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 Pauline Cushman

Photo added by William Bjornstad

Pauline Cushman Famous memorial

Original Name
Harriet Wood
Birth
New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, USA
Death
2 Dec 1893 (aged 60)
Mission District, San Francisco County, California, USA
Burial
San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
Plot
OS, Row 18, Site 1
Memorial ID
6333443 View Source

Civil War Union Spy. Born Harriet Wood in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1833 She became a stage actress in the early 1850s and changed her name to Pauline Cushman. She married a music teacher named Charles Dickinson in 1853 and had 2 children. During the Civil War her husband was a member of the Regimental band of the 41st Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He died of Dysentery in December 1862. Going back to the stage she was in Louisville, Kentucky and was offered $300 by Confederate sympathizers to toast Jefferson Davis while on stage (she did but also reported it to the Union Provost Marshal). She was fired for doing this which made her a sweet heart to the local Confederates and made her a good spy for the Union. She toured the South getting information for the Union until late 1863, when she was found out and ordered hung by Confederate General Braxton Bragg. But the Union troops took the town before the sentence could be carried out. No longer any good as a spy she toured the North and even wrote a book "Spy for the Cumberland". She was given the Honorary rank of Major by President Lincoln. In 1879 she met and married Jere Fryer of Arizona and helped him run a Hotel & Livery, he also became sheriff of Pinal Co. AZ. They separated in 1890 and Pauline moved to San Francisco, working as a seamstress and charwoman. She received a Government pension in June of 1893 of $12 a month for her first husband's war service. She died of an unintentional drug overdose (opium) at age 60. She was buried by the Local GAR in the Officers circle. Her simple stone reads "Pauline C. Fryer Union Spy".

Civil War Union Spy. Born Harriet Wood in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1833 She became a stage actress in the early 1850s and changed her name to Pauline Cushman. She married a music teacher named Charles Dickinson in 1853 and had 2 children. During the Civil War her husband was a member of the Regimental band of the 41st Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He died of Dysentery in December 1862. Going back to the stage she was in Louisville, Kentucky and was offered $300 by Confederate sympathizers to toast Jefferson Davis while on stage (she did but also reported it to the Union Provost Marshal). She was fired for doing this which made her a sweet heart to the local Confederates and made her a good spy for the Union. She toured the South getting information for the Union until late 1863, when she was found out and ordered hung by Confederate General Braxton Bragg. But the Union troops took the town before the sentence could be carried out. No longer any good as a spy she toured the North and even wrote a book "Spy for the Cumberland". She was given the Honorary rank of Major by President Lincoln. In 1879 she met and married Jere Fryer of Arizona and helped him run a Hotel & Livery, he also became sheriff of Pinal Co. AZ. They separated in 1890 and Pauline moved to San Francisco, working as a seamstress and charwoman. She received a Government pension in June of 1893 of $12 a month for her first husband's war service. She died of an unintentional drug overdose (opium) at age 60. She was buried by the Local GAR in the Officers circle. Her simple stone reads "Pauline C. Fryer Union Spy".

Bio by: Herbert Rickards


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Herbert Rickards
  • Added: 9 Apr 2002
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 6333443
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/6333443/pauline-cushman: accessed ), memorial page for Pauline Cushman (10 Jun 1833–2 Dec 1893), Find a Grave Memorial ID 6333443, citing San Francisco National Cemetery, San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA; Maintained by Find a Grave.