Friday, January 14, 2011

Southern lady Union spy
Elizabeth Van Lew was a well-born resident of Richmond, Virginia, who built and operated an extensive spy ring for the United States during the American Civil War. Under the nose of the Confederate government, Van Lew gathered intelligence, hampered the Southern war effort, and helped scores of Union soldiers escape from Richmond prisons. A Northern sympathizer in the Confederate capital, Van Lew led what one historian called "the most productive espionage operation of the Civil War."

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