A followup on Rose Greenhow. Catherine Edmondston has just recounted Greenhow’s imprisonment on August 23rd 1861.
Living and moving around in the inner circles of DC society at the outbreak of war, recently widowed Rose Greenhow was an ardent secessionist. She used her connections to filter information to Confederate leadership. She has been credited as one of the main reasons the Confederate forces were able to achieve victory at First Manassas. Greenhow was placed under surveillance and eventually imprisoned at Old Capital Prison in Washington. She was later exchanged and allowed to travel South. Unable to watch idly, Greenhow travelled to England and France to raise both awareness and funds on behalf of the Confederacy. Upon her return to her beloved South, the blockade runner on which she was a passenger ran aground not far from Fort Fisher, North Carolina in October 1864. With potential re-imprisonment looming should she be captured on the blockade runner by an advancing blockading Union ship, Rose demanded to be rowed ashore in a smaller boat. The boat capsized and she was drowned. The ladies of Wilmington gave her as fitting a burial as they could muster despite wartime shortages. Visitors to Wilmington can see her grave, pictured here, in the city’s Oakdale Cemetery.
Sources: Rose O’Neal Greenhow papers can be found in the North Carolina State Archives and Duke University. Several books have been written on her in addition to her own autobiography: My Imprisonment and the First Year of Abolition Rule at Washington (1863) http://docsouth.unc.edu/fpn/greenhow/menu.html