Elizabeth Van Lew was a Union spy during the American Civil War. She was an antislavery Virginia woman who not only freed her slaves, but bought and freed their families. Using her household staff as couriers, she sent messages to the Union in hollowed-out shoes and eggs and later, books and a personally designed cipher. She faked a mental disorder to throw off suspicion and was called “Crazy Bet” by her neighbors. Her network resulted in some of the best Union information gathered anywhere.