Confederate Female Spies: Changing Northern Perceptions in Fiction and Nonfiction and it’s Affect on Popular Opinion of the Confederate Cause


This work attempts to trace the modern day popularity and veneration of the Confederate cause by analyzing the change in public opinion as reflected by publications between the years 1865 to 1920. Focusing specifically on the Northern public’s perception of Confederate female spies in works of fiction and nonfiction, this essay analyzes how wartime detest of Southern female spies soon gave way to a fascination and glorification of these women’s exploits which, by the 1920’s saw Southern female spies as equals to their Northern counterparts. This change over time reflects the general trend in Civil War history and provides an explanation as to why the Confederacy quickly became a poster child for the romanticized haven of patriotism embodied by “The Lost Cause.”


Winner of the 2018 Library Award for Undergraduate Research.