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Photograph of Pauline Cushman
Photograph of Pauline Cushman
Resource Typeimage
TitlePhotograph of Pauline Cushman
Coverage / Year1865 to 1866
DescriptionA black and white photograph of Pauline Cushman wearing what appears to be a Union frock coat. Dimensions: 4"x6.5".
InterpretationMajor Pauline Cushman (1835-1893) was a Union spy and scout in the Civil War. She was born in New Orleans in 1835 and became an actress at eighteen in New York City. Although born in the South, Cushman pledged loyalty to the North and used her acting skills to spy on the activities of Confederate troops. One newspaper account states that "she began collecting valuable information concerning men, measures and the movements of troops." General Garfield recognized her contribution to the Union effort by bestowing on her the rank and salary of Major. In 1863, Cushman was banished to Confederate lines as a supposed Southern sympathizer, when in reality, she had already performed valuable services for Union intelligence in Louisville and Nashville. Captured with compromising papers upon her, Pauline Cushman was taken to General Braxton Bragg, court-martialed and sentenced to be hanged. However, in the hasty departure (June 1863) of the Confederates from Shelbyville, Tennessee, she was left behind and was thus able, for the last time, to help the Union cause with information about Confederate strength and plans. Dressed in a Federal uniform, she lectured afterwards about her experiences. Source: Chicago Public Library. "From Fireside to Field: Women and the Civil War" [exhibit]. July 19, 1997-March 14, 1998.
Lesson Plans / ThemesAntebellum Society and the Civil War; Women at Wartime;
Learning Standards16 History;
Author or CreatorUnknown
Subject / KeywordsUnited States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Cushman, Pauline, 1835-1893; Garfield, James, 1831-1881
Collection PublisherChicago Public Library, Special Collections and Preservation Division;
Further InformationFor any further information related to this record, please contact the Collection Publisher. See for more information about this project.
Rights Management Statement
Resource Identifier72.429
CONTENTdm file name81232211112002_72.429_pauline_cushman.jpg
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