Civil War Secrets: Female Spies

Contributor: Kathi Thomas. Lesson ID: 10460

When you think of the Civil War, do you picture bearded men sitting on horses and looking proud? What about the women? Using video and articles, learn about the brave women spies of the Civil War!


United States

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

Lesson Plan - Get It!


James Bond. Nathan Hale. Benedict Arnold. Aleksandr Dmitrievich Ogorodnik. What do they all have in common? They were all male spies. Where are the women?

The role of women as movers and shakers in American history is undeniable.

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.

This lesson is the first in a series on the female spies of the Civil War, women who risked their lives for both the North and the South in an effort to help secure victories for the armies, protect the lives of others, and open up and maintain supply routes.

The following online article from Smithsonian Magazine provides an overview of some of these fascinating ladies. Read about each of the six women featured in the article. As you do, take a few minutes to write down some of each woman’s activities that earned her the title of spy.

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