Rose O'Neal Greenhow, 1817-1864
and her daughter
Alexander Gardner (1821-1882)
for the Mathew Brady Studio
Albumen silver print, 1862
National Portrait Gallery,
In the 1850s, widow Rose O'Neal Greenhow was a popular Washington hostess, well known for her diverse circle of friends, but after the war began, Greenhow vigorously supported the Confederate cause. In July 1861 Greenhow alerted the Confederate army to Union plans for the Battle of Bull Run, forcing detective Allan Pinkerton to send her and her young daughter to Washington's Old Capitol Prison. Greenhow, now a famous southern martyr, moved to England, where she published her prison memoirs. She died in a shipwreck on her way home in 1864. While Greenhow and her daughter Rose were still in prison, they posed for Brady's photographer Alexander Gardner. Brady published their portrait as part of his series Incidents of War.
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