Spies in the American Revolution

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The leaders of troops and famous political men received almost all of the glory given to heroes in the Revolutionary War. They were the most obvious leaders of patriotism, but not all who acted in bravery and love of their country were leaders. Spies of the Revolutionary War made the difference between victory and defeat. The leaders of troops relied on spies and secret agents to give them information concerning the best plan of action. The secret agents of the Revolutionary War sought information about locations, provisions and future plans of the enemy in dangerous circumstances, which deserves more recognition than these heroes receive.

The job of a spy was and still is to seek out information concerning the enemy. This includes numbers of soldiers, amounts of food or weapons, locations of the enemy and future attack plans. Without a number of spies seeking these facts, an army is lost. They do not know where to move or how to fight. A spy has to be someone dependable. If they forget to record some detail, many lives can be lost so they learn to be specific. A secret agent must also be very brave. Spies had to conceal their gathering of facts from the enemy or they would be under suspicion. Soldiers were told to always be alert to questioning people. If information was not gathered secretly, the life of the spy is in danger. The punishment of an enemy spy was death or imprisonment. Usually a spy was killed because the job of keeping an extra person alive required food and guards. By killing a spy, leaders threatened unknown spies.

Once a spy has an amount of important information concerning the enemy, their job is only half over. Now they must transport the valuable facts to someone important who will know what to do with them, and of course you cannot be caught with suspicious material. Messages were relayed by many different techniques. Spies used a great variety of secret methods to send their information. Secret ink was popular...
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