So Who On Earth WAS Kate Warne?

Northern Light

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Jul 21, 2014
Ta
Those 2 are not the same person. Here is the LoC link of that picture. Interestingly enough that person is identified as John C. Babcock who is the other clean shaved person in the original picture. Here is magnified:

15269407774_89e0a13742_b.jpg
That's what I thought, just different features. I was try to put them side by side in "word", but it wouldn't work load. If fact I am having trouble with this whole thread, just this one, every other one is fine. Weird.
 

Northern Light

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Joined
Jul 21, 2014
Did anyone else notice that the unidentified person is sitting on a different stool in the second picture? It is one of those folding X stools. so the person looks taller than before and is sitting forward, because there is no back to slouch against. Also appears to have removed great coat(note pocket handkerchief now visable).
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Interesting.

That sure looks like a woman in the picture and not because of the clean shave and pretty face. Surely is not flat chested and the boot is about a men's size 7 at most...

WELL. Seems silly to spend this kind of time but was fooling around with this foot thing last night while ignoring the last batch of Thanksgiving dishes. :smile: This ' unknown ' is also not very tall? And a couple things- this boot, the foot isn't fitting like it normally would. I've worn riding boots all my life. You always have your favorite pair, the ones which might be a big pain to get on but it's because they fit so well! So well worn they don't stand up anymore, flop sideways? This person's boots are well-worn, but toes do not go to the end- plus even for a cav boot, with something of a heel, this heel is extreme with foot really at an arch if you look closely. Made me think some specially made boot, make the person look taller?

warne boot2.jpg



Then the jacket, which does not fit well at all across the shoulders, bags terribly in hollows by the shoulder blades- as it would if a female wore a man's jacket. Not saying always, a man could have very narrow shoulders and a weedy chest right there, just generally would be a lot more filled out right below the shoulder blade plus have shoulders which filled out the jacket. Better than this.

warne shoulders1.jpg


Pretty small hand, wrapped around the pipe, and yes, that vest and jacket fall open to drape a figure, not a man's pectoral muscles.

Looks like some attempt with something was made with sideburns- if that were a man who was just growing some, weird outline further up, if that's the case? Odd looking dark patch, corner of lips? Old makeup, new makeup? ** sigh **. Kinda fun though.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Maybe it's a mirror?
The last link in JPK's post had this October 1862 photo and says the unidentified person standing behind Pinkerton is Kate Warne. What say you?
View attachment 52655
Antietam, Maryland. Seated: R. William Moore and Allan Pinkerton. Standing: George H. Bangs, John C. Babcock, and Augustus K. Littlefield. LOC #01151. (Notice Sharpe shaved his mustache by the time February 1864 photo in the first post was taken.)

View attachment 52656

You know, no idea why this was discredited, maybe the same kind of knee-jerk thing which tends to go with most intriguing mysteries- if one is invented, well all of them have to be! Not so sure, giving it another look. There's Kate and a few others who Pinkerton had out there, then the BMI, being a LOT less likely to be flamboyant, came along and scooped up some people previously employed by Pinkerton.

Kate did travel with Pinkerton a lot, plus he apparently liked making an open ' secret ' of her. Must have made it tough for her sometimes, if she was attempting to maintain secrecy? Have come to the conclusion it did matter, Kate Warne's career despite Pinkerton's some-time overdone theatrics when it came to spies and the Civil War. Whatever his intentions may have been, seems hers were sincere and she put herself in terrible positions for her country, not for Alan Pinkerton. That's just opinion, have few sources backing it beyond reading what we know of her various missions.

I don't know- yes, some awfully nice looking men pop up in photos. Bet a man this pretty would grow some facial hair pretty darn quickly for one thing.

Haven't given this 3rd photo a good look yet- too busy pretending I know what I'm talking about with the other 2. :smile: Will look tonight!
 
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Hannover, Germany
WELL. Seems silly to spend this kind of time but was fooling around with this foot thing last night while ignoring the last batch of Thanksgiving dishes. :smile: This ' unknown ' is also not very tall? And a couple things- this boot, the foot isn't fitting like it normally would. I've worn riding boots all my life. You always have your favorite pair, the ones which might be a big pain to get on but it's because they fit so well! So well worn they don't stand up anymore, flop sideways? This person's boots are well-worn, but toes do not go to the end- plus even for a cav boot, with something of a heel, this heel is extreme with foot really at an arch if you look closely. Made me think some specially made boot, make the person look taller?

View attachment 52710


Then the jacket, which does not fit well at all across the shoulders, bags terribly in hollows by the shoulder blades- as it would if a female wore a man's jacket. Not saying always, a man could have very narrow shoulders and a weedy chest right there, just generally would be a lot more filled out right below the shoulder blade plus have shoulders which filled out the jacket. Better than this.

View attachment 52711

Pretty small hand, wrapped around the pipe, and yes, that vest and jacket fall open to drape a figure, not a man's pectoral muscles.

Looks like some attempt with something was made with sideburns- if that were a man who was just growing some, weird outline further up, if that's the case? Odd looking dark patch, corner of lips? Old makeup, new makeup? ** sigh **. Kinda fun though.

JPK, excellent work!! YOU should have a job at Pinkerton's!!
As for the upper lip, maybe she even tried a false moustache and her skin reacted to the "glue"? Seems as if there are two lesions between her upper lip and nose ..
Pure speculation, of course, my apologies.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
JPK, excellent work!! YOU should have a job at Pinkerton's!!
As for the upper lip, maybe she even tried a false moustache and her skin reacted to the "glue"? Seems as if there are two lesions between her upper lip and nose ..
Pure speculation, of course, my apologies.

NO apologies, no different than me musing about her teeny feet! Notice I'm assuming the ' her ' part! Love this stuff. Quite honestly, there are an awful lot of aspects about this person which do not add up to being male, that's all- and if it is a man he just has a lot of feminine qualities- had his boots made to appear to be taller with larger feet. Notice also I'm ignoring the entire chest area and that's a little tough ignore. For a secret agent, this person seems to have had quite a figure?
 

shootseven

Private
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Location
Cleveland, Ohio
T
Maybe it's a mirror?
The last link in JPK's post had this October 1862 photo and says the unidentified person standing behind Pinkerton is Kate Warne. What say you?
View attachment 52655
Antietam, Maryland. Seated: R. William Moore and Allan Pinkerton. Standing: George H. Bangs, John C. Babcock, and Augustus K. Littlefield. LOC #01151. (Notice Sharpe shaved his mustache by the time February 1864 photo in the first post was taken.)

View attachment 52656
That photo is most certainly not Kate Warne. The labeling on the back of the original photograph says it is John C. Babcock, and other photos of Babcock confirm this identity. Babcock photos:
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cwpb.00293/
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cwpb.00283/
 

E_just_E

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Center Valley, PA
T

That photo is most certainly not Kate Warne. The labeling on the back of the original photograph says it is John C. Babcock, and other photos of Babcock confirm this identity. Babcock photos:
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cwpb.00293/
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cwpb.00283/

Alright. Here is the person in question magnified:

15947156239_e4692219ac_b.jpg

and

16133235205_fbcb4c41e8_b.jpg


and I did change my mind... This is the same person in posts 16 and 18, albeit tanned in one of them.

But still he is not the person pictured in posts 1 and 10 and 23 (who is a woman)
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Alright. Here is the person in question magnified:

15947156239_e4692219ac_b.jpg

and

16133235205_fbcb4c41e8_b.jpg


and I did change my mind... This is the same person in posts 16 and 18, albeit tanned in one of them.

But still he is not the person pictured in posts 1 and 10 and 23 (who is a woman)

Ha! Thanks for that, E- making it clear we were speaking of 2 different people. Yes, Babcock seems to have had a classically nice face, still not the face of a female, really. Although- the one where he's holding a horse doesn't help his case much. He does have long fingers which he holds elegantly doesn't he? Plus a tendency to affect that curl on his cheek, makes him more pretty than perhaps he knew.
 

mcconnelldj

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Joined
Apr 27, 2016
The unidentified officer in the Bureau of Military Information (BMI) photograph under discussion in this thread was also in a group photo by Timothy O’Sullivan of officers from the 80th New York Infantry, Provost Guard, taken at Culpeper, Virginia, in late 1863. Several officers from the 80th New York also served on the staff of the Provost Marshal General of the Army of the Potomac, including Captain John McEntee. McEntee was Colonel George Sharpe’s deputy in the BMI. In the O’Sullivan photo of the 80th New York, McEntee is standing 5th from the left, and the unidentified officer is standing, second in from the right. I haven’t identified him yet, but he may be identified in other photos in the New York State Military Museum.
 

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JPK Huson 1863

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Central Pennsylvania
Well, somewhere he's identified as Colonel Sharpe, too but that isn't correct and I bit hard on that- George Sharpe looks not a thing like this. There's a very good photo of his horse, too- and some hair raising exploits Pinkerton wished he'd been part of. That's the trouble with the internet- because Pinkerton supposedly had a mistress, there will be a thousand sites on that topic. If there's someone out there who did the work, can't find it.
 

donna

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Iowa Miss

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A new historical fiction book on Warne was published this past winter-- Girl in Disguise by Greer MacAllister.
MacAllister is the pen name for Jael McHenry, raised at Janesville, Iowa. Reviews of the book are on Amazon and
NPR did an interview a few weeks ago.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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Joined
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Location
Central Pennsylvania
I know it's late, but I just realized something when seeing this photo again. I can tell you definitily that is not Kate Warne in the first photo. It was taken in 1863 (http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/cwp2003000210/PP/). Warne (with Pinkerton) were no longer with the Army at this time (they left with McClellan in 1862).


No, it is not. It's Captain Sharpe, who not only was hardly feminine, he was the real deal. Poor guy- I can only hope he'd forgive me for jumping on the Kate bandwagon at the time. It was not his fault he was also ridiculously good looking, while pursuing Secret Service assignments.

Have a photo somewhere, he and his nearly equally great looking horse.
 

shootseven

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Cleveland, Ohio
A new historical fiction book on Warne was published this past winter-- Girl in Disguise by Greer MacAllister.
MacAllister is the pen name for Jael McHenry, raised at Janesville, Iowa. Reviews of the book are on Amazon and
NPR did an interview a few weeks ago.

There's a book coming out in July which will include Warne. It's called The Pinks: The First Women Detectives, Operatives, and Spies with the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. It uses the photo that was posted here of John Babcock on the cover, but I was told by the author that is was used in the book to point out that it's not Warne.
 

shootseven

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No, it is not. It's Captain Sharpe, who not only was hardly feminine, he was the real deal. Poor guy- I can only hope he'd forgive me for jumping on the Kate bandwagon at the time. It was not his fault he was also ridiculously good looking, while pursuing Secret Service assignments.

Have a photo somewhere, he and his nearly equally great looking horse.

I feel bad for Warne that these images are so widely circulated as her. She deserves better.
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Well, here goes.....did a little snip and panorama job....it is my considered opinion that the image of "Kate Warne" is definitely NOT John C (or G) BABCOCK....As someone once said, "....the ears never lie".....note the slight difference in the lobe, oh yes IMHO.....Dave


Warne n Babcock note EARLOBE.jpg
 

Patrick H

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
I've read of her work while sneaking Lincoln through Baltimore. There was a very good article about that episode in SMITHSONIAN some years ago. I agree that the first photo offered for our examination appears to show a woman dressed in a man's uniform. I am not nearly as convinced by the other photos. Thanks for starting this thread!
 
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