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During the Civil War time period, there were many prominent figures who played a key part in the outcome of the war. Many are highlighted in our history books for their acts of heroism, leadership, and defining the history of the United States. One person who had a significant role during the Civil War was a woman named Rose O’Neal Greenhow. She is most famously known for being a spy for the Confederate Army.
Rose O’Neal Greenhow was born in Maryland during the early 1800’s (historians believe either 1813 or 1814). Her parents both died when she was young, and Rose went to live with her aunt in Washington, DC. Rose and her sisters adjusted well to life in Washington, and became acquainted with many prominent people.
In 1835, Rose was married to Dr. Robert Greenhow, Jr. Robert worked for the U.S. Department of State. As a young couple, they enjoyed the social life that Washington, DC offered. Eventually, they had four daughters. Due to Robert’s work with the State Department, the family moved around a few times. They first moved to Mexico City, Mexico then to San Francisco, California. In 1854, Robert died while in San Francisco, and Rose moved back to the Washington, DC area.