Belle Boyd : Confederate Spy

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Belle Boyd “Confederate Spy" Maria Isabella “Belle” Boyd was born May 9, 1844 in Martinsburg, Virginia (now West Virginia) to an affluent family with deep Southern roots. Boyd was a determined, sharp, high-spirited person. Boyd was the oldest of eight children and the daughter of a shopkeeper, Benjamin Boyd, who enlisted in the Second Virginia Infantry, as a part of the Stonewall Brigade, and Mary Rebecca Glenn Boyd who both came from socially prominent families and also owned several slaves. Although Belle was born in Martinsburg, soon after her family moved to Bunker Hill ten miles away. There her parents had a lovely two-story house with walls that were completely hidden by roses and honeysuckle, a memory which stayed with Belle. From the start, Boyd was a smart, energetic, strong willed child. Historical lore says she once rode a horse into her parents’ home after being told that she was too young to attend the gathering they were having. According to Karen Abbott and her book Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy, Boyd addressed her parents and party guests “Well, my horse is old enough, isn’t he?” A line which some say won over the dinner guests and saved her from punishment from her parents. When Belle reached the age of twelve her parents decided it was time for her to get a formal education. In 1856 she was sent to Baltimore to attend the Mount Washington Female College that was directed by Reverend George Lewis Staley, D.D. She completed four years at the college which
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