The Culper Spy Ring: Counterattack

March 27, 2017
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British armies held the upper hand.
“We have received notification that a newly arrived French army will land on Rhode Island in a month, general Mix.”, a British soldier said and continued: “ This is our chance to finish it. Once the French army land on the island, we are in danger.” General Mix frowned. “Maybe we can...we can raid them on the sea. Try everything we can to stop them from landing.”, another soldier suggested. “ That’s it. We need funds to expand our army. Also, we should upgrade our weapons. We will elaborate a plan for this raid. We only have one chance gentlemen. Notify all the departments that we will hold an emergency meeting this afternoon. And... call Austin Roe to meet me right now; we need his financial aid. Go! Now!”, General Mix ordered.
Austin Roe, a merchant and tavernkeeper, acted as a courier for the Culper spy ring. Because Austin Roe had subsidized the British army several times before, the British military completely trusted in him. Undoubtedly, he was the best candidate to collect information from British army.
When the British soldier found Austin, he was in his tavern. “General Mix want you to meet him now, of course, with money. We need you help again.” a solder said. “All right, just wait a moment. Let me get the money.”, Austin complied.
As he left the room, he secretly put a red painted stone in the small white vase on the cashier’s table. Every three days one of Culper ring’s member, Brewster , pretending to be a guest, would come and checked whether there was message left by Austin. The red painted stone was the sign for an emergency. The fashion was that after the day Brewster got the sign left by Austin, they would send another member, Woodhull, to the back yard of the tavern next day, and one servant would come and give him the letter written by Austin. Then the Culper ring would rewrite the letter in the form of secret codes with a kind of special ink. After that, this rewritten letter would be sent to Washington immediately. As Washington got the letter, he could just put the letter in some water, and the words on the letter would appear.
Austin came back the next day. But for security, the British military also sent two British soldiers with him and asked them to ‘take care of’ Austin until the raid was over. So it was hard for Austin to write messages on the paper under the watchful eyes of two British soldiers. That night, Austin pretended to go the toilet. In this short  moment, he wrote a message on a piece of tissue and threw it into the rubbish bin. Then he left the toilet as if nothing had happened. 20 minutes later, a cleaner went in, found that piece of paper, put it into a sealed bag, and gave it to the servant. The servant meticulously went to the back yard and hung it on the lowest branch of a certain pine tree. In the middle of the night, Woodhull sneaked into the yard and took the bag away.
Finally, after several twists and turns, Washington got the message. After thinking it over, he decided to feint the British main force army so that General Mix would lead his army to assist the main force, thus it would put off their plan. This would buy time for the French army.
As expected, the feint effectively disrupted all Mix’s plans, and the French army succeeded in landing in Rhode Island. This contributed to the later success of the American Revolutionary War. 

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