When the Civil War broke out, General George McClellan (commander of the Department of the Ohio) hired Pinkerton and his agents to operate a secret service. Lewis's initial success was in gathering intelligence for the Union armies in the strategically crucial state of Tennessee. Masquerading as an English cotton mill owner, Lewis was next sent to Northwestern Virginia to ascertain the size of Confederate forces in Charleston, the seat of Kanawha County. The information he garnered meant that the Union forces held northwest Virginia early in the war, and it later became the new Union state of West Virginia.
|In one of his first assignments as a Union spy, Lewis was sent by Pinkerton to infiltrate Confederate camps in the Kanawha Valley. Pryce is seen here with Captain George S. Patton at Camp Tompkins near St. Albans, in what is now West Virginia.|
Double Death: The True Story of Pryce Lewis, The Civil War’s Most Daring Spy. The book also expands on the early days of the Pinkerton Agency, as well as making use of the primary documents and photographs in St. Lawrence University's Pryce Lewis collection.