Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Spy Drinking Tea

This entry is from Mary Chesnut's Civil War, edited by C. Vann Woodward. Mary Chesnut  was married to James Chesnut, United States Senator from South Carolina, 1859-1861, and afterward an Aide to Jefferson Davis, and a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army.
From an entry dated August 18, 1861:
Found it quite excting to have a spy drinking his tea with us.  Perhaps because I knew his profession, I did not like his face.  He is said to have a scheme by which Washington will fall into our hands like an overripe peach.

The tea drinker was identified in the 1860s Journal as George Donellan, a member of the Confederate spy ring in Washington that had sent information on Union troop movements to Beauregard before Bull Run.  Apparently his "scheme" never came to "fruition."

Head of a Confederate Spy, from Library of Congress Collection

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