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Women in American Cryptology Creating the Legacy

Rose Greenhow

Rose Greenhow

Rose Greenhow was a Washington socialite on the eve of the Civil War. She was also a spy for the Confederacy, a fact she did little to hide. Anything Union officers or Congressmen whispered in her ear was passed on to the South. Mrs. Greenhow is credited with sending a coded message to General Beauregard at the Battle of Manassas (or First Bull Run) concerning the Federal troops' movements out of Washington.

Mrs. Greenhow continued to spy for the Confederacy, even after being captured, and managed to send more messages out of her home and prison. She was eventually exiled to the South and instructed never to return to Washington. She drowned off the coast of the Carolinas after returning from England where she had championed the Confederacy and raised money destined for the Cause.

 

Historical Document | Date Posted: Jan 15, 2009

 
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