This Week in the Civil War - #930
Rose Greenhow, a pre-war, Washington, D.C. socialite, had cultivated many important friends among Washington politicians and within the Union military. Commanding a spy network early in the Civil War, she funneled many secrets to the Confederates until her arrest in August 1861. Tried and imprisoned in 1862 for five months, Rose was eventually deported to the South. Jefferson Davis then opted to send her on a diplomatic mission to Europe in 1863. Attempting to return to the Confederacy on Saturday, October 1, 1864 on the British blockade runner Condor, Rose abandoned ship when it ran aground off Wilmington, North Carolina. Fearing Union capture, Mrs. Greenhow drowned from the weight of $2000 of gold which she wished to bring into the Confederacy and stubbornly refused to abandon.