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WILD ROSE by Ann Blackman

Wild Rose
tells the story of a remarkable woman, Rose O’Neale Greenhow, a grande dame of Washington society who became a Confederate spy during the Civil War. A ravishing and fearless Southerner who used feminine wiles to charm military secrets out of Union officials, she helped change the course of the war, beginning with the Battle of Bull Run. Greenhow was a disciple of South Carolina statesman John C. Calhoun, had tea with Dolley Madison, socialized with President Martin Van Buren, advised President James Buchanan and became a threat to President Lincoln, who jailed her for espionage. In 1863, after she was exiled to Richmond, Confederate President Jefferson Davis sent Greenhow to Europe to garner support and recognition for their cause. Blackman located a previously unpublished diary Greenhow kept during her year abroad and draws on it, as well as extensive historical research to show how the woman’s dramatic personal life prepared her for a wild and dangerous mission. From the Maryland plantation where her drunken father died, allegedly at the hands of his personal slave, to her own violent death at sea, Rose Greenhow led a life filled with tragedy, drama and passion. Wild Rose is a superbly researched and wonderfully readable story about an influential woman who played an extraordinary, and until now, untold role in American history.
The true story of Rose O’Neale Greenhow, a Washington socialite and Confederate spy, who risked her life for the South during the Civil War. Ann Blackman is the author of two earlier biographies: Seasons of her Life: A Biography of Madeleine Korbel Albright and The Spy Next Door. about FBI agent Robert Hanssen, who spied for the Russians. In her long career as a news reporter for the Associated Press and TIME magazine, Blackman covered American politics, social policy and the powerful personalities that make up Washington society. She is married to Michael Putzel. They have two grown children and live in the nation’s capital.

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Wild Rose: Civil War Spy
Wild Rose: Civil War Spy

A brief Bio of Ann Blackman
Other Books by Ann Blackman

Praise for  WILD ROSE: Civil War Spy

“The first comprehensive story of a remarkable woman whose passion for the southern cause was equal to that of any soldier who fought for southern independence. Rose O’Neale Greenhow was more than just a female spy.
She was diplomat and strategist, a soldier for a cause she passionately believed in. Well worth reading.”

--Jim Lighthizer, President, Civil War Preservation Trust

"This is a fascinating tale of intrigue and suspense. Anyone who thinks the little women were home tending to their tatting during the Civil War will think again after reading Wild Rose. Blackman has discovered some truly remarkable, never-before-published papers that reveal how deeply involved Rose Greenhow was in the Confederate cause."
--Cokie Roberts, NPR commentator, author of Founding Mothers

"For anyone wondering what role women played in shaping the course of history of the United States, Ann Blackman has an answer : Rose Greenhow. Making the most of a rich store of historical documents, Blackman takes the reader inside life in the turbulent mid-1800's. The story of Wild Rose has everything: power, intrigue, passion and a clever, determined woman at the center. This is a great read."
--Judy Woodruff, CNN anchor

“Ann Blackman has brought all the skills she honed as a Washington journalist to tell the story of a fascinating woman of the 19th century. Here is the confederate spy—a courtier, a savvy southerner, a rebel in her own right—shown with all her strengths and flaws.Blackman has indeed painted the portrait of a wild Rose.”
--Ellen Goodman, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist

“Sexy, audacious, determined – Rose O’Neale Greenhow finally gets her due as a power player in American History. Relive the Civil War through the exploits of this Southern patriot, who dazzled Washington and Europe long before women were supposed to behave so boldly.”
--Lynn Sherr; ABC News Correspondent, 20/20

____________________________________________________________________

Wild Rose: Civil War Spy (Random House; June 2005) by veteran Washington news reporter and author Ann Blackman, is a remarkable true story, based on extensive historical research and on the never-published diary of Rose O’Neale Greenhow, a Washington socialite and Confederate spy who helped change the course of the Civil War.

Virtually illegible and lost for more than 100 years before it was identified and painstakingly transcribed by a North Carolina archivist, Greenhow’s diary reveals previously unknown details of the fascinating life and diplomatic skills of this grande dame of Washington society. A ravishing and fearless Southerner, Greenhow used her feminine wiles to charm military secrets out of Union officials and later, as Confederate President Jefferson Davis’s personal emissary, to try to persuade Emperor Napoleon III and British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston to recognize the Confederacy and end the bloody war between the states. The diary shows that Greenhow was almost certainly the first American woman to negotiate for her government (in this case, the Confederacy) on foreign soil.

From the Maryland plantation where her drunken father died, allegedly at the hands of his personal slave, to her own violent death at sea on her return from Europe in 1864, Rose Greenhow led a life filled with tragedy, drama and passion.  Superbly researched and gracefully written, WILD ROSE is a wonderfully readable, exciting and dramatic tale of a woman who played a larger role in American history than anyone imagined.

About Ann Blackman: In her long career as a news reporter with TIME magazine and the Associated Press, Ann Blackman covered American politics, social policy and the powerful personalities that make up Washington society.  She is the author of Seasons of her Life, a biography of Madeleine Albright, and co-author of The Spy Next Door, about FBI spy Robert Hanssen. Blackman is married to Michael Putzel. They have two grown children and live in the nation’s capital.

 

WILD ROSE: Civil War Spy by Ann Blackman
Random House; June 9, 2005;
ISBN#1-4000-6118-0

Nonfiction
Hardcover
224 pp.
6-1/8 x 9-1/4
$24.95/$34.95 CAN
8-page photo insert
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Here's an excellent review from Publisher’s Weekly

WILD ROSE: Civil War Spy
  Ann Blackman. Random, (224p) ISBN
  1-4000-6118-0
 
  The biographer of Madeleine Albright and FBI turncoat Robert Hansen now turns her attention to the Civil War, yielding this excellent biography of Confederate spy Rose O'Neal Greenhow (1817-1864). Born into a Maryland farming family impoverished when her father was killed by one of his slaves, Rose grew up as one of the belles of Washington, D.C. Even after marrying the quiet, scholarly Robert Greenhow, she continued to play an active role in pro-Southern Washington, including nursing John C. Calhoun on his deathbed. The Greenhows traveled to California hoping to profit from the Gold Rush. After Robert's accidental death in San Francisco, Rose returned to Washington and became a prominent hostess and what would now be called a lobbyist, with many political contacts. She turned these into an espionage ring in time to provide intelligence to the Confederates for the Battle of Bull Run and continued her work until she was placed under house arrest, then confined in the Old Capitol Prison. Released to go South, she traveled to Europe as an emissary from Jefferson Davis to cultivate pro-Confederate notables. The course of the war doomed this mission, and she died in a shipwreck while returning home. Blackman presents her as a woman of both charm and intellect, well equipped to step politely across 19th-century gender boundaries. This literate and thoroughly researched biography does Greenhow justice. Agent, Todd Shuster. (On sale June 7)
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More Reviews

“Tales of Civil War spies are often full of embellished and romanticized derring-do. Not so with Ann Blackman’s thoroughly researched biography of Rose O’Neale Greenhow, whose remarkable life needs no embellishment. The story of Rebel Rose, told here with great skill and lucidity, illustrates yet again that truth is stranger than fiction.”
James McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom

“This is a fascinating tale of intrigue and suspense. Blackman has discovered some truly remarkable, never-before-published papers that reveal how deeply involved Rose Greenhow was in the Confederate cause.”
Cokie Roberts, National Public Radio commentator, author of Founding Mothers

“The first comprehensive story of a remarkable woman whose passion for the Southern cause was equal to that of any soldier who fought for southern independence. Well worth reading.”
Jim Lighthizer, President, Civil War Preservation Trust

“For anyone wondering what role women played in shaping the course of history of the United States, Ann Blackman has an answer: Rose Greenhow. The story of Wild Rose has everything: power, intrigue, passion, and a clever, determined woman at the center. This is a great read.”
Judy Woodruff, CNN anchor, Judy Woodruff’s Inside Politics

“Sexy, audacious, determined–Rose O’Neale Greenhow finally gets her due as a power player in American history. Relive the Civil War through the exploits of this Southern patriot, who dazzled Washington and Europe long before women were supposed to behave so boldly.”
Lynn Sherr, ABC News correspondent, 20/20

“Ann Blackman has brought all the skills she honed as a Washington journalist to tell the story of a fascinating woman of the nineteenth century. Here is the Confederate spy–a courtier, a savvy Southerner, a rebel in her own right–shown with all her strengths and flaws.”
Ellen Goodman, syndicated Boston Globe columnist

From the Inside Flap
For sheer bravado and style, no woman in the North or South rivaled the Civil War heroine Rose O’Neale Greenhow. Fearless spy for the Confederacy, glittering Washington hostess, legendary beauty and lover, Rose Greenhow risked everything for the cause she valued more than life itself. In this superb portrait, biographer Ann Blackman tells the surprising true story of a unique woman in history.

“I am a Southern woman, born with revolutionary blood in my veins,” Rose once declared–and that fiery spirit would plunge her into the center of power and the thick of adventure. Born into a slave-holding family, Rose moved to Washington, D.C., as a young woman and soon established herself as one of the capital’s most charming and influential socialites, an intimate of John C. Calhoun, James Buchanan, and Dolley Madison.

She married well, bore eight children and buried five, and, at the height of the Gold Rush, accompanied her husband Robert Greenhow to San Francisco. Widowed after Robert died in a tragic accident, Rose became notorious in Washington for her daring–and numerous–love affairs.

But with the outbreak of the Civil War, everything changed. Overnight, Rose Greenhow, fashionable hostess, become Rose Greenhow, intrepid spy. As Blackman reveals, deadly accurate intelligence that Rose supplied to General Pierre G. T. Beauregard written in a fascinating code (the code duplicated in the background on the jacket of this book). Her message to Beauregard turned the tide in the first Battle of Bull Run, and was a brilliant piece of spycraft that eventually led to her arrest by Allan Pinkerton and imprisonment with her young daughter.

Indomitable, Rose regained her freedom and, as the war reached a crisis, journeyed to Europe to plead the Confederate cause at the royal courts of England and France.
Drawing on newly discovered diaries and a rich trove of contemporary accounts, Blackman has fashioned a thrilling, intimate narrative that reads like a novel. Wild Rose is an unforgettable rendering of an astonishing woman, a book that will stand with the finest Civil War biographies.

About the Author
Ann Blackman is the author of Seasons of Her Life: A Biography of Madeleine Korbel Albright and co-author of The Spy Next Door, about the traitorous FBI agent Robert Hanssen. In her long career as a news reporter with Time magazine and the Associated Press, Blackman covered American politics, social policy, and the powerful personalities that make up Washington society. She is married to Michael Putzel. They have two grown children and live in the nation’s capital.

Here are a couple of the latest reviews.......

Publisher’s Weekly

WILD ROSE: Civil War Spy
Ann Blackman. Random, $25.95 (224p) ISBN
 1-4000-6118-0
The biographer of Madeleine Albright and FBI turncoat Robert Hansen now turns her attention to the Civil War, yielding this excellent biography of Confederate spy Rose O'Neal Greenhow (1817-1864). Born into a Maryland farming family impoverished when her father was killed by one of his slaves, Rose grew up as one of the belles of Washington, D.C. Even after marrying the quiet, scholarly Robert Greenhow, she continued to play an active role in pro-Southern Washington, including nursing John C. Calhoun on his deathbed. The Greenhows traveled to California hoping to profit from the Gold Rush. After Robert's accidental death in San Francisco, Rose returned to Washington and became a prominent hostess and what would now be called a lobbyist, with many political contacts. She turned these into an espionage ring in time to provide intelligence to the Confederates for the Battle of Bull Run and continued her work until she was placed under house arrest, then confined in the Old Capitol Prison. Released to go South, she traveled to Europe as an emissary from Jefferson Davis to cultivate pro-Confederate notables. The course of the war doomed this mission, and she died in a shipwreck while returning home. Blackman presents her as a woman of both charm and intellect, well equipped to step politely across 19th-century gender boundaries. This literate and thoroughly researched biography does Greenhow justice. Agent, Todd Shuster. (On sale June 7)


Blackman, Ann. Wild Rose: Civil War Spy. June 2005. 224p. illus. Random, $25.95 (1-4000-6118-0). 973.7.

A grand dame of antebellum Washington, Rose O’Neale Greenhow was a Confederate spy. In jail, her stout defense of the South made her a Lost Cause heroine, and her celebrity, on a par with that of Elizabeth Van Lew (the subject of Southern Lady, Yankee Spy, by Elizabeth Varon, 2003), ranks highest in the annals of Civil War espionage. Doing justice to this remarkable woman, author Blackman perceptively re-creates Greenhow’s social and political milieu. From a slaveholding Maryland family, the beautiful Greenhow made an advantageous match to a State Department official and eventually became a vivid, sensual presence in the capital’s social scene, popular with powerful men such as John Calhoun and James Buchanan. Greenhow’s striking personality—confident, snobbish, and canny—is astutely portrayed amid an active narrative of her life, which ended in an 1864 shipwreck on her return from a European diplomatic mission as Jefferson Davis’ emissary. Civil War readers will become engrossed in Blackman’s able portrait, which summons the zeitgeist of the entire era through one woman’s adventurous life. —Gilbert Taylor