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    Belle Boyd Autograph Letter Signed "Belle Boyd Hammond High." One page, 10.25" x 6", Peoria [Illinois], March 23, 1887. One year earlier, Boyd (1843-1900) began a speaking tour of the United States where she discussed her life as a spy. Here she writes to "Melton," a former classmate, in full: "Cherish thru life kind thoughts of me and know that the pleasant hours spent in your home after so many years have intervened shall often be recalled by me." Ink is lightly smudged at the end of "Hammond" and in the date.

    One of the most famous and notorious of Confederate spies, Belle Boyd became an spy at the age of seventeen, serving the Confederate forces in the Shenandoah Valley from her father's hotel in Front Royal, Virginia. During the Valley Campaign in 1862, she became 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. Exchanged a month later, she was in exile with relatives for a time, but was again arrested in June 1863 while on a visit to her birthplace, Martinsburg, now West Virginia. On December 1, 1863, she was released, suffering from typhoid, 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.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2014
    12th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 859

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