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Isabella Boyd, (Belle)
  Known as:   Belle
 
  Category:   Confederate Spy
 
  Born:   1843  
 
  Died:   1900  

Overview:   Belle Boyd served as a spy for the Confederate Army in the Shenandoah Valley.
 
Biography:   Isabella “Belle” Boyd was born in Martinsburg, in what is now West Virginia. Like many women, she participated in many fund-raising activities at the outbreak of the Civil War to support the Confederacy. After Union troops occupied Martinsburg in 1861, however, Boyd was able to aid the Confederacy in ways that most women did not. Boyd operated as a Confederate spy, using her father’s hotel in Front Royal as a cover. She was especially useful during the Spring campaign of 1862, providing Generals Stonewall Jackson and Turner Ashby with valuable information. She had overheard Union officers discussing their plans to withdraw and destroy the town’s bridges Jackson rewarded her loyalty by making her a captain and an honorary aide-de-camp. She continued to spy openly for the Confederate Army

She was arrested on July 29, 1862 and held in the Old Capitol Prison in Washington DC for a month. Part of a prisoner exchange program, she was sent into exile to live with relatives upon her release. She was again arrested in June of 1863. Suffering from typhoid, she was released. Six months later the Confederacy sent her to Europe as a courier. She was to deliver letters from Jefferson Davis. The union captured the blockade runner before she could complete her mission. Union officer Samuel Hardinge, placed aboard as prize master, fell in love with Boyd. Following his discharge from the Navy for allowing the captain of the blockade runner to escape, they married in England in August 1864. Hardinge died in 1865, and Boyd continued to live in England until 1866. In England, she published her memoirs and began a career as an actress and, later, a lecturer. She died in Wisconsin while touring on a speaking engagement




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THESE ARE ARCHIVED PAGES OF THE OLD EHISTORY SITE
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