Pauline Cushman

Abby Kopp & Allison Vowels & Kamilla Ablyazova

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The Early Years of Pauline Cushman

Harriet Wood was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on June 10, 1833. She was raised a tomboy since she spent most of her childhood around her brothers. At eighteen, due to her father's temper, Harriet escaped her hometown to New York to become part of a performance group which was when she changed her name to Pauline Cushman.

Contribution to the Civil War

As of 1863, Pauline Cushman became a celebrity among the South, working her way into the hearts of some of the most important Confederate officers. However, she was hired by the Union to gather information from the Rebels. She admitted to the fact that she enjoyed her job, since it was very similar to acting. She would discover the most significant plans of the Confederacy in terms of war. Doing so, Pauline Cushman would steal these in secret, later showing them to the top of the Union commanders. However, she was nearly executed while attempting to cross into the Union territory. She was rescued three days prior to her death penalty. However, she continued her work for the Union, eventually being awarded an Honorary Major's Commission by Abraham Lincoln himself.

Life After the Civil War

Due to her narrow escape from death, Pauline Cushman later suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. She went on a tour of the North, speaking of her experiences as a spy. Pauline Cushman later ended up having a biography written about her by a fellow friend. She died on December 2, 1893, due to a drug overdose because she couldn't bear the deaths of her beloved children. She was buried at a Presidio with complete military respect for her brave actions.


1-Pauline Cushman was also an actress.

2-Growing up she was friends with little Indian girls that accepted her into their tribe. They called her ¨Laughing Breeze¨.

3-During her time as a spy, Pauline Cushman was actually caught and sentenced to death. Nonetheless, she was lucky enough to have escaped due to the Union Army's last-minute rescue.

4-During one of her performances, her character was scripted to toast the Confederate president, in which she had to gain the consent from the Union government.

5-Her birth name was actually Harriet Wood.

6- She had a husband who passed away from dysentery.

7- She also was a mother to three children.