"A spellbinding story, told with historical veracity, about loyal Unionists who risk everything for their country in the heart of the Confederacy. Nearly impossible to put down."
~Joseph Wheelan, author of Libby Prison Breakout
Compelled to atone for the sins of her slaveholding father, Union loyalist Sophie Kent risks everything to help end the war from within the Confederate capital and abolish slavery forever. But she can’t do it alone. Former slave Bella Jamison sacrifices her freedom to come to Richmond, where her Union soldier husband is imprisoned, and her twin sister still lives in bondage in Sophie’s home. Though it may cost them their lives, they work with Sophie to betray Rebel authorities. Harrison Caldwell, a Northern journalist who escorts Bella to Richmond, infiltrates the War Department as a clerk–but is conscripted to defend the city’s fortifications. As Sophie’s spy network grows, she walks a tightrope of deception, using her father’s position as newspaper editor and a suitor’s position in the ordnance bureau for the advantage of the Union. One misstep could land her in prison, or worse. Suspicion hounds her until she barely even trusts herself. When her espionage endangers the people she loves, she makes a life-and-death gamble. Will she follow her convictions even though it costs her everything–and everyone–she holds dear?
Virginia was the cradle of democracy. Not only could it claim the settlement of Jamestown, but the leaders the state produced—George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and James Madison—guided the new nation through its earliest perils. So when the Southern states seceded from the country Virginia helped birth, the Old Dominion hesitated. In fact, as late as April 12, 1861, Richmond was a Union town. The diverse, urban area had little in common with the agrarian sector of the Cotton South. But the action at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, changed everything. When Lincoln called for his 75,000 volunteers, Richmond and Virginia felt the choice was made for them. In the face of an invading army, Virginia was the last state to secede. Weeks later, the Confederate capital moved to Richmond. The city of 38,000 would balloon to more than 100,000 souls. It seethed with government officials, refugees, speculators, prisoners, soldiers, criminals, and wounded. No other American city endured what Richmond did during this war: four years of periodic attack, frequent raids, siege, famine, capitulation, and partial destruction by fire. A small band remained loyal to the Union—and to the cause of freedom, especially after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation—even in this feverishly patriotic capital. The Richmond Underground comprised native Virginians as well as immigrants, white and black, slave and free, men and women. Spy of Richmond tells a tale of commitment to conviction no matter the cost.