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Southern Lady, Union Spy Elizabeth Van Lew was a well-born resident of Richmond, VA who built & operated an extensive spy ring for the United States during the American Civil War. Under the nose of the Confederate government, she gathered intelligence, hampered the Southern war effort, & helped scores of Union soldiers escape from Richmond prisons. A Northern sympathizer in the Confederate capital, she led what one historian called "the most productive espionage operation of the Civil War."
Post mortem (death portrait) photograph of an army hospital nurse holding a book, possibly a small bible. The revenue stamp on the back dates the image to 1864. Annapolis was the site of one of the largest Union Army Hospitals during the Civil War & at least 5 female nurses died of diseases caught while tending patients there.
“Stagecoach” Mary Fields (c. 1832-1914) was born a slave in Tennessee and following the Civil War, she moved to the pioneer community of Cascade, Montana. In 1895, when she was around 60 years old, Fields became the second woman and first African American carrier for the US Postal Service. Despite her age, she never missed a day of work in the ten years she carried the mail and earned the nickname “Stagecoach” for her reliability. Fields loved the job.