Civil War Secrets: Belle Boyd

Contributor: Kathi Thomas. Lesson ID: 10457

Known as The Siren of the Shenandoah, this Southern Belle was no dainty debutante. She shot a Union soldier for breaking and entering! Learn about Belle Boyd and her role in the war.


United States

learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio: Image - Button Play
Image - Lession Started Image - Button Start

Click the play button below!

Image - Video

Welcome to the third Related Lesson in our series on female spies, found in the right-hand sidebar.

From the very start of the new nation during the Revolutionary War to our modern-day military, women have always felt compelled to take on tasks requiring both brains and bravery, sometimes even brawn.

The passion for a cause that fuels remarkable deeds was clearly evidenced by those women who engaged as spies during the American Civil War.

  • What would you do as a young woman if a drunken soldier by the authority of the government demanded entry into your home, and when denied it, attempted to enter by force?

If you were the young Southern woman, Belle Boyd, you would have shot him then and there, giving little heed to the consequences.

That is exactly what occurred when a soldier, reportedly determined to put a Union flag atop the Boyd home in Martinsburg, Virginia, offended the spunky Belle and her mother.

Knowing well she could be hung for both treason and murder, she stood her ground.

Read Belle Boyd for her own account of the episode and learn some other amazing information about Belle.

When you are ready, move on to the Got It? section.

Image - Button Next