Maria Isabella Boyd, a Confederate spy, came from a wealthy Virginia family. At seventeen she gained national fame when she killed a Union soldier. Boyd became skillful at using charm to seduce and gain information from Union officers. This “Southern belle” was arrested three times – each time Union authorities found her behind federal lines. Boyd also worked as a courier between General Beauregard and Stonewall Jackson who credited her with assuring his victories in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign. In 1864 she was again arrested while smuggling Confederate papers to England. Boyd’s 1865 memoir, Belle Boyd in Camp and Prison, recounted her covert activities.


  • Title: Belle Boyd (1843-1900)
  • Physical Dimensions: Photographic print (printed later)
  • Subject Keywords: Civil War spy
  • Type: Photograph
  • Date: ca. 1870

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