Pauline Cushman

Autumn Saunders & Zora Gyant

Early Years

Birth? When & Where?

Harriet Wood also known as Pauline Cushman, was born on June 10, 1833 in New Orleans, Louisianan.


Pauline Cushman never had a schooling education, but when older she left to become an actress.

Life before the civil war?

Lived in Michigan with her family, and at the age of 18, she went back to her birth home New Orleans then left her home and went to New York to become an actress.

Contribution to the Civil War

What did they do during the Civil War?

In Kentucky she was giving her performance to toast to Jefferson Davis. The Union official thought it was a good idea for Pauline to be a spy on the Confederate, because she was a good actress.

Pauline was fired from her occupation for the toast for Davis and was soon hired as a spy and followed the Confederates and was informing the Union of the Confederates actions. She was caught in Shelbyville, Kentucky where she was passed off to General Bragg and was planned to be hanged for her ¨Crimes¨.

Life after the Civil War

Did they do anything after the war?

She was not execution because she got rescued when the Union army came in and Confederate army retreated back.

Pauline was given a honorary medal by President Lincoln and was recommended by General Gordon Granger and James A. Garfield.

Pauline's husband Charles Dickinson became ill and passed away. In 1872 she got married to August Fitchner but only lasted one year and he passed away. Then in 1879 she got married by Jere Fryer. But then 20 years later they got separated.

Pauline was a seamstress and a charwomen in San Fransico.


Pauline was suffering in pain by arthritis, she was addicted to her medicine and overdosed on her medicine, it could have been a accidental or intentional suicide. Pauline died on the 2nd of December of 1893 at the age of 60. Buried for her work contributing to the war Pauline was buried, San Francisco National Cemetery, San Francisco, CA.

Memorial Commemorations?

Pauline Cushman has 2 books written about her and she may be documented in other books but two authors named F.L Sarmiento and Bill Christen who wrote about her story.

Intersting Facts about Pauline Cushman

1) Pauline Cushman was a struggling actress.

2) Pauline was featured by P. T. Barnum circus show telling about her stories as a spy.

3) Emma, Pauline adopted daughter died.

4) Her father was a Spanish merchant, so she had a little Spanish in her.

5) 2 out of 3 her husbands died, which we think is weird and sad at time.