On February 28, I will be speaking at the College of Charleston about "Spying in the Blood: Gertrude Sanford Legendre's Privilege, Patriotism, and Espionage." I'll also look back at the work of her grandfather, Henry Shelton Sanford, who ran the Union's secret services in Europe during the Civil War. This is my recent article about Legendre, "The Socialite Spy Who Played So Dumb She Outsmarted the Nazis," which drew heavily on the digitized archives at the college.
On March 2, it will be my honor to speak at the Charleston Library Society about my book, Our Man in Charleston: Britain's Secret Agent in the Civil War South, and the way the confidential dispatches of Consul Robert Bunch in the 1850s and '60s may relate to the present. (Much vital research for the book was conducted at the Library Society.)
In that same talk I want to have some fun looking at people Consul Bunch almost certainly knew, but did not write about, including the slave Robert Smalls, a harbor pilot who stole the CSS Planter and turned it over to the blockading fleet, and Saint-Lo Mellichamp II, keeper of the Morris Island lighthouse in the early 1850s. Great characters with probable but, alas, undocumented connections.