Women covertly aided guerrilla operations throughout the war.

Nancy Hart Portrait
Nancy Hart
Photo Credit: West Virginia Archives & History
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Nancy Hart (1846-1913)
  • Served as a Confederate spy, guide, and scout for the pro-southern Moccasin Rangers stationed in the West Virginia mountains.
  • Reported Federal outpost strength and activities to General Bill “Mudwall” Jackson.
  • Arrested early summer of 1862 by Lt. Colonel Starr of the 9th West Virginia Infantry.
  • In July 1862, escaped after killing one of her guards and stealing Lt. Col. Starr’s horse.
  • Returned a week later with 200 of Jackson’s Cavalry to raid the town of Summersville, in present-day Nicholas County, West Virginia.
  • During the engagement, Confederate forces set fire to three homes, destroyed two wagons; also took eight mules, twelve horses, and several federal prisoners, including Lt. Col. Starr.

Some women served as “conductors” for the Underground Railroad.

Harriet Tubman (c.1820 – 1913)
  • Born a slave in Maryland; escaped in 1849.
  • Hired as a scout, spy, and nurse for the Union war effort.
  • As a “conductor” for the Underground Railroad, made 19 trips into the
    South, freeing approximately 300 slaves.
  • Because of Tubman’s work with the Railroad, had detailed knowledge of different towns and transportation routes throughout the South; this greatly aided Federal forces planning military operations in a particular theater.
  • Used the cover of an aging and frail woman to gather intelligence about sectors under Confederate control.
  • Established citizen-based networks in different communities to supply Union
    forces with information concerning troop placements, supply lines, and fortifications.
  • Served as a guerrilla operative for the Union Army; led successful raids
    behind enemy lines.
  • Introduced a variety of herbal and holistic remedies to ailing soldiers,
    helping to combat debilitating and often fatal infections and diseases.
Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman
Photo Credit: Library of Congress
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