The Civil War was a War Fought
The Civil War was a war fought between the states. It was fought between the Union and the Confederate States of America. Civil War spies played a major part in how the Confederate (North) won the Civil War (History.com Editors). Spies let generals know when they should attack, where, and whether they should withdraw or not (Mark). The armies of America had been tracked by spies during the Civil War. The spies gathered information on them and in return would usually to be offered a reward (Nelson).
Most people were easily able to spy. An example is the fact that if someone was in the North and wanted the South to win they would become spies and find out what the citizens around them say (Nelson). All the spies had to be careful not to be caught because the consequence was execution. Many citizens looked to find a way to help their side. Women were mostly found to be in this field because it was one of the few ways that the women could help their side. There were many American Civil War spies trying to help out their side of the government win (Mark).
It’s known that the Union and Confederate didn’t have a formal military network, but both had spies to get useful information on the other party. The Confederate had a Secret Service Bureau’ set up from Washington to Richmond (History.com Editors). The Confederate had a stronger spy network. They had military intelligence on their side and had many people from the North who wanted the South to win. They communicated by the secret line (Nelson). The Secret Service Bureau was set up by the Confederate Signal Corps. The Confederate Signal Corps was a system used to communicate important information between armies on the field (History.com Editors). Although the Union side had many spies they weren’t able to communicate well and receive information. The Union did have a big advantage since they receive tips from slaves or former slaves. At the beginning of the war, the Union didn’t have the strongest spy network. They had spies which were set out to get either specific or any information by a general (Nelson).
The Union had no set military intelligence agency, so the generals took charge in gathering for their very own operations. General George B. McClellan had hired a detective named Allan Pinkerton to set up the first union organization. Allan Pinkerton is known today for being a famous spy in the Civil War. Washington, D.C. was known to be full of southern sympathizers in 1861, when the Civil War broke out. A former congressman, Governor John Letcher, had applied his knowledge of the city to set up a spy network during late April of 1861. George McClellan was removed from the Army of Potomac by Abraham Lincoln in 1862, Allan Pinkerton had resigned from solidarity and returned to being a detective in Chicago during November (History.com Editors).
Belle Boyd was known to be one of the most famous independent Civil War Spies. She was only 17 years old when she started being a spy. Belle Boyd started through that pathway early in her life for a reason. A Union soldier had been insulting her mother and Bella decided to shoot him in anger which started her career (Mark). Belle Boyd had been able to spy in her own comfort from her father’s hotel. She got information and passed it to others from her father’s hotel in Virginia Belle Boyd was caught spying but was never actually executed (Nelson).
Sarah Edmonds is known to be a master of disguise. She pretended to be a man and ended up joining the Union army. They offered her an option of spying and she took it. Sarah Edmonds pretended to be multiple people in order to retrieve information from the Union side. She’d have multiple identities like a black man to an Irish woman (Nelson).
Cavalrymen were the most known people to be spies on the Confederate side. One of the famous ones was John Singleton Mosby, who known as the Gray Ghost from his techniques (History.com Editors).
American Civil War spies were some of the most interesting characters of the war, and there were many different individuals, on both sides, who had their own impacts on the conflict. (Mark)
Allan Pinkerton had started his own agency, the founder, in Chicago. Allan Pinkerton had been the one to help get information (History.com Editors). Thomas Hines was a Confederate Cavalry captain. He led the Northwest Conspiracy. It was an effort on freeing Confederate soldiers in the north and spread panic to influence the presidential election (Mark).
Civil War spies were known to be one of the most interesting parts of the war as many individuals were in on it. There wasn’t a certain gender for it either which is why many people did it (Mark). Spies played a big part in the battle because it usually let aside either win or lose a battle. They would know when and where to attack, and if they needed to retreat (Nelson). In Virginia, many people celebrated that there were spies. They believed that without spies they wouldn’t have been able to win the war without the help of them (History.com Editors).