in the, journal he kept for Belle, and which 
is contained in her memoirs. 

"When, at last, I retired to sleep, it was in your own room; and 
as I entered in at the door, I uncovered my head and thought 
of you. 

"This was your room. Here you had been held a prisoner, and 
had suffered the torture of an agonizing doubt as to your fate. 
Here lay your books just as you had left them. Writings, quota* 
tions, every thing to remind me of you, were 'here; and I do not 
kn-pw how long a time I should have stood gazing about me in 
silence, had it not been for my revery being disturbed by the little 


negro servant, who broke the silence by saying, 'No one's ever sleep 
in dis room since Missy Bel' been gone missus says you're de only 
purson as should/ 

"So, when I retired to bed that night and Jim had been dis- 
missed from further attendance upon me, I lay for a long time 
thinking, looking into the fire, that glimmered and glared about 
the room, -picturing you here, there, and everywhere about the 
chamber, and thinking of you sadly, far away from me in England 
the exile, lonely and sad." 

Sam Hardinge remained in Martinsburg until the next afternoon 
and left for Baltimore at five-thirty o'clock. Apparently, Mrs. Boyd 
had not returned before his departure, and it is strange indeed that he 
went off without seeing her. Surely, unless something was amiss, he 
would have waited. 

Possibly he received a warning and left hurriedly. At any rate, he 
got no farther than Monacocy Station where he was arrested and 
charged, he recorded, with being a deserter. This could only have been 
a pretext to take him into custody, for he had been dismissed from the 
naval service. At Harper's Ferry, where he was sent, he was questioned 
at some length by General Stevenson who called him a spy and asked 
him to produce the Confederate dispatches he was believed to be 

Hardinge's arrest caused quite- a stir, said the Washington Star on 
December 6th. He was made prisoner on Friday, the 2nd, and when 
questioned as to his motive in visiting Martinsburg, said he had intend- 
ed to take his sister-in-law, Mamie Boyd, North to educate her. The 
military authorities, naturally, did not believe this and feared Belle was 
"lurking somewhere in the vicinity in which Hardinge was captured/' 

When taken into custody, the prisoner, a medium-sized man with 
dark hair, dark hazel eyes, and a thin, smooth face, was dressed taste- 
fully in broadcloth, wore a tall beaver hat, and carried a cane. The Star 
observed he could not be called handsome. But he evidently thought 
highly of himself, had the gift of "gab" in abundance, and "while 
being conveyed to the Old Capitol, he conversed freely with the officer 
having him in charge and boasted of his wealth and education." He 
also asserted that his wife was still in Europe, writing the history of 
her adventures, and that he was engaged upon a novel which would 
be called "The Wreck." 

Taken to Washington, he was first imprisoned in Forrest Hall, 
better known as "The Last Ditch" because it was considered the worst 


Federal prison. Removed to the Old Capitol, he was finally placed in 
Room 35 of Carroll Prison. Here on December 24th, Mrs. Boyd wrote 
him lamenting that the authorities would not let her call. 

Hardinge' s journal, written primarily for his wife's eyes, gives many 
details of his life in the prison so well known to 'her, and reveals how 
hard it was for him to adapt himself to his new situation. He describes 
Superintendent Wood well, tells several stories about him, and confides 
that Wood claimed he had a notebook of reminiscences about the Old 
Capitol which, if published, would equal any of Reynolds's novels of 
the Tower of London. But, in general, Hardinge's experiences were 
unpleasant, and it is clear that his imprisonment weakened him physi- 
cally and depressed him mentally. However, he derived great comfort 
and satisfaction from the constant consideration accorded him by Con- 
federate prisoners when they learned he was Belle Boyd's husband. 

That he loved her very deeply is certain. And he was extremely 
sensitive to the slightest criticism of her. But Belle relished flaying 
her Northern critics and was far more concerned with what she thought 
of them and their cause than with their reflections upon her. The 
Washington Star, in a nostalgic editorial on May 8, 1943, discloses that, 
after marrying Sam Hardinge, Belle sent the Stay a letter from London 
recounting her experiences. That the contents of this letter are not now 
available is much to be regretted for, comments the Star. "Miss Boyd's 
literary style was as compelling as her personality. To say that she 
wrote 'like a prairie fire' is to be guilty of 'a masterpiece of under- 
statement/ " 

The editor to whom Belle wrote was Crosby Stuart Noyes. He was 
probably still editor when, a short time later, Hardinge, then in the 
Old Capitol, was deeply hurt by some rather scornful allusions to his 
wife and himself in the Star . He, too, wrote the editor. But his note 
was a formal challenge to that startled gentleman to make good his 
words on the field of honor. 155 No duel followed, of course. Yet no 
-one, and least of all the newspaperman, could have doubted that Sam 
Hardinge was in deadly earnest. 

Meanwhile the prisoner's parents had learned of his arrest and 
where he was confined. They came to Washington, and tried to see 
him. They succeeded only after calling on Secretary Stanton and ob- 
taining a pass. 

During their visit Hardinge discovered he was to be sent to Fort 
Delaware near Wilmington. At this point in his journal there is much 


confusion for though he is then supposed to be at Fort Delaware he 
continues to write as though still in Carroll Prison. 

It was on the train to Wilmington that Lieutenant C. of Major 
Gilmor's command asked him if he knew of Miss Belle Boyd, and, 
relating her presence at the battle of Winchester, said feelingly, "Well, 
there isn't a Southerner who would not lay down his life for her."* 

The Confederate cavalryman then added it was said Miss Belle had 
married a Yankee, asserted he would not believe it, and insisted 'the 
fortunate man must be a rebel. At this point, Hardinge identified 
himself as Belle Boyd's husband. Lieutenant C. apologized for his 
personal remarks, Sam Hardinge assured him he saw no grounds for 
offense, and the two were the best of friends for 'the remainder of 
their journey. 

The conditions of Hardinge' s imprisonment in Fort Delaware were 
seemingly even more severe than in Washington, and it is highly 
probable that they seriously impaired his health. When finally released 
without explanation on February 3rd, 1865, by Special Orders, No. 62, 
Headquarters, Fort Delaware, he was so weak that he could barely 
move. Yet he was simply put out of the prison to make his own way 
as best he could to town, sixteen miles away. He could procure no 
transportation and trudged on swollen, rag-encased feet for four pain- 
filled hours in bitterly cold weather until he reached Wilmington. 

The orders under which he was freed term him a "political prison- 
er." This indicates he was not arrested as a deserter. As the attitude 
of 'the general who questioned him shows, he was suspected of carrying 
Confederate dispatches. In addition, the Federal authorities must have 
expected Belle to harass them further and accordingly had welcomed 
the advantage secured by holding her husband. In fact, at the Old 
Capitol when Major Turner of 'the Judge Advocate's Department inter- 
rogated Hardinge, he assured the prisoner that he was held as a hostage 
for his wife's good behavior with the thought that the possibility of 
reprisal against him would deter Belle from resuming her harmful 

Why was Hardinge released? It may have been because the end of 
the war was in sight, and further detention would serve no useful 
purpose. But under the surface there may well have been another 
clash of wills in which Belle was again triumphant. She had been 
warned that her husband's life depended upon the suppression of the 

*Fully quoted, p. 121. 


book she was ready to publish. And her answer, when her own life- 
long banishment was intimated, had been, "I cannot I will not recede." 

It would have been characteristic of her to counter the Federal 
threats by demanding the release of Sam Hardinge and threatening in 
turn to print all the material in her possession if he were not freed. 
She had sacrificed Hardinge once to help Captain Bier escape, but now 
loyalty no longer asserted precedence over affection. If, as seems quite 
possible, there was an exchange of threats, it is significant that Hard- 
inge was released suddenly before the book was published and that 
when the book appeared it contained a warning that Belle still held a 
vast amount of information about high officials in Washington which 
it was not yet time to publish.* 

Upon Hardinge' s release, he lost no time in getting out of the 
Northern States. From Wilmington, he journeyed to New York, call- 
ed at his brother's place of business, went home to Brooklyn, bathed, 
and then left immediately for England. A terse notation of his precipi- 
tate departure is significantly the last entry in his journal. How anxious 
he was to leave America, and how eager to rejoin his wife, is eloquently 
shown by the fact that on February 8th, only five days after leaving 
Fort Delaware, he sailed for England. 

In Reveille in Washington., Miss Leech relates that Hardinge died 
in the United States, and did not rejoin Belle. Belle's cousin, Sue Boyd 
of Knoxville, seemed to recall in her eighty-seventh year that Hardinge 
was drowned when a White Star steamer went down in the Atlantic. 
But in May, 1865, Mr. Sala, Belle's English sponsor, quoted in his 
preface to Belle's book, a New York World reader's comment that 
Hardinge had sailed on February 8th. The only New York sailing for 
England on the 8th was that of the Cuba, a Cunarder. 156 This vessel 
reached Liverpool safely on February 19th. 

*Warning quoted, p. 173. 


Mother, Widow, Author, and Actress 

HILE Hardinge was held as a political prisoner, and 
possibly as a hostage in America, his wife's situation in 
London became critical. For some time she got along on 
funds she had brought with her, but later she had to 
dispose of her jewels. By the time she was driven to 
make her appeal to Mr. Sala, she was in great difficulties. 

This noted British writer says: "I found the lady in very great 
distress of mind and body. She was sick, without money, and driven 
almost to distraction by the cruel news that her husband was suffering 
the 'tender mercies' of a Federal prison." 

He discloses that her agent at home had forwarded her almost eight 
hundred pounds sterling but that the Federal Government had extracted 
the drafts from her mail. Eager to help her, he wrote a communication 
headed, "A Word to Confederate Sympathizers'* which outlined her 
desperate position and suggested that assistance should and would be 
forthcoming. The letter appeared in the Morning Herald and, accord- 
ing to Mr. Sala, another London paper reprinted the item, adding the 
remarkable assertion that it was in a position to verify what had been 
stated, and making this further comment: 

"Probably, the history of the world does not contain a parallel 
case. Her adventures in the midst of the American War surpass 
anything to be met with in the pages of fiction. Her great beauty, 
elegant manners, and personal attractions generally, in conjunction 
with her romantic history before her marriage, which took place 
_three months ,ago at the West End in 'the presence of a fashionable 
assemblage of affectionate and admiring friends, concur to invest 
her with attributes which render her such a heroine as the world 
has seldom, if ever seen, in a lady only now in her twentieth year." 

Some writers have indicated that this appeared in the London Times. 
No such passage is found in that paper, and Mr. Sala's discretion in 
not naming the paper "in a position to verify what had been stated" 
suggests that the journal so greatly concerned for her was the Index. 
This was a newspaper published in London with Confederate funds as 
part of Mr. Hotee's propaganda. 


Mrs. Hardinge's friends and admirers were prompt and generous in 
response and her financial problems were temporarily solved. But her 
temperament would not permit her to be dependent upon others and 
inactive on her own behalf. It did not take her long to decide that 
there must be something she could do right away. And so, even before 
Mr. Sala made his plea for aid, the thought of writing the story of 
some of her services to the South had occurred to her, and had been 
carried out. 

The end of the war was in sight, and probably the book was written 
so as to be ready when peace came. Belle Boyd in Camp and Prison is 
a simple narrative, written hurriedly and, when read carefully, betrays 
that a strong discretion dictated what could then be told and what 
could not. Belle contented herself chiefly with describing the shooting 
of the soldier in Martinsburg, the episode involving Lieutenant H. at 
Front Royal and Winchester, her role in the battle of Front Royal, her 
arrests and her two imprisonments in the Old Capitol, her travels 
throughout the South, the taking of the Greyhound, Captain Bier's 
escape, her romance with Samuel Hardinge, and her wedding in Lon- 
don. To this she appended extracts from her husband's journal. 

These were incidents that could then be discussed for they were all 
to some extent publicly known. Her part in them she told vividly in a 
style which some critics have found too theatrical. It is, however, in 
the authentic dramatic mood of most Southern actors in our great 
historical tragedy.* 

Belle Boyd in Camp and Prison appeared in London shortly after 
the middle of May, 1865. According to the London Times, in which 
it was advertised, its two volumes sold for twenty-one shillings. (About 
$5.15 today.) Typical of its reception is this comment from the 
London Saturday Gazette: 

"Belle Boyd in Camp and Prison is one of those books into 
which the whole soul and spirit of the writer have evidently -passed 
which are too earnest for artistic construction, too real and heart- 
felt either for self-concealment or self-display * * * The darling 
of the entire South, Belle Boyd may be regarded as the female 
genius or impersonation of the Confederacy in which her name 
has been a household word from almost the beginning of the war/ 1 

At this time, Sam Hardinge was still alive, for Mr, Sala's introduc- 
tion, dated May 17th, makes no later reference to him than his sailing 

*See Foreword, first line. 


from America on February 8th. And the addition of his journal to 
the book is another indication of his safe arrival in England. But 
Belle's husband did not long survive. When and where he died is 
uncertain. It has been said that he remained in the United States in- 
stead of going to England, and also that Mrs. Hardinge rejoined him 
and nursed him devotedly throughout illness that ended in his death 
about 1868. This is inconsistent with the inception of her theatrical 
career in England. It is more likely that Samuel Wylde Hardinge, Jr., 
seriously weakened by his imprisonment, died in England no later than 
July, 1866, and probably before the end of 1865. 

There is also much doubt as to when and where Grace Hardinge 
was born. By some, the year of the birth of the daughter of Belle and 
Samuel'W. Hardinge has been fixed as late as 1868, and the place as 
somewhere in the United States. But Belle's living daughter, by her 
second husband, Mrs. Marie Isabelle (Hammond) Michael, is certain 
that her half-sister, Grace, was -born in England. As this must have 
been before Belle went on the English stage, the child was evidently 
born in the latter part of 1865 or the first half of 1866. 

The English edition of Belle's book was quickly followed by one in 
America, and her income from both must have been substantial, But, 
as the author surely realized, this could only be a temporary resource. 
For a young woman in a foreign land, with an infant daughter, and 
who was a widow or obviously about to become one, some permanent 
occupation was imperative. What should it be? 

Inevitably, it must have occurred to her or to someone among her 
influential friends that she could play a role on the stage as dramatically 
as in real life. Moreover, the attention she had received in the press 
abroad and at home,, and the publication of her book, were bound to 
be helpful. 

Mr. Sala knew everybody and enjoyed using his excellent connections 
to help anyone. It so happened that at about the time Belle's book came 
out Mr. Sala was particularly enthusiastic about the playing of one of 
London's noted dramatic actresses, and his memoirs record that he went 
to see her play repeatedly. This lady was Kate Bateman, Mr. Sala 
knew her father, Colonel H. L. Bateman, well, and the latter the well 
known theatrical producer who had managed Sir Henry Irving in Sir 
Henry's most brilliant early successes was then in London. It is like- 
ly that Mr. Sala brought Colonel Bateman and Belle Boyd together, 
stressed her possibilities as an actress, and sought the Colonel's assist- 
ance in starting her stage career. That the producer who presented her 


in her first appearance in New York City was H. L. Bateman justifies 
this inference. 

Belle Boyd, the actress, made her debut at the Theatre Royal in 
Manchester, England, late in 1866. She and her sponsors obviously 
hoped that she would have a great stage career. Her opening role was 
that of Pauline in The Lady of Lyons. This was a famous starring 
part in which many great English and American actresses earned their 
laurels, and it is a remarkable tribute to the ability and versatility of 
Belle Boyd that she could undertake so prominent a part in her first 
public appearance at the age of 'twenty-two. Great credit for her 
achievement must also be given to her intensive training under the 
highly competent coaching and guidance of Avonia Jones and Walter 

These two capable coaches were then at the height of their own 
successful stage careers. Miss Jones, born in Richmond, Virginia, in 
1839, had spent most of her twenty-six years in the theatre, for her 
father was manager of the Avon Theatre in the capital of Virginia. As 
a young actress of great talent, she played throughout the United States 
before the War and registered notable successes in Richmond, Memphis, 
St. Louis, New Orleans, and numerous other cities. By I860 she was 
considered one of the best dramatic performers the nation had produced. 
She then played in Canada and Australia, and in 1861 arrived in 
London and soon appeared at the Drury Lane Theatre. By 1865 she 
had become a great favorite of the English stage, and her multitude of 
admirers claimed she had no superior. 157 

Walter Montgomery was primarily an eloquent interpreter of 
Shakespeare. He had achieved great distinction in Hamletj As You 
Like It, King John, and other plays, had toured extensively in England 
and the United States, and enjoyed quite a vogue in the latter country. 
As late as 1870 he appeared in some of his favorite roles at the Boston 
Theatre, and at the Academy of Music in New York. 157 

At the end of 1866, evidently fearing no persecution by the vic- 
torious Northerners, Belle returned to the United States with her daugh- 
ter, Grace, and made her first appearance in her own country at Ben 
de Bar's Theatre in St. Louis, Ben de Bar, a noted English actor, was 
also a well 'known producer and manager who operated several theatres 
in the United States and on occasion acted in his own productions. 
From St. Louis, Belle proceeded on a starring tour of stock houses in 
the South and Southwest. For this swing around the circuit, her mana- 
ger was "John P. Smith. Born in Richmond, Virginia in 1832, Mr. 


Smith began his career by managing Artemus Ward. He then directed 
tours of many leading theatrical figures, including Clara Morris and 
Barney Williams, and played an important part in the successes of his 
charges. Later he managed the Brooklyn and the Park Theatres in 
Brooklyn, New York. 158 

On January 9th, 1868, Belle played in New York City for the first 
time. The press on the 7th and 8th announced that on Thursday the 
9th there would be an English Comedy Night at the Theatre Fran^ais 
(14th Street Theatre) on which occasion BELLE BOYD of Virginia would 
make HER FIRST APPEARANCE IN NEW YORK in the comedy The Honey- 
moon and in the comedietta Faint Heart Never Won Fair Lady. Belle 
Boyd would play the part of Juliana and Robert Johnston that of Duke 
Aranza in the comedy. There would be a full and efficient dramatic 
company in support, and music by "the full grand orchestra of the 
Ristori performances under the direction of Mr. Robert Stoepel."* 59 

This particular performance does not seem to have attracted much 
attention. In 1927, George Odell, Professor of Dramatic Literature at 
Columbia University, wrote cryptically in his history of the New York 
stage: "I do not know what urged Belle Boyd to make her debut on 
January 9th as Juliana in The Honeymoon and in Faint Heart Never 
Won Fair Lady, nor can I imagine why she brought Robert Johnston 
from the Bowery to play Aranza. In fact, I do not know who Belle 
was; I only know that the deed was done." 160 

Professor Odell was too easily puzzled. Colonel Bateman had sim- 
ply seized an opportunity to give Belle a New York tryout, and Robert 
Johnston, an idol of the Bowery, had been made an added attraction. 

At the beginning of January, the distinguished artist Adelaide Ris- 
tori was appearing daily in Marie Antoinette and other plays produced 
by Colonel Bateman at the Theatre Frangais. But on the 9th she evi- 
dently was graciously willing to allow her engagement to be interrupted 
for one night in favor of Belle Boyd. This unusual concession becomes 
understandable when it appears that a capacity house on 14th Street 
was out of the question for anyone on January 9th because of the 
. competition furnished by another theatrical event that evening. This 
was the highly advertised opening of the newly erected and magnificent- 
ly decorated Pike's Opera House (later the Grand Opera House) at 
Twenty-Third Street and Eighth Avenue. Everyone planned to go 
there, and only those who could not get in went elsewhere. 

It seems odd -that Professor Odell did not know "who Belle was." 
For while there were undoubtedly persons in 1927 who had never 


heard of her as the noted Confederate scout and spy, so great an 
authority on dramatic literature and the New York stage should have 
known that Belle Boyd was the person whose adventures were drama- 
tized in Dion Boucicault's Belle Lamar, which opened August 10th, 
1874, at Booth's Theatre in New York. 

Unlike Professor Odell, the great Irish dramatist knew about Belle 
Boyd. Boucicault was quite active in the theatre in London in 1865, 
and probably met her. Her book must also have come to his attention 
then or later. Other than the text of his play, he has left no record 
that he based it on Belle's role in the battle of Front Royal But the 
text itself, although he takes a playwright's liberties with the actual 
facts, is ample proof. In one scene, after Belle Lamar has procured 
information regarding the plans of McDowell, Fremont, and Banks, 
"Stonewall" Jackson says to her: 

"The intelligence you have obtained is of vital value and saves 
our army from impending disaster. The presence of McDowell at 
Front Royal betrays a design to overwhelm us by the concert of 
these three advancing forces ; if they unite we must be annihilated. 
Rhett, you will ride tonight for Gordonville ; beg General Ewell to 
join me and put heart into his speed. Combined we can fall on 
McDowell's division; that broken, Banks at Strasburg will find 
himself outflanked and must fall back. Do not lose an hour," 161 

Belle Lamar, considered by some critics to rank high among Bouci- 
cault's works, did not enjoy a long run. Had Belle Boyd been available 
to play the title role, it would probably have aroused great public inter- 
est. That she did not play it is truly regrettable. But legend, ignoring 
that she was then in retirement, willfully pretends that what should 
have happened actually did. When Belle's daughter Byrd died in 
1932 no less a paper than the New York Times, in reviewing Byrd's 
stage career, aided legend by confusing the dramatic recitals her mother 
began in 1886 with Belle Lamar and reported incorrectly that Belle had 
appeared in that play for fifteen years. 162 

What Belle's single performance in New York revealed was that she 
had not yet attained the first rank in her new and exacting profession. 
In order to obtain more experience in stage detail, she soon joined the 
Miles & Bates Stock Company at Cincinnati, and assumed the stage 
name of Nina Benjamin, This change of theatrical identity had a defi- 
nite sentimental significance. "Nina Benjamin" was a combination of 
the Christian names of two persons very dear to Belle her special 
chum at school in Baltimore, and her father. 


After a short stay in Cincinnati, Nina Benjamin was engaged by 
Maurice and Henry Greenwall as stock star for their theatres in Calves- 
ton and Houston. From Texas, she went to Louisiana where she played 
for David Bidwell in his New Orleans Theatre. 163 

At New Orleans in March, 1869, she gave gave her last performance 
and retired from the stage. Her theatrical career had been brief and 
highly varied, and for the immediate future it offered much to a 
talented young woman who had not yet reached her twenty-fifth birth- 
day. But she gave up the theatre and the fame she expected to win in 
it to reach for the greater happiness inplicit in the insistent wooing of 
a most ardent admirer. 


Belle Marries Again 

ARLY in 1869, John Swainston Hammond, seeking diver- 
sion, attended a performance at the New Orleans Theatre 
and found a wife. So fascinated was he by the acting, 
appearance, and personality of Nina Benjamin that he 
sought a mutual acquaintance and arranged to be pre- 
sented. At close range offstage, he found the lady even more attractive, 
promptly laid siege to her heart, and conquered it. On March 17th 
they were married in "New Orleans. 

According to the Hammond children, their father was born in 
England, educated at Oxford, served as an officer in the Crimean War, 
and was wounded twice in that conflict. Coming to the United States 
later, he was commissioned in 1861 as a first lieutenant in Company 
H, Seventeenth Massachusetts Infantry. At the time of his marriage, 
he was a man of considerable means, and traveled extensively as sales 
representative of a firm in the tea and coffee business. 

The official war records add little to this. They reveal that he was 
a merchant, enrolled in July, 1861, was made a first lieutenant that 
month, and resigned May 15, 1862. One military history gives his age 
in 1861 as thirty- four and another as thirty. At the time of his resig- 
nation his regiment was in North Carolina and he and his company 
had already engaged in scouting and raiding. Why he resigned is 
not stated. 

The regimental records tend to prove that he had previous service in 
the British Army. Company H of the Seventeenth Massachusetts In- 
fantry was known as "the British Volunteers" because it developed 
from a military drill club, anH it was at first almost exclusively com- 
posed of men of English birth or parentage. Several had been in the 
British Army and it was natural to select them as officers. John K. 
Lloyd, who had been a sergeant in the Coldstream Guards, was made 
captain of the company. Robert McCourt, who had also been a ser- 
geant, was made second lieutenant. That John S. Hammond was made 
first lieutenant suggests that he, too, had had foreign service as a non- 
commissioned officer, but not as an officer. Service as an officer would 
seemingly have resulted in his ranking Captain Lloyd. 1 ** 


Although he came to be known as Colonel Hammond, there is no 
indication that he saw further service after May 1862. Probably he was 
called "Colonel" merely in courteous appreciation of his service in a 
lower rank. It is also possible that he actually acquired that grade in 
some National Guard regiment following the war. 

After their marriage, the Hammonds went to California, and their 
first child was born there some time between 1870 and 1872. This 
was a son, Arthur, who died in his first or second year. 

Thereafter the Hammonds, as required by Mr. Hammond's business, 
moved about the country. They remained in the larger cities for appre- 
ciable periods and took an active part in the social life of these towns. 
A daughter, Byrd Swainston Hammond, was born February 26, 1874, 
at the Butterfield Mansion in Utica, New York; a second daughter, 
Marie Isabelle Boyd Hammond, on October 31, 1878, in Baltimore; 
and a son, John Edmund Swainston Hammond, on August 30, 1881, 
in Philadelphia. In the last named town the family seems to have lived 
on North Thirteenth Street. 

It was while the Hammonds lived in New York State that the 
Southern lady who had told her daughter stories of Belle Boyd bringing 
quinine through the land blockade finally met her heroine.* According 
to "A. C. C," it was in the '70s that a man arrived on business, accom- 
panied by his charming and beautiful wife, in the small New York 
town where her mother, the only Southern woman in the community, 
then lived. The two ladies, drawn together by their Southern origin, 
became acquainted quickly. On two or three occasions the beautiful 
Mrs. Hammond said to her new-found friend: "I want to tell you 
something that will interest you well, not now; perhaps some other 
time." But what she intended to reveal was still untold when she and 
her husband left. 

Before their departure, however, a strange incident occurred which 
increased the mystery surrounding the couple. When the Bishop of 
Albany visited the small community, the Hammonds were "paying 
guests" in the home of the leading physician of the town. At a dinner 
given by the doctor in honor of the Bishop, they and the parents of 
"A. C. C." were present. The glamorous Mrs. Hammond lady of 
mystery soon dominated the dining table, and when she spoke of 
England the Bishop was delighted. He knew that country well and 
wanted to discuss it. But the lady became embarrassingly confused. 

*See 'page 26. Incident from a letter signed "A. C. C." published in the 
Washington Evening Star, May 14, 1943. 


The guests, not knowing that her limited knowledge was based only on 
a short stay abroad, concluded she had never seen England. 

It was not until years later when the Southern lady in the small 
New York town read a newspaper account of Belle Boyd's career that 
she recognized the name under which she had been introduced to that 
community. Only then did she realize that "the fascinating woman 
she had known for a few months was the same one who had been 
beloved of many malaria victims for the quinine she successfully had 
smuggled across the lines/' 

In Baltimore the Hammonds doubtless often saw the man who was 
police commissioner from 1874 to 1879. He had known Belle since 
the autumn of '61 and held her in very high esteem for her reckless 
courage and her great devotion to the South. Belle must have been glad 
to meet Harry Gilmor again and probably forgave him for having 
induced General Jenkins to refuse to let her go on the scout before 
Winchester in June of '63. 

The Hammonds also traveled farther South. Belle's cousin, the 
former Sue Boyd and her husband, Alvin Barton, had the pleasure of 
receiving Colonel Hammond at their home in Knoxville. 

For almost sixteen years the Hammonds led an unusually happy 
existence. Colonel Hammond was greatly devoted to his wife and the 
children, including Grace Hardinge, and provided liberally for them. But 
in 1883 or 1884 some serious disagreement occurred, and in 1884 Mrs. 
Hammond brought suit for divorce. Whatever misunderstanding or 
difficulty arose, its exact nature must remain unknown. The loyalty of 
their living daughter, Mrs. Michael, to both her parents bars further 

On November 1st, 1884, the United States District Court in Dallas, 
Texas entered a decree granting Mrs. John S. Hammond (born Boyd) 
a divorce from her husband on the ground of cruel treatment, and 
awarded custody of the children to the mother. 167 The ground assigned 
was purely technical. That Colonel Hammond was never guilty of 
cruelty toward his wife or children, is revealed by his daughter, Mrs. 
Michael. He submitted to the divorce solely because the woman he still 
loved wished it. Until his death in 1886 at Syracuse, New York, he 
continued to demonstrate in every way honorably open to him his con- 
tinuing affection for her. 

When the divorce was granted, he gave Mrs, Hammond a substan- 
tial financial settlement and turned over to her the large residence they 


had been occupying in Dallas, Texas. Later he created trust funds for 
his children to provide means for their education. 

The story of 'the Hammond divorce is sometimes told differently in 
Martinsburg. This is because the Martinsburg Independent on October 
18, 1884, printed an item under a Dallas date-line which it credited 
to the "Pkil Press." 

According to the "Pkil Press/' Mrs. Hammond, living in Dallas, 
had fired upon and wounded a young man calling on her daughter 
"Maria" because he refused to marry that young lady to whom Mrs. 
Hammond claimed he was engaged. After elaborating upon the shoot- 
ing, the paper turned its attention to Mrs. Hammond. 

She had married Mr. Hammond, it said, and discovered several years 
later that he had an undivorced wife. She lived apart from him there- 
after until he secured a divorce, and then remarried him. Shortly after 
this, continued the paper, Mr. Hammond had brought suit against his 
wife "for the most serious of causes," but "it is understood he has since 
been reconciled to her/' 

Mrs. Michael, surviving daughter of the Hammonds, denies that her 
father had a wife living when he married Belle Boyd Hardinge, and 
denies that he sued her mother for divorce on any ground. She points 
out that in 1884 she herself was "Maria Hammond" and was only six 
years old, that her sister Byrd was only ten, and her half-sister Grace 
Hardinge about eighteen. She believes that the failure of the "Pkil 
Press" to say it was Mrs. Hammond who was suing for divorce was 
deliberate and most reprehensible. Further, her mother's divorce decree, 
dated only twenty days after the newspaper article appeared, is today 
in Mrs. Michael's possession. 

Under the circumstances, how accurate was the article attributed by 
the Martinsburg Independent to the "Pkil Press/'? Most relevant and 
significant is the report of the State Librarian of Texas, after searching 
for local comment in the files of various regional publications, including 
the Dallas Herald which in 1884 was the leading Dallas paper. No 
mention of the incident was found. 168 No less significant and relevant 
is the fact that the Library of Congress, the Library of Southern Metho- 
dist University, tKe Dallas Historical Society, the Dallas Public Library, 
the Dallas Morning News, and Dallas "old-timers" in the publishing 
business are all unable to find any record of or to recall any local 
publication that could have been the "Pkil Press." 


Third Marriage, and Belle's 
Dramatic Recitals 

January 7, 1885, Belle Boyd married again. Her third 
husband was Nathaniel Rue High, son of the Reverend 
and Mrs. Nathaniel Rue High of Toledo, Ohio. Nat 
High's father, rector of St. John's Episcopal Church in 
Toledo, had died in 1884. 
In 1885, Nat High was only twenty-four years old. When he first 
met Mrs. Hammond he was playing juvenile leads for a stock company. 
Very handsome and possessing a most attractive personality, he was 
considered to be in his youthful roles even more fascinating than John 
Barrymore, the great idol of a later generation. 

Despite Mr. High's theatrical prestige, he and his wife soon had to 
face a financial crisis. While Mr. Hammond had left funds to educate 
his children, Belle Boyd still had to rear them, and support her daughter, 
Grace Hardinge. In 1886, Grace was twenty years old^ but Byrd was 
only twelve, Marie Isabelle but eight, and John only four. Whatever 
Mr. High earned was inadequate for so large a family. And Belle 
Boyd High had been away from the stage too long to obtain im- 
portant roles again. Apparently, she did try to secure engagements 
for there is evidence that for a short time she played the part of Daisy 
Brown in The Professor. 

But Belle, as always, was not long at loss for a solution of her 
problems. She determined, probably after discussion with Nat High, 
to tour the country giving dramatic recitals of her war experiences and 
adventures, appearing particularly before organizations of war veterans. 
The problem of a business representative or manager was settled by 
having Mr. High act in that capacity. 

On February 22, 1886, at the People's Theatre in Toledo, Belle 
Boyd presented for the first time a dramatic narrative of her activities 
as a Confederate agent. In an attractive uniform of Confederate gray, 
wearing a broad, low-crowned hat with a large, flowing black plume 
reminiscent of General "Jeb" Stuart, she came out before a stage back- 
ground of battle and strife. After the moment of dramatic silence 


created by her impressive entrance, she fanned into immediate emotional 
response the memories of veterans who for twenty years had been 
reminiscing the war. Her opening lines were: 

"Stack arms! Pile up the rails! 
Build up the campfife bright! 
What matter if the canteen fails? 
We'll have a roaring night!" 

After a stirring preface, she told of her own adventures, described 
graphically historical events of the great conflict such as the immortal 
charge of Pickett at Gettysburg and related numerous solemn and 
humorous incidents of military life. For two thrill-packed hours her 
audience listened, and relived the misery and suffering and splendor of 
its martial youth in tears and laughter. When she concluded by stress- 
ing the unity of the nation with the words, "One God, One Flag, One 
People Forever!", she was acclaimed tumultuously. From then on, 
for the veterans of the Blue and of the Gray, she was "Our Belle!" 

Belle continued these recitals for more than fourteen years. After 
every one she was surrounded and besieged by comrades eager to discuss 
some highly treasured personal recollection connected in some way 
intimately or indirectly with her own memories or experiences. Her ap- 
pearances brought national recognition as an artist, constant and volu- 
minous newspaper publicity, and a rich financial and spiritual reward. 

She not only brought up her children but, as Byrd and Marie Isabelle 
grew older, took them with her on tour and gave them professional 
training which proved invaluable later. The basis for their own careers 
was thus soundly established when their mother, who had by then added 
other artists to her program, had Byrd appear as "BoYD SWAINSTON, 
La Belle Petite Soubrette," and Marie as "ISABEL HAMMOND, 
Vocalist" 169 

In reviving for all veterans the days in which they had played heroic 
parts, Belle taught incessantly the immediate need for national unity 
and fraternity. She did this joyously, capably, and sincerely, for she 
loved her country, her children, and her military comrades with a 
fierce maternal tenderness, was always an inspired actress, and like 
James Glenn, her grandfather, and her uncle, James William Glenn, 
was most happy when talking with veterans of the deeds they had seen 
and done. 

Her recital was usually billed as a thrilling war narrative entitled, 
"NORTH AND SOUTH; or The Perils of a Spy/ 1 According to news- 


paper comment, it was a graphic tale of daring exploits and adventurous 
experiences. It was a story of battlefields and the sea; dangerous rides 
and missions; the outwitting of Federal officers; captures, sentences, 
imprisonment, reprieves; and, with a real understanding of dramatic 
values, a notable description of Pickett's charge at Gettysburg. 

The highly inaccurate Mr. Stevens, in The Shenandoah dnd Its 
Byways, implies that there is something strange in the "fact" that 
Belle Boyd lectured only in the North. Actually, while she appeared 
more often in the Middle West than elsewhere, she was heard and 
seen frequently in the East and South as reviews of publications of 
those sections indicate. And whenever and wherever she appeared 
under the auspices of a veterans' association, a percentage of the 
receipts enriched the association's treasury. 

Handbills show that she performed in Atlanta, Georgia in August 
1895; in Eufaula, Alabama in January 1896; and in Montgomery in 
the following March. On the latter occasion, W. J. White, a particu- 
larly enthusiastic rebel, wired ahead to her next stop: 

"Everybody was well pleased with Belle Boyd. (Hope every 
Confederate veteran will assist her in getting a full house." 

Today, in Virginia, Warren County's Commissioner of Revenue, 
Stephen D. Boyd, probably a collateral relative of Belle Boyd, cherishes 
a vivid recollection of her recital in the Old Presbyterian Church at 
Front Royal more than fifty years ago, where a crowded house gave 
Front Royal's heroine a tremendous ovation. 

In Knoxville, Tennessee, Mrs. Mary Reed Boyd Birdsong recalls 
that Belle Boyd, a first cousin of her father and a second cousin of her 
mother, visited that town with her theatrical troupe about 1892 and 
that her husband, Mr. High, accompanied her. Mrs. Michael, daugh- 
ter of the Hammonds, remembers this visit also, made most memorable 
for her because at the home of Mrs. Alvin Barton (Sue Boyd), she 
and her mother met their cousin, Charles Keith Bell. 

Cousin Charles, whose father, Dr. William S. Bell, had been mayor 
of Chattanooga in 1858, and whose grandfather, Judge Charles F. 
Keith, was a first cousin of Chief Justice Marshall and a connection of 
Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee, was then an ex-State Senator of 
Texas and back in Tennessee on a visit. He soon returned to Texas 
where he was sent to Congress for four years, became state attorney 
general, and, in 1906, a prominent candidate for the Democratic 
nomination for governor. 170 


North or South, the dramatic recital of "The Rebel Spy" of "Stone- 
wall Jackson and Shenandoah Valley fame" was enthusiastically en- 
dorsed by the press. The New York Herald considered her narrative a 
"wondrous story superbly told." The Toledo Commercial termed it 
"incomparably the best of all narratives of the Civil War." The 
Boston Herald stated Belle Boyd roused her audience to the greatest 
enthusiasm, and the New Orleans Times Democrat reported at great 
length that her recital had been delivered with such superb dramatic 
effect that she had concluded and had been gone from the stage for 
fully a minute before her enthralled audience realized she had finished, 
and then recalled her repeatedly for a tremendous acclaim. In similar 
vein, the Providence Journal recorded, 

"Her five minute description of the Gettysburg fight was a reve- 
lation of dramatic oratory. As she vividly depicted Pickett's charge 
and its repulse by Hancock's corps one could see the light of battle 
once more illuminating the eye of many a veteran. Anon from 
those same eyes fell the tears that trickled down their furrowed 
cheeks as in tender accents she related some pathetic incident of 
bloody field or gloomy hospital. Taken in all, it was a 'master 
narrative and for real interest and artistic delivery has never been 
equalled here."i7i 

Inevitably, attracted by her success, a number of spurious "Belle 
Boyds" made their appearance, to the dismay and annoyance of Belle, 
the Grand Army of the Republic, and the organizations of Confederate 
veterans. To overcome this nuisance, Belle had to carry special creden- 
tials to establish that she was authentic. In the North, one of these 
was from the R. B. Hayes Post, No. 92, G.A.R., at Washington Court 
House, Ohio, and dated February 4, 1898, which took "special pleasure 
in commending Belle Boyd and her great lecture to the comrades of 
the Grand Army of the Republic, in whose interest she labors." 172 

In the South, the Atlanta Constitution on August 19, 1895, inform- 
ed its readers, "She is the original." And Clement A. Evans at Head- 
quarters, U.C.V., State of Georgia, certified, "The identity of Mrs. B. B, 
Hammond-High as the true Belle Boyd, the 'Rebel Spy' is complete." 
Another Southern testimonial was that of the Confederate Association 
of Kentucky at Louisville, dated November 16, 1897. Its president 

"The bearer of this letter, Mrs. Nat R. High, is the genuine 
'Belle Boyd' of Confederate fame. The writer of this letter is a 
native of the same town' in Virginia as Miss Belle, and can vouch 


for her; and is personally familiar with her war record and valu- 
able services rendered the cause of the South on the field of battle, 
and in furnishing secret information of the movements of the 
Union Army, which won for her what no other woman earned, a 
commission as Captain in the Secret Service of the Confederate 
States, and to receive from Stonewall Jackson and other great 
Generals of the South, special thanks for her services that justly 
entitle her to rank as the Joan of Arc of the South, 

"The Kentucky Confederate Association commends her to the 
public as the genuine 'Belle Boyd.' 

Thos. S. Odborne, JOHN H. LEATHERS, 

Secretary. Pres. C A. of Ky." 172 

Even such documents did not prevent Belle Boyd being challenged 
on one occasion. It was in the midst of her recital in a town in the 
Blue Ridge country that a member of her audience arose, asserted that 
she was not Belle Boyd, and stated that he, Boyd Martin, a friend of 
the Boyd family and named after Belle's father, could prove that the 
lecturer was an impostor. Belle quieted the tumult, arranged to meet 
her accuser after the performance, and continued her talk. 

Later, in her dressing room, Boyd Martin soon admitted that she 
was indeed Belle Boyd" for she gave him details of the intimacy of the 
two families. The Martins had lived in Martinsburg, where they had 
become great friends of the Boyds, and H. Martin had become a busi- 
ness associate of Benjamin Boyd. So close and pleasant were these 
social and business relations that Mr. Martin named his son Boyd 
Martin. Today Boyd Martin's sister, Mrs. W. C. Shulenberger, lives 
in Hagerstown, Maryland, and the memories of the old friendship are 
still warm in her heart. 


The Final Curtain 

ELLE BO YD arrived at Kilbourn (now Wisconsin Dells), 
Wisconsin, June 9th, 1900, to give a recital on the 13th 
for the local G.A.R. post. She came from Portage, 
Wisconsin, where she had entertained the guests of 
Rousseau Post, and the papers there had referred to her 
as a good looking woman with a prepossessing stage appearance who, 
although fifty-six years old, seemed to be scarcely , forty. And one 
mentioned that her daughter, Byrd, had recently played in Portage the 
role of Nero's wife in Quo Vadis. 17 * 

Early Monday, the llth, Belle Boyd seemed to be in her usual good 
health. But she was, for once, somewhat despondent. That evening 
she suffered a sudden heart attack. Recognizing its probable conse- 
quences from its severity, she told her husband, Nat High, that she was 
dying. A physician was called but Belle died before his arrival. 

Mr. High was profoundly affected by his wife's death. He immedi- 
ately notified Grace, Byrd, Marie Isabelle, and John, and all four came 
to Kilbourn from Chicago, According to a flamboyant article, CLEO- 
PATRA OF THE SECESSION, in the New York Daily News on October 
13, 1940, Mr. High could hardly have been present, for, said the paper, 
Belle's marriage to him lasted less than a year and "they broke up." 
Actually, Nat High remained Belle's husband and business manager 
until 'the day of her death. The text of the wire he sent one of her 
children reads: 

"Miss Isabella Hammond, 
Groveland Avenue, Chicago, 111. 

"Mama died suddenly tonight. Come by Wednesday, 

Rue High."i?4 

Funeral services were held on June 13th, 1900, in the Episcopal 
Church. "The church," reported the Kilbourn Mirror-Gazette on the 
16th, "was filled with people who thus expressed their sympathy for 
the strangers who came to bury their mother among strangers/' Inter- 
ment was in the beautiful Kilbourn Cemetery, which commands a 


scenic panorama old soldiers always likened to the field of Gettysburg, 
,and "four veterans of the Union Army and two sons of veterans who 
also fought in the Spanish War, lowered into the grave the mortal 
remains of Belle Boyd, the famous rebel spy." 

In a later issue of the paper, its editor, who stood pensively beside 
Belle Boyd's grave as fellow-members of the G.A.R. lowered her to 
rest, wrote feelingly of the significance of her grave in Kilboum and 
that of another grave in Virginia to which he had recently pai,d a visit 
of respect. 

"She who sleeps today in .that lovely cemetery is a link with that 
grave in another section of the Union * * * For Belle Boyd, 'the 
Spy,' was associated with 'Stonewall' Jackson, the General. No 
reader of the history of that memorable conflict, where one family 
fought among themselves, where the heroism of either side reflects 
the glory of the other, will ever stand beside the grave of Belle 
Boyd in the Kilbourn Cemetery without thinking sympathetically 
of the grave of 'Stonewall' Jackson, or the graves of the dead of 
both the Blue and :the Gray in the cemeteries of America." 

Occasionally there are reports that the United Daughters of the 
Confederacy have removed or are about to remove Belle Boyd's remains 
to Mar'tinsburg, and are to erect a suitable memorial. But today this 
daughter of Virginia still lies at rest at Wisconsin Dells. In this 
pleasant community so much more faithful to her memory than her 
native town has ever been, it is to be hoped she will remain undisturbed 
forever. Upon her tombstone are these simple, memorable words: 


Confederate Spy 

Born in Virginia 

Died in Wisconsin 

Erected by a Comrade 

When the first edition of this book appeared, the identity of this 
comrade was unknown. But immediately, in its issue of December 24, 
1944 ? Sterling Sorensen in the Capital Times of Madison, Wisconsin 
solved this mystery. Quoting from a letter of Mr. W. A. Everman of 
Greenville, Mississippi, in -the Con-federate Veteran of September, 
1919, it revealed that he had come across the grave of Belle Boyd on a 
visit to Wisconsin, and, had been impelled to mark her resting place 


Was Belle Boyd also Belle Starr? 

ELLE'S faithful "Comrade" has undoubtedly passed on. 
And so, too, have all her comrades from Kilbourn. 
Yet, while they lived, the local G.A.R. post yearly, in 
observance of Memorial Day, placed a floral tribute on 

her grave. She was, of course, a veteran. But there was 

another intimate tie. Had she not come to their community to speak 
to them on June 13th? And, instead, had they not sadly buried her on 
that very day? 

On next Memorial Day, on Belle Boyd's grave and on the graves of 
all other veterans in Kilbourn Cemetery reverent hands will again place 
floral tokens. For, though no members of the G.A.R. survive, this 
traditional observance has not been permitted to lapse. Now it is the 
Harold Larkin Post of the American Legion that assumes the privilege 
and the duty of honoring yearly Kilbourn's departed veterans, including 
the Confederate woman who has found eternal peace and sanctuary so 
far from her Southern Valley. 

The death of Belle Boyd received much attention in the nation's 
press. Unfortunately, the newspapers, with no time to check the mis- 
cellaneous material immediately available to them, or even to consider 
Belle Boyd's out-of-print -book, published nation-wide a weird assort- 
ment of fact, fiction, and legend. The most conservative endeavored to 
be as accurate as possible, under the circumstances, but others embellish- 
ed her already well garbled career with additional imaginative touches. 

Two days after her death, the staid New York Times devoted a 
column on its editorial page to recalling "the thrill, the danger, the 
triumphs, the reverses, the many ups and downs, in the life of the most 
determined woman foe the United States ever had/' It erred, excusably 
enough, in such matters as stating that her imprisonment in the Old 
Capitol and Carroll Prisons in Washington had lasted eleven months, 
that she was related to Charles J. Faulkner, Minister to France under 
President Buchanan, and that Sam Hardinge had commanded the Federal 
gunboat that captured the Greyhound. But, unlike many papers that 
said she had been married four or five times, it limited her husbands to 
the actual number of three. 


One exuberant paper which doubled the space given her demise by 
the Times also doubled the number of husbands. It set the figure at 
six and thoughtfully made 'two of them full-blooded Choctaw Indians. 
It named Sam Hardinge as her first husband, forgot to name the one it 
considered her second, said "Her third husband was Mr. High of 
Detroit/ 1 and added, "Her fourth was Colonel Hammond, and later in 
Texas she married Sam and Jim Starr, her fifth and sixth spouses 
respectively." 175 

There was indeed a Belle Starr. But she was not Belle Boyd. Belle 
Starr, "Outlaw Queen" of the West, was a notorious character of Texas 
and the old Indian Territory. Born in Missouri, February 5, 1848, she 
began her exciting criminal career by associating with Cole Younger, a 
partner of Jesse James and right-hand man of Quantrill, the guerilla 
leader. Her life ended abruptly and violently on February 3, 1889, in 
Indian Territory when someone deliberately fired a charge of buckshot 
into her back. She has become a semi-legendary figure of the "wild 
and wooly West." Her actual record, including her strange relations 
with the Cherokee, Sam Starr, and the Creek, Jim July (known as Jim 
Starr), with an entertaining resume of the imaginative folklore about 
her which is so much a part of our "history" of the West, is set forth 
fully by Burton Rascoe in his recent and authoritative work, Belle 

But the mischief wrought by confusing Belle Boyd and Belle Starr 
is not going to be easily undone. The statement that Belle Boyd is said 
to have married two Choctaw Indians is now permanently embedded in 
the widely used and usually reliable standard reference work, National 
Cyclopedia of American Biography,, and is greatly aggravated by its 
supplemental unqualified assertion that after her marriage to Nathaniel 
High, and before marrying the Starrs, she married the notorious Cole 
Younger. Today in the vicinity of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, one 
may mention Belle Boyd and be asked by those with a tenacious mem- 
ory for obituarial errata, "Do you mean Mrs. Starr?" 

The National Cyclopedia seems certain Belle Boyd married Cole 
Younger. But evidently doubtful about the accuracy of the gossip it 
repeats about her alleged marriages to the Starrs, it figuratively washes 
its hands by commenting that it is difficult to disentangle what it is 
pleased to term "her later matrimonial exploits" from those of an un- 
principled woman reported to have assumed her name in order to trade 
upon her "notoriety." Then, though it insists it seems a fact that Belle 
Boyd spent her last years among the Choctaws, it lapses into accuracy 


by conceding that she died at Kilbourn, Wisconsin, June 11, 1900. 
It is highly regrettable 'that so disparaging and inaccurate a sketch of 
Belle Boyd containing other errors besides those mentioned should 
form an ineradicable part of a work accepted as an authoritative source 
of historical data. 

That Nat High was Belle Boyd's last husband is incontestable. It 
was he the Kilbourn Minor-Gazette meant when it said in describing 
her funeral that she "seemed to have held the most ardent devotion of 
the husband who followed her to the grave." As to the wife whose 
loss he mourned so sincerely, the paper had made certain of her identity. 
It assured its readers, "In the years since the war there have been several 
women who claimed to be Belle Boyd, but there seems no doubt of the 
genuineness of this one. Her husband submitted several instances of 
proof which could hardly be disputed." 


Descendants of Belle Boyd 

HILE Belle had given up her promising theatrical career 
to marry Colonel Hammond, their oldest daughter, Byrd, 
who inherited her mother's dramatic ability and was 
thoroughly trained by her, quickly achieved the outstand- 
ing theatrical success which had been Belle's ambition. 
Educated in Indianapolis and St. Louis in Roman Catholic convents of 
the Ursuline Sisters and the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, Byrd married 
James F. Williams at the age of seventeen. Her first public appearance 
was in connection with her mother's recitals of her war experiences. 

Talented, strikingly beautiful, and graceful, Byrd Hammond won 
prompt recognition under the stage name of Sarah Boyd. Making her 
debut in The Milk White Flag, she became a noted and very popular 
actress at the turn of the century, and starred for Charles Frohman in 
The Little Minister. She also starred on the road in Darkness and 
Daylight, and appeared in Quo Vadis, and many other plays. 165 

On March 19, 1897, her daughter, Nana Ottilie Williams grand- 
child of Belle Boyd was born. Soon after James Williams died. His 
widow married H. W. Mowery in 1906 and divorced him fourteen 
years later. In 1907 she retired from the stage, and died on December 
16, 1932, in New York City. She is survived by her daughter, Nana 
Ottilie, now Mrs. William McCabe, and the latter's two children 
Nana Ottilie McCabe, born July 4, 1930, and William Boyd McCabe, 
born June 16, 1931. 

Marie Isabelle, the second daughter of the Hammonds, is still living. 
As long as she lives Belle Boyd cannot be said to have died, for "Belle 
Boyd, Jr." is delightfully her mother all over again. Forthright, im- 
petuous, vivacious, and courageous, the years have weighed lightly 
upon her, and she is still on occasion 'Tittle Hell/' as her sisters, Grace 
and Byrd, and the comrades of her joyously happy youth termed her 
affectionately and aptly because she was so like her lively, high-spirited 
mother. She has today the same boundless energy, die same quick 
intelligence, the same irresistible determination, the, same tall, graceful 
figure and carriage, and the same persuasive and provocative charm. 
And she alone inherited the fine singing voice which enthralled Dennis 


Mahony and Gus Williams in the Old Capitol when Belle Boyd sang 
"Maryland, My Maryland!" and moved her fellow-prisoners to tears. 

Marie Isabelle, educated, as was Byrd, by the Ursuline Sisters and 
the Sisters of the Sacred Heart in Indianapolis and St. Louis, also at- 
tended an Episcopal college near Collingswood, Pennsylvania. She first 
appeared before the public with her mother and subsequently played in 
various theatrical parts. In 1903, she married Charles W. Chase, a 
noted writer and artist, and lived for many years at Chase, Florida. On 
April 13, 1913, she married her present husband, Adolph Michael. 
There are no children by either marriage. 

Belle's son, John Edmund Hammond, was educated in various 
private schools and at an Episcopal (military) school in Haddonfield, 
New Jersey. Little is known as to his later years. War Department 
records show that John Hammond enlisted September 18, 1899, at 
Chicago, Illinois, was assigned to Battery O, First Artillery, U.S.A., 
and was honorable discharged as a private on December 19, 1899, 
because of disability, at Jackson Barracks, Louisiana. 166 

Mrs. Michael knows that he married and had two sons John Ed- 
mund Hammond, Jr., and Ned Boyd S. Hammond. She recalls further 
that he also served in the First World War on escort duty in the At- 
lantic. With no word of him in more than twenty years, she believes 
he is dead. 

Grace Hardinge, brought up with the Hammond children, eventually 
went to California, married Lee Bennett, and died childless, in 1933. 


The Verdict of History 

HAT will history relate of Belle Boyd? Unless the ignor- 
ance, incompetence, and emotional prejudice involved in 
the attacks upon her are challenged and exposed, it may 
depict her falsely as a sordid, immoral character of low 
and obscure origin, disloyal to the Confederacy, and the 
prevaricating author of a highly imaginative book unsupported by 
corroborative data. 

The first assault against Belle Boyd was launched in 1914, fourteen 
years after her death, in The Valley Campaigns by Dr. Thomas A. 
Ashby. His virulent attack, culminating in the assertion that she had 
found no decent place in history, is thoroughly discredited by the 
evidence furnished in Chapters Eight and Nine. 

The second onslaught occurred in 1928 in Forgotten Ladies by R. L. 
Wright, who, in his chapter on "La Belle Rebelle," as Belle was some- 
times known, terms her a prevaricator and "debunks" her narrative and 
career. Probably the most impressive example of Mr. Wright's inac- 
curacy is his strange revelation that Belle Boyd could not have de- 
nounced General Butler at Fortress Monroe on December 2, 1863, 
because the General was not there on August 29, 1862.* Moreover, 
his essay contains many inexcusable, inaccurate and even distorted 
statements of fact which are partipilarly offensive and distressing when 
made in bungling criticism of the deceased author of an out-of-print 

For instance, Belle relates that to overhear the staff conference held 
by General Shields she used a hole someone had bored for some un- 
known purpose in a bedroom closet, and indicates plainly her room was 
in another building, Mr. Wright distorts this by writing that the hole 
was a generous knothole provided by Nature, that Belle used it often, 
and that the council chamber was below her bedroom. He then dis- 
approves of the "knothole" as too much of a device of fiction to be 
taken seriously. He also states that the diary of a Confederate officer 
reports that on such social occasions as dinner with General Beauregard, 

*Page 142. 


her tour of the South, etc., she was "embarrassed by the novelty of her 
position." However, this misapplied quotation is from General Swell's 
brigade records and is used there to describe Belle's embarrassment in 
giving military intelligence before troops on the Front Royal battlefield. 
Moreover, the dark blue dress Belle says she wore, Mr. Wright makes 
"a bright blue gown," and, apparently thinking it more important that 
she be dressed appropriately than that she convey vital news immedi- 
ately, he comments feelingly: "the little ninny!" 

One more illustration suffices to assess accurately, Mr. Wright's 
status as historian, analyst, and critic of Belle Boyd. Belle wrote that in 
June, 1863, she followed the advancing Confederate forces and re- 
turned to Martinsburg when they occupied it. To discredit her Mr. 
Wright twists this to: "She calmly returned to her home in Martins- 
burg, still in northern control, and calmly placed herself once more in 
the hands of the enemy." 

The next unfavorable literary pronouncement was far more formid- 
able in character and extensive in circulation for it appeared in that 
great reference work, the Dictionary of American Biography. Its sec- 
ond volume, published in May, 1929, contains a sketch of Belle Boyd 
by Marie Kastner. This, aside from stating the year of her birth as 
1843 and making Hardinge a lieutenant, gives correctly her own story 
of her career to and including her wedding, and outlines her subsequent 
career accurately, making, however, no reference to her children. But 
immediately preceding Miss Kastner's summary is the damning state- 
ment: "The story of her achievements for the South rests mainly on 
her own none too trustworthy account in Belle Boyd in Camp and 

Not a word in the sketch on Belle Boyd in the Dictionary of American 
Biography justifies the conclusion 'that Belle's written account is "none 
too trustworthy." Miss Kastner's stated sources of information for her 
sketch, in addition to Belle Boyd's book, were obituary items in the 
New York Times and the Milwaukee Journal, A History of the New 
York Stage by T. A. Browne, and B. J. Lossing's The Pictorial Field 
Book of the Civil War. Nothing in any of these items reflects in the 
slightest upon the accuracy of Belle Boyd's recital. On the contrary, 
Lossing's book, in quoting Ewell's brigade records, confirms her exploit 
at Front Royal. 

Because it is found in this standard biographical record, the adverse 
judgment of the Dictionary of American Biography is constantly ac- 
cepted as authoritative by writers, historians, and others who, unable or 


unwilling to investigate at first-hand, assume the information to be 
based on adequate research. And some, as will be seen, stretch its 
implications much further. It is hardly strange that most articles about 
Belle Boyd now tend more and more to treat demonstrable fact as 
highly imaginative material akin to fiction. 

However, as no one until now has troubled to learn, the story of 
Belle Boyd's achievements for the South does not rest mainly upon her 
own account. Her account, when checked exhaustively against official 
records, newspaper items, and other available data, proves to be an 
unusually accurate recital. It is impossible, of course, to set forth here 
the full text of her work and to show how practically every item can be 
confirmed, but the following record, based on material contained in 
this book, should suffice. 

The high-points of Belle Boyd in Camp and Prison are: (1) the 
shooting of the Union soldier in Martinsburg; (2) Belle's record of 
service as Confederate scout and agent; (3) the Lieutenant H. incident; 
(4) her exploit under fire at Front Royal; (5) her arrest immediately 
thereafter; (6) her arrests in July 1862 and July 1863; (7) her im- 
prisonments in Washington; (8) her tour of the South; (9) her com- 
mission as captain; (10) events on the Greyhound and at Boston; (11) 
her wedding. What indicates her truthfulness regarding them? 

( 1 ) The shooting of the soldier was referred to by the Daily Regis- 
ter of Knoxville, Tennessee, as her "daring defense of her father's 
house." (2) Her service as scout, spy, mail carrier, and blockade runner 
is indicated byT. C. De Leon, Major Harry Gilmor, Captain (Reverend) 
James Power Smith, and Union scout Smitley, and in 1943 "A.GC" 
still recalled her mother's stories of Belle running the land blockade 
with sorely needed quinine. (3) The Lieutenant H. incident is verified 
in detail by the Washington Star, the Philadelphia North American, 
and the Times and the Herald in New York; and Miss Lucy Buck's 
diary tells that on that occasion she found Belle Boyd in a carriage 
with a Yankee officer. 

(4) The exploit on the battlefield at Front Royal is confirmed in 
part by the Associated Press, and in full by General Richard Taylor, 
Private John Robson, the brigade record made by General Ewell's 
adjutant, and by Miss Lucy Buck. Since 1940 there has been added 
the remarkably exact and ample corroboratron of Henry Kyd Douglas. 
Belle Boyd could hardly have a more distinguished advocate~than her 
friend, Harry, who commanded at Appomattox the last Southern bri- 


gade to fire, surrender, and stack arms, who became Adjutant General 
of Maryland, and who, in the Spanish- American War, held the rank 
of major-general. 

(5) That she was arrested right after the battle of Front Royal is 
recorded by two Federal generals, Nathaniel Kimball and Franklin 
Sawyer. (6) Her arrest in July, 1862, is clear from the exchange of 
telegrams between General White and Assistant Secretary of War 
Wolcott, Moore's Rebellion Record, and Miss Buck's diary. Her next 
arrest, in July 1863, became public belatedly when the New York 
Tribune and the Washington Star reported in December that she was 
being sent South. (7) Considerable data as to her first term in the 
Old Capitol is supplied by General Dos'ter, D. A. Mahony, J. J. 
Williamson, the Washington Star, the 'Richmond Daily Dispatch, and 
the War Department records. Colonel N. T. Colby's brief reference 
to her relates to her second Washington imprisonment. And a signi- 
ficant estimate of her menace as a rebel appears in General Baker's 
book on the Federal secret service. 

(8) Her visit to Knoxville is described fully in a letter of her cousin, 
Sue Boyd Barton, now held by the Lawson McGhee Library at Knox- 
ville, and Mrs. Barton states Belle went on to Alabama and Georgia. 
Belle Boyd wrote that at Knoxville she stopped at the home of her 
relative, Judge Boyd, and was serenaded by a band. The Daily Register, 
confirming this, names the Florida Brass Band. (9) As to her com- 
mission as captain, her cousin Sue's letter recites that Belle showed her 
relatives a riding habit of grey Confederate cloth "with the rank of 
'Capt' on the collar." 

(10) Her presence and capture on the Greyhound are attested by 
the official log of the U. S. S. Connecticut, Commander Almy's personal 
report, and the letter of Lawrence Priestman. Captain Bier's escape, 
and Belle's detention ashore are recorded by the Post of Boston and the 
National Intelligencer and the National Republican of Washington. 
That Sam Hardinge was held accountable for Captain Bier's escape and 
was deeply interested in Belle Boyd then is apparent from the Navy 
Department's record of Hardinge's dismissal and othef official naval 
records. (11) Reports of her wedding are based on accounts in the 
Morning Post of London, the London Shipping Gazette, and the New 
York World. 

Aware that her exciting 'tale might be challenged, Belle Boyd gave 
conscientiously the names of the living men who played a part In her 
adventures. She withheld only, for honorable reasons, those of Lieu- 


tenant H., the romantic Captain K., and the soldier she killed at 
Martinsburg. The official records, indicated by notes at the proper 
places in this book, show that those she named existed and were where 
she said they were. Moreover, there is no record that any person men- 
tioned by her ever denied the accuracy of her statements involving him. 
Even more significant is the fact that until long after she had died, not 
a voice ventured to claim publicly that Belle Boyd had lied. 

There is a wealth of most impressive confirmation of even the lesser 
details in Belle Boyd's story. For instance, according to her casual 
statement, it was a "Captain Gwyne" who took her to Federal head- 
quarters early in July, 1861. But it is from the American Union, a 
paper published by the occupying troops, and of which few copies exist, 
that it is learned Captain James Gwyn, Twenty-third Pennsylvania 
Infantry, was then third assistant provost-marshal. Similarly, when 
Belle Boyd says that she learned at daylight on May llth that the 
Greyhound was to be towed by the U. S. S. Connecticut., the official 
report of Commander Almy sets the time at 5:40 a. m. 

In connection with the Lieutenant H. case, Belle Boyd relates that 
on the morning of May 21st she stopped to pick up a pass promised by 
Provost-Marshal Tyndale but learned that he had left the village on a 
scouting expedition and would probably not be back until late that 
night. She could hardly have foreseen that Major Tyndale 7 s written 
report of his scout would become part of the official records and confirm 
her statement as to his absence. And when she ventured the seemingly 
questionable assertion that Captain "Henry," a Confederate naval offi- 
cer, had served on "Stonewall" Jackson's staff, she had no knowledge 
that a future record in the Southern Historical Society Papers would 
effectively prove this odd fact. 

On the score of family history, it can least of all be maintained that 
Belle Boyd was imaginative or even exaggerated slightly. In her book 
there is no proud recital of her ancestry or of her Tennessee ties. There 
are merely two factual statements: one is the terse revelation that her 
mother's father was an old officer; the other is the equally brief com- 
ment that in Knoxville she became the guest of her relative, Judge 
Samuel Boyd. It is from a multitude of far less reticent sources, and 
not from Belle Boyd, that details about the Glenns, Reeds, Stephensons, 
and Boyds have been secured. 

There are indeed but two items of the story of Belle Boyd as to 
which no outside proof has yet been forthcoming. These are the two 
letters written to her by General Jackson in 1862; one, a brief note of 


thanks after the battle of Front Royal, and the other the communication 
advising her to go to her relatives in Tennessee. The originals are not 
among what is left of her personal records. It is known, however, that 
many of her papers were destroyed in a fire in Lynn, Massachusetts; 
that others, turned over by her to her daughter, Byrd, and placed in a 
steel box have been missing since Mrs. Mowery's death; and that Belle 
Boyd's extensive correspondence addressed to her cousin Hope, and 
believed to have contained a detailed running account of her war-time 
adventures, was burned by relatives when Hope Burns died. The offi- 
cial Confederate records are equally unproductive and equally incom- 
plete, and it is probable that when fire destroyed in Richmond the 
records of the Confederate Signal and Secret Service some information 
as to the activities of Belle Boyd was lost. 

Lack of confirmation that the letters from General Jackson were 
actually written is not affirmative proof that they were not. Until Belle 
Boyd's present remarkable record of accuracy can be successfully im- 
peached, it is reasonable to assume that on this, as on other matters, she 
told the truth. 

There are actually six discrepancies in Belle Boyd in Camp and 
Prison. But in five there is cold comfort for any critic. Turner Ashby, 
her father's Masonic lodge-brother, is mentioned as Henry Ashby. 
Nine p. m., instead of nine a. m., is stated as the time of her arrival in 
Washington as a prisoner on August 1, 1862. Thursday, instead of 
Wednesday, is given as the day of her arrest on July 30, 1862. January 
29, 1862, is furnished as the date of General Jackson's letter written 
evidently in November 1862, and Belle states this letter is headed 
"Headquarters, Army of Virginia/' The first four items are dearly 
errors of inadvertence by the typographer or by the author. As to the 
fifth it is reasonable to believe that the omission of a word occurred in 
the same way. Surely Belle really knew that Lee's command of which 
Jackson's Second Corps was a part, was the "Army of Northern 

It is only the sixth item % upon which the credibility of Belle Boyd 
can reasonably be challenged. Ironically, not one of the published 
criticisms of her contains the slightest reference to it. 

According to her, soon after her return to Martinsburg in Septem- 
ber, 1862, accompanied by a friend of the family, she paid a visit to 
General Jackson, and found him greatly pleased to see her well and 
free once more. But in 1920, Captain James Power Smith, who had 
been an aide-de-camp of "Stonewall" Jackson, revealed that shortly 


after September 20th, 1862, Belle Boyd appeared at Bunker Hill, 
escorted by a young Confederate cavalryman, and sought to see the 
General who refused to see her, not being altogether assured of her 

In Chapter Fifteen a possible explanation of this seeming contradic- 
tion is offered. But if it cannot be explained, then more important 
matters are also inexplicable, for the entire subsequent record of Belle 
Boyd would manifestly have been otherwise had General Jackson's 
doubt not been momentary and speedily resolved in her favor. It is 
even questionable that Captain Smith thought the General justified. 
There is instinctive admiration in his compliment that "She was well 
mounted and quite a soldierly figure/' and there is an absolutely un- 
qualified statement of fact in his description of her as "the notable 
female scout, Belle Boyd." Probably the reason the critics of Belle 
Boyd have not quoted Captain Smith against her is that his words act 
powerfully to destroy their primary claim that there is little evidence, 
outside her own story, of actual achievement by her for the South. 

Following the example of the Dictionary of American Biographj, 
the National Cyclopedia of American Biography printed in 1933 a 
sketch of Belle Boyd's career in Volume 23 of its extensive records. 
This is the reference work which, as indicated in Chapter Thirty-Three, 
states she is said to have married two Choctaw Indians and that she did 
marry Cole Younger. It errs in giving her year of birth as 1843, in 
advancing Hardinge to the rank of naval lieutenant, in not mentioning 
her second imprisonment in Washington, and in saying that she was 
imprisoned at Fort Warren and condemned to death. Further, it con- 
tributes a new bit of misinformation by declaring that the Greyhound 
was captured by the steamer Massachusetts. 

By 1936 the verdict of the Dictionary of American Biography that 
Belle Boyd's book was "none too trustworthy" began to bear strange 
fruit. In that year appeared The Women of the Confederacy, a brief 
but pretentious study based on research financed in part by the Social 
Science Research Council. In studying Belle Boyd, the authors sum- 
marize her book somewhat inaccurately and, while they offer proof that 
some of her tale is truthful, to show that much of it is suspect they 
add a note reading familiarly: "The story of Belle Boyd's achievements 
for the South rests largely upon her own none too trustworthy account." 
Though they then mention that Miss Kastner in the Dictionary of 

*P$>. 104-5. 


American Biography briefly appraises Belle Boyd's career, they omit to 
record that what is given as their own curt unfavorable judgment is 
actually an almost verbatim restatement of Miss Kastner's terse appraisal. 

While the authors concede that their subject was, "handsome, charm- 
ing, and possessed of a deep and tender devotion to the Southern cause/' 
they also assert that, "Her frailities were mendacity, lack of principle, 
and a flare* for the romantic and spectacular." No evidence is sub- 
mitted to support the charges of mendacity and lack of principle. And 
then they damn what they previously considered merely "none too 
trustworthy" by placing Belle Bo yd in Camp and Prison in their 
Bibliography under the far more accusatory heading: "The following 
works of adventure are of slight value and doubtful authenticity." 

But it was not until 1941, almost half a century after Belle Boyd's 
death, that cumulative inaccuracy and distortion in recording facts about 
her produced their most reprehensible result. This is a chapter on 
"Front Royal: The Town of Belle Boyd." in an otherwise meritorious 
work, The Shenandoah and Its Byways, by W. O. Stevens. 

While Mr. Stevens does not credit Mr. Wright's Forgotten Ladies 
as the chief source of his misinformation for his summary of Belle 
Boyd's career, this source seems obvious from the naive iteration of 
many of Mr. Wright's highly individualistic mistakes. For instance, he 
follows Mr. Wright blindly in saying that Belle Boyd could not have 
seen General Butler at Fortress Monroe because the General was else- 
where on a different occasion, and in saying that she returned to Mar- 
tinsburg while it was held by the Federals. In addition, he outdoes his 
mentor with various incredible errors and distortions of his own. 

Regarding Belle Boyd's role at Front Royal, which he ridicules, his 
most scholarly comment is: "After that exploit, whatever it was * * *" 
This contemptuous dismissal of all previous confirmation of her part 
in the battle is particularly objectionable because it must be understood 
to include her remarkable vindication by H. K. Douglas, whose newly 
published I Rode with Stonewall was creating a profound impression in 
historical circles for months prior to the appearance of Mr. Stevens' book. 

Mr. Wright and Mr. Stevens -both have a clever but unpleasant 
knack of inflated paraphrase which' induces the credulous reader to 
believe that the original tale must have been fantastic and incredible, 
and therefore false. For example, when Belle Boyd writes modestly 
that she dined with General Beauregard, Mr. Wright magnifies this to 



a dinner given her by the General, and Mr. Stevens, thinking this twist 
inadequate, handsomely makes it a banquet tendered her by the Gen- 
eral. It is therefore not surprising that when Mr. Stevens comes to 
refer to the verdict of the Dictionary of American Biography that Belle 
Boyd's account is "none too trustworthy," he asserts that the writer of 
the material in that reference work actually says that the facts in Belle 
Bo yd in Camp and Prison are "highly unreliable." 

Throughout Mr. Stevens' chapter on Belle Boyd, there is a flow of 
such derisive and scornful comment as: "So there is no doubt about 
her being a real Virginia Lady/ 1 and "She was an example of pure 
Southern Womanhood always." However, Mr. Stevens is no more im- 
pressive or convincing in this vein than when, in telling how Belle 
Boyd overheard General Shields' staff conference at Front Royal, he 
blunders in thinking this took place at Martinsburg. 

In the Valley of the Shenandoah, as well as in historical literature, 
attacks against Belle Boyd have taken very little note of actuality. A 
typical instance is a review in the Evening Journal of Martinsburg on 
April 2, 1942, covering an article in the February Southern Literary 
Messenger which briefly outlined Belle Boyd's book and the description 
by H. K. Douglas of her role at Front Royal. 

The reviewer, Mrs. M. A. Snodgrass, declares: "We of the older 
generation in Martinsburg have heard of our parents and friends who 
lived here during those tragic years of 1861-65, much that contradicts 
what these and other writers publish about Belle Boyd." Yet all that 
Mrs. Snodgrass reveals is that the Doll sisters gave her notes they 
received from their old playmate, Belle Boyd, and that they took the 
stories she told them verbally with more than a grain of salt. The 
contents of the notes remain undisclosed. 

This critic also asserts: "The older generation dismissed her with 
one blast 'she was just a camp follower/ " In its least offensive sense, 
the term "camp follower" used by the anonymous elders means a 
person who follows or attaches himself or herself to a camp or army 
without serving in a military capacity. But the Reverend James Power 
Smith, a reputable Christian gentleman of the older generation, and a 
former Confederate captain and aide-de-camp of General Jackson, em- 
phatically refutes this scornful characterization. According to him, the 
well mounted, soldierly figure he saw at Bunker Hill in September, 
1862, was: "the notable female scout, Belle Boyd." 

The honorable designation of "scout" and the degrading and even 


scandalous epithet, "camp follower/' not only do not mean the same 
thing, but the former also flatly contradicts the latter. That James 
Power Smith meant Belle Boyd was officially in the Confederate mili- 
tary service appears from the following definition of the term * 'scout" 
by Douglas Southall Freeman in Lee's Lieutenants; 

"In explanation of the term 'scouts and spies/ it will be recalled 
that a soldier engaged in espionage was called a 'scout' in Con- 
federate service, and that a civilian so employed was called a 
'spy/ " 177 

Much like others before her, Mrs. Snodgrass states that Belle Boyd's 
"account of her life * * * is the only basis for the survival of her 
name." This Martinsburg critic's main objection to such survival is 
made evident by the statement that a local historian had collected news- 
paper data of Belle Boyd's later career, "which included three marriages, 
one divorce, a member of several theatrical companies, and a lecturer 
on her own war exploits through the West." The reviewer concludes 
that, "her later life proved that her name should not be forever linked 
with our town as its 'cause celebre' " and that it is unfortunate that 
the real heroes of 1861-65 should be forgotten "while one whose life 
was so sordid and whose adventures were always so shady should be 
forever recalled." 

As to such comments on Belle Boyd, her daughter, Mrs. Michael, 
asserts, of her own knowledge and on information from her mother, 
that any actual resentment against her was indeed and still is based 
upon her marriages to Northerners, her divorce, her adoption of a 
stage career, and placing her daughters in the theatrical profession. The 
latter is a typical Southern prejudice. 

No one was ever foolhardy enough to criticize Belle Boyd face to 
face on such matters. But when she returned to Martinsburg after the 
war, she became aware of and ignored with contempt the birth of this 
attitude on the part of an antagonistic element. Her first trip home 
was at the end of 1866. She made another trip later with her daughter, 
Grace Hardinge, and a third with Colonel Hammond. Her final trip 
was probably in 1876 when she saw her mother for the last time at 
Charles Town. 

However, Mrs. Michael has been there since. And on her last visit, 
early in February, 1929, the Martinsburg Journal, and the Mail and the 
Herald of Hagerstown (Maryland) graciously commented on the arri- 
val of the daughter of the "Famed," "The once famous/' and "the most 


famous" Confederate spy. Despite this welcome in the press, Mrs. 
Michael learned that in' some private discussion and reminiscence her 
mother's character was still being assailed as bitterly but more subtly 
than it had been in the Northern press during the War. 

Whether Belle Boyd's marriages, her divorce, and her stage career 
were justifiable from the moral standpoint of her native region is a 
question for purely local settlement. But what must be challenged as 
wicked, intolerable, and indefensible are the continuous and determined 
efforts made by those who condemn her on any pretext to wipe out as 
imaginary the real record of her service to the South, and to brand as 
false her own version of her military career without offering actual 
evidence to bolster their charges or to refute the impressive testimony 
that proves her story. 

What will history relate of Belle Boyd? Will it lump together in- 
discriminately fact, distortion, and legend, and say, as the Washington 
Evening Star said in its nostalgic editorial of May 8, 1943, "She was a 
mystery while yet she lived, and she remains a mystery today/? Or 
will it adopt the judgment of two highly competent authorities Carl 
Sandburg and Douglas Southall Freeman? 

In 1939, Carl Sandburg accepted Belle Boyd's own story without 
question in his biographical masterpiece, Abraham Lincoln The War 
Years. And in 1942, the distinguished historian, Douglas Southall 
Freeman, related in his notable historical work, Lee's Lieutenants, that 
she was the woman spy who gave news to Jackson's forces of the posi- 
tion of the enemy at Front Royal; and he canonized her historically as, 
"the renowned Belle Boyd, one of the most active and most reliable of 
the many secret women agents of the Confederacy." 178 

To the verdict of Doctor Freeman, history might properly add some- 
thing more. Surely it can record, in the light of the evidence, that the 
full extent of Belle Boyd's contribution to the cause of the South will 
probably never be known. As to the unfounded charge that Belle Boyd 
in Camp and Prison is a "none too trustworthy account," should it not 
be said justly that this work is particularly noteworthy for the accuracy 
of the data a truthful and understandably reticent woman felt it not 
imprudent to reveal? 

Belle Boyd is now at rest beyond all praise and calumny. But if, in 
the judgment of the living, some enduring tribute is due her, there are 
two stirring memories of this Southern woman that should not be 
allowed to perish. 

There is the memorable scene on May 23, 1862, when eighteen-year- 


old Belle, wearing a dark-blue dress and a white apron, raced fearlessly 
over the fields under infantry and artillery fire, and, as Harry Douglas 
relates, nearly exhausted, and with her hand pressed against her heart, 
said in gasps: 

" 'I knew it must be Stonewall, when I heard the first gun. Go 
back quick and tell him that the Yankee force is very small one 
regiment of Maryland infantry, several pieces of artillery and 
several companies of cavalry. * * * Tell him to charge right down 
and he will catch them all.' " 

And there is that other message Belle gave her countrymen the 
message that for the last fifteen years of her life she delivered incessant- 
ly with dramatic and sincere intensity to her comrades throughout a 
reunited nation, a message that on her lips only Death could still. She 
gave it for the last time to the members of Rousseau Post, Grand Army 
of the Republic, in Portage, Wisconsin. Her final words are ours for 

"One God, One Flag, One People Forever!" 


Detailed genealogical information is given in the following para- 
graphs, together with other data of a miscellaneous nature. The 
genealogical record, compiled from many separate records set forth in 
the Sources of Information, should not be considered complete as to 
marriages, or as to issue of the marriages listed. 


(a) The Van Meter and Burns Families 

The Van Meters go back to a Dutch ancestor who in 1535 was a his- 
torian, and Dutch Consul at London. Descendants settled near Fort Orange 
(Albany), New York, and later in New Jersey. One ventured into the 
Valley of the Shenandoah, made friends with the Delawares, and is said to 
have joined them in fighting the Catawbas. His sons, John and Isaac, 
secured large grants of land and sold part to the noted pioneer, Joist Hite. 
Isaac is said to have bounded his land by notching trees with a tomahawk 
and so to have established his claim by "Tomahawk Right." 

Joanna Van Meter, daughter of Johannes and Rebecca Van Meter, and 
born about 1732 in New Jersey, married William Burns, who came from 
Scotland and had traveled South with other pioneers. Their son, John Burns, 
born 1771, married Frances Southwood in 1794. Ruth Burns, daughter of 
John and Frances, married Captain James Glenn in June 1823, and ^vas Belle 
Royd's maternal grandmother. 

(b) The Reeds 

Lieutenant-Colonel James Reed, of Scottish parentage, was born in 
Northern Ireland in 1710. In 1730 in America he married eighteen-year-old 
Margaret Floyd, who, as a child, had escaped from an Indian raid in which 
her parents and three of their children perished. The Reeds acquired and 
settled on several hundred acres of land in the Manor of Maske near the 
Gettysburg of today and Colonel Reed died in Pennsylvania in 1798 or 1799. 
Their seven sons, James, Samuel (father of Maria Reed Cooper and Eliza 
Reed Baker of Martinsburg) , Benjamin, John, Thomas, William, and Joseph, 
also served as officers in the Revolutionary forces, James becoming a member 
of the Society of the Cincinnati and William, Adjutant General of Pennsyl- 
vania. Colonel Reed and Mrs. Reed also had two daughters, Sarah and Mary. 
Sarah married William McKesson, and Mary, born in 1742, married James 
Stephenson in 1763. James and Mary Reed Stephenson were great grand- 
parents of Belle Eoyd. . 


(f) The Stephensons 

The above mentioned Private James Stephenson, born of Scottish parent- 
age in Ulster, Ireland, probably in 1740, who married Mary Reed in York 
County, Pennsylvania in 1763, is believed to have died in Berkeley County, 
Virginia, in 1804. They had three sons, James (born at Gettysburg, Pa. in 
1764), William, and Benjamin, and four daughters, Sarah, Maria, Isabella, 
and Margaret. Maria and Isabella married Samuel and John Boyd, brothers, 
and Maria and Samuel Boyd weie grandparents of Belle Boyd through their 
son Benjamin Reed Boyd. 

Major James Stephenson, brother of Maria and Isabella, was an unole of 
Belle Boyd's father, Benjamin Reed Boyd, and Major Stephenson and Maria 
Reed Cooper's husband, Alex, were executors of the will of Benjamin's father. 

Major Stephenson married Nancy Cunningham and had several children. 
Their son James R. graduated from West Point in 1822 and at his death in 
1841 was a captain in the 7th Infantry Regiment, U.S.A. 

(d) The Glenns 

Captain James Glenn, whose family claimed descent from the Bruces 
and the Campbells, was born in Frederick County, Va. In the D.A.R. 
Lineage Book his descendants give his year of birth as 1757 and that of his 
death as 1832. Other records suggest he was born in 1764 and died in 1827. 
As his will was dated November, 1832, and probated the following month, 
the year of death seems conclusively 1832. However, as his son, James 
William, was born in 1832 shortly before Captain Glenn's death, acceptance 
of 1757 as the father's year of birth would mean that Captain Glenn was 
twenty when he joined the 10th Virginia Regiment and seventy-five when 
his son was born. It is more likely that he was born in 1764, that the story 
of his running off to enlist at an early age is true, and that he was no more 
than sixty-eight when his son was born. 

By his marriage in 1823 with Ruth Burns, Captain Glenn had four 
children: Frances Elizabeth, who married James Erskine Stewart, Mary^ Re- 
becca, who married Benjamin Reed Boyd, James "William, who married Susan 
Earle, and Margaret, who died in infancy and was buried in the garden of 
"Glenn Burnie." 

Mr. and Mrs. Stewart, after leaving Front Royal, lived for a time at 
Milldale close by the Earle home (Mount Zion) , and eventually moved to 
Luray, Va. where Mr. Stewart became a judge. He died in 1890 and Mrs. 
Stewart in 1913. Their daughter, Alice, married a Mr. Jennings, and two 
daughters, Irene and Nettie Jennings, are said to be living in Alexandria. 
Alice's sister, Frances, married Judge Alexander J. Brand in 1869, The 
Brands are known to have had one son, Thomas, three daughters, Frances, 
Alice, and Lillian, and one grandchild, Edith, daughter of Frank Bell 'and 
Frances Brand. 

Full details are not available as to descendants of Captain James William 
Glenn and his wife, Susan. One daughter, Elizabeth, became Mrs. Elizabeth 
Glenn Barnes of Snow Hill, Maryland, and the original commission of old 


Captain Glenn is known to have been in her possession. Another daughter, 
Florence, married Olin Beall, and their son, Hon. J. Glenn Beall of Frost- 
burg, Maryland, former State Highway Commissioner, was elected to Con- 
gress in November 1942 from Maryland's Sixth Congressional District. 

While Susan Earle, who married James William Glenn, was not directly 
related already to the Glenns, she was the sister of John Burns Earle's father, 
Captain A. M. Earle, and, Captain Earle's wife, born a Burns, was a first 
cousin of James William Glenn, whose mother was Ruth Burns Glenn. 

As to Benjamin and Mary Rebecca Glenn Boyd, they became the parents 
of several children, including Belle Boyd, 

(e) The Martinsburg Boyds 

Many Boyd families in America cherish stoutly a tradition that they 
descend from one of three Boyd brothers who came to the Colonies from 
Ayrshire, Scotland. But since the beginning of the 17th Century, there have 
been innumerable Boyds coming singly, or in family or* larger groups, directly 
from Scotland, or via Northern Ireland, and sometimes England. Hence 
there have been many emigrant groups of brothers or other relatives named 
Boyd, and not all American Boyds can trace their line surely to a specific 
emigrant Boyd individual or group. 

The first American Boyd clearly identified as an ancestor of Belle Boyd is 
the Samuel Boyd who married Mary Beckett in 1773 and was the -father of 
the Boyd brothers who married Maria and Isabella Stephenson. As the Reeds 
and Stephensons came from near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, it seems probable 
that the Samuel Boyd who married Mary Beckett came of a noted Boyd 
family living at Marsh Creek, Pennsylvania, near the location of Gettysburg. 
This Boyd line was founded by William Boyd, born in Northern Ireland of 
Scottish (Ayrshire) origin about 1700-10, who came over with a large group 
led by Hance Hamilton later sheriff of York County, Pa. which landed at 
New Castle, Delaware, August 24, 1729. With William were his wife 
Margaret, several children, and Thomas and John Boyd. Thomas is believed 
to have been William's brother and John, William's oldest son. 

By 1736 William, settled on 200 acres at Marsh Creek, was a blacksmith 
and farmer. His nine chiildren included two sons, Samuel and Robert, born 
at Marsh Creek. William died in 1767, and provided by will for his chil- 
dren, but no record is found of Samuel and Robert thereafter. (For William 
Boyd and family, see Source CR, p. 18, et seq., and p. 47.) 

It is likely that William's son Samuel was the Samuel Boyd who married 
Mary Beckett and that Samuel and Mary accompanied or followed James and 
Mary 'Stephenson to the vicinity of Martinsburg, Virginia, where later two 
Boyd sons married two Stephenson daughters. This would make William 
Boyd Belle Boyd's great-great grandfather and confirm her family's tradition 
of descent from the Ayrshire Boyds. 

Samuel and John Boyd, sons of Samuel and Mary Beckett Boyd, were 
born in 1775 and 1776 John in Frederick County, Virginia. Samuel mar- 
ried Mary Reed ("Maria") Stephenson, in 1798 and died in 1819. John 
married Maria's sister Isabella in 1803 and died in 1846. 


Samuel and Maria Boyd had five children: John William, James Stephen- 
son, Benjamin Reed, Isabella, and Anna Maria. James married Elizabeth 
King Wilson in Martinsburg, had five children (one named Samuel Beckett 
Boyd), and died in Carmi, Illinois in 1883. Anna Maria married Conrad 
Hogmire, and one known child was Virginia Reed Hogmire, born in George- 
town, D. C, who married Thomas C. Chalmers. John married Rebecca. 
Southwood, and Isabella married William Compton. Benjamin married 
Mary Rebecca Glenn, and they were the parents of Belle Boyd. 

Benjamin and Mary Boyd had eight children. Two girls and two boys 
died in infancy and were buried in Green Hill Cemetery, Martinsburg, where 
their father was later buried. The others were Isabelle (Belle), born May 
9, 1844, William, Glenn, and Mary. Belle Boyd's husbands and descendants 
are set forth fully in the text. Her brothers went to Kansas and Colorado 
after the war and are known to have died. William's widow (nee Lucy 
Mills) and her daughter, Mary, were 'known to be in Seattle, Washington, in 
1926. Belle's sister, Mary, went west with William and Glenn, and married 
Oregon Wentworth Rowland. She was buried in Parsons, Kansas. A son, 
Robert L. Rowland, Esq., lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

(/) The Knoxvttle Boyds 

After John Boyd married Isabella Stephenson in Berkeley County, Va., 
in 1803, the couple moved to Tennessee where John died in 1846 and 
Isabella in 1855. Their children were: Benjamin S., Samuel B., James S., 
William iS., and Sarah. Benjamin Stephenson Boyd married Cynthia Kerr 
Brooks, Samuel Beckett Boyd married Susan Howard Mason, and William 
Stephenson Boyd married Mary Kennedy. 

Samuel Beckett Boyd attended Blount College (now the University of 
Tennessee), then studied law, married, and moved to Livingston, Alabama, 
where he practiced law for ten years and became eminent and prosperous. 
He returned to Knoxville in 1844, where he later held office as chancery 
court judge, and mayor. He was a first cousin of Belle Boyd's father, and 
it was in Samuel Beckett Boyd's home, the Blount Mansion, that his widow, 
"Aunt Susan," had Belle as a guest early in 1863. 

Four children of Judge and Susan Boyd were: John M., Samuel B., Susan,, 
and Eva. The two sons became doctors. Samuel became president of the 
Knox County Medical Society and married Maggie A. Baker, daughter of 
Dr. Harvey Baker. One child was D. W. Boyd. 

After Dr. John Boyd's death in 1909 two inscriptions were placed on a- 
large arch over the Knox County Court House entrance. One read, "Our 
John Boyd. December 23, 1838. May 16, 1909." The other was worded, 
"OUR BELOVED PHYSICIAN. Dr. John Mason Boyd. Erected by a Grateful 
Public. Dec. 23, 1838. May 16, 1909." 

Samuel was ten years old, Eva fifteen, Susan nineteen, and John twenty- 
five when Belie Boyd, their second cousin, came to the Blount Mansion irt 
1863. It was Susan who became Belle's intimate comrade and whose recol- 
lections of Belle are in the MoClung Historical Collection in the Lawson* 
McGhee Library of Knoxville. // was in the home of Susan (Mrs. Alvin 


Barton) that Belle Boyd and her daughter, Mane Isabelle, met their cousin, 
Charles Keith Bell of Texas, in 1892. Sue Boyd Barton died in 1934, but 
her sister Eva, Mrs. E. B. Munson, ninety-five years old, was alive in Knox- 
ville late in 1942. 

Isabella Reed Boyd, daughter of Benjamin Stephenson Boyd and his wife 
Cynthia, was born in 1831. This second cousin of Belle Boyd married 
Samuel Beckett Boyd of Martinsburg (son of James S. Boyd and Elizabeth 
King Wilson), who was her second cousin and Belle Boyd's first cousin. 
This S. B. Boyd (not to be confused with Judge S. B. Boyd or the latter' s 
son, S. B.), was born in Virginia in 1827, went to Knoxville in 1851 and 
married Isabella Reed Boyd in 1853. Of their eight children two were sons: 
Samuel Beckett Boyd, who married Julia Harrison, and Benjamin Stephenson 
Boyd, who married Margaret A. Logan. Their six daughters were: Annie 
Bruce, who died in infancy, Sarah Sutherland, who married Henry N. Saxton, 
Jr., Cynthia Irwin, who married James H. McCue, Isabella Reed, who mar- 
ried John M. Allen, Elizabeth Wilson, who married William Caswell, and 
Mary Reed, who married Albert S. Birdsong. Mrs. Birdsvng, the only sur- 
viving child, recalls Belle Boyd's visit to Knoxville in the '90s with Mr. 
High and a theatrical troupe. 

The S. B. Boyd from Martinsburg, who died in 1920, was a very promi- 
nent business man in Knoxville and director of several important financial 
and public institutions. In the War between the States, this cousin of Belle 
Boyd was in the Confederate Ordnance Department, took part in the Sander's 
Raid fighting, and in December, 1864, was captured at Bristol Taken to 
Camp Chase, Ohio, he refused to take the Federal "oath of allegiance" and 
was only released in May, 1865, when New York friends secured a pardon 
for him from the President. Later, when his wife sought compensation for 
Federal damage to the Boyd home, the -Government refused "because of her 
pronounced sympathy for and aid of the Southern Confederacy." (Records 
of Simon Harris Chapter, D.A.R., Knoxville, Tenn.) 

(g) The Bells 

James Bell, who was born in Falmouth, Va. in 1796 and died in Knox- 
ville, Tenn., in 1879, married Nancy Stephenson, daughter of William 
Stephenson and Nancy Kennedy, and first cousin of Benjamin Reed Boyd, 
Belle Boyd's father. Four children of James and Nancy Bell were: William 
S., Oscar, Anne, and Margaret. William S. Bell became a doctor, married 
Elizabeth Douglass Keith, became mayor of Chattanooga in 1858, and was 
killed in the Confederate service in 1861 at Island Number Ten in the 
Mississippi River. His wife, Elizabeth, was a daughter of Judge Charles 
Fleming Keith of Athens, Tenn., and granddaughter of the Captain Alexan- 
der Keith of the Revolution whose parents, Reverend James Keith and "Mary 
Isham Randolph of Prince William and Fauquier Counties, Va., were grand- 
parents of Chief Justice Marshall. She was therefore related to Itomas 
Jefferson and Robert E. Lee, and a third cousin of George W. Randolph, 
who was Confederate Secretary of War in 1862 when Belle Boyd was 


arrested by order of the Federal Secretary of War. For Keith-Randolph 
connection see Note 170. 

Dr. and Mrs. Bell had three or more children, two being Charles K., 
and Anne. Anne married a Mr. Thornton of Birmingham, Ala. Charles 
Keith Bell, born in 1853, moved to Texas in 1871, became State Senator in 
1884, Congressman in 1893, Attorney General of Texas in 1901, and died 
in 1913. In 1906 he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for 
governor. Having the nomination in his grasp, he withdrew his name be- 
cause his principles would not permit him to "approve a trade his campaign 
manager and Col. House had made to secure support of a major opponent. 
C. K. Bell married a daughter of John Peter Smith, "the father of Fort 
Worth." A son, James S. Bell, lives in Tyler, Texas. 

(h) D. A. R. Lineage Book 

This lists about thirty persons descended from Lt. Col. James Reed, 
Captain James Glenn, and Private James Stephenson. These relatives of 
Belle Boyd include her sister, Mary Glenn Boyd Rowland ; her aunt, Frances 
Elizabeth Glenn Stewart, from whose cottage at Front Royal she rushed to 
give General Jackson intelligence on the battlefield; Elizabeth Glenn Barnes, 
daughter of Captain James W. Glenn and Susan Earle; Isabella Reed Boyd, 
wife of S. B. Boyd; and four daughters of that couple. Some items of the 
Lineage Book data are contradictory or confusing. Recourse to other stated 
sources has been necessary to establish that Lt. Col. James Reed had seven 
sons, that the maiden name of Samuel Beckett Boyd's wife was Isabella Reed 
Royd, and so on. 

(/) Year of Birth of Belle Boyd 

Many works state she was born May 9, 1843. Her own book and her 
own family insist on 1844. At the age of twelve she went to Mount Wash- 
ington Female College in Baltimore which had no students prior to May 
1856. To assert that she was born in 1843 is to maintain that she was 
twelve in 1855 and attended then a school which was not founded until the 
next year. (See Source AO, p. 270.) As for official birth records, there are 
none for Martinsburg prior to 1865. 


(a) Harry Gilmor 

This advocate of Belle Boyd, who extolled in Four Years in the Saddle 
her great courage and her boundless devotion to the South, had, as his final 
command, the Second Maryland Battalion. Col. Charles T. O'Ferrall, later 
Governor of Virginia, considered Gilmor one of the most exemplary and 
conspicuously courageous Confederate soldiers. Generals "Jeb" Stuart and 


Fitzhugh Lee cited him, the latter for "Marked bravery and cool courage" in 
the Kelleysville battle. It was Gilmor who carried gallant Major Pelham's 
body off the field, swearing it would not fall into Yankee hands. 

(b) Marker at Front Royal 

On the road between Front Royal and Bentonville, a Virginia Conser- 
vation 'Commission marker reads, "Near here 'Stonewall' Jackson was met by 
the spy Belle >Boyd and informed of the position of the Union troops . . . 
May 24, 1862." The date should fee May 23. 

(f) Prison Correspondence with D. A. Mahony 

Inquiry in Iowa of the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald and other sources has 
failed to locate Mr. Mahony 's descendants or his correspondence with 
Belle Boyd. 

(d) Comments on Various Publications 

Swords and Roses. In thirty pages on Belle Boyd, Joseph Hergesheimer 
shows profound sympathetic understanding that "she gave the cause of the 
South all the tenderness and passion and belief she possessed," and he dis- 
cusses her adventures in deeply stirring passages of fine emotional and 
literary quality. 

Reveille in Washington. Miss Leech errs in her biographical sketch of 
Belle Boyd in giving 1863 as the year the Greyhound sailed, in saying the 
Navy "discharged'* Hardinge, in reporting that Belle was imprisoned at 
Fort Warren and sentenced to death, and in recording that Hardinge died 
in the United States without rejoining his wife. 

Diary of Lucy Rebecca Buck. (Privately reproduced. A copy available 
in the Library of Congress.) This noted Front Royal record contains at 
least a dozen entries mentioning Belle Boyd. Miss Buck disliked her and 
indicated it plainly. But her most critical comments are based more on 
hearsay and a readiness to believe Belle Boyd always up to something tin- 
lady-like rather than on factual knowledge. This interesting instance of 
unfounded suspicion appears on page 78 of the diary: 

"While we were talking I noticed in the twilight a light female 
figure coming from down the Mill Road leaning very confidently 
on a 'blue coat sleeve.' I concluded it was either Belle Boyd or 
Hattie G. Presently, hearing the gate open, I looked up and saw 
the figure walk into the yard. 'That's Dr. Gillespie's daughter* , 
said Rouse, and without more ado Nellie and I rose simultaneously 
and glided upstairs, telling R. that should we be inquired for we 
were 'not at home/ " 

Southern Historical Society Papers. A sketch of "Mrs. Belle Boyd 
Hardinge," p. 443, Vol. XI, is in error in giving year of birth as 1835, 
stating her father was a Dr. Boyd, and recording that she divorced in 1868 
a Federal officer she married at the end of the war. 


The World's Greatest Military Spies and Secret Service Agents. George 
Barton, in a book dedicated to W. J. Fiynn, former U. S. Secret Service 
chief, outlines adventures of Major Andre, Nathan Hale, Lydia Darrah, 
L. C. Baker, Carl Lody, and others, includes a sketch of Belle Boyd based 
on her own book, and does not question her veracity. 

Stonewall Jackson and the Civil War. Col. G. F. R. Henderson, a^ high- 
ly considered English authority, quotes extensively from General Richard 
Taylor's description of Belle Boyd's role in the battle of Front Royal, and 
does not question it. 

The History of Winchester in Virginia. O F. Morton mentions Belle 
Boyd as the spy who gained the greatest "notoriety" in the lower Shenandoah 
region, but states she was of magnetic personality, attractive in manner and 
appearance, -possessed dash, energy, and courage, and was a skillful rider. 
His source of information is Dr. Ashby's The Valley Campaigns, and his 
choice of the word "notoriety" was influenced by Dr. Ashby's unsupported 
conclusions and inaccurate data. 

Secret Service Operator 13. Robert W. Chambers makes Belle Boyd an 
interesting minor character in a book abounding in historical figures. He 
describes her parents and her home, weaves her background into his tale, 
and, not realizing that George Lawrence saw a different prisoner in the Old 
Capitol, depicts Belle Boyd with the other girl's braids of dark hair and 
summer toilette of cool, pink muslin. This intriguing story is a promising 
forerunner of the fascinating spy story that will eventually be written of 
the actual adventures of Belle Boyd. 

Belle Boyd: Famous Sfy of the Con-federate States Army. A booklet in 
which Mrs. Leonora Wood made available to the South four years ago a 
greatly condensed version of Belle Boyd's own story. It has had very wide 
distribution and has served admirably to combat misrepresentations as to 
Belle Boyd. 

Belle Boyd: Southern Spy of the Shenandoah. A pamphlet summarizing 
Belle Boyd's story, sponsored by the Warren Rifles Chapter (Front Royal, 
Va.) of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. It contains several in- 
accurate statements, the most important being that Belle Boyd's body was 
"reclaimed by Virginia in 1928 and buried with military honors." 

A Virginia Girl in the Civil War. The identity of the "Nellie Grey" 
who had such intimate experiences with Belle Boyd at Mrs. Rixey's in Cul- 
peper Court House, is suggested by her revelation that her husband was 
regimental adjutant of the Thirteenth Virginia Cavalry. The war records 
show that on April 17, 1863 General W. F, H. Lee and Colonel J, R. 
Chambliss cited "Lieutenant Nash, adjutant of the Thirteenth Virginia 
Cavalry" for conspicuous gallantry and energy. This Lieutenant Nash was 
J. V. H. Nash, a Virginian, later a captain on the staff of General Chambliss. 
Further, Mrs. Myrta Lockett Avary, who wrote this book from reminiscences 
related to her by "Nellie Grey" states that "Nellie Grey" was the wife of 
Major Joseph Van Holt Nash of Petersburg, Virginia, and before her mar- 


riage was \Miss Margaret Bowden of Norfolk, Virginia. Mrs. Avary's success 
with this work led to her research on the Reconstruction Era which was 

Sublished in 1906 as Dixie After the War. An article on Mrs. Avary (The 
outhern Literary Messenger, Vol. V, No. 1, April 1943, p. 53) also identi- 
fies "Nellie Grey" as "Mrs. Joseph Van Horn Nash, wife of a Confederate 

The Spy in America. A review of espionage and counter-espionage from 
colonial days to 1919. Mr. Bryan devotes three and a half pages to a routine 
and uncritical summary of Belle Boyd's career. It contains several errors, 
including statements that Hardinge^was a lieutenant, that he "left" the 
Federal service, that Colonel Hammond's name was "John V, Hammond/* 
and so on. 


To encipher the message referred to on page 34, it is highly probable 
that Belle Boyd used the variation of the once ' 'indecipherable cipher" 
of Vigenere which the Confederates thought still good enough. 

If Belle used this system, she first wrote down the two words of her 
cipher key, numbered each letter in numerical sequence, and wrote out 
horizontally the "clear text" of the alphabet. Next, under this "clear 
text" she set forth the Vigenere alphabet square, and in the space 
opposite the left vertical column of the square she placed against each 
appropriate letter in the vertical column the sequence number or 
numbers given such letter in the key words. With the following chart 
before her, Belle was now ready to encipher her message: 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 










2 and 13 O P Q R S T U V WX Y Z A B C D E F G H I J K L M N 










Assuming for the purpose of exposition that her key words may have been 
COMPLETE VICTORY, a key actually used by the Confederates, and that 
she began her message in clear with the words, ' 'Overheard Shields staff 
council tonight * * *," her next step was to number all the letters of the 
clear message from one to fifteen throughout, as follows: 

123456789 10 11 12 13 14 15 1 23456 

7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1011 12 13 14 15 

Now taking the number 1 assigned to the letter O in the clear message, 
Belle referred to the number 1 opposite the letter C in the left vertical 
column of the Vigenere square and moved to the right horizontally until 
she came to the letter in that horizontal line directly under the letter in 
the clear text above the square. This gave her the letter Q as the first letter 
of her cipher message. 

Taking the number 2 assigned to the second letter of her clear message., 
she then referred to the number 2 opposite the letter O in the left vertical 
column of the square and moving to the right horizontally obtained the 
cipher letter J under the letter V of the clear text ^bove the square. Con- 
tinuing, she enciphered her complete message, and its opening words in 
clear and in cipher read: 


Inevitably, her next step after enciphering her message was to destroy 
all papers used in enciphering so that the key words, the square, the clear 
message, and the numerical symbols could not be used to decipher the 
message. Only then was she free to seek Turner Ashby. 

The system outlined is a substitution cipher in which the original letters 
of the clear message are represented by other letters. To prevent quick 
solution of the cipher by noting the ratio of frequency with which each 
cipher letter occurs and thus identifying clear text letters because of the 
known ratio of frequency of each in long messages, the process of substi- 
tuting cipher letters is scrambled in several ways. One is to use words for 
the key in which several letters are duplicated and thus insure that such 
letters will have more than one number assigned. Another is to make 
certain that numbers assigned letters in the clear message relate directly 
solely to their sequence and do not, without the key, give a clue to their 
identity. It will be noted that the key words duplicate the letters, C, E, O, 
and T, and also that in the first two words of the clear message E appears, 
three times yet when enciphered is consecutively Q, I, and S. MANCHESTER 
BLUFF, another Confederate key for the same form of cipher, duplicates 
E and F, and Involves suppression of normal letter frequency. 


To Major Thomas Parks, Air Corps, U. S. A., is due credit for suggesting 
that Belle Boyd used the cipher here set forth. Major Parks has furnished 
a copy of a similarly enciphered message from President Jefferson Davis to 
General Howell Cobb, and this message, deciphered by Corporal Alan 
Nemser, Signal Corps, U. S. A., is found to be based on the key word 
COMPLETE VICTORY. The original message, only partially enciphered, is 
owned by Mr. Van Dyk MacBride of Newark, New Jersey. 

One disadvantage of the Confederates in using this cipher was their bad 
habit of only enciphering portions of messages and thus providing clues as 
to the key. Another was the insistence of Confederate Headquarters that for 
convenience in recognizing word separation such separation be retained in 
cipher instead of running words together to avoid revelation of individual 
word length in the message in clear. 

Codes and ciphers are far more complex and effective today. However, 
they owe much to this ancestral form. 


(For Key to Letters designating Source, see ' 'Sources of Information" 
immediately following "Notes.") 

1. The New York Public -Library contains more than forty of George Sale's works, 
including his memoirs. 

2. Sources BQ .pp. 178, 180, and 190; J, p. 126. 

3. Sources AS and CR. 

4. Sources DK; BH (see records of descendants of James Reed and James 
Stephenson, and particularly that of Belle Boyd's sister, Mrs. Rowland, p. 103, 
Vol. 52) ; BC, -pp. 187-90; DS; C (letter of Adjutant General, Mar. 1, 1943) ; 
CB, ,p. 741, Vol. 13, Ser. 2, and pp. 70 and 96, Vol. 3, Ser. 5; DT; DQ; DV. 

5. Sources AP, -p. 305; J, pp. 127 and 129; AL, pp. 460 and 1 920, Vol. 1; U, 
p. 1565. 

6. Source BA, p. 55. 

7. For B. R. Boyd's name on company roster, see Source J, p. 228. For Douglas' 
quotation, see Source BA, p. 6. 

8. Source BA, pp. 52 and 157. 

9. Source AC (entry of July 12, 1862). 

10. All data on James Glenn from Sources BH (see records of descendants of James 
Glenn, and iparticularly that of Belle Boyd's sister, Mrs. Rowland 1 , p. 103, Vol. 
52); AH rt>. 135-6; AI, pp. 316-17; AK, pp. 245, 246, 252, and 319; C 
(letters of Adjutant General, Aug. 13 and 24, 1942) ; AL, p. 460, Vol. 1; DJ; 
DF, p. 3'23, Vol. 7; and letter, Aug. 17, 1942, from the Barles of Milldale, Va., 
connection of Glenn and Burns families. 

11. Source BA, p. 6. 

12. Source M, July 5, 1861, cod. 1, p. 3. 

13. Source M, July 9, 1861, col. 1, p. 3. 

14. Source CY, p. 86. 

15. Source AQ, ip. 69, Vol. 1. 

16. Source AQ, p. 76, Vol. 1. 

17. Sources C (letter of Adjutant General, June 3, 1942, stating "cause of death 
and place of .burial" not of record), and M, July 9 1861, col. 1, p. 3. 

18. Source BY, p. 561, et seq., Vol. 2, Ser. 2, for reports, including that of Major 
E. J. Allen (Allan Pinkerton). 

19i. Data on Eliza from Sources DW and DX. 

20. Source AL, p. 484, Vol. 1. Source M, July 5, 1861, col. 3, p. 2, shows Gwya 
was an assistant provost-marshal. 

21. Source DT; DS; BC, pp. 187-90; DV; DR; CB, -pp. 44, 105, and' 116, Vol. 8, 
Ser. 1, and p. 130, Vol. 10, Ser. 2; DU; AM, p. 462; U, p. 1452.. Source U 
errs in stating James Randolph Reed was born in 1718. 

22. Source AQ, p. 419, Vol. 1. 

23. Sources BH (record of Frances Elizabeth Stewant, p. 42, Vol. 38) ; J, pp. 2-67 
and 281. D.AJR, record errs in giving Mrs. Stewart's year of birth as 1846. 
Her tombstone in Luray, Va. states it was 1824. 

24. Data on J. W. Glenn from Sources E, p. 450, and BY, .pp. 248 and 898, Vol. 5, 
Ser. 1. Also letter, Sept. 17, 1942, from Executive Officer, V.M.L, outlining 
school record and- service with Ashfcy. 


25. Source AH, pp. 77-8. 

26. Source CZ, .p. 20, 

27. Sources AG, p. 286; CZ, pp. 18 and 24. 

28. Source AG, p. 286. Source AD for sketch of T. C. De Leon, and Sources CK 
(Confederate roster, Vol. 3), and CU, issue of Nov. 17, 1863, for status of 
Edwin De Leon and his letters to President Davis. 

29. Source AN, p. 268. 

30. Sources CT, p. 135 ; and DN. 

31. Sources O, p. 124, Vol. 1; and CT, p. 227. 

32. Source CT, p. 401. 

33. Source AC (Entries of Jan. 1 and Mar. 11, 1862). 

34. Pp. 43-44, Vol. 2, Memoirs of John Adams Dix, Hanper & (Bros., N. Y. City, 

35. Source AV, pp. 110 and 657. 

36. Source AV, pp. 108 and 649. 

37. Source AL, p. 587, Vol. 1. 

38. Source BY, various orders and communications, pp. 107-214, Part 3, Vol. 12, 
Ser. 1. 

39. Source BY, pp. 536 and 555, Part 1, Vol. 12, Ser. 1. 

40. Source AL, p. 977, Vol. 1. 

41. Source BY, p. 554, Part 1, Vol. 12, Ser. 1. 

42. Source AC (Entry of May 21, 1862). 

43. Sources AL, p. 20-2, Vol. 1, and AV, p. 647. 

44. Sources iBT, pp. S26, and 837-8, Vol. 1 ; AJ, pp. 26, 206, and 290. 

45. Source C (letter of Adjutant General, May 6, 1942). 

46. Source CO, p. 129. 

47. General Jackson's -Report on Operations in the Valley, May 14-June 17, 1862, 
Source BY, p. 701, Part 1, Vol. 12, Ser. 1. 

48. Source BA, p. 51. 

49. Source BA, p. 51. 
5Ck. Source AA 5 p. 51. 

51. Source CD, p. 391, Vol. 2. 

52. Source AZ, p. 38. 

53. Source BA, p. 52. 

54. Source AC (Entries of Jan. 1, May 23, and July 5, 1862). 

55. For Jackson's plan, Source BY, p. 703, Part 1, Vol. 12, Ser. 1. For Banks' 
reaction, Source BS, 1st page, issue of June 2, 1862. 

56. Source BY, pip. 703-06, Part 1, Vol. 12, Ser. 1. 

57. Relevant orders and communications, including Lincoln's wires, Source BY, 
pp. 626, 643, and 648, Pan 1, Vol. 12, Ser. 1, and pp. 219, 220, and 267, 
Part 3, same Volume. 

58. Sources O, p. 311, Vol. 2, and G, p. 52. 

59. Source AC ('Entry of June 7, 1862). 

60. Sources BY, p. 558, Pant 1, Vol. 12, Ser. 1, and BS, issues of June 10 and 14, 

61. Source AJ, p. 31. 

62. Source DB, p. 140. 

63. Source DB, p. 139, et seq. 

64. Sources BY, pp. 690 and 697, Part 1, Vol. 12, Ser. 1; and AL f>. 587, Vol. 1. 

65. Source CK, p. 179, Vol. 38. 

NOTES 233 

66. Source DB, pp. 17 and 143. 

67. Source R. 

68. Sources AL, p. 115, Vol. 2; and DB, p. 167. 

69. Source AU, ip. 249 for Smitley's status, and p. 257 for his story. 

70. Source BY, p. 599, Part 2, Vol. 51, Sen. 1. 

71. Sources AL, p. ,88-2, Vol. 1, and Y, p. 1029. 

72. Source AC (Entry of July 30, 1862). 

73. Source DB, p. 167. 

74. Source BY, pp. 309-10, Vol. 4, Ser. 2. 

75>. This Col. Holt cannot be readily identified. Joseph Holt, Secretary of War 
early in 1861, and creator of military commission jurisdiction over civilians, 
became judge advocate general with rank of colonel Sept. 3, 1862. Later, as a 
brigadier general, he conducted prosecution ia Lincoln assassination " trial. See 
Sources AL, p. 539, Vol. 1, and AD. 

76. Source CF, p. 123, Vol. 3. 

77. Source CX, p. 52 (Diary Section), Vol. 5. 

78. Sources BF, p. 319, issue of Aug. $>, l'S62, and DG, p. 1, issue of July 28, 1862. 

79. Sources K, pp. 321, et seq., and CE, p. 26. 

80. Sources K, pp. 326-7, and CQ, p. 510. 

81. Sources BW, p. 2, issue of April 28, 1865; AL, p. 184, Vol. 1; CV, pp. 282 
and 289, Vol. 8; K, p. 322, and AY. 

82. Sources BG, p. 104, and CG, p. 458. 

83. Source AY, p. 480. 

84. Source CE, foot-note on p. 52. 

85. Source BG, p. 103. 

86. War Department letter and General Wadsworth's report, Source BY, p. 349, 
Vol. 4, Ser. 2. 

87. Source BG, p. 101, et seq. 

88. Source DG, issue of Aug. 21, 1'862. 

89. Source CW, pp. 268, et seq. 

90. Source CG, p. 157. 

91. Source CE, p. 50. 

92. Source CL. 

93. Source CJ. See Appendix for comment on book. 

94. General Wadsworth's letter and- Order No. 175, Source BY, p, 461, Vol. 4, 
Ser. 2. 

95. Sources I, p. 504, Vol. 1, and CY, p. 82. 

96. Source I, p. 504, Vol. 1. 

97. .Source AY, p. 171. 

98. Source DH, p. 218, et seq. 

99. Source CG, p. 157. 

100. Source BY, p. 628, Vol. 5, Ser. 2. 

101. Source CK, p, 21, Vol. 43. 

102. Source DO. 

103. Source H, Chapter V. 

104. Source H, Chapter V: "I Meet Belle Boyd and see Dick in a new Light." 
See p. 337 (Appendix A) for identity of "Nellie Grey." 

105. Letter Sept. 17, 1942, from Executive Officer, VM.I, 

106. Source BX, issue of Nov. 27, 1940. 


107. Source O, p. 70, Vol. 3. 

108. Source BA, p. 203. 

109. Source AR; p. 931, East Tennessee Edition, and p. 921, Knox County Edition. 

110. Source DO. 

111. Source AH, pp. 77-8. 

112. Source Q, .p. 400 (Journal of S. W. Hardinge). 

113. Source AC (Entry of June 9, 1863). 

114. Source BP, Vol. 3. 

115. Source Y, >p, 166L. 

116. Source BN 'lists this officer. 

117. Source DW. Item is quoted from a clipping, bearing neither date nor name of 
newspaper, pasted inside cover of Belle Boyd's personal copy of her book. 
Believed to be from the Toledo Commercial. Belle Boyd toured Ohio extensive- 
ly in the winter of 1897-98. 

118. Source BN, p. 52, 

119. Source V, pp. 195-6. 

120. Sources AW, p. 405, and AX, p. 4SO, Vol. 2. 

121. Sources BY, p. 992, Vol. 8, Ser. 2, and DG, issue of Oct. 3, 1863. 

122. Source AL, p. 975, Vol. 1. For Major Turner's extensive activities, Source BY. 

123. Source B (letter of Apr. 6, 1942). 

124. Magazine article, Source CQ, p. 507. Col. Colby's record, Sources BY, p. 28, 
Part 2, Vol. 25, Ser. 1, and BT, p. 3'262, Vol. 4. 

125. Source Q, p. 425. 

126. Source AF, p. 272. 

127. Source AL, Vol. 1. 

128. Source AT, p. 1<90. 

129. Source AL, p. 734, Vol. 1. 

130. Source CA, p. 106. 

131. Sources AF, pp. 281-3, and CY, ,p. 83. 

132. Source X, ,p. 584, general text, and .p. 3, Appendix. 

133. Source CA, p. 2. 

134. Source BZ, p. 613, Vol. 2, Ser. 1, p>. 539, Vol. 9, Ser. 1, and p. 214, Vol. 21, 
Ser. 1. 

135. Records of Commander Almy and Lt. Kempff", Source BI, p. 23, and p. 310. 

136. Sources CY, p. 86, and AF, p. 283. 

137. -Source CA, p. 2, et seq. 

13S. Source BZ, p. 687, Vol. 27, Ser. 1. 

139. Commander Almy's report, Source BZ, p. 42, Vol. 10, Ser. 1. Lt. Bier's record, 
Source BI, p. 57. 

140. Source GK, ,p. 166, Vol. 38. 

141. Source DY 

142. Source BI, $>. 531. 

143. Source BI, pi. 458. 

144. Hardinge was an Acting Ensign. Source BI, p. 245. 

145. Source BI, p. 210. 

146. Source BV shows run of play began May 16th. 

147. Source DW. Mrs. Michael has 'a newspaper dipping relating this story which 
lacks name, town and exact date of paper but ^ves a Boston, March 8th date- 
line. Year is (probably 1914 as item says incident happened half a century 

NOTES 235 

148. Source BY, p. 525, Vol. 3, Ser. 4, shows the Bat was bought in England about 
July 1, 1864. Source BZ, -p. 547, Vol. 10, Ser. 1, shows' it was captured on 
first westward trip Oct. 10, 1864 by U. S. S. Montgomery. 

149. Source A (letter of April 17, 1942 from Captain D. W. Knox, U.S.N., Office 
of Naval Records and Library). 

150. Same as Note 149. Further, Source BI, p. 245, states dismissal was July 6, 1864. 

151. Same as Note 149. 

152. Source BB, p. 167, et seq. 

153. Source AD as to James Williams. Source AR, p. 920, (Knox County Edition), 
shows S. B. Boyd as Asylum trustee and holding other offices. 

154. Source AD, and Confederate roster, Source CK, Vol. 3, as to John- L. O'Sullivan. 
Capture and execution of William Boyd, Encyclopedia Britannica, p. 993, Vol. 3. 

155. Source CQ, .p. 508. 

156. Source BU, issues of Feb. 8 and 9, 1865. 

157. Data on Miss Jones and Mr. Montgomery from various press dippings about 
them in Theatrical Section, N. Y, Public Library. 

158. Data on Belle Boyd's theatrical career from obituary, Source BQ, June 23, 1900. 
For J. P. Smith, see obituary, New 'York Dramatic Mirror 9 Nov. 20, 1897. 

159. Source BU, Jan. 7 and 8, 1868. 

160. Source N, p. 298, Vol. '8. Performance also mentioned Source F, p. 452, Vol. 2. 

16 1. Source S. For text of play, see Plays for the College Theatre published by 
Samuel French, N. Y. City, 1932. 

162. Obituary, Source BU, Dec. 18, 1932. 

163. Obituary, Source BQ, June 23, 1900. 

164. Sources BK, p. 333, Vol. 2, and BM, pp. 53-54. 

165. Obituary, Source BU, Dec. 18, 1932. 

166. Source C (letter of Adjutant General, Jul. 20, 1942). 

167. Source DP (divorce decree), in 1 Mrs. Michael's possession. 

168. Communications of Nov. 26 and Dec. 22, 1943 from F. M. Wilcox, State 
Librarian, Texas State -Library, Austin, Texas. 

169. Source DW. Wording from existing 1896 handbill. 

170. C. K. Bell data, Source U, p. 689, and 1906 Texan gubernatorial campaign 
records. W. S. Bell data from The History of Hamilton County and Chattanooga, 
Tennessee-, Lookout Publishing Co., Chattanooga, Term., 1931, p. 304, Vol. 1. 
For descent of C. K. Bell's mother (-Elizabeth Douglass Keith) from Rev. James 
Keith and Mary Isham Randolph (-grandparents of Chief Justice Marshall), see 
ip. 79, The Keith Genealogy, by J. Montgomery Seaver; Genealogical Research 
and Publishing Co., Phik., Pa., 19?0. 

171. Source DW. Dates of newspaper items cannot be given as material is taken 
from undated copies in Mr. High's handwriting on reverse sid-e of a "Belle 
Boyd" letterhead- on which he began a letter to his mother Jan. 23, 1898 from 
Washington Court House, Ohio. Mrs. Michael has this sheet. 

172. Source DW. Originals of Kentucky and Ohio testimonials, and handbill quot- 
ing Georgia credentials are in Mrs, Michael's possession. 

173. Source DW. Clippings in Mrs. Michael's records. 

174. Source DW, Mrs. Michael has original telegram. 

175. Source DW. Clipping Mrs. Michael has does not give name of paper or date, 
but refers to death gf Belle Boyd "last week." 

176. Source T. 

177- Source BD, Note 35, p. 374, Vol. 1. 

178. Sources I, p. 504, Vol. 1, and BD, pp. 377-78, Vol. I, including Note 42. 


(All data concerning Belle Boyd, or statements ascribed to her, and 
not attributed in the Notes to other sources, are based upon or taken 
from her original work, Source Q.) 

/. Government Agencies 




//. Printed Works, and Newspapers 

John A. Cutchins; Garrett & Massie; Richmond, Va., 1934. 

E. A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE, by William N. McDonald ; pub- 
lished by Mrs. 'Kate S. McDonald, Baltimore, Md., 1907. 

F. A HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK STAGE, by T. A. Browne; Dodd, Mead 
& Co., N. Y. City, 1903. 

TRY, by Lt. Col. (Brevet Brigadier General) Franklin Sawyer; Fair- 
banks & Co., Cleveland, O., 1881. 

H. A VIRGINIA GIRL IN THE CIVIL WAR, 1861-65. Edited by Myrta Lockett 
Avary. Published by D. Appleton & Co., N. Y. City, 1903. 

I. ABRAHAM LINCOLN THE WAR YEARS, by Carl Sandburg; Harcourt, 
Brace & Co., N. Y. City, 1939. 

J. ALER'S HISTORY OF MARTINSBURG, by F. V. Aler; The Mail Publishing 
Co., Hagerstown, Md., 1888. 

K. AMERICAN BASTILE, by John A. Marshall; Thos. W. Hartley, Phila., 
Pa., 1872. 

L. AMERICAN STATE PAPERS, published by Galey & Seaton, Washington, 
D. C, 1832. 

M. AMERICAN UNION. A newspaper issued in July, 1861, by 'The Division 
of the American Army under Major General Patterson." 

N. ANNANS OF THE NEW YORK STAGE, by Geo. C. D. Odd!; Columbia 
University Press, N. Y. City, 1927-42. 

N. Y, City, 1888. 


Leonora W. Wood; The Mountain Echo, Keyser, West Va., 1940, 

Q. BELLE BOYD IN CAMP AND PRISON, by Belle Boyd; Blelock & Co., 
N. Y. City, 1865 and 1867. 


Warren Rifles Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Front 
Royal, Va., 1936. 

S. BELLE LAMAR. Play by Dion Boucicault. 

T. BELLE STARR, by Burton Rascoe; Random House, N. Y. City, 1941. 


Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C, 1928. 

V. BORDER AND BASTILLE, by Geo. A. Lawrence; W. I. Pooley & Co., 
N. Y. City, 1863 (?). 


X. BUTLER'S BOOK, by B. F. Butler; A. M. Thayer & Co., Boston, Mass., 

Dyer Publishing Co., Des Moines, la., 1908. 

Z. DAILY REGISTER, Knoxville, Tennessee. 

A A. DESTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION, by Richard Taylor; D. Appleton 
& Co., N. Y. City, 1879. 

AB. DIARY OF A SOUTHERN REFUGEE, by "a lady of Virginia" (Mrs. J. W. 
McGuire) ; E. J. Hale & Son, N. Y. City, 1867. 

AC. DIARY OF LUCY REBECCA BUCK, 1861-1865; privately reproduced; 
copyrighted 1940. 

City, 1928-37. 

AE. EVENING JOURNAL, Martinsburg, West Va. 

AF. FORGOTTEN LADIES, by R. L. Wright; J. B. Lippincott & Co., Phila.> 
Pa., 1928. 

AG. FOUR YEARS IN REBEL CAPITALS, by T. C. De Leon ; Gossip Printing 
Co., Mobile, Ala., 1890. 

AH. FOUR YEARS IN THE SADDLE, by Harry Gilmor; Harper & Bros., N. Y. 
City, 1866. 


Smyth; New Era Printing Co., Lancaster, Pa., 1909. 


Boudrye; S. R. Gray, Albany, N. Y., 1865. 


AK. HISTORIC SHEPHERDSTOWN, by Danske Dandridge; The Michie Co., 
Charlottesville, Va., 1910. 


1903), by Francis B. Heitman; Government Printing Office, Washing- 
ton, D. C, 1903. 


by Francis B. Heitman, The Rare Book Shop Publishing Co., Inc., 
Washington, D. C, 1914. 


of Martinsburg; printed privately in 1928. 

ernment Printing Office, Washington, D. C, 1894. 


Jefferson Publishing Co., Charles Town, West Va., 1941. 

Bates; B. Singerley, Harrisburg, Pa., 1869-71. 

AR. HISTORY OF TENNESSEE (Knox County and East Tennessee Editions) ; 
The Goodspeed Publishing Co., Nashville, Tenn., 1887. 


John P. Smith Printing Co., Rochester, N. Y., 1912. 


Franklin Printing Co., Phila., Pa., 1902. 


Reader; Daily News, New Brighton, Pa., 1890. 


Major John M. Gould; Stephen Berry, Portland, Me., 1871. 


NEW YORK, by Wm. Swinton; C. T. Dillingham, N. Y. City, 1886. 


Clark; The Seventh Regiment, N. Y. City, 1890. 

AY. HISTORY OF u. s. SECRET SERVICE, by General L. C. Baker; L. C. Baker, 
Phila., Pa., 1867. 

AZ. HOW A ONE LEGGED REBEL LIVES, by John S. Robson; The Educator 
, Co., Durham, N. C., 1898. 

BA. i RODE WITH STONEWALL, by Henry Kyd Douglas ; University of North 
Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, N. C, 1940. 

BB. KING COTTON DIPLOMACY, by F. L. Owsley, University of Chicago 
Press, 1931. 

BC. KITH AND KIN, by Anna Eliza Sampson; The Wm. Byrd Press, Rich- 
mond, Va., 1922. 


BD. LEE'S LIEUTENANTS, by Douglas Southall Freeman; Charles Scribner's 
Sons, N. Y. City, 1942. 

GINIA, by Carrie Hunter Willis and Etta Belle Walker; The Dietz 
Press, 'Richmond, Va., 1937. 


Putnam's Sons, N. Y. City, 1915. 

BH. LINEAGE BOOK, Daughters of the American Revolution. 


1900. Edited by E. W. Callahan; L. R. Hamersly & Co., N. Y. City, 


by Massachusetts Adjutant General's Office; Norwood Press, Norwood, 
Mass., 1931. 

ville, Tenn. 


VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, by Thos, Kirwan and Henry Splaine; Salem 
Press, Salem, Mass., 1911. 


C. M. Keyes; Register Steam Press, Sandusky, O., 1874. 
BO. MIRROR-GAZETTE, Kilbourn, Wis. 


N. Y. City, 1898-1938. 


BT. NEW YORK IN THE WAR OF THE REBELLION ; compiled by Frederick 
Phisterer, N. Y. Adjutant General's Office; J. B. Lyon Co., Albany, 
N. Y., 1912. 






OF THE RFBELLION; U. S. War Department; Government Printing 
Office, Washington, D. C, 1880-1901. 



WAR OF THE REBELLION; U. S. Navy Department; Government Print- 
ing Office, Washington, D. C, 1894-1919. 

CA. OBSERVATIONS IN THE NORTH, by Edw. A. Pollard; E. W. Ayres, 
Richmond, Va., 1865. 



Hartford, Conn., 1868. 

CE. PRISON LIFE IN THE OLD CAPITOL, by J. J. Williamson ; West Orange, 
N. J., 1911. 

hache & Co., Springfield, III, 1867. 

CG. REVEILLE IN WASHINGTON, by Margaret Leech; Harper & Bros., N. Y. 
City, 1941. 



CJ. SECRET SERVICE OPERATOR 13, by Robert W. Chambers; D. Appleton- 
Century Co., N. Y. City, 1934. 

B. F. Johnson Publishing Co. 

CL. SPECIAL MESSENGER, by Robert W. Chambers; D. Appleton & Co., 
N. Y. City, 1909. 

CM. SPY OF THE REBELLION, by Allan Pinkerton; G. W. Carleton & Co., 
N. Y. City, 1883. 

son; Longmans, Green & Co., London and N, Y. City, 1936. 

CO. STONEWALL JACKSON'S WAY, by John W. Wayland; The McClure Co., 
Staunton, Va., 1940. 

CP. SWORDS AND ROSES, by Joseph Hergesheimer; A. A. Knopf, N. Y. 
City and London, 1929- 

CQ. THE ANNALS OF THE WAR; Times Publishing Co., Phila., Pa., 1879. 

CR. THE BOYD FAMILY; compiled and published by Scott Lee Boyd, Santa 
Barbara, Cal., 1935. 

doah Publishing House, Strasburg, Va., 1925. 


Rev. Jas. B. Avirett, et al, Selby & Dulany, Baltimore, Md., 1867. 
THE MORNING POST, London, England. 



Review of Reviews Co., N. Y. City, 1912. 

IW. THE PRISONER OF STATE, by Dermis A. Mahony; G. W. Carleton & 
Co., N. Y. City, 1863. 

CX. THE REBELLION RECORD, by Frank Moore; D. Van Nostrand, N. Y. 
City, 1864-68. 

CY. THE SHENANDOAH AND ITS BYWAYS, by W. O. Stevens; Dodd, Mead 
& Co., N. Y. City, 1941. 


Dr. Chas. E. Taylor; Vol. 2, No. 11, North Carolina Booklet; Capital 
Printing Co., Hamlet, N. C., 1903. 

DA. THE SPY IN AMERICA, by Geo. S. Bryan; J. B. Lippincott & Co., Phila., 
Pa., 1943. 

DB. THE VALLEY CAMPAIGNS, by Dr. Thos. A. Ashby; The Neale Publish- 
ing Co., N. Y. City, 1914. 


Patton; Garrett & Massie, Richmond, Va., 1936. 

by Geo. Barton; The Page Co., Boston, Mass., 1917. 

DF. VIRGINIA CALENDAR OF STATE PAPERS ; Public Printer, Richmond, Va., 
1785, on. 


DH. WEARING OF THE GRAY, by Col. John Esten Cooke; E. B. Treat & Co., 
N. Y. City, 1867. 


Workers of Writers Program, W.P.A. in West Virginia. Published 
by Oxford University Press, N. Y. City, 1941. 

III. Miscellaneous Records and Papers 
DJ. Will of James Glenn, Will Book 7, Charles Town, West Va. 

DK. Marriage Records, Samuel Boyd-Mary Stephenson, 1798 and John 
Boyd-Isabella Stephenson, 1803, Martinsburg, West Va. 

DL, Family records of Tennessee Boyds from Mrs. C. F. Wayland, 
(Genealogist) and Mrs. Mary Reed Boyd Birdsong, Knoxville, Tenn. 

DM. Letter from Captain R. T. Morrison, Luray, Va., June 30, 1942, re- 
garding Judge and Mrs. James E. Stewart and their daughter Alice. 


DN. Letter, May 16, 1942, from Secretary of Equality Lodge 44 (Old No. 
136) showing B. R. Boyd a member when Turner Ashby became a 
member of this -Masonic Lodge. 

DO. Letter of Mrs. Sue Boyd Barton to Miss Mary Nelson, March 11, 1932, 
in McGlung Historical Room, Lawson McGhee Library, Knoxville, 
Tenn., relating to Belle Boyd visit in 1863. 

DP. Decree of divorce, Mrs. Hammond vs John S. Hammond, November 
1, 1884, United States District Court, Dallas, Tex. 

DQ. Will of Lt.-Col. James Reed, Dec. 7, 1796, Adams County Court 
House, Gettysburg, Pa. (Will lists only five sons, but James and 
Joseph, two additional sons, were then dead.) 

DR. Will of Major James R. Reed, probated April 30, 1790, Cumberland 
County, Pa., Book A, p. 177. 

DS. Chart of descendants of James Reed, (1710-1799), drawn in 1933 by 
William B. Reed of Chevy Chase, Md. 

DT. Greenway Genealogical Collection, Maryland Historical Society, Balti- 
more, Md. (Reed line.) 

DU. Miscellaneous Letters, C-H, Force Manuscripts, Hazen vs Reid, 1783 ; 
Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. 

DV. "Reminiscences of Judge John Reed"; Vol. xx, July 1928, The Reade 
Record of The Reade Society, Old State House, Boston, Mass. 

IV. Individuals 

DW. Mrs. A. Michael, daughter of Belle Boyd. 
DX. Miss Rebecca Peterman, Martinsburg, West Va. 

DY. Lawrence L. Priestman, Peru, Illinois, who has supplied text of letter 
written by his father, Lawrence Priestman., on May 15, 1864.' 


IN the preparation of this work, the task of gathering data has been 
most congenial. No writer has ever had more spontaneous, generous, 
and helpful cooperation. 

In New York, the facilities of the American History Room of the 
New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Public Library, the New York 
Historical Society, and the Library of Columbia University were in- 
valuable. And Mrs. Michael, the well-informed daughter of Belle 
Boyd, contributed much material from her own recollections and her 
mother's papers. 

Elsewhere, the following organizations provided information from 
their records, and many offered valuable suggestions as to its signifi- 
cance: the State Historical Societies of Maryland, Massachusetts, and Wis- 
consin, the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio, The National 
Archives, the War Department, the Navy Department, the State 
Archives of Pennsylvania, the State Libraries of Massachusetts, Texas, 
and Virginia, the General Library of the University of Michigan, the 
National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, 'the 
Simon Harris Chapter of that Society in Knoxville, Tenn., the Old 
Charles Town (West Va.) Library, the Kilbourn (Wisconsin Dells) 
Public Library, the Local History and Genealogy Room of the Toledo 
Public Library, the Telegraph-Herald of Dubuque, la., the American 
Antiquarian Society, and the Lawson McGhee Library of Knoxville, 
Tenn. To Miss Martha L. Ellison, Head, McClung Historical Room, 
Law&on McGhee Library, the author is particularly indebted for making 
available Sue Boyd's 1932 letter about Belle Boyd, and for much other 
gracious and thoughtful assistance. 

In diverse ways, the following persons have also made available 
much useful material: Robert L. Rowland, Esq., of Tulsa, Okla., Miss 
Rebecca Peterman and Mr. O. L. Snyder of Martinsburg, West Va., 
Mr. and Mrs. John Burns Earle of Milldale, Va., Mrs. C. F. Wayland 
(genealogist) and Mrs. A. S. Birdsong of Knoxville, Tenn., Hon. J. 
Glenn Beall of Frostburg, Md., Mrs. M. S. R. Moler of Shepherdstown, 
West Va., Miss Elizabeth R. Millar, Hon. Stephen D. Boyd, and Mr. 
Hugh E. Naylor, of Front Royal, Va., Captain R. T. Morrison of Luray, 
Va., Colonel Bryan Conrad of Richmond, Va., Mrs. E. G. Wilson of 
Charles Town, West Va., Mr. J. K. Deming of Dubuque, la., Mrs. 


C. E. Bilheimer of Gettysburg, Pa., Mr. William B. Reed of Chevy 
Chase, Md., Mr. Lewis D. Fort of Whitehaven, Tenn., and Dr. John 
W. Wayland of Harrisonburg, Va. 

The courtesy of The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel 
Hill, North Carolina, owners of copyright in / Rode with Stonewall by 
Henry Kyd Douglas, has made it possible to quote from that notable 
work as to the role of Belle Boyd at the battle of Front Royal. Similarly, 
as to A Virginia Girl in the Civil War, 1861-65, edited by Myrta 
Lockett Avary, both the D. Appleton-Century Company of New York 
City and Mrs. Avary have granted permission to use material from the 
noted memoirs of "Nellie Grey." 





Academy of Music, 187. 
"A.C.C.", 26, 27, 192, 193, 209. 
Adams, C. Warren, 176. 
Aikens, Mr., 102. 
Albany, Bishop of, 192. 
Aldie, 54. 
Allen, Col., 102. 
Almy, John J., 152, 153, 156, 160, 161, 

162, 210, 211. 
American Hotel, 119. 
American Legion, 202. 
American Unwn, The, 13, 15, 211. 
Antietam, 104. 
Appomattox, 165, 209. 
Articles of War, 18 } 19, 100. 
Ashby, Thomas A., 58, 6Q, 61, 62, 69, 

111, 207, 226. 
Ashby, Turner, 6, 12, 24, 28, 29, 34, 35, 

36, 46, 54, 70, 92, 212, 229. 
Ashby's Gap, 54. 
Associated Press, 43, 56, 57, 92, 102, 

136, 165, 166, 209. 
Atlanta, 146, 197: 
Atlanta. Constitution, 198. 
Augusta, 146. 

109, 226. 
Avon Theatre, 187. 


Baker, Bowling, 136. 

Baker, Eliza ('Reed), 2, 219. 

Baker, -Lafayette C., 73, 78, 79, 80, 8-1, 

82, 101, 138, 139, 210, 226. 
Baker, Samuel, 2. 
Ballard House, 103. 
Baltimore, 4, 6, 3>1, 32, 109, 123, 143, 

179, 180, 189, 192, 193, 224. 
Banks, Nathaniel B., 35, 36, 37, 38, 3-9, 

43, 45, 46, 47, 53, 54, 55, 56, 59, 88, 

91, 92, 189. 
Bannon, Captain, 31. 
Bar, Ben de, 187^ 
Barber, Henry 'H* 176. 
Barton, Alvin, 193. 
Barton, Mrs. Alvin (Susan Boyd), 116, 

117, 122,, 128, 183, 193, 197, 210, 

222, 223. 
Bat, The, 167. 
Bateman, H. L., 186, 187, 188. 

Bateman, Kate, 186. 

Battle House, 117. 

Beal, George L., 41, 42, 43, 44. 

Beauregard, Pierre G. T., 24, 99, 118, 

207, 214, 215. 
"Bel Demonio," 161. 
Bell, Charles K., 197, 223, 224. 
Bell, William S., 65, 191, 223, 224. 
Bell Family Genealogy, 223, 224. 
"Belle Boyd Cottage," 33,. 34, 40, 52, 

56, 61, 62. 

C. S. A., 226. 

175, 185, 207, 208, 209, 212, 214, 

215, 217. 

SHENANDOAH, 62, 226. 
"Belle Lamar," 189. 
Benjamin, Judah OP., 176. 
Benjamin, Nina, (Belle Boyd) 4, 189, 

190, 191. 

Bennett, Lee, 206. 

Bennett, Mrs. Lee, (See Grace Hardinge) 
Berkeley County, 5, 11, 26, 220, 222. 
Bermuda, 153. 
Berryville, 29. 
Bidwell, David, 190. 
Bier, George H., 148, 149, 150, 151, 

152, 153, 155, 157, 158, 159, 160, 

161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 

16, 170, 171, 172, 174, 183, 185, 

210, 211. 

Bier, Mrs. G. H., 174. 
Birdsong, Mary Reed oyd, 197, 223. 
Blackford, Dr., 30. 
Blount, William, 115. 
Blount Mansion, 115, 116, 117, 177, 222. 
Blue Ridge Mountains, 3, 4, 9, 22, 45, 

55, 114, 199. 
Bogardus, Dr., 9. 
Bolivar Hill, 24. 
Boone, Mrs., 30. 
Booth, John W., 79. 
Booth's Theatre, 189. 
Borcke, Heros von, 60. 
Boston, 152, 153, 158, 160, 161, 164, 

165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 

178, 179, 209, 210. 
Boston Her&ld, 198. 
Boston Navy Yard, 162, 169. 
Boston Post, 164, 165, 210. 
Boston Theatre, 187. 
Boucicauk, Dion, 189. 



Bowery, The, 188. 

Boyd, Belle: (Includes references to her 
as Mrs. S. W. Hardinge, Mrs. John 
S. Hammond, and Mrs. N. R. High. 
Separate references under "Nina Benja- 
min" and "Mrs. (Lewis.") 

Meets George Sala, v; childhood 
mischief, 1-2; birth, 2, 224; Bunker 
Hill and Martinsburg homes, 2-4; edu- 
cation, 4; her friends, the Petermans, 
4-5; social life in Washington, 5-6; 
ancestors, 5, 9-11; views on secession, 
6; raises funds for father's regiment, 8; 
shocks Marunsburg and Front Royal 
ladies, 8-9; at Harper's Ferry, 11; first 
clash with Federals, 12; shoots Federal 
soldier, 13-15; engages in undercover 
activities, taken into custody, repri- 
manded, and released, 17-20; personal 
description, and characteristics, 21-22; 
hospital matron, 22-23; Confederate 
courier and blockade runner, 23-27; 
arrest at Winchester, 31-32; release, 
32; overhears Shields' staff council, 34; 
rides with news to Ashby, 34-35; runs 
Union .picket lines with Confederate 
messages and is arrested with Lt. H., 
38-44, under re across Front Royal 
battlefield with intelligence for "Stone- 
wall" Jackson, 45-51 ; thanked by Jack- 
son, 52; effect of her information, 53- 
55; arrest -by Kimball and release by 
Shields, 56, 58; visits Capt. Keily at 
Ashby home, 60-61; entrusts message 
for General Jackson to Union scout, 
62-64 ; urged to leave Front Royal, 65 ; 
arrested by order of Secretary of War, 
66-67; removed to Old Capitol Prison 
in Washington, 68-74; newspaper com- 
ments, 74-75; defies inquisitors Wood 
and Baker, 78-81; comments by Wash- 
ington Star, 84-85; communicates with 
other prisoners, 85-86, 89; War De- 
partment investigates violation of its 
close custody order, 85-87; comments 
by Major Doster, 87-88; impresses fel- 
low-prisoners, 90-94; conflict with 
guards, 94-95 ; trousseau and fiance, 88, 
95-97; sent South, 98-99; comment on 
her release, 100-101 ; to Richmond and 
Martinsburg, 102-104; gift from fel- 
low-prisoners, 104; calls on General 
Jackson, 104; reception by him, 104- 
106; captain and aide-de-camp, 106; 
gives bare-footed Confederate, her shoes, 
107; stops at Mrs. Rixey's and rooms 
with Nellie Grey, 108-111; her kind- 
ness to Dick Grey, 110-111; General 
Jackson suggests she go to Tennessee, 

112-114; visits Tennessee kinsfolk, 115- 
117; Knoxville citizens serenade her, 
and General "J" speaks for her, 115- 
116; her cousin Sue recalls her Knox- 
ville stay, 116-117; displays her uni- 
form as captain, 117; visits other 
Southern States, 117; notified of Gen- 
eral Jackson's death, 117-118; dines 
with General Beauregard, 118; follows 
Southern forces northward, 119-122; 
tries to join Major Gilmor's scout, 
119-120; Gilmor's estimate of her, 
120; views Winchester battle and 
reaches Martinsfourg, 120-121; alleged 
notations by her on Chancery records, 
122; nurses Gettysburg woomded, 123; 
General Kelly sends Major GofT to 
question her, 123-124; Capt. Kellogg 
arrests her, 125; Secretary Stanton 
orders her removal to Washington, 
125-126; reminisces with Captain Kel- 
logg and others, 126; back in Old 
Capitol Prison, 127; mistaken for 
Lawrence's "Lady of the Rose," 127- 
129; exchanges messages with an 
archer, 129-130: communicates with 
fellow-prisohers, 130-131; meets Ida 3?., 
131; provokes guards, 131-132; illness, 
132; meets "Annie Jones" again, 132; 
leave to walk in Capitol Square granted 
and withdrawn, 132-133; helps prison- 
ers escape, 134-135; Major Turner con- 
ducts proceedings against her, 135; 
hard labor sentence modified to banish- 
ment, 135-136; request to see father 
denied, 136; leaves Washington, 136; 
comment on her detention, 136-138; 
legend that President Lincoln com- 
muted her sentence, 138-139; rebukes 
General Butler, 140-142, 145; contra- 
band in her baggage, 143-144; en route 
to Richmond, 145; her father's death, 
145-146; d-reams of General Jackson, 
146; becomes bearer of dispatches, 
147; sails for England, 148-150; Grey- 
hound captured by U. S. S. Connecticut, 
150-154; meets Sam Hardinge, 156- 
157; via Fortress Monroe to New York 
and Boston, 157-163; Hardinge courts 
her, proposes, and is accepted, 157-158, 
162; helps Captain "Henry" escajpe, 
162-163; interviewed by Boston Post? 
164-1-65; Captain Rlfd's legend of her 
escape, 166-167; writes Secretary of 
Navy demanding release, 168; Govern- 
ment orders her removal to Canada, 
169; comment on her release, 171-173; 
stay in Canada, 174; reports to Henry 
Hotze in London and is jejoined by 



Hardinge, 174-175; marries Hardinge, 
175-176; guests, and newspaper ac- 
counts, 175-178; her husband's arrest 
and imprisonment, 179-183; in need 
in London, 184-185; writes her book, 
185-186; daughter Grace born, 186, 
starts stage career, 186-187; on stage 
in United States, 187-190; Bouckault's 
play "Belle Lamar" based on her war 
adventures, 188-189; retires from stage, 
19'0; marries John S. Hammond, 19 1 !; 
family life, children and other descend- 
ants, 192-194, 205-206; divorces Ham- 
mond, 193; Martinsburg version of 
marital difficulties, 194; marries Nat 
R. High, 195; begins dramatic recitals, 
195; nature of recitals, tours, creden- 
tials, and audience and press reactions, 
195-199; dies, 200; funeral services 
and burial, 200-201 ; yearly Memorial 
Day ceremony, 202; press comment, 
202; Belle Starr legend, 203-204;--* 
theatrical training and careers of her 
daughters, 205-206; review of, and 
comment on, posthumous discussion, 
criticism, and assessment of Belle Boyd, 
207-209, 213-217; resume" of evidence 
supporting her story, 209-211; lack of 
evidence that General Jackson wrote her, 
211-212; actual discrepancies in her 
book, 212-213; verdict of two histor- 
ians, 217; probable verdict of history, 
217-218; her last words, 218; family 
genealogy, 219, et seq. 

Boyd, Benjamin R., 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, 
13, 15, 28, 29, 47, SI, 116, 121, 122, 
123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 136, 145, 
146, 147, 178, 189, 199, 220, 221, 
222, 224. 

Boyd, lElisha, 75. - 

Boyd, Isabella ('Stephenson), 2, 115, 220, 

221, 222. 

Boyd, Isabella Reed (Wife of Merchant 

S. B. (Boyd), 115, 223, 224. 
Boyd, John, 2, 115, 220, 221, 222. 
Boyd, Maria (Stephenson), 2, 5, 115, 

177, 220, 221, 2'2,2. 
Boyd, Mary (Glenn), 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 

11, 14, 23, 28, 31, 32, 33, 38, 72, 74, 

75, 108, 116, 123, 124, 125, 126, 146, 

168, 171, 179, 180, 181, 211, 216, 

22-0, 221, 222. 
Boyd, Mary (sister of Belle Boyd). 

See Mrs. O. W. Rowland. 
Boyd, Samuel, 2, 5, 220, 221, 222. 
Boyd, Samuel B. (Merchant), 115, 177, 

222, 223, 224. 

Boyd, Samuel B. (Tud-ge), 115, 116, 177, 
210, 211, 222, 223. 

Boyd, Mrs, (Judge) S. B., (Susan H. 

Mason), 115, 116, 117, 222. 
"Boyd, Sarah" (See Mrs. H.W.Mowery) 
Boyd, Stephen D. (Commissioner), 65, 


Boyd, Stephen D. (Courier), 65, 66. 
Boyd, Susan, (See Mrs. Alvin Barton.) 
Boyd, William (brother of Belle Boyd), 

4, 222. 

Boyd, William (lEariofKilmamock), 178. 
Boyd Family Genealogy (Martinsburg), 

221, 222. 

Boyd Family Genealogy (Knoxville), 

222, 223. 

Boyd store (Bunker Hill), 3, 4. 

Boyd store (Martinsburg), 3, 8. 

Boydville, 75. 

Boyds of Ayr, Scotland, 5, 75, 221. 

Bragg, Braxton, 116. 

Broadway, 166. 

Brooklyn, 179, 183, 188. 

Brooklyn Theatre, 188. 

Brougham, John 1 , 161. 

Browne, T. A., 208. 

Browmown, 38, 66. 

Brunswick Hotel, v, 176. 

Buck, Lucy -R., 9, 30, 39, 52, 57, 69, 122, 

209, 210, 225. 

Bull Run, 16, 20, 22, 93, 154 
Bunker Hill, 2, 3, 4, 105, 213, 215. 
Burke Street, East, 3, 4. 
Burns, Hope, 212. 
Burns, Ruth, ('See Glenn.) 
Burns Family Genealogy, 219. 
Burnside, Ambrose 'E., 108. 
Buskirk, van, J. M., 87. 
Butler, Benjamin F., 140, 141, 142, 143, 
, 144, 145. 15-3, 159, 160, 161, 207, 214. 
Butterfield (Mansion, 192. 

C, Lieutenant, 121, 182. 

Calhoun, John C., 77, 82. 

Campbell, James, 2. 

Canal Street, 161. 

Capitol Square, 132, 133. 

Carrington, Edward, 10. 

Carroll Prison, 77, 127, 135, 137, l&l, 

182, 202. 

Cassels, John, 140, 143, 144, 145. 
Centreville, 54. 

Chambers, Robert W., 96, 127, 226. 
Chambersburg, 28. 
Chanceilorsville, 117. 
Chancery Book No. 1122. 
Charles Town, 11, 116, 216. 
Charleston, 118, 167. 
Charlottesville, 65, 108, 111, 112. 



Chase, Charles W., 206. 

Chattanooga, 65, 197, 223. 

Chester Gap, 36. 

Chicago, 200, 206. 

Cincinnati, 189, 190. 

Cincinnati, Society of the, 19, 219. 

Cipher, Confederate Army, 34, 228-230. 

Cky Point, 136, 144, 145. 

Clarke, A. W., 47, 57. 


Clifton House, 174. 

Colby, N. T., 137, 138, 210. 

Collingswood, 206. 

Columbia University, 188. 

Confederate Army cipher, 34, 228-230. 

Confederate Association of Kentucky, 198. 

"Connactuca," 178. 

Connecticut, U. S. S., 152, 153, 154, 

155, 156, 157, 15'8, 159, 160, 210, 211. 
Constantinople, 175. 
Cooke, John E., 101. 
Cooper, Alex, 2, 220. 
Cooper, Maria (.Reed), 2, 219, 220. 
Corcoran, Michael, 99. 
Corinth, 57. 

Corsey, Eliza (See Hopewell). 
Cridge, Detective, 67, 68, 70, 72, 73, 

88, 100. 

Crimean War, 191. 
Cuba, The, 183. 
Culloden, 178. 
Culpeper Court House, 22, 107, 108, 111, 

113, 114, 226. 

D - 

Daily Register (Knoxville), 15, 115, 116, 

209, 210. 

Daily Telegraph (London), v. 
Dallas, 193, 194. 
Dallas Herald, 194. 
Dallas Historical Society, 194. 
Dallas Morning News, 194. 
Dallas Public Library, 194. 
Darke, William, 10, 15, 16. 
Darkesville, 15, 16. 
Darling, Lieutenant, 102. 
Daughter of the Sky, 3. 
Daughter of the Stars, 3, 4. 
D. A. R. (Lineage Book, 224. 
Davis, Jefferson, 24, 26, 80, 89, 102, 147, 

177, 230. 
Dean Castle, 5. 
Decatur, 'Stephen-, 77. 
De. Leon, ."Edwin, 26. 
De Leon, Thomas C, 26, 209. 
Detroit, 203. 


39, 52, 57, 69, 122, 209, 210, 225. 

Dickens, Charles, v. 


208, 213, 214, 215. 

Dix, John A., 31, 32, 98, 100, 102, 142. 
Dodge, Colonel, 32. 
Doll, Betty, 3, 215. 
Doll, Virginia, 3, 215. 
Donegana Hotel, 174. 
Dorsey, Dr., 30. 
Doster, William E., 82, 87, 88, 96, 129, 

131, 138, 210. 
Douglas, Henry K., viii, 7, 8, 9, 11, 48, 

49, 50, 51, 52, 113, 119, 128, 209, 

214, 215, 218. 

Douglas, Mrs. Stephen A., 16. 
Drury Lane Theatre, 187. 
Dubuque, 90, 96. 
Dubuque Herald, 90, 225. 
Duke, Jane, 10. 
Duke, John, 10. 
Duke, Margaret, 10. 
Duryee, Abram, 61. 
Duval, Betty, 23. 

Earle, John Burns, 112, 221. 
Earle, Mrs. John B., 97. 
Earle, Susan, ((See Glenn.) 
Early, Jubal A., 120. 
Eden, -Garden of, 3. 
Episcopal Church (Kilfoourn), 200. 
Equality /Lodge (Masonic Order), 28. 
Eufaula, 197. 
""Euphrates," 3. 
Eutaw House, 32. 
Evans, Clement A., 198. 
Evans, Willis, 26.' 

Ewell, R. S., 3*6, 39, 45, 46, 48, 50, 54, 
89, 100, 119, 120, 189, 208, 209. 

F., Dr., 132. 

Fairchilds, John B., 125, 126. 

"Faint Heart -Never Won Fair Lady," 188. 

Fairfax Court House, 101. 

Falling Waters, 11. 

Farragut, -David G., 140. 

Faulkner, Charles J., 2, 75, 91, 202. 

Faulkner, Mrs. C. J., 75, 91. 

Fauquier County, 28. 

Fearon, Captain, 175. 

Fillebrown, James S., 32, 41. 

Fishback's, 3-0. 

Fisher's Gap, 114. 

Fitchburg Jail, 136, 168. 

Fitzhugh, Norman R., 89, 98, 103. 

"Fleeter," 25. 

Flint Hill, 108. 

Florida Brass Band, 116, 210. 



Floyd, John B., 5, 76. 

Ford, Antonia, 101, 127. 

FORGOTTEN LADIES, 139, 142, 207, 214. 

Forrest Hail, 180. 

Fort Delaware, 112, 121, 179, 181, 182, 

Fort Monroe, 98, 102, 136, 137, 140, 

142, 144, 153, 154, 157, 159, 160, 

172, 207, 214. 
Fort Recovery, 10. 
Fort Warren, 144, 152, 168, 170, 172, 

213, 225. 
Fort Wool, 32. 

Fourth Stub iLegion, 5, 10. 
Fox, Gustavus V., 171. 
Frederick County, 9, 220, 22-1. 
Fredericksburg, 86, 113, 114, 154. 
Freeman, Douglas S., vl, 216, 217. 
Fremont, John C, 36, 47, 54, 55, 189. 
French, S. Bassett, 117-118. 
Frohman, Charles, 205. 
Front Royal, vi, 9, 22, 23, 30, 31, 32, 

33, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 

44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 50, 52, 53, 54, 55, 

56, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, '64, 65, 66, 

67, 85, 92, 100, 119, 120, 122, 124, 

132, 172, 185, 189, 197, 208, 209, 

210, 212, 214, 215, 217, 220, 224, 

225, 226. 
Funchal, 149. 


G., Mrs., 121. 
Galena, U. S. $., 149. 
Galveston, 190. 

Gansevoort, Guert, 159, 160, 162, 170. 
Geary, John W., 35, 36, 38, 39, 43, 47, 

54, 55. 

Gerrardstown, 2. 
Gettysburg, 123, 126, 196, 197, 198, 201, 

219, 220, 221. 
Gilmor, Harry, 22, 24, 63, 66, 70, 106, 

119, 120, 121, 122, 129, 182, 1^3, 

209, 224, 225. 

Glenn, Frances E., (See Stewart.) 
Glenn, James, 3, 5, 9, 10, 11, 15, 23, 

179, 196, 211, 219, 220, 221, 224. 
Glenn, James W., 11, 23, 24, 70, 112, 

196, 220, 221, 224. 
Glenn, Jane (Duke), 10. 
Glenn, Margaret Ann, 10, 11. 
Glenn, Mary R. (See Boyd.) 
Glenn, Ruth (Burns), 10, 30, 33, 38, 

46, 62, 68, 179, 219, 220, 221. 
Glenn, Susan (Earle), 24, 97, 220, 221, 


"Glenn Burnie," 3, 11, 220. 
Glenn Family Genealogy, 2-20. 

GofT, Nathan' (of R.I.), 139. 

Goff, Nathan (of W. Va.), 124, 139. 

Golden Horseshoe, Knights of the, 3. 

Goldsborough, Miss E. W., 143, 144. 

Gooney Manor Road, 39, 46. 

Gordonville, 189. 

Grace Street, 104. . 

Grand Army of the Republic, 198, 200, 
201, 202, 218. 

Grant, Ulysses S., 153, 165. 

Greenleaf, Charley, 53. 

Greenhow, Rose O'Neal, 16, 23, 32, 81, 
86, 99, 172. 

Greenwall, Henry, 190. 

Greenwall, Maurice, 190. 

''Grey, Dan, 109, 226. 

Grey, Dick, 110, 111. 

Grey, Nellie, 109, 110, 111, 226. 

Greyhound, The, 148, 149, 150, 151, 
152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 159, 160, 
161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 
170, 171, 178, 179, 185, 202, 209, 210, 
211, 213, 225. 

Grimes, Ben, 25. 

Guinea Station, 114. 

Gwyn, James, 18, 211, 


H., Lieutenant, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 

172, 185, 209, 211. 
H., C, 130, 134. 
Haddonfield, 206. 
Hagersto-wn, 10, 199, 216. 
Hale, Dr., 87. 
Hall, Mr., 15-8, l&. 
Hammond, Arthur, 191. 
Hammond, Byrd S., (See Mrs. H. "W. 

Mowery) . 

Hammond, John E., 192, 195, 200, 206. 
Hammond, John E. Jr., 206. 
Hammond, John S., 191, 1$>2, 193, 194, 

203, 205, 216, 227. 

Hammond, M<rs.John'tS. (See Belle Boyd.) 
Hammond, Marie Isafoelle, (See Mrs. 


Hammond, Ned B., 206. 
Hampton, Wade, 108. 
Hampton Roads, 159, 160, 171. 
Hanover Junction, 36. 
Hanson, Colonel, 99. 
Happy Creek, 22. 
Hardinge, Grace, 18<S, 187, 193, 194, 195, 

200, 205, 206, 216. 
Hardinge, 'Samuel W., 138, 15-3, 155, 156, 

157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 

167, 168, 1.69, 170, 171, 172, 173, 175, 

176, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 

185, 186, 202, 203, 208, 210, 213,225, 

227. ~ 



Hardinge, Mrs. S. W., (See Belle Boyd.) 

Harper's Ferry, 8, 11, 47, 54, 180. 

Harper's Magazine, 87. 

Harrisonburg, 44, 45, 119. 

Hartingdon, Lord, 107. 

Harvey, Edward R., 176. 

Harvey, Mrs. E. R., 176. 

Hasbrouck, Abram H., 44, 172. 

Hatch, Captain, 145. 

Hayes Post (G.A.R.), R, B., 198. 

Haynie, Polly, 30. 

Hazen, Moses, 19. 

Hedgeville, 125. 

Herald, The (Hagerstown), 216, 

"Henry," Captain, (See George H. Bier.) 

Hergesheimer, Joseph, vii, 113, 225. 

High, Nathaniel R., 195, 197, 200, 203, 

204 223. 

High,' Mrs, *N. R., (See Belle Boyd.) 
High, Nathaniel R. (Reverend), 195. 
Holmes, Lieutenant, 89. 
Holt, Colonel, 72, 73. 
Hopewell, Eliza (Corsey), 12, 13, 17, 

18, 31, 38, 40, 42, 68. 
Hopewell, Samuel, 17. 
Hotze, Henry, 174, 175, 176, 177, 184. 
Houston, 190. 
Hughes, Major, 175. 
Hunter, Moses, 10. 

I RODE WITH STONEWALL, 8, 50, 51, 214. 
Index, The, 184. 
Indianapolis, 205, 206. 
Irvine, William, 19. 
Irving, Sir Henry, 18-6. 


"J.", General, 115, 116. 

Jackson, Thomas J. ("Stonewall"), vi, 
viii, 7, 9, 11, 12, 25, 28, 29, 31, 33, 
35, 36, 39, 40, 45, 46, 47, 48, 50, 51, 
52, 53, 54, 55, 57, 58, 59, 62, 63, 65, 
85, 88, 91, 92, 100, 104, 105, 106, 
107, 108, 112, 113, 114, 117, 118, 119, 

' 121, 143, 146, 148, 15-3, 178, 189, 198, 
199, 201, 211, 212, 213, 215, 217, 218, 
224, 225. 

Jackson Barracks, 206. 

James, Jesse, vi, 203. 

James River, 102, 145, 159. 

Jamieson, Belle, 91, 92. 

Jefferson, Thomas, 197, 223. 

Jefferson County, 3, 11, 24. 

Jeffries, Mr., 9* 

Jenkins, Albert G., 119, 120, 193. 

Jenkins, Samuel H., 62. 

Jermyn Street, v, 176. 

Joan of Arc, 154, 199. 

Johnson, Reverdy, 19. 

Johnston, Joseph E., 104, 116. 

Johnston, Robert, 188. 

Jones, Annie, 56, 132, 135, 136. 

Jones, A-vonia, 187. 

Jones, Tom, 25. 

Jones' Ferry, 25. 

Journal, Evening (Martinsburg) , 215, 216. 

July, Jim (Jim Starr), 203. 

Juniata (Transport), 98, 102. 


"K, Captain," 33, 60, 61, 211. 
K., Mr., 134, 135. 
Kastner, Marie, 208, 213, 214. 
Keily, Daniel J., 33, 60, 61, 62. 
Keith, Charles F., 197, 223. 
Kellogg, Horace, 123, 125, 126. 
Kelly, Benjamin F., 124. 
. Kempff, Louis, 152, 155. 
Kenly, John R., 37, 43, 46, 47, 53, 54, 

56, 57. 

Kernstown, 31. 
Keyes, Marshal, 163, 164, 166, 167, 168, 

169, 170, 171, 172. 
Kilbourn, 200, 201, 202, 204. 
Kilbourn Cemetery, 200, 201, 202. 
Kilbourn Mirror-Gazette, 200, 204. 
Kilmarnock, 5, 75, 178. 
Kimball, Nathaniel, 31, 55, 56, 58, 210. 
Knoxville, 2, 15, 115, 116, 117, 122, 

177, 183, 193, 197, 209, 210, 211, 

222, 2-23. 
Knoxville Post, 177. 

Lafone, Henry, 149. 

Larkin Post (American Legion), Harold, 


Laurel Brigade, 6. 

Lawrence, George A., 127, 128, 12-9, 226. 
Lawson McGhee^ Lfbrary, 210, 222. 
Le Moniteur Universel f 175. 
Leathers, John H., 199. 

DIARY, 143. 

Lebanon White Sulphur Springs, 45. 
Lee, "Lighthorse Harry," 19. 
Lee, Robert E., 19, 107, 108, 113, 114, 

165, 197, 212, 223. 
Leech, Margaret, 93, 102, 170, 183, 225. 
Leslie, Colonel, 107. 

Leslie's Illustrated Paper, 74, 91, 100, 165. 
Letcher, John-, 78, 118. 
"Lewis, Mrs/' (Belle Boyd), 148, 149, 

151, 153, 155, 157, 159, 164, 171. 
Li-bby Prison, 47. 
Library of Congress, 194. 



Lincoln, Abraham, 6, 19, 54, 55, 79, 81, 
86, 101, 102, 137, 138, 139, 146. 

Lincoln Assassination Trial, 19. 

Lisbon, 175, 178. 

Liverpool, 149, 174, 183. 

Lloyd, John K., 191. 

Lockwood, Mr., 131. 

Lomax, Anne, 143, 144. 

Lomax, Elizabeth L., 143, 144. 

Lomax, Julia, 143. 

London, v, 127, 141, 172, 174, 175, 177, 
178, 181, 184, 185, 186, 187, 189, 
210, 219. 

London Saturday Gazette, 185. 

London Shipping Gazette, 178, 210. 

London Times, 176, 184, 185. 

Long Island, 19. 

Longstreet, James, 107, 113. 

Lossing, B. J., 208. 

Louisa Court House, 89. 

Louisville, 198. 

Luray, 45, 46, 220. 

Luray Valley, 114. 

Lynn, 212. 

- M 

M, Mr., 34, 35. 

McCabe, Nana O., 205. 

McCabe, Mrs. William (N. O. Wil- 
liams), 205. 

MoCabe, William B., 205. 

McClellan, George B., 35, 102, 108. 

MoCourt, Robert, 191. 

McDowell, Iryin, viii, 35, 36, 37, 54, 
55, 189. 

McEnnis, Major, 62, 66, 67. 

McGuire, Mrs. J. W., 8. 

McVay, Lieutenant^ 96, 97, 112. 

Madeira, 149. 

Madison Court House, 114. 

Mahony, Dennis A., 90, 91, 92, 93, 95, 
96, 206, 210, 225. 

Mail, The (Hagerstown), 216. 

Manassas, 16, 20, 22, 23, 24, 28, 93, 99. 

Manchester, 187. 

Mansfield, Joseph, 32. 

Marshall, John, 197, 223. 

Marshall, John A., 77. 

Martin, Boyd, 199. 

Martin, Frederick, 15. 

Martin, H., 199. 

Martindale, J. H., 132, 136. 

Martinsburg, viii, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 
13, 15, 17, 22, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 
32, 38, 54, 5<6, 67, 70, 72, 74, 75, 84, 
91, 104, 105, 108, 114, 115, 116, 119, 
120, 121, 122, 123, 125, 126, 129, 138, 
139, 171, 177, 179, 180, 185, 194, 199, 
201, 208, 209, 211, 212, 214, 215, 216, 
219, 221, 222, 223, 2'24. 

Martinsburg Cemetery, 15, 222. 

Mar^ns burg Gazette, 22. 

Martins burg Independent, 19*4. 

Maryland News-sheet, 42. 

Massachusetts,, U. S. S., 213- 

Massanutten Mountain, 45, 46, 114. 

Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico, 177. 

Medford, 166. 

Memorial Day, 202. 

Memphis, 187. 

Meneely, Major, 87. 

Meter Family Genealogy, Van, 219. 

Michael, Adolph, 206. 

Michael, Mrs. A. (Marie Isabelle Ham- 
mond), 122, 186, 192, 193, 194, 195, 
196, 197, 200, 205, 206, 216, 217, 223. 

Middletown, 53. 

Miles & Bates Stock Company, 189. 

Mill Creek, 2. 

Milldale, 24, 97, 112, 220. 

Milro% -Robert H., 119. 

Milwaukee Journal, 208. 

Minnesota, U. S. S., 159. 

Minnie, The, 154, 160, 161. 

Mix, James B., 132, 135, 136, 137, 140. 

Mobile, 117, 118, 146. 

Mobile 'Register, 26, 176. 

Monacocy Station, 180. 

Monroe, James, 77. 

Montgomery, Walter, 187. 

Montgomery, 117, 197. 

Montreal, 174. 

Moore, Frank, 74, 210. 

Morgan, Raleigh, 10. 

Morning Herald (London) , 184. 

Morning Post (London), 127, 175, 177, 

Morris, Clara, 188. 

Morse, Major, .89. 

Mosby, John S., 94, 112. 

Mount Washington Female . College, 4, 

"Mount Zion," 24, 97, 112, 220. 

Mowery, H. W M 205. 

Mowery, Mrs. H. W. (Byrd S. Ham- 
mond), 189, 192, 194, 195, 196, 200, 
205, 206, 212. 

Mulford, 'John E., 140, 144. 

Mulford, Mrs. John E., 144. 

Mumford, Mr., 140, 141, 
| . N 

Nadenboush, J. A. Q., 8. 

Napoleon, 29. 

Nassau, 149, 164. 

National Archives, The, 137. 

BIOGRAPHY, 203, 213. 

Navy Department, 161, 165, 166, 168, 
170, 210. 



New Creek, 63. 

New Orleans, 140, 141, 142, 187, 190, 


New Orleans Theatre, 190, 191. 
New Orleans Times-Democrat, 198. 
New York City, 160, 161, 166, 167, 168, 

170, 178, 183, 187, 188, 189, 205. 
New York Daily News, 200. 
New York Herald, 47, 51, 56, ,57, 100*, 

19-8, 209. 
New York Times, vii, 43, 56, 189, 202, 

203, 208, 209. 

New York Tribune, 65, 136, 137, 210. 
New York World, 172, 178, 183, 210. 
Newbern (Steamer), 170. 
Newell, Mr., 149. 
Newmarket, 45, 114. 
Niagara, 174. 
Niblo's Theatre, 161. 
Nicholson, R, Q., 113. 
"Nina," (See Nina Benjamin.) 
Norfolk Navy Yard, 154. 
Northern Virginia Daily, 113. 
Northwest Territory, 10. 
Norwalk, 126. 
Noyes, Crosby Stuart, 181. 


Odell, George C, 188, 189. 

Ohio (Receiving Ship), 169, 170. 

Old Capitol Prison, viii, 3, 22, 56, 70, 
73, 74, 76, 77, 78, 81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 
87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 94 
98, 99, 100, 101, 104, 105, 116, 126, 
127, 128, 129, 13-1, 132, 133, 134, 135, 
136, 137, 138, 143, 157, 179, 180, 181, 
182, 18-5, 202, 206, 210, 226. 

Old Presbyterian Church, 197. 

Orange Court House, 114. 

Osborne, Thomas S., 199. 

O'Sullivan, John L., 175, 176, 177, 178. 

Ould, Robert, 102, 103. 

Oxford, 191. 


P., Ida, 131. 

Palmerston, Lord, 177. 

Paris, 175. 

Park Theatre, 188. 

"Parkinson, E. A." (E. A. Pollard), 152. 

Patterson, Robert, 11, 28. 

Pa-ull; Mrs., 176. 

Paull, Reverend Mr., 175. 

Pennsylvania Avenue, 76, 135. 

People's Theatre, 195, 

Perrin, Walter, 126. 

Peternian, Mr. ("Petey"), 4. 

Peterman, Rebecca, 4. 

Petersburg, 109, 155, 226. 

Philadelphia, 192. 

Philadelphia Inquirer, 74, 75. 

Philadelphia North American, 56, 81, 209* 

Pickett, George E., 196, 197, 198. 

Pike's Opera House, 188. 

Pinkerton, Allan, 16. 

Pitcher, Moll, 26. 

Pkil Press, 194. 

Pollard, 'Edward A., 141, 148, 149, 152, 

153, 155, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 

170, 171, 172. 
Pope, John, 65. 
Pope's Creek, 25. 
Port Republic, 59, 60. 
Portage, 200, 218. 
"Porte Crayon," (See Strother.) 
Potomac River, 16, 24, 25, 54, 59, 92, 

93, 102. 

Preble, George H. 5 149. 
Presbyterian Church (Martinsburg), 2. 
Preston, Lieutenant, 62, 66. 
Priestman, Lawrence, 154, 210. 
Providence Journal, 198. 

Quantrill, William C., vi, 203. 
Quebec, 174. 
Queen Street, 3. 
Queen Street, South, 4. 


Raemer's Hotel, 72. 

"Raleigh,, The, 150. 

Randolph, George W., 65, 223. 

Rappahannock River, 63. 

Rascoe, Burton, 203. 

Reay, Madame Ceabelle, 176. 

Reed, Eliza, (See Baker.) 

Reed, James (Lieutenant-Colonel), 5, 8, 

18, 219, 224. 

Reed, James Randolph, 18, 19, 219. 
Reed, Joseph, 5, 219. 
Reed, Maria, (See Cooper.) 
Reed, Mary, ('See Stephenson.) 
Reed, Samuel, 5, 219. 
Reed, William, 5, 219. 
Reed Family Genealogy, 219. 
Reid, James H., 166, 167, 178. 

170, 183, 225. 
Reville, John M., 155. 
Richards, Keen, 175. 
Richards, Mr., 52. 
Richardson, Mrs. B. R., 113. 
Richmond, 30, 32, 33, 35, 3'6, 44, 53, 

54, 65, 66, 74, -82, 86, 88, 101, 102, 

103, 104, 106, 111, 116, 119, 126, 



135, 14Q, 145, 146, 147, 149, 152, 
164, 165, 172, 174, 187, 212. 

Richmond Blues, 103. 

Richmond Daily Dispatch, 103, 210. 

Richmond Examiner, 141, 143, 148, 149. 

Ristori, Adelaide, 188. 

Rixey, Mrs., 108, 109, 110, 111, 226, 

Roanoke, U. S. S,, 159, 160. 

Robson, John, 50, 51, 209- 

Roc kin gham Register (Harrisonburg), 119. 

Rousseau Post (G.A.R.), 200, 218. 

Rowland, Mrs. O. W. (Mary Boyd), 179, 
180, 222, 224. 

St. Clair, Arthur, 5, 10, 23. 

St. James's Church, 175, 176. * 

St. John's Episcopal Church, 195. 

St. Lawrence Hall, 174. 

St. Louis, 187, 205, 206. 

St. Louis, U. S. S., 149. 

Sala, George A., v, vi, 127, 172, 173, 

183, 184, 185, 186. 
Sandiburg, Carl, vi, 101, 217. 
Sawyer, Franklin, 55, 58, 210. 
Saxton, Rufus, 54. 
Schenck, iRobert C, 63, 64. 


Semmes, Raphael, 146. 
Semmes, Mrs. R., 146. 
Sencindiver, Jim, 27. 
Shenandoah, Valley of "the, viii, 3, 4, 6, 
7, 8, 10, 28, 29, 31, 35, 36, 38, 39, 
45, 47, 54, 55, 59, 63, <>5, 66, 74, 75, 
92, 106, 108, 113, 118, 119, 129, 198, 
202, 215, 219, 22'6. 
Shenandoah River, 3, 53, 57, 114. 
Shepherd, Abraham, 10. 
Shepherdstown, 7, 10, 203. 
Sherman, Francis T., 67, 72. 
Sherman, Mrs, F. T., 72. 
Sherman, William T., 140. 
Sheward, Mr., 92. 

Shields, James, viii, 31, 32, 33, 35, 36, 
45, 47, 54, 55, 56, 59, 60, 207, 215, 

Shippen, Thomas L., 19. 
Shippen, William, 19. 
Shulenberger, Mrs. W. C., 199. 
Sigel, Franz, 63, 100. 
Silver, Gray (residence), 4. 
Silver, Zephaniah, 27. 
Smith, James P., 104, 105, 106, 209, 212, 

213, 215, 216. 
Smith, John (P., 187, 188. 
Smitley, C. W. D., 63, 64, 100, 209. 
Snodgrass, Mrs. M. A,, 215, 216. 
Social Science (Research Council, 213. 

Southern Literary Messenger, 215, 227. 
Southern Methodist University, 194. 
Sperryville, 65. 
Spotswood, Alexander, 3. 
Spotswood House, 145. 
Staley, Rev. George L., 4. 
Stanton, E. M. (Secretary of War), viii, 
63, 67, 68, 70, 72, 73, 78, 79, 80, 81, 
82, 86, 88, 89, 91, 100, 126, 132, 133, 
137, 13-8, 139, 142, 146, 153, 161, 181, 

Starr, Belle, vi, viii, 202, 203. 
Starr, Jim, 203. 
Starr, Sam, 203. 
Steele, William J., 73. 
Stephens, Alexander, 136. 
Stephenson, Isabella, (See Boyd.) 
Stephenson, James (Major), 5, 10, 15, 

16, 220. 
Stephenson, James (Private), 5, 8, 10, 

219, 220, 221, 224. 
Stephenson, John, 94. 
Stephenson, Maria, (See Boyd.) 
Stephenson, Mary (Reed), 10, 219, 220, 


Stephenson Family Genealogy, 220. 
Stevens, W. O., 14, 100, 142, 143, 152, 

153, 197, 214, 215. 
Stevenson, J. D., 180. 
Stewart, Alice, 9, 30, 33, 38, 39, 40, 41, 

42, 46, 52, 57, 66, 68, 220. 
Stewart, Frances (Mrs. A. J. Brand), 30, 

Stewart, Frances E. (Glenn), 11, 22, 30, 

59, 220, 224. 

Stewart, James E., 22, 30, 68, 220. 
Stoepel, Robert, 188. 
Stonewall Brigade, 7, 8, 121. 

WAR, 226. 
Strasburg, 35, 37, 3<9, 45, 46, 47, 53, 

114, 189. 

Strickler House, 30, 33, 34, 39, 52, 61. 
Stringham, Silas H., 169. 
Strother, David H., 2. 
Stuart, J. E. B., 17, 54, 60, 89, 101, 103, 

114, 195, 2'24. 
Stuart clan and tartan, 5. 
Surratt, Mary E., 81, 139- 
Swasey, William M., 155, 156. 
Swift Run Gap, 3, 3-8, 65. 
SWORDS AND ROSES, 113, 225. 
Syracuse, 193. 

T., Nannie, 127, 129. 

Taylor, Richard, 45, 50, 51, 53, 54, 58, 



Taylor, Richard, 209, 226. 

Taylor, Zachary, 45, 50. 

Thackeray, William M., v. 

GINIA, 226. 

"The Honeymoon," 188. 

"The Lady of Lyons," 187. 

CIVIL WAR, 208. 


"The Professor," 195. 

142, 197, 214. 



213, 214. 

ETC., 226. 

Theatre Francois, 188. 

Theatre Royal, 187. 

Thompson, J. G., 135. 

Three Rivers, 19. 

Ticonderoga, 19. 

Toledo, 195. 

Toledo Commercial,, 198. 

Toronto, 174. 

Tremont House, 164, 167. 

Turner, Levi C, 135, 182. 

Tyndale, Hector, 35, 38, 39, 43, 46, 211. 


United Confederate Veterans, 198. 
United Daughters of the Confederacy, 62, 

201, 226. 
Utica, 192. 

Valley Forge, 5. 

Van Buskirk, J. M., (See Buskirk.) 
Van Meter Family Genealogy, 219. 
Vestivali, Mademoiselle, 161. 
Virginia Military Institute, 24, 212. 
von Borcke, Heros, (See Borcke.) 


W., Mrs., 103, 104, 116. 

Wadsworth, James S., 86, 87, 98, 100. 

Wales, Prince of, 176. 

Walker, Charles, 32. 

War Department, 15, 35, 37, 54, 59, 67, 
73, 79, 81, 84, 85, 86, 87, 90, 99, 100, 
135, 136, 137, 142, 161, 206, 210. 

Ward, Artemas, 188. 

Warren County, 24, 65, 112, 197. 

Warren Rifles Chapter, U. D. C., 62, 226, 

Warren-ton, 36, 65, 74. 

Washington, George, 19, 45. 

Washington (Dist, of Col.), viii, 5, 6, 
16, 22, 23, 25, 36, 54, 55, 56, 63, 66, 
67, 68, 70, 72, 73, 74, 76, 79, 82, 84, 
85, 88, 89, 90, 92, 99, 100, 101, 109, 
121, 123, 125, 126, 127, 129, 130, 132, 
133, 135, 136, 137, 13#, 146, 164, 165, 
168, 169, 170, 172, 173, 180, 181, 182, 
183, 202, 209, 210, 212, 213. 

Washington (Va.), 65. 

Washington Court House, 198. 

Washington Evening Star, v, vii, viii, 26, 
43, 74, 75, 77, 78, 84, 85, 86, 87, 90, 
92, 98, 99, 102, 129, 135, 136, 137, 
139, 165, 180, 181, 209, 210, 217. 

Washington Hotel (Liverpool), 174. 

Washington National Intelligencer, 142 
165, 210. 

Washington National Republican, 164, 
168, 171, 210. 

Watson, P. H., 86, 87. 

Watson, Major, 25. 

Watson, Mr., 102. 

Wayne, Anthony, 10, 19- 

Welles, Gideon, 168, 169, 170. 

White, Julius, 47, 70, 71, 210. 

White, W. J., 197. 

Wigfall, Louis T., 104. 

Willatd's Hotel, 73. 

Williams, Barney, 188. 

Williams, Gus, 93, 94, 95, 206. 

Williams, James, 175, 176, 177. 

Williams, James F., 205. 

Williams, Mrs. James F., (See Mrs. H. 
W. Mowery.) 

Williams, Nana O., (See Mrs. William 

Williamson, James J., 93, 210. 

Williamsport, 54, 56, 57. 

Wilmington (Del), 181, 182, 183. 

Wilmington (N. C.), 148, 153, 164. 

Winchester, 7, 10, 29, 31, 32, 38, 39, 
40, 41, 43, 44, 46, 47, 50, 53, 54, 70, 
71, 103, 106, 107, 108, 111, 113, 119, 
120, 121, 122, 126, 172, 182, 185, 193. 

Wisconsin Dells. (See Kilbourn) 

Wolcott, C. P., 70, 210. 

Wood, William P., 76, 78, 79, 80, 81, 
82, 87, 88, 89,' 96, 9*8, 112, 134, 135, 
138, 181. 

Woodstock, 114, 119, 129. 

Wright, R. L., 139, 142, 152, 153, 207, 
208, 214. 

Yorktown, 9. 

Younger, Cole, vi, 203, 213. 


CITED by General Pershing for conspicuous and 
meritorious counter-espionage service at General 
Headquarters, A.E.F. in World War I, Louis A. 
Sigaud is particularly well equipped to relate the 
true story of Belle Boyd. In 1917 a young prac- 
ticing lawyer (LL.B., N.Y. University) , he volun- 
teered in May for the U. S. Army and his knowl- 
edge of the French language soon made him a 
captain in the Corps of Interpreters and placed 
him in command of the Corps of Intelligence F 
Police. After the War, he served as lieutenant- 
colonel in the Military Intelligence Reserve Section, 
from 1921 to 1940. His decorations are: Victory 
Medal with itwo battle clasps, the Purple Heart 
(staff award) , New York State Conspicuous Ser- 
\ vice Cross, and French Order of the Black Star. 

In post-war activity, Colonel Sigaud has been a 
banker, lawyer, and corporation executive, and for 
several years was treasurer and secretary of the 
Army & Navy Club of America. In 1934 he re- 
tired to travel and engage in historical research. 
An immediate result was his article, "Can France 
Survive?" mTbe American Mercury for June, 1935, 
prophesying the fall of France. Subsequently ap- 
peared his equally prophetic book, Douhet and 
Aerial Warfare (1941, G. P. Putnam's Sons). 

Colonel Sigaud' s parents and ancestors lived in 
Grenoble, France. He was born in New Jersey. 
His wife, .the former Miss Margaret C Kummer, 
had a grandfather with the Union Army at 
Manass-as, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg.