|On this day in 1844, Belle Boyd, who became a teenage Confederate spy in the U.S. Civil War, was born in Martinsburg, Va.
Maria Isabella Boyd was 17 years old when she began her daring life as a spy. She could fire a gun, and she even killed a Union soldier, but her most lethal weapon was charm. She talked easily with people, who somehow found themselves revealing deep secrets. Boyd wrote down what Union soldiers divulged—troop positions, attack plans, other key information about Union activities in the Shenandoah Valley. She sneaked through battlefields to pass notes to Gen. Stonewall Jackson and other Confederate officers. Union soldiers caught her and jailed her—twice—but released her for lack of evidence. After the war, Boyd put her deceptive arts to good use in another career—she became an actress.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 by yogalibrarian