On this day: Confederate spy Belle Boyd arrested

On this day: Confederate spy Belle Boyd arrested
Belle Boyd was arrested six times as a Confederate spy. (Source: Library of Congress)

(WWBT) - Belle Boyd, a Virginia woman who charmed Union soldiers and shared their secrets with the Confederacy during the Civil War, was first arrested July 29, 1862.

It was the first of three imprisonments for Boyd, who began her resistance against the Union Army in 1861 at age 17 by shooting a soldier who was trying to search her home in Martinsburg in what is today West Virginia.

The Union Army investigated that shooting and found Boyd was justified.

Boyd was held in Washington, DC, for a month following her first arrest and then sent to Richmond. She immediately resumed spying and personally delivered Union secrets to Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, helping him gain victory in the First Battle of Winchester.

She was arrested against in 1863 and held for three months and arrested again in 1864 while serving as a courier to Great Britain. Her boat was captured and sent to New York. She later married the Union captain who captured her.

In all, Boyd was arrested six times, imprisoned three times, and exiled twice. She later wrote a book about her life and became a stage actress. She died on stage in Wisconsin in 1900 at the age of 56.

Belle Boyd was arrested six times as a Confederate spy.
Belle Boyd was arrested six times as a Confederate spy. (Source: Library of Congress)

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