Belle Boyd, Portrait of a Spy

Date:
2010
Medium:
Acrylic on wood
Dimensions:
5 5/8 x 6 ½ inches
Credit Line:
Collection of Lysiane Luong Grooms and the artist

Pauline Cushman, Union spy, may have been a professional actress, but Isabella Maria Boyd was only a 17-year-old girl in occupied Virginia, when she began spying for the Confederate cause. Provoked to shoot a Union soldier who was taunting her mother in their home, she channeled her outrage into charming military secrets from soldiers, and operating as a courier for generals P. G. T. Beauregard and “Stonewall” Jackson, until attention from the press made her too notorious to be effective.