Boyd's espionage career began by chance. According to her highly fictionalized 1866 account, a band of Union army soldiers heard that she had Confederate flags in her room on July 4, 1861, and they came to investigate. They hung a Union flag outside her home. Then one of the men cursed at her mother, which enraged Boyd. She pulled out a pistol and shot the man, who died some hours later. A board of inquiry exonerated her of murder, but sentries were posted around the house and officers kept close track of her activities.
When Richmond fell to U.S. forces in April 1865, Van Lew was the first person to raise the Union flag in the city. On Grant's first visit to Richmond after the war, he had tea with Van Lew. Grant said of her, "You have sent me the most valuable information received from Richmond during the war. Elizabeth was eventually inducted into the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame.
Emma Kline - "Hostile in Spirit"
As the daughter of a Mississippi planter, and a sister to five brothers, Emma Kline became involved in the war effort with enthusiasm. On one occasion, she managed to conceal a roll of army cloth, several pairs of cavalry boots--tied to the rolled coils of her hoop skirt--along with a roll of crimson flannel, packages of gilt braid and sewing silk, cans of preserved meats, and a bag of coffee—quite a tally of contraband for a 20-year old woman.
- A traveler walking oddly
- Clothing that was quite tight
- A woman who seems overly nervous
- Clothing that appears too large for the wearer