Liar Temptress, Soldier, Spy Analysis

1118 Words 5 Pages
Karen Abbott’s book Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy, tells a story about four women who risked their lives to become undercover spies in the Civil War. These four women were, Belle Boyd, Emma Edmonds, Rose O’ Neal Greenhow, and Elizabeth Van Lew.

Belle Boyd, also known as the fastest girl in Virginia, she was born on May 4th, 1844. She was the oldest child of her parents and had a great childhood, she called herself a tom boy quite often because would always play like the boys. Even though her parents didn’t have money she still received a good education. Belle’s spy career started by chance, she never thought she would do it, especially being only 17 years old. One day some Union soldiers heard she had Confederate flags in her room and they
…show more content…
She chopped off all her hair, dressed as a guy and enlisted in the 2nd Michigan Infantry, she thought it was her duty to serve her country and named herself Franklin Flint Thompson. When she finally got into the Infantry, she first served as a male field nurse, where she was in several campaigns including both Battles of Bull Run, Antietam, Vicksburg, and the Peninsula Campaign, many historians now a days say there was no way she was able to be at all of them at the same time. Emma’s career then took a sudden turn after a spy was discovered and was put before a firing squad and one of her friends was killed in an ambush. She then made the decision to take advantage of the now open spot to avenge her friends death. She was then finally an actual spy. Her new position was hard and she had to come up with many disguises to get into enemy territory. One of her disguises was a black man called Cuff, she also dressed as an Irish peddler woman claiming she was selling apples and soap to soldiers, and then she was working for the confederates as a black laundress where she delivered some papers back to the Union that had fallen out of a soldiers pocket. She had many more disguises finding out many secrets of the Union. Emma’s career came to a halt when she contracted malaria, she abandoned her duty fearing that she would get caught if she went to a military hospital, later checking herself in at a private hospital, wanting to return back to the military after she was healthy again. Once out she discovered posters calling Frank Thompson a deserter, not wanting to risk execution she went on to work as a female nurse at a hospital in Washington, D.C for wounded soldiers. The soldiers she worked with in the Military spoke well of her even after her real identity was discovered, saying she was a good soldier and fearless. In 1886 Emma received a pension for her military service

Related Documents