| Southern Victory |
POD: September 10, 1862
|Appearance(s):|| American Front|
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
|Date of Death:||1917|
|Cause of Death:||Stabbed to death|
Bill Reach (d 1917) was head of a spy ring in occupied Washington, DC during the Great War. His agents gathered intelligence on Confederate troop movements in and around the city, and Reach transmitted their intelligence via channels he'd set up to the United States.
Reach, a former journalist, had once been a regular customer of Nellie Semphroch's when Nellie worked as a prostitute. He made frequent visits to Nellie's coffee shop during the war and made lewd and inappropriate comments to her, suggesting an interest on his part in restarting their sexual relationship. Nellie asked the Confederates who frequented the shop (and on whom she spied as part of Reach's ring, though she did not at the time know of Reach's position) to enforce her ban against Reach coming back. The Confederate officers, who had been raised in a gentlemanly tradition, were all too happy to comply. Unfortunately, they did not discover Reach's role in US intelligence in doing so.
In 1917, when the US Army was bombarding Washington in preparation for an advance to retake the city, Reach met Nellie alone on the streets, gathering food and firewood. He attempted to rape her. Nellie killed Reach with a knife. She never told anyone she had killed him until she made a death bed confession to her family twenty years later, which no one understood, much less believed. It was assumed that Reach had merely been one of the many civilian casualties suffered by Washington during the bombardment.