Written by Peter Fitzgerald
History of War - Spies
Thomas Jordan is one of a special breed of men; he was a career soldier, a man who plied his trade in war throughout his life. To put into perspective the nature of Thomas Jordan as a career soldier he actually served for a total of just less than 30 years in his lifetime of three armed forces.
Thomas Jordan fought for three different armies from three different countries in his lifetime, these countries being the United States, Mexico, and Cuba, but it was his actions for the United States in the Confederate Army that he is most famous for.
Thomas Jordan prior to the Civil War
Jordan was born on the 30th September in the year 1819 and lived with his parents in the Luray Valley area of Virginia. As a young boy Jordan earned an education at the local schools of his region before enrolling in the United States Military Academy at the age of 21.
After passing the academy Jordan was given the title of second Lieutenant and within six years rose to first Lieutenant before then becoming a Captain in 1847. While serving in the United States Army in 1860 and with Civil War looming Jordan started building his network of intelligence. In 1861 he left the United States Army and joined the Confederate Army that was still in its infancy.
Thomas Jordan the Civil War Confederate
Upon joining the Confederate Army at the break out of the American Civil War, Jordan was given the rank of Captain. Within a short time Jordan rose through the ranks of the Confederate Army to become a Lieutenant Colonel after enjoying successes in battle.
During all this time he continued to get reports from the intelligence network of spies he had created prior to leaving the United States Army, something that really supported the Confederate war effort.
Jordan showed great leadership in another number of battles including the Battle of Shiloh, all of which meant he rose to the rank of Brigadier General by 1862.
His successes in battle and in espionage continued and by 1864 Jordan was in control of the command of the Third Military District of South Carolina.
While Jordan was an accomplished commander who won many battles during the American Civil War, it was his actions as a leader of a spy ring constantly gaining more information on the United States Army that he is most well known for.
The spy ring that Jordan ran was supported greatly by Rose O'Neal Greenhow who gave him all the reports gained on espionage activity.
After the Civil War
When the Civil War finished in 1865 Jordan published an article in a magazine about the Confederates in the Civil War and followed this up by publishing a book and becoming an editor of a newspaper.
The written work of Jordan didn’t last however as he then went to command the Cuban Liberation Army for two years winning some important victories. In 1870 Jordan retired from his post with the Cuban Liberation Army and moved back to the United States.
Once back in the United States Jordan settled in New York and carried on his love for writing before passing away at the age of 76 on the 27th of November in the year 1895.