The Kentucky in the Civil War Message Board

Forrest's Female Spy--Lieut. Hays

Does anyone know anything more about Lieut. Hays, who was a female spy for Gen. Forrest?

CAIRO, Jan 10, 1865.

The local editor of the News relates the following romantic story of the capture of a female spy. It is well known that the rebel General Forrest had a female spy who ranked in his army as a lieutenant.
She is a woman of very prepossessing appearance, well formed, black eyes, black hair, which she wears in curls, and with a continual smile playing around a mouth, which, when she laughs, displays a very beautiful set of ivories. While with Forrest command she was commonly known among the men as Lieutenant Hays. About the time that Forrest was threatening Western Kentucky, this rebel beauty came in our lines at Columbus in search of news that could be of importance to the rebel army, which was at that time threatening that city. She was, we believe, arrested while in the act of examining the strength of our fortifications, and sent to Alton, where she remained for some time. She was next released from prison by taking the amnesty oath, and ordered not to go South. She however kept up a correspondence with a young lady in Columbus, and a short time ago visited that place disguised, under the name of Miss Putnam, as is supposed for the purpose of going through the lines, and again join her former rebel associates. Finding that she could not leave in that direction, she attempted to come North again, and with that intention went on board the steamer Convoy yesterday morning. Not having a pass she was arrested and taken to the Provost Marshal's, where she was recognized as Lieutenant Hays, Forrest's rebel female spy, and again remanded to prison.