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The Female Federal Scout: Pauline Cushman

Female Federal Scout National Defender, v. VIII, no. 42, Tuesday, May 31, 1864, Whole Number 404, p.[3], col. 5.National Defender, v. VIII, no. 42, Tuesday, May 31, 1864, Whole Number: 404, p. [3], col. 5.

The transcribed portion of text is from the digitized copy in the Montgomery Historical Society of Montgomery County Collection.

The Female Federal Scout

Tarilling [1] Adventure of Miss Major Pauline Cushman–Her Performance As A Spy–A Narrow Escape from a Disagreeable Death.

[From Detroit Tribune.]

Among the women of America who have made themselves famous since the opening of the rebellion, few have suffered more, or rendered more service to the Federal cause than Miss Major Pauline Cushman, the female scout and spy.

At the commencement of hostilities she resided in Cleveland, Ohio, and quite well-known as a clever actress. From Cleveland she went to Louisville, where she had an engagement in Wood’s Theatre. Here, by her intimacy with certain rebel officers, she incured [2] the suspicion of being a rebel, and was arrested by the Federal authorities. She indignantly denied that she was a rebel, although born at the South, and having a brother in a rebel Mississippi regiment. . . . .


[1] Probable printer’s error. “Thrilling”
[2] incurred

Further Readings on Pauline Cushman:

“The Perils of Pauline.” Winkler, H. Donald. Stealing Secrets: How a Few Daring Women Deceived Generals, Impacted Battles, and Altered the Course of the Civil War. Naperville, Ill.: Cumberland House, 2010: 111-134.  Falvey Main. E628 .W57 2010

Sarmiento, Ferdinand L. Life of Pauline Cushman, the Celebrated Union Spy and Scout… Philadelphia : J. E. Potter, 1865. Internet Archive. 25 March 2017. <>

“Pauline Cushman: The Spy of Cumberland.” Blog. Posted by: Rebecca Beatrice Brooks. Posted Date: January 3, 2013. Civil Wag Saga. Copyright 2016. 25 March 2017. <>

“Pauline Cushman Biography.” The Editors. Last Updated: April 20, 2016. © 2017 A&E Television Networks. 25 March 2017. <>

“Pauline Cushman.” Presidio of San Francisco National Park. National Park Service. U. S. Department of the Interior. 25 March 2017. <>

“Pauline Cushman (1833–1893): Mathew Brady Studio.” Collections: Leaders. CivilWar@Smithsonian. Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. 25 March 2017. <>

Betts, Vicki, “Women Soldiers, Spies, and Vivandieres: Articles from Civil War Newspapers” (2016). Special Topics. Paper 28. 25 March 2017. <>

Suggested Subjects for books in Falvey:
Women spies — Confederate States of America — Biography.
United States — History — Civil War, 1861-1865 — Participation, Female.




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Last Modified: March 27, 2017

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