ROSE O'NEAL GREENHOW

Roe O'Neal Greenhow

Rose O'Neal Greenhow was a 40 year old widow, a mother of four and a passionate secessionist when the War Between the States broke out. She ran an elaborate spy ring for the Confederacy from her home on 16th Street in Washington, D.C.  Among her accomplishments, Mrs. Greenhow successfully sent a ten word secret message to General Beauregard that President Jefferson Davis later credited with helping to win the battle of Manassas.  Following her arrest for spying by the United States War department, Mrs. Greenhow was confined in her home and then in Old Capital Prison in Washington D for five months with her 8-year-old daughter.

After being paroled and agreeing to never return to Washington, Mrs. Greenhow was greeted by cheering crowds in Virginia.  She was received warmly by President Davis.  Mrs. Greenhow continued to send messages to help the Confederacy by means of cryptic notes traveling in unlikely places like the inside of a woman's hair bun.

Her next mission took Mrs. Greenhow on a tour of Britain and France as a propagandist for the Confederate cause.  Two months after her arrival in London, her memoirs were published.  The book enjoyed a wide sales following throughout the British Isles.  In Europe, Mrs. Greenhow found a strong sympathy for the South, especially among the ruling classes. She was received at the court of Queen Victoria in England and the court of Napoleon III in France.  

Mrs. Greenhow's nexdt mission took her on a tour of Britain and France as a propagandist for the Confederate cause.  Two months after her arrival in London, her memoirs were published.  The book enjoyed a wide sales following throughout the British Isles.  In Europe, Mrs. Greenhow found a strong sympathy for the South, especially among the ruling classes. She was received at the court of Queen Victoria in England and the court of Napoleon III in France.  In 1864, after a year abroad Mrs. Greenhow boarded a British blockade-runner, the Condor, to take her home.  Just prior to arriving at her destination, the vessel ran aground at the mouth of the Cape Fear River near Wilmington, NC.  To avoid the pursuing Union gunboat, Mrs. Greenhow attempted to flee in a rowboat but the small boat capsized.  Due to the weight of the gold sewn into her dress, royalties from her book, she was dragged under the water.
 
In October 1864, Rose O'Neal Greenhow was buried with full military honors in Oakdale Cemetery, Wilmington, NC.  Her coffin was wrapped in the Confederate flag and carried by Confederate troops.  The marble cross marking her grave bears the epitaph:

Mrs. Rose O'N. Greenhow, a bearer of dispatches to the Confederate Government.

 The Texas Society Order of Confederate Rose is named in honor of this great lady of the South.  We strive to emulate the integrity and loyalty of one such patriot of our homeland.