Le Belle Rebelle
Its been some time since I posted on the War for Southron Independence, and I think its time I rectified. Most of my posts seem broad... nay... sweeping where this subject is concerned... so for once, let us focus on but one or two individuals.
In the study of the war women are almost completely ignored beyond their roles as mothers, daughters, and wives. This is not to disparage those roles... but to point out the bravery and sacrifice of one or two who did something else.
Bell Boyd was born in Martinsburg Virginia... which is now called west Virginia. Though beautiful, she was always a tomboy... rough and ready. I believe 'spitfire' was a descriptor apt.
Her strange journey started in such a way that it must. During the time of struggle and strife in Martinsburg... Yankee forces were everywhere... and they were acting like Yankee Forces are known to act. They were pillaging... dominating... and mostly drunk. It was one such drunk soldier who unwittingly helped create one of the greatest spies in Confederate History... and all he got for his trouble was dead.
See... he was drunk... like yankee soldier most always were... and he was looking for a southron woman to rape... like yankee soldiers most always were. Being drunk through he chose the wrong house. Modern history books say that the young soldier insulted Bell Boyd's mother. The old timers in Martinsburg tell it differently. Bell found the soldier attempting to rape her mother. Bell did what any good daughter would do.
She shot the bastard.
From that day forth Bell knew she hated yankees more than anything else... and she vowed to do everything she could to see them defeated. Turns out everything she could, was quite a bit.
Bell began spying for the Confederacy, and did so quite successfully throughout the war. Stonewall Jackson himself credited as a great asset. She was arrested six times... but usually freed quickly because she was a woman. This turns out to be the main weapon in use by her detractors... yankee sympathizers all.. who argue that since the Union let her go, she must not have been important. One can never over-estimate the stupidity of yankee sympathizers.
There is to little space here to recount all of Belle's tales. She once rode 15 miles through union patrolled territory to deliver a message to Stonewall. She once ran through the front lines of a battle, and arrived to deliver her message with two bullet holes in her dress.
She was known as much for her beauty as her bravery... and that must've made her one fine looking young lady.
The other lady spy I shall mention is Rose O'neal Greenhow. She was a well established socialite in Washington when the war started... and you should read that to mean she had a lot to lose. Yet, instinctively she knew what was right, and set about gathering intelligence for the confederacy. Beauregard himself credited her with the victory at antietam... and of course, the usual suspects cast aspersions. A victorious general uses x information to make y decision which wins battle z, then writes that the person who provided x information to him was responsible for his victory. To any reasonable human this is proof enough.
Yankees aren't reasonable.
People often ask me why I am so one sided in my view of the War. Its simple really. What you are presented daily... on TV... in text... at school... its one sided. It is so far Union Biased that one taking anything less than a blind union psychofant stance, is seen as a confederate apologist.
Think about how differently we would know these two women, if they had been Union spies. There would be movies about them... Jessica Alba would be playing Bell. But they weren't Union... so not only are they forgotten... but they are even totally discredited.
On the other hand... you all watched Mathew Broderick make a hero out of one of the most vile, evil, and immoral individuals the war produced on either side. But it doesn't matter right? Hollywood showed him as a open minded, generous, kind hearted, benevolent, and brave hero... leading heroic blacks into battle. That's the definition of truth isn't it? Something that 100,000 million people have seen on film?