Monday, April 11, 2011
An Extraordinary Affair
February 25, 1865, p. 2, c. 2
From the Cleveland Herald.
An Extraordinary Affair
A Rebel Spy in Petticoats.
On Saturday two young women, apparently about nineteen or twenty years old, called at the rooms of the Soldiers' Aid Society and applied for transportation to Washington. One of them giving the name of Charlotte Anderson, said she had enlisted two or three times in the army, but had been rejected on her sex being discovered. As they turned to leave, one of the ladies in the room became suspicious that "Charlotte" was a man, and sent upstairs to the Provost Marshal, by whose order "Charlotte" and her companion were immediately arrested.
"Charlotte," on being charged with sailing under false colors, indignantly denied the imputation, and her companion, Emma, also assured the officers that "Charlotte" was a girl, for they had slept together several nights. Emma proved the honest of her belief by urging "Charlotte" to submit to the medical examination proposed, but "Charlotte" stoutly refused, and it was only by forcible means that the examination was made, and the fact established that "she" was a "he." Emma was overwhelmed with confusion and grief on the discovery of the sex of her companion, and wept bitterly, refusing all further communication with him. "Charlotte" was locked up in the city prison, and Emma was taken in charge by Commissioner Kirkpatrick.
The girl, Emma, whose other name we suppress, for the reason that she was undoubtedly innocent of any complicity in the schemes of her companion, states that she lived in Erie, but has been for some time living as a hired girl in this city. She is a good work girl, being well acquainted with the business of the kitchen, and apparently modest and well-behaved. She says that several days since she formed the acquaintance of "Charlotte Anderson," and they had been living at the City Hotel and at the Bennett House. They slept together, Emma having not the slightest suspicion that her bed-fellow was not a woman. Charlotte always put out the light before entirely undressing, alleging that it was too cold to so when undressed. "She" also either got up and dressed before Emma was awake, or lay in bed until the latter had left the room. "Charlotte" frequently received letters, many of them from Dayton. Some of these letters were addressed to "Charlie" Anderson, which, she supposed to be a diminutive of Charlotte. It was noticeable, however, that they were always delivered at the gentleman's window of the Post-office, "Charlotte" always going there for them.
A few days since "Charlotte" proposed that they should go to Washington, where she could get good places for both of them, and to this Emma agreed. Owing to the failure of her companion to receive some funds she expected, Emma spent all the money she had, and they were obliged to seek aid at the Soldiers' Aid Rooms, as narrated.
After the arrest "Charlotte" was at first sullen, but, when dressed in soldier's clothes, brightened up, and expressed a willingness to make a clean breast of it. He then made the following statement:
The State of Ohio, Cuyahoga County,
My name is Charles Anderson; was born in Hamburg, Germany; came to America about fifteen years since; my father is dead, my mother lives in Erie, Pennsylvania. I enlisted first in July, 1863, in the 39th Pennsylvania Regiment; left that regiment in July, 1864; being sent to Chattanooga by ---------, I put on woman's clothes, representing myself to Major Wells as a woman; he furnished me the clothes. I went from there to New York City; I remained in New York till October, then, went to Cincinnati; staid there till I enlisted in November, 1864, in the 60th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. I was sent to the front. I staid with the regiment till about a month ago. February 10, 1865, I was out of money and was trying to get transportation back to my regiment; I called on the Ladies' Aid Society for help, but failed; remained at the Burnet House, and this morning called on Clark Warren for transportation, where I was at the time of my arrest. I am a member of the 60th Ohio Infantry, Co. D. I adopted the course I have pursued to get home, and was intending to go back to my regiment. I came through City Point on my way home. I saw General Patrick acting Provost Marshal at City Point; I told him I was a girl; he told me to go home, and he told me he gave the Captain of the Provost Guard all necessary papers to protect me and pass me that I might go home if I would stay there. I told the Lieutenant in charge that I was coming back. I was sent to the Sanitary Commission, and the State agent furnished me transportation to Cleveland. I had a little money left; paid my way to Cincinnati and back home.
The whole of this statement is undoubtedly false. Evidence has been collected that leaves little doubt of the fact that "Charles Anderson" is a rebel spy, and in communication with persons in the North. All his letters were destroyed as received. His statement in regard to living in Erie is false, as he is entirely ignorant of localities and persons there, and he is likewise ignorant in regard to Cincinnati, where he professed to have lived. He has been in Dayton, and he returned from there lately, remarking to the girl that he was very glad for his anxiety would soon be over. In his possession were found three sets of wearing apparel, one female, one military, and one the dress of a dashing "young man about town."
Charlie, alias "Lottie" Anderson, is very feminine in appearance, and has a soft and low feminine voice, whenever he chooses to use it. When dressed as a man he has the appearance of a girl in disguise, and when dressed in tasteful feminine attire, it is exceedingly difficult to doubt the femininity. His accomplishments are varied. He is a dead shot with a pistol, a splendid horseman, can talk three languages fluently, can dance admirably, play the piano, do fine embroidery, knit and crochet equal to any woman, and can spark the boys, as many of them know to their mortification. On one occasion "she" received a stolen kiss behind the door, from an enamored young man, and returned it with fervor to his delight. Although so feminine in appearance, he is remarkably strong for his size.
There are other facts that go to show he is a rebel spy, that it would not be proper to give at this time. The object of his getting acquainted with the girl, and keeping her in ignorance of his real sex, was to divert suspicion from himself until he could get to Washington. In private with Emma he has expressed a bitter hatred to the North, and a determination to shoot President Lincoln if he could get a chance at him.
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