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Black Women Worked as Spies In The Civil War



From the field and slave cabin to the Confederate White House, black women took an active role in assisting the Union military in winning the Civil War. Harriet Tubman, lead local blacks in dangerous missions behind enemy lines to gather information on rebel troop location, movements and strength. 

The story of Mary Elizabeth Browser,  less well-documented than Tubman’s but no less intriguing, is a fascinating tale of a brilliant woman who worked with an urban spy ring in the Confederate capital said to be “the most productive espionage operation” in the Civil War.
Bowser is said to have had a photographic memory. When she assumed the identity of an illiterate slave women and found a place as a house servant in the Confederate White House, she was able to gain access to lists of troop movements, reports on the location of Union prisoners, military strategies and treasury reports. She passed the information along to Union forces until she was discovered and fled Richmond near the end of the war.


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