Both the British and American forces during the Revolutionary War employed a wide range of spy networks and spycraft to gain critical information about the other side. George Washington quickly recognized the need for effective intelligence gathering efforts and developed a number of spy rings and other secret agents to gather information behind enemy lines. Washington was also particularly adept at supplying the British with misinformation that purposely misled his enemies as to his true intentions.
The British military commanders were also active in recruiting agents in the American camps, worked to undermine the fragile American economy through extensive counterfeiting, and utilized a wide network of agents to intercept communications and root out spies in their midst. Both sides utilized secret codes, dead drops, secret compartments, and invisible ink to protect their sensitive communications.
Spies, secret codes, dead drops, and double agents. Learn how George Washington created a network for intelligence and espionage.
John A. Nagy, one of America’s leading scholars on the subject, sat down with us to share his observations on the important role that espionage played during the war.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon recently had the chance to speak with Ian Kahn. Mr. Kahn plays the part of George Washington in AMC’s popular new Revolutionary War series TURN.