The War Of The Civil War Essay

1918 Words Apr 5th, 2015 8 Pages
The Civil War is the deadliest war this country has had to endure. It pitted the North versus the South over the issues of slavery and preservation of the Union. Families were literally torn apart as some members supported the Union while others supported the Confederacy. Divided loyalties among such close relatives made espionage a near certainty throughout the war. This paper will examine why there were spies, who they were, how they operated, and their contributions to the war effort.
During the Civil War, both the Union and the Confederacy made extensive use of spies. Harnett Kane, a Southern historian asserts that, “This war between Americans probably saw more espionage, involving more people, than any in our history” (Kane 11). The nature of the Civil War fostered the use of so many spies. Most wars occur between foreign nations, but in the Civil War, it was Americans versus Americans. There were regional accents but the combatants spoke the same common language and everyone looked pretty much the same. In addition, what were once state borders, after Southern secession, became national borders. In some cases all that separated the two nations were rivers or forests. Spies could cross from the North to the South or the South to North with relative ease.
Geography also contributed to the prevalence of spies. The Union capital, Washington, D.C. was located south of the Mason – Dixon line so there were many Southern sympathizers in Washington. (Axelrod 43). It is…

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