President Lincoln actually had to testify before a Congressional committee to state his wife’s allegiance to the United States.
Rumors that Mary Lincoln was a spy persisted throughout the early part of the Civil War because the first lady came from a old Kentucky family and several of her family members fought for the Confederacy.
Mrs. Lincoln’s three half-brothers died in service to the Confederacy. Sam Todd died at Shiloh. Alexander Todd died at Baton Rogue. David Todd died after he was wounded at Vicksburg.
Her half-sister Emilie Helm was married to Benjamin Hardin Helm, a Confederate general and West Point graduate who died at Chickamauga. The Lincolns loved Benjamin Helm but they could not show their sadness at his death in public nor in government telegrams.