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Belle Boyd - Siren of the Shenandoah


The Legend | Escape | Actress | Epilogue | Marketplace
Escape To England

1862 - 1863 (Richmond)

      August to following June


  • Belle Boyd is declared a heroine
  • Popular guest at war rallies ?
  • Basks in fame
  • 1863 (Martinsburg)


    • Mother ailing again, BB get permission to visit
    • [Confederates drive north occurs and ends July 3, 4 and­5th at Gettysburg]
    • Confederates retreat southward
    • Martinsburg is invaded by Union troops again
    • BB, now notorious in the North, is arrested (charges?)

    1863 (Washington DC)


    • Transported to Washington DC
    • Incarcerated in either Old Capital or Carroll Prison
    • Comes down with typhoid fever


    • Released from prison and banished to South for duration­of war (told never to cross Federal lines again)
    • Still ill from effects of typhoid
    • Returns to Richmond

    1864 (Richmond)


    • Contacted to make a trip to London with Confederate­ dispatches


    • Left for London aboard steamer "The Greyhound" under­guise of recovering her health

          (Atlantic Ocean)


    • Steamer is intercepted by Union blockade vessel
    • BB is arrested and sent to Boston



    • Investigation of BB's activities/alibi
    • Banished (or escaped) to Canada under punishment of­death if recaptured
    • Engagement to Union naval officer, Captain Samuel­Hardinge
    • Sails from Canada to England
    • Hardinge arrested and tried for helping BB
    • Hardinge dismissed from service


    • Reports to British Confederate agent that dispatches­were destroyed upon her capture off the steamer
    • Service to Confederacy ended
    • Hardinge follows BB to London

          August 25

    • Marries Capt. Hardinge in West End in hotel on Jermyn ­Street

          (Harper's Ferry area)


    • Hardinge returns to US on "private business"
    • Hardinge arrested and imprisoned
    • Father dies, age 46



    • Writes letter to Lincoln requesting Hardinge's release


    1865 ()

          Early February

    • Hardinge released from prison in poor health

          February 8

    • Hardinge sails for England
    • Hardinge dies (reunited or not with BB?) [no later than­July 1866]


          May to July

    • Gives birth to a daughter
    • Sells all personal possessions for money
    • Broke and destitute

    1866 (Manchester, England)

    • Acts on stage in "Lady of Lyons"
    • Returns to US and appears on stage
    • Publishes book, "Belle Boyd Starts Her Work As A Spy"


    2004 Kathleen M. Squires. All Rights Reserved.