A Southern Spy in Northern Virginia,
The Civil War Album of Laura Radcliffe
By Charles V. Mauro
As the Civil War Raged, Confederate brigadier general J.E.B. Stuart entrusted a secret album to Laura Ratcliffe, a young girl in Fairfax County, “as a token of his high appreciation of her patriotism, admiration of her virtues, and pledge of his lasting esteem.” A devoted Southerner, Laura provided a safe haven for Rebel forces, along with intelligence gathered from passing Union soldiers. Ratcliffe’s book contains four poems and forty undated signatures: twenty-six of Confederate officers and soldiers and fourteen of loyal Confederate civilians.
In A Southern Spy in Northern Virginia, Charles V. Mauro uncovers the mystery behind this album, identifying who the soldiers were and when they could have signed its pages. The result is a fascinating look at the covert lives and relationships of civilians and soldiers during the war, kept hidden until now.
“I observed two ladies walking rapidly toward me. One was Miss Laura Ratcliffe…But for meeting them, my life as a Partisan would have ended that day.”
—John Singleton Mosby
220 pages 104 illustrations
$27.00 including shipping