George Washington wasn't always a great general, but he was an excellent spymaster.
Washington struggled mightily to win the Revolutionary War with an army that was perpetually undermanned, undertrained and undersupplied. So to triumph over one of the world's most powerful military forces, he relied increasingly on his unseen weapon: a secret intelligence network. Throughout the conflict, Washington's spies helped him make bold, canny decisions that would turn the tide of the conflict—and in some instances, even save his life.
The story of Washington's underground spy network, and how it helped Americans win their revolution, is replete with intrigue: There were letters written in invisible ink, a rare female agent who went by the mysterious moniker Agent 355, an African-American double agent, a patriot tailor who collected dirt while making clothes for British officers—and the gruesome execution of the spy Nathan Hale. According to the Central Intelligence Agency, "General Washington was more deeply involved in intelligence operations than any American general-in-chief until Dwight Eisenhower during World War II."