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Spying and Espionage
Learn about the important role that espionage played during the Revolutionary War and George Washington’s role as one of our nation's first spymasters.

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.