SpyCast 7.5.22
Ep 546 | 7.5.22

4th of July Special: “The Wall of Spies Experience” – Espionage, Sabotage and Betrayal in America with John Gise

Show Notes


John Gise joins Andrew (Twitter; LinkedIn) to discuss the Wall of Spies Experience. It features over 200 stories of espionage and sabotage in America since 1776.

What You’ll Learn


  • America’s first Spymaster
  • The Founding Father of American Counterintelligence 
  • The New Yorker who adopted a Southern accent so she could spy on the Confederacy 
  • The escaped enslaved man who was described as a “walking order of battle chart” 


  • Educating a workforce on its past
  • Dreaming about history

And much, much more…

Episode Notes

The Wall of Spies Experience features over 200 stories of espionage, sabotage and betrayal from American history. The physical wall is a private museum on an intelligence community facility, but the second installment of the Digital Wall of Spies has recently been released. Thus far we have the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, with WWI coming up next. 

Whether you want to get a sense of the evolution of espionage in America, dork out on a particular historical period, or just have a browse – we are sure you will agree that this National Counterintelligence & Security Center (NCSC) sponsored exhibit is a welcome contribution to the public’s understanding of the history of intelligence and espionage.

This week’s guest is John Gise, for whom the Wall of Spies was a labor of love. He has had a number of different roles across the US government, including a stint in Special Forces, but for now, spies from American history are with him while awake…and while asleep. 


If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t visit the Statue of Liberty’s torch, you need to listen to the teaser John provides at the end of this episode on the next installment of the Digital Wall of Spies (we’ll give you a clue…it’s the opposite of White Jerry).

Quote of the Week

"We've now posted online…the digital revolutionary war spies, the digital civil war spies…And we're talking in the revolutionary war about 30 continental army spies and British spies…for the civil war, it's about 25 Union spies and Confederate spies. And many of those spies are also Scouts, right? Collecting information, going behind enemy lines, conducting reconnaissance missions and collecting intelligence for their superiors." – John Gise.


Headline Resource



  • The Creation of American Military Intelligence in the Civil War, P. Tsouras (Casemate, 2018)
  • Spies, Patriots, and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War (GUP, 2014)
  • The Secret War for the Union, E. Fishel (Houghton, 1996)


Primary Sources

*Wildcard Resource*