Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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CUSHMAN, Pauline, spy, born in New Orleans, La., 10 June 1833. She was the daughter of a Spanish refugee, who became a tradesman in New Orleans, and afterward an Indian trader at Grand Rapids, Michigan After reaching womanhood she returned to the south as a variety actress, and attracted attention by her beauty. When acting in Louisville, Kentucky, in March 1863, she was offered a bribe if she would give a toast to Jefferson Davis during the performance, and, on informing the provost marshal, Colonel Moore, was induced to carry out the plot. She was afterward employed by the government as a detective to discover the southern sympathizers and spies in Louisville, and their methods of conveying information and medical supplies across the lines, and frequently also as a scout. Securing a theatrical engagement at Nashville, where she was welcomed as a secessionist, she performed valuable services for the army police in detecting thefts from the government stores, trade in contraband, and the practices of guerillas. Thence she was sent beyond the lines in May 1863, ostensibly as a rebel sympathizer, in order to gain information of the strength of the Confederate forces and fortifications, the extent of their supplies, and their contemplated movements. She was captured, taken to the headquarters of General Bragg, and sentenced by a court-martial to be hanged as a spy, but was left behind at the evacuation of Shelbyville, where she was found by the Union troops. The fame of her adventures extended over the country, and after her escape from imprisonment she was given by the soldiers the title of major, and was accoutred as an officer. Her knowledge of the roads in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi was of great service to the Army of the Cumberland. See her "Life," by F. L. Sarmiento (Philadelphia, 1865).
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