Maria Isabella "Belle" Boyd, one of the most famous Confederate spies during the American Civil War, sits for a glass-plate-negative portrait in Washington D.C. A debutante in the U.S. capital in the winter of 1860–1861, she returned to her hometown of Martinsburg, Virginia, after that state seceded from the Union. Boyd became a spy for the Confederacy, repeatedly and under dangerous circumstances managing to relay information on Union troop strengths and movements to Confederate commanders in the field. According to Confederate general Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, the intelligence she provided helped the general to win victories in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862. Authorities suspected her of being a spy almost from the start, and the Union imprisoned her multiple times, but Boyd was a master of manipulation. Her ability to exploit a soldier's sense of chivalry and the Victorian male's natural deference to "ladies" became legendary and may help explain why so many of the war's best spies were women.