Elizabeth Van Lew: A Union Spy In The Confederate Capital

She wasn’t the only Union spy in Richmond, Virginia, but her story is worth telling because of its uniqueness. Though history has often tried to portray Elizabeth as crazy or as using a crazed persona to cover her actions, some historians are arguing against this portrayal, claiming that from sources it seems unlikely and may simply have been a degrading way to see this remarkable woman.

Either way, Elizabeth boldly supported the Union cause through subterfuge. Continue reading

John Y. Beall – A Confederate Spy (Who Got Hanged)

Oops! I guess I put the spoiler in the title. Oh, well. Hopefully, it makes you more curious. After-all, unless you’ve really researched Confederate spies, hangings, secret agents, or sabotage along the Great Lakes/Canadian border, you probably haven’t heard of John Yates Beall.

How did I discover this historical character? The McGuires. If you’ve been following Gazette665 for a while or check our photos on social media, you’ll know that I’ve been researching the McGuire Family of Winchester, Virginia, for about three years now. One of the McGuire boys (Edward) was involved in some secret agent or spy stuff with John Beall. In fact, Edward was so secretive that I’m still looking for clear information about his activities. That will have to be another story at another time.

Today, we’re talking about John Yates Beall, a Confederate spy. Why was he a spy? What did he do? How did he get caught? Let’s find out: Continue reading