Southern Lady, Yankee Spy by Elizabeth R. Varon

by Sandra Merville Hart

The True Story of Elizabeth Van Lew,

A Union Agent in the Heart of the Confederacy

I discovered this book while researching to write my “Spies of the Civil War” series. The second and third book in my series are set in Richmond, Virginia, in 1862. I wanted to learn more about Richmond’s most famous Union spy, Elizabeth Van Lew.

The author of this biography gives her childhood background and a bit of her family history as well yet the main focus is the Civil War years.

Plenty of important historical events connected with war happened in Richmond. Elizabeth wasn’t the only Union supporter—called Unionists—during the war. Others worked as spies for the North. We know the most about the activities of Elizabeth Van Lew.

A well-written and compassionate biography of Elizabeth’s life.