By Belle Boyd
First released in 1865, Belle Boyd's memoir of her studies as a accomplice undercover agent has stood the try of time and curiosity. Belle first won notoriety while she killed a Union soldier in her domestic in 1861. throughout the Federal occupations of the Shenandoah Valley, she mingled with the servicemen and, utilizing her female wiles, received invaluable details for the insurgent cause.
In this new version, Kennedy-Nolle and Faust examine the family part of the Civil battle and in addition verify the price of Boyd's memoir for social and literary historians in its problem to our realizing the main divisive years in American history.
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Extra resources for Belle Boyd in Camp and Prison
In his role as "Mr. Belle Boyd," Hardinge functions as her understudy, beginning with his donning of a ring that Boyd places upon his finger on the eve of his departure, enjoining him never to remove it. The ring symbolizes both his marriage to Boyd and his initiation as her substitute. In a remarkable footnote—the only note she adds to Hardinge's journal—Boyd reveals that this ring was "once the property of an African princess," which endows it with magical powers (212). Boyd's treasuring of this ring and her deference to its "peculiar charm," as well as her willingness to divulge its import to her readers, suggest her ability to embrace exotic otherness and to imagine herself as differently racialized.
63). By the conclusion of the passage, Boyd and Sala have cleverly taken advantage of readers who are made prisoners by their beliefs about women. This strategy allowed for a broader perception of patriotism and the forms it might take among white, upper-class women. For Boyd this meant winning her readers' acceptance of her right to carry a pistol, use it, and still be considered a proper southern lady. Boyd discharged that pistol in the "First Adventure" of her memoir. On July 4, 1861, a day marked by the rowdy celebrating of Federals occupying Martinsburg, Boyd shot a Yankee soldier.
It was only offer the Battle of Antietam and Lee's retreat south that Boyd's exemplary courage in the earlier Battle of Front Royal was formally recognized: she was made honorary aide-de-camp to Stonewall Jackson. The effusive praise of these southerners (and some northerners) for Boyd's valor constitutes an irony: for some southerners, commitment to the Cause also entailed, in effect, a commitment to reforming traditional roles for women as it became increasingly clear how necessary their participation was.