Elizabeth Van Lew, Patriot
Elizabeth Van Lew was born in Richmond, Virginia, a citizen of the United States of America. When Virginia and other southern states seceded, she didn’t feel that changed her citizenship. Once the Civil War started, she led a dangerous double life to aid her country.
Her neighbors thought her merely an eccentric spinster; in reality she was busy day and night, ferreting out Confederate military secrets and passing them covertly through enemy lines to other members of the Union intelligence underground, all right under the suspicious noses of the Confederate military command in her native Richmond. The Confederate Army constantly harassed her: they raided her house in the middle of the night; they followed as she went about her business through the streets of Richmond; they even searched her grocery bags for possible hidden messages. Throughout the Civil War, Elizabeth Van Lew was but a hair’s breadth away from exposure, and a hanging death. This is her heroic true story.
Winner of the Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction