Isabella Boyd: Cleopatra of the Secession

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Isabella Boyd: Cleopatra of the Secession Throughout history there have been several instances where one views the changing roles of men and women based on need. During World War II, “Rosie the Riveter” helped build up American armories fulfilling work “roles” traditionally held by men. During the Civil War Union and confederate sides utilized women in various roles to aide each other’s cause. Some women during the Civil War served more traditional roles as nurses and cooks, other women pretended to be men in order to fight, and some women even worked as spies. Isabella Boyd was one of the most famous female Confederate spies in history. Isabella “Belle” Boyd was born on May 9th, 1844 in the town of Martinsburg, Virginia. She was the oldest child of Benjamin Reed and Mary Rebecca Boyd. People viewed Belle as a rowdy and care-free tomboy throughout her childhood. Her parents owned the local hotel in Fort Royal, Virginia, but they never had excessive amounts of money. Despite her family’s lack of money, Belle’s parents believed it was important for her to receive a good education. After Belle had completed some primary school at the age of twelve, she was shipped off to Mount Washington Female College at Baltimore. This school was an institute that taught girls to behave lady-like. At the age of sixteen, she had finished her schooling and was seen in society as a beautiful debutante. Most people loved Belle and loved to hear stories about her. Belle enjoyed being in the public eye and she loved to host parties. Most people knew her to be a shameless flirt, with both men from the North and the South. Belle’s later husband was actually a Yankee which had captured Belle. She used her wit and charm to persuade him to marry her and switch sides. Belle had a strong hate for the Union and most of its soldiers. This hate was founded on July 4th, 1861. In journal
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