Portal: The Rose O’Neal Greenhow Papers. A Secessionist Woman’s Civil War Diaries, 1863-1864 – online!

Rose O’Neal Greenhow Papers. An On-line Archival Collection. Special Collections Library, Duke University; The original diary is housed in the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh, NC (Web)

Rose O’Neal Greenhow was born in Montgomery County, Maryland in 1817. „Wild Rose“, as she was called from a young age, was a leader in Washington society, a passionate secessionist, and one of the most renowned spies in the Civil War. Among her accomplishments was the secret message she sent to General Pierre G.T. Beauregard which ultimately caused him to win the battle of Bull Run. She spied so successfully for the Confederacy that Jefferson Davis credited her with winning the battle of Manassas.

She was imprisoned for her efforts first in her own home and then in the Old Capital Prison. Despite her confinement, Greenhow continued getting messages to the Confederacy by means of cryptic notes which traveled in unlikely places such as the inside of a woman’s bun of hair. After her second prison term, she was exiled to the Confederate states where she was received warmly by President Jefferson Davis.

Her next mission was to tour Britain and France as a propagandist for the Confederate cause. Read more … (Web)