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A Wet-Plate Glass Negative of Confederate Spy Belle Boyd
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BELLE BOYD. Photographic Negative. Sized for a carte-de-visite, 2½ x 3¾ in. Matthew Brady’s Washington, D.C. Gallery, ca. mid-1860s. Archivally framed and secured in protective glass, 11 x 12½ in.

Inventory #21501       Price: $7,500

Related Inventory: Click here for 24356.99 — Confederate Flag Given by Infamous Spy Belle Boyd to a Union Officer

Isabella Marie “Belle” Boyd (1844 – 1900) was one of the most famous and notorious Confederate spies. Boyd became an espionage agent at the age seventeen, aiding the Confederate forces in the Shenandoah Valley, and operating her spying operations from her father’s hotel in Front Royal, Virginia. During the spring 1862 Valley Campaign, she was a courier and provided valuable information to Generals Turner Ashby and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. A bold and daring young woman, Belle, at times, galloped headlong into the dark with cipher messages and even crept into rooms to eavesdrop on Union Army conferences. General Jackson made her a captain and honorary aide-de-camp on his staff. After being betrayed by her lover, she was arrested on July 29, 1862, and spent a month in the Old Capitol Prison in Washington, D.C. Exchanged a month later, she was in exile, living with relatives for a time. She was again arrested in June 1863 while on a visit to her birthplace: Martinsburg, now West Virginia. Suffering from typhoid, she was released on December 1, 1863 and went to Europe to regain her health. While in England, Belle had a stage career and published Belle Boyd in Camp and Prison. She died while touring the western United States. [Louis A. Sigaud, Belle Boyd, Confederate Spy, and Ruth Scarborough, Belle Boyd-Siren of the South].


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