Pauline Cushman, 1835-1893
Union Spy. Born in New Orleans in 1833 and raised in Michigan Pauline became a actress in New York at 17. As the war broke out she decided to use her acting abilities and her southern birth to aide the Union case. She convinced the Provost Marshal in Louisville of her loyalty and was sworn into the Secret Service. Getting inside the Confederate lines and finding out information about the Rebels where getting their information and supplies was her first assignment.
While on stage, she interrupted her performance to toast Jefferson Davis and Southern Cause. "Here's to Jefferson Davis and the Southern Confederacy. May the South always maintain her honor and rights." This got her fired from the theatrical company but made her a celebrity in the South.
She could pass through the lines and gather her information. Having successfully cared out her assignment in Louisville, she was given instructions to proceed to Nashville and repeat her actions. While in Nashville, she had an interview with Colonel Truesdale, chief of the Union Army Police. She used the explicit instructions he gave her to gather information within the Confederate lines. In Shelbyville, in and found guilty of espionage. Her sentence was death by hanging. Using her acting, she feigned a serious illness and her execution was delayed.
The sound of Yankee bugles and Gen William Rosecran's advance guard spared her life as the Confederates' retreated from Shelbyville. She passed valuable information on to General Rosecrans. Her days as a spy were over. General Garfield in consideration for her long service, suffering and danger awarded her the honorary ran and title of major. She lectured about her adventures wearing a Federal Union. Her later years were troubled and she committed suicide.