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Rose Greenhow (1817-1864)Download nowEnlargeShow similar images

Title: Rose Greenhow (1817-1864)

Description: Rose Greenhow (Maria Rosatta O'Neal; Rose O'Neal Greenhow; AKA: Wild Rose; 1817-October 1, 1864), Washington socialite and celebrated Confederate spy during the American Civil War (1861-1865), shown with her youngest daughter, Rose, as a prisoner in the Old Capital Prison, Washington, D.D., 1862. Born in Maryland, Mrs. Greenhow married Dr. Robert Greenhow, a U.S. State Department official (widowed at his death before the Civil War), and befriended Presidents, including President James Buchanan (April 23, 1791-June 1, 1868), generals, and top politicians. She was influenced by her idol, southern politician John C. Calhoun (March 18, 1782-March 31, 1850), who converted her to an ardent secessionist. She detested the election of President Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809-April 15, 1865), who succeeded her friend, President Buchanan. At the advent of the war, Greenhow began providing U.S. military secrets to Confederate officials, sending to Rebel General P.G.T. Beauregard (Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard; May 28, 1818-February 20, 1893) the battle plans of Union General Irvin McDowell (October 15, 1818-May 4, 1885), which largely contributed to the defeat (a rout) of the Union Army at the first great land battle of the war, Bull Run (Manassas; First Bull Run; First Manassas; July 17, 1861-July 21, 1861). Greenhow, who reported to Confederate spymaster and officer Thomas Jordan (September 30, 1819-November 27, 1895), and smuggled her information through a network of other secessionist females from Washington to Southern officers, was arrested by Union spymaster Allan Pinkerton (August 25, 1819-July 1, 1884) and was, along with her eight-year-old daughter, Rose, imprisoned at the Old Capitol Prison on January 1, 1862. She was released, along with many other suspected Southern spies, and deported to the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, where she was hailed as a hero by Confederate President Jefferson Davis (June 3, 1808-December 6, 1889). At Davis' request, she undertook a top secret mission to Europe, where she was well-received by Queen Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; May 24, 1819-January 22, 1901) in England and by Napoleon III (Louis Napoleon Bonaparte; April 20, 1808-January 9, 1873) in France. Her assignment from Davis was to help persuade these two European powers to make a military alliance with the Confederacy, which did not happen. Greenhow wrote a best-selling book, My Imprisonment and the First Year of Abolition Rule at Washington, while in Europe and, when returning to the South on the night of October 1, 1864, the ship on which she was sailing, the Condor, was attacked by a Union warship as it neared Wilmington, North Carolina. Greenhow and a few others tried to make shore in a lifeboat, but a storm overturned the small craft and this spectacular woman was drowned. The beautiful and charming Mrs. Greenhow had inveigled high-ranking Union officials and officers through her sexual wiles to provide her with secrets vital to Confederate Intelligence and remains a legendary spy in the annals of espionage.

Category: Intelligence

Keywords: Rose Greenhow, Dr. Robert Greenhow, U.S. State Department, James Buchanan, John C. Calhoun, Old Capitol Prison, Abraham Lincoln, P.G.T. Beauregard, Irvin McDowell, Battle of Bull Run, Battle of Manassas, First Battle of Bull Run, First Battle of Manassas, Thomas Jordan, Allan Pinkerton, Jefferson Davis, Queen Victoria, Napoleon III, Condor, storms, best-selling books, secret agents, female spies, spying, espionage, Intelligence, Union Secret Service, Confederate Secret Service, American Civil War, battles, battle plans, military secrets

Orientation: Portrait

Dimensions: 1350 x 1488 (2.01 MPixels) (1.10)

Print Size: 11.4 x 12.6 cm; 4.5 x 5.0 inches

File Size: 5.78 MB (6,062,322 Bytes)

Resolution: 300 x 300 dpi

Color Depth: 16.7 million (24 BitsPerPixel)

Compression: None

Image Number: 0000004428

Source: Jay Robert Nash Collection


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