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Union Generals Grant, Sharpe, and Butler all praised the intelligence gathered by Van Lew's spy ring--although it's difficult to know today precisely what information she smuggled to them, because the official records related to the espionage were destroy after the war, at Van Lew's request (presumably to protect other members of the spy ring). Since Varon's biography was published, I've done additional research about the ring, which you can read about in the article "A Black Spy in the Confederate White House" and in the book *The Secrets of Mary Bowser*
Toggle Commented Dec 20, 2012 on Elizabeth Van Lew Biography at The Faculty Lounge
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Dec 20, 2012