Nancy Hart the daughter of The Blue and Gray Family, Stephen and Mary Hart

Nancy Hart the daughter of The Blue and Gray Family, Stephen and Mary Hart - Stories


What story you choose to believe and every truth uncovered about Nancy only reveals a deeper mystery about the young "Confederate Spy" girl who made a difference.

  • Roane County West Virginia

Nancy Hart the daughter of The Blue and Gray Family, Stephen and Mary Hart

The civil war divided this family and the nation.

Nancy Hart has become a legend in the history of the Civil War.....

This page is dedicated to the memory and spirit of Nancy Hart of Roane Co., WV. Rebel of the Hart clan following her heart and beliefs for the Confederacy.

What is known is she was born abt. 1846 and her father was born in Raleigh, North Carolina and this info is from various historical societies and the Hart family resided in Boone County, Virginia 1850, this is on the 1850 U. S. Census. It must be remembered that Boone County was a part of Virginia before 1863 and after the Civil War it was a county of West Virginia..... Stephen and Mary was the only Hart family resided in the mountain districts of Roane County Virginia in 1860's and the names are on the 1870's and 1880's Roane census. Here they settled near the mouth of Triplett Run Creek which flows into the West Fork Little Kanawha River, which rises in southern Calhoun County and flows northwestwardly along the boundary of Roane County.

Stephen and Mary Hart were Christians and were trying to bring their family up right, Stephen always had family worship, no matter how busy he was. They were very firm in their family training, yet most loving and kind. They farmed and raised thirteen children to start a long line of Hart descendents.

In the Civil War, two of their sons would fight for the North and one daughter (Nancy} the South " Rebel of the Family ". At the beginning of her adolescence fourteen, Nancy impressions of her father and mother were that they were Christians and were trying to bring her up as a Christian, and that she must obey them and that she had to look after her younger brothers and sisters.

So Nancy as a teenage rebellion against authority, against her parents pressure, religious, political beliefs and she didn't want to be like other young women who married and lived on farms. So in 1861 she join a band of rebel raiders known as the Moccasin Rangers, they were pro-southern guerrillas in central West Virginia until 1862. The Daughter of Stephen and Mary Hart was prepared to die for her southern beliefs and even some Yankee old-timers said Nancy Hart was "Born to Rebel" with her rebel yell "Wahoo" and she was always saying to herself, Whoop! Hurrah! Yay! for Jefferson Davis..... Nancy Hart served as a Confederate scout, guide and spy, carrying messages between the West Virginia Confederate armed forces, collected intelligence, conducted sabotage and gathering contraband behind Federal lines for the southern guerrillas and following her heart and beliefs for the Confederacy cause.

Hart family had strong feelings both for and against the Civil War and we the Hart family referred to Roane County as a struggle of "brother against brother" "father against son" "sister against brother" and "neighbor against neighbor." Nothing better illustrates this than the Hart family Stephen and Mary Hart of Roane County West Virginia

Many urban legends, folklore and tall tales, myths, hoaxes, and rumors about Nancy Hart, (Confederate Spy) after The American Civil War (1861–1865), also known as the War Between the States.

Some say she is buried in the mountain grave there at the Manning Knob Cemetery also known as Nancy Hart Cemetery and is so listed on Williamsburg District Cemeteries List ...the cemetery is in the western Greenbrier County, near the town of Richwood, the marker is Dedicated to The Memory of Nancy Hart 1846 - 1902 Civil War Heroine

Some suggest that Nancy Hart was in fact hang November,1862 on Cold Knob and her body was buried in Greenbrier county near Richwood West Virginia. It is quite possible that she was. An article about the Civil War telegrapher Marion H. Kerner said the last glimpse of Nancy was shortly after the Summersville raid and he never heard of her since. She may be dead. Most articles on Nancy Hart are basic on an article published in Leslie's Weekly in 1910.

Some old newspapers stories might lead one to believe that Nancy turned to a life of crime, burning houses, slaughtering livestock, even killing. Much of the supposed activity might be blamed on bands of bandits and the unrest before and during the civil war.

Many are not sure that she married a former or Confederate Ranger after the war or was she ever married to a Confederate Ranger. Historically, there is actually very little evidence to suggest that Nancy Hart was in fact married.

What story you choose to believe and every truth uncovered about Nancy only reveals a deeper mystery about the young "Confederate Spy" girl who made a difference.

Abstracted from the Nancy Hart Story,, 10/01/2006

    Nancy Hart, daughter of Stephen Hart and Mary Ferrell was born April 5, 1845 in Logan County, (West) Virginia. and died February 9, 1899. On November 19, 1867 in Jackson County, West Virginia she married an ex Union Soldier named Joseph Lloyd. Her parents are listed on the marriage record as Stephen and Polly and place of birth as Logan. She named many of her children after Union Generals. This Nancy has been wrongly labeled as the confederate spy. The other Nancy Hart in the area, was the daughter of John Hart and Rebecca Bolling. She apparently married Joshua Douglas, who joined the 3rd Virginia State Line under George Downs, which later became part of the Moccasin Rangers on July 15, 1861. He was born in Braxton County in 1838 and enlisted from Calhoun (next to Roane). Most people miss her in the 1860 census of Roane because her parents named is spelled Heart and the rest of the family is listed under her older widowed sister Adaline Duff. The family lived next to the Kelly's which figure prominently in the early stories.

      Title: The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies. ; Series 2 - Volume 5 I have never found any record of Nancy Heart ..nothing regarding her in these reports ..if she shot and killed a Union solder why is it not reported. There is a girl named Mary Jane Green from Braxton who was a rebel spy listed a few times ..Why nothing for Nancy..

        Betty I think the Union considered Nancy and the Rebel guerrillas to be outlaws and the Confederate Army considered the Rebel guerrillas to be irregulars operating under self-appointed captain that might be the reason.

          Kristie on some of your point of view I Agree to Dis Agree about Nancy. Could not find Joshua Douglas, in the 3rd Virginia State Line and I agree with you about Joshua Douglas was born in Braxton County and enlisted in the Confederate Army from Calhoun County, not proven if he served in the "Moccasin Rangers" but I think birth date probably is 1836 not 1838. Did find John and Rebecca Heart on Roane County 1860 Census and a Nancy Duff or Heart who was living with them. On the 1900 Census Webster Co WV Glade #512, there is a Joshua Douglas born: 1841, spouse: Nancy, Born: 1843, Married: 1864 and this is where all the discrepancies is at……apparently people believe this is Joshua Douglas "Moccasin Rangers" and John daughter is the “confederate spy” this is not the Calhoun County Joshua Douglas or the confederate spy. Stephen Hart wife was Mary Plumley born 1812: not Polly. On the 1900 Census Webster Co WV Glade #512 Nancy maiden name is not proven as of June 9, 2011. More than 165 years have passed since the birth of Nancy Hart of Roane County West Virginia and the only thing most people can bring themselves to agree on is that she was the daughter of Stephen and Mary Hart of Roane County VA/WV. Born abt. 1846 and was a Confederate Spy, rode and fought with the Moccasin Rangers and led several raids against Union Troops in Summersville West Virginia.

            Lots of new material on Nancy Hart and the Moccasin Rangers can be found in a recent book -- Civilian War in West Virginia: The Moccasin Rangers. Some of the discrepancies cited in these comments are addressed in that book by George Hall. The Moccasins were mostly opposed by two Union regiments, the 11th WV and the 36th Ohio and records from the 36th Ohio are used helpfully in this book of 267 pages.

              As a hardcore nonfiction reader, reading that book "The Moccasin Rangers" turn me off. The book is well written and included many historical facts but which seems to me questionable in a couple chapters that deal with Joshua Doughlas and Nancy Hart that the author focused more on the fictional and on assumptions rather than facts.