Who Is The Mystery Lady Who Helped Defeat The Confederacy?

Mary Bowser
Leslie Taylor-Grover
October 20, 2020

Mary Bowser seemed like another enslaved servant – but in truth, she was a spy for the Union Army! She was so skilled that even now, historians have largely failed to accurately document her life. What made her so incredible?

First of all, she used the racism of Confederate generals against them. Because she was Black, they just assumed she was enslaved, illiterate, and stupid. Fortunately, they could not have been more mistaken about her! But that’s not even the best part.

Not only was she a free woman, but she could read. What’s more, she had a photographic memory that allowed her to remember documents, conversations, and maps effortlessly. But there’s even one more thing about Mary.

There’s absolutely no record of what happened to her after her service to the Union Army. And Bowser wasn’t even her real name! 

While many historians use a picture of her posing elegantly, it’s the wrong photo! Bowser lived in obscurity for the rest of her life.

This mysterious woman reported her findings to her contact and helped defeat the Confederacy. However, there’s one thing that’s definitely not a mystery about her: how she used her gifts to help our people. 

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