FOUND­ING THROUGH CIVIL WAR

1790-1865

The Washington Post Sunday - - BOOK WORLD -

1 Dol­ley Madi­son, first-lady spy

First lady Dol­ley Madi­son es­tab­lished an ob­ser­va­tion post on the White House roof in 1814 to watch for the ap­proach­ing Bri­tish army. While flee­ing to avoid cap­ture, she saved the Gil­bert Stu­art por­trait of Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton be­fore the White House was set ablaze.

White House, 1600 Penn­syl­va­nia Ave. NW

2 Win­der Build­ing Sig­nal Corps cupola

One of the high­est points in Wash­ing­ton at the time of the Civil War, the cupola of the Win­der Build­ing was cho­sen by the Union Sig­nal Corps for point-to-point vis­ual com­mu­ni­ca­tions with nearby camps and forts.

600 17th St. NW

3 Lowe bal­loon launch site

Pro­fes­sor Thaddeus S. C. Lowe con­ducted the first aerial com­bat re­con­nais­sance in our na­tion’s his­tory from a teth­ered bal­loon west of Wash­ing­ton. On June 24, 1861, he ob­served and re­ported Con­fed­er­ate Cav­alry ac­tiv­ity.

Fort Tay­lor Park, N. Roo­sevelt St. and Ridge Pl., Falls Church, Va.

4 Man­sion House Ho­tel

Sarah Emma Ed­monds claimed to have donned mul­ti­ple dis­guises and per­sonas as a Union spy, in­clud­ing a young man, Ir­ish ped­dler and African Amer­i­can laun­dress. Later, she worked as a nurse at the Man­sion House Ho­tel, which had been con­verted to a Union hospi­tal.The ho­tel, once lo­cated in front of the Car­lyle House, has since been de­mol­ished.

121 N. Fair­fax St., Alexandria, Va.

5 Kirk­wood House Ho­tel

The Kirk­wood House Ho­tel was at times home to Ben­jamin Franklin Stringfel­low, a spy of many dis­guises, who has been called the “Con­fed­er­ate James Bond.” Ge­orge Atze­rodt, a con­spir­a­tor in Lin­coln’s as­sas­si­na­tion, also stayed at the ho­tel; he was as­signed to kill Vice Pres­i­dent An­drew John­son, who lived at Kirk­wood House, but he lost his nerve, drank heav­ily and fled.

12th Street and Penn­syl­va­nia Ave. NW

6 Gard­ner Gallery

Alexan­der Gard­ner’s photographs pro­vide an in­valu­able his­tor­i­cal record of the Civil War, but at the time they were also used to iden­tify spies and for car­tog­ra­phy. His photographs of Ford’s Theatre fol­low­ing Lin­coln’s as­sas­si­na­tion are among the first crime scene photographs.

511 Seventh St. NW

7 Old Capi­tol Prison

Sprawl­ing across the site of what is now the Supreme Court build­ing, the Old Capi­tol Prison held two of the most in­fa­mous Con­fed­er­ate spies, Belle Boyd, who was ar­rested many times and re­leased, in­creas­ing her fame, and Rose O’Neal Green­how, whose in­for­ma­tion aided the Con­fed­er­acy in its vic­tory at the First Bat­tle of Bull Run.

First and East Capi­tol Streets NE

8 Sur­ratt board­ing house

South­ern sym­pa­thizer Mary Sur­ratt ran a board­ing house that served as a safe house and base of op­er­a­tions for con­spir­a­tors in Lin­coln’s as­sas­si­na­tion.

604 H St. NW

1 Maj. Ralph Van De­man. PHOTO: INSCOM

3 Lowe bal­loon launch site. PHOTO: LI­brary of Congress

2 At­tor­ney Gen. A. Mitchell Palmer’s res­i­dence af­ter the ex­plo­sion. PHOTO: Li­brary of Congress

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