A Southern Spy in Northern Virginia: The Civil War Album of Laura Ratcliffe

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As the Civil War raged, Confederate brigadier general J.E.B. Stuart entrusted a secret album to Laura Ratcliffe, a young girl in Fairfax County, "as a token of his high appreciation of her patriotism, admiration of her virtues, and pledge of his lasting esteem." A devoted Southerner, Laura provided a safe haven for Rebel forces, along with intelligence gathered from passing Union soldiers. Ratcliffe's book contains four poems and forty undated signatures: twenty-six of Confederate officers and soldiers and fourteen of loyal Confederate civilians. In A Southern Spy in Northern Virginia, Charles V. Mauro uncovers the mystery behind this album, identifying who the soldiers were and when they could have signed its pages. The result is a fascinating look at the covert lives and relationships of civilians and soldiers during the war, kept hidden until now.
ISBN: 9781596297432
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press
State: Virginia
Series: Civil War
Images: 105
Pages: 224
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
Mr. Mauro is the author and photographer of The Civil War in Fairfax County: Civilians and Soldiers; Herndon: A Town and Its History; and Herndon: A History in Images. He received the Nan Netherton Heritage Award for his historical research, writing and photography of The Battle of Chantilly (Ox Hill), A Monumental Storm. He is also the writer and co-producer of the independent film The Battle of Chantilly (Ox Hill), based on his book. Chuck is a member of the Civil War Preservation Trust, the National Center for Civil War Photography and the Louisiana Historical Association Memorial Hall Foundation, Inc. He is also a member of the Bull Run and Capital Hill Civil War Round Tables; the Stuart-Mosby Society; the Friends of Fort Ward; the Historic Centreville Society, Ltd.; Historic Fairfax City, Inc.; and the Historical Society of Fairfax County. Chuck is a member and past president of the Herndon Historical Society and the Manassas Warrenton Camera Club. He has won numerous prizes for his photography. Mr. Mauro received his BA from the University of Maryland and an MA in business administration from Temple University. He is currently a manager at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). He lives with his wife in Herndon, Virginia.
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