Discussion The Use of the Telegraph during the Civil War

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5fish

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I found where Lincoln gave Grant a pep talk over the telegraph...

In the late summer of 1864, as the Union advance on Richmond stalled and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant came under mounting criticism, Lincoln read a fretful telegram from Grant to the Army chief of staff. Reading between the lines, the president understood his general’s spirits and immediately used the telegraph to address the issue: “I have seen your despatch expressing your unwillingness to break your hold where you are. Neither am I willing. Hold on with a bull-dog grip, and chew and choke, as much as possible.” It was as good as walking into the general’s headquarters, sizing up the situation and responding through conversation. The message was even conversational in tone, as though Lincoln had been standing next to Grant, yet it was unmistakable as to its author’s intent.

As he put down the message, Grant laughed out loud and exclaimed to those around him, “The president has more nerve than any of his advisers.” He was correct, of course, but more important than the message was the medium: he held in his hands Lincoln’s revolutionary tool for making sure that neither distance nor intermediaries diffused his leadership.


The Link: https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/24/the-first-wired-president/
 

USS ALASKA

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Collection; General Military History
Title; Military telegraph during the Civil War in the United States, with an exposition of ancient and modern means of communication, and of the Federal and Confederate cipher systems: also a running account of the War between the States. Vol. II.
Author; Plum, William R.

Abstract; "All wars illustrate the importance of the means of speedy communication." The author in a work of two volumes focuses on the importance and role of the telegraph in the course of the Civil War. A historical recounting of events is organized by date and geographical area. A short history of communication in warfare is included and a chapter on cryptography. Both volumes contain an appendix and index in volume II covers both volumes.

Publisher; Chicago : Jansen, McClurg & Company,
Date, Original; 1882
Date, Digital; 1998
Call number; 973.73 P734m
Release Statement; Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Repository; Combined Arms Research Library
Library; Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library
Date created; 2006-05-19
2657

HTHs,
USS ALASKA
 

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Norm53

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Collection; General Military History
Title; Military telegraph during the Civil War in the United States, with an exposition of ancient and modern means of communication, and of the Federal and Confederate cipher systems: also a running account of the War between the States. Vol. II.
Author; Plum, William R.

Abstract; "All wars illustrate the importance of the means of speedy communication." The author in a work of two volumes focuses on the importance and role of the telegraph in the course of the Civil War. A historical recounting of events is organized by date and geographical area. A short history of communication in warfare is included and a chapter on cryptography. Both volumes contain an appendix and index in volume II covers both volumes.

Publisher; Chicago : Jansen, McClurg & Company,
Date, Original; 1882
Date, Digital; 1998
Call number; 973.73 P734m
Release Statement; Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Repository; Combined Arms Research Library
Library; Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library
Date created; 2006-05-19
2657

HTHs,
USS ALASKA
I cannot open your attachments. Am I doing sth wrong?
 
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Norm53

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I found where Lincoln gave Grant a pep talk over the telegraph...

In the late summer of 1864, as the Union advance on Richmond stalled and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant came under mounting criticism, Lincoln read a fretful telegram from Grant to the Army chief of staff. Reading between the lines, the president understood his general’s spirits and immediately used the telegraph to address the issue: “I have seen your despatch expressing your unwillingness to break your hold where you are. Neither am I willing. Hold on with a bull-dog grip, and chew and choke, as much as possible.” It was as good as walking into the general’s headquarters, sizing up the situation and responding through conversation. The message was even conversational in tone, as though Lincoln had been standing next to Grant, yet it was unmistakable as to its author’s intent.

As he put down the message, Grant laughed out loud and exclaimed to those around him, “The president has more nerve than any of his advisers.” He was correct, of course, but more important than the message was the medium: he held in his hands Lincoln’s revolutionary tool for making sure that neither distance nor intermediaries diffused his leadership.

The Link: https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/24/the-first-wired-president/
Yes, telegraphy and railroads were high tech then.
 

USS ALASKA

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'The Telegraph Goes to War: The Personal Diary of David Homer Bates, Lincoln's Telegraph Operator' by David Homer Bates

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Review by John Deppen

David Homer Bates experienced the Civil War from a desk in the telegraph office in the War Department. Bates received reports from battlefield commanders in all theaters of operation and conveyed them to President Abraham Lincoln, who often spent long hours in the telegraph office waiting for news of the latest campaign. The diary Bates kept from November 1863 until June 1865 is a remarkable record of the war as it happened. Editor Donald Markle opens the book with a short but informative overview of the military telegraph. Markle describes the transformation of military command and control abilities resulting from the advent of the telegraph, and the resources devoted to improving and expanding the telegraph during the Civil War. At the beginning of each chapter, Markle provides the historical context for the events Bates describes in his diary. For readers unfamiliar with the many names and places referred to by Bates, Markle supplies extensive endnotes that fill in the blanks. Markle also provides a fascinating appendix on Civil War cipher systems. What readers may find most fascinating is how events were first reported, or misreported, during the course of the war. Bates wrote on August 1st, 1864 that the cause for the Union disaster at the Petersburg crater was that "2 hours were allowed to elapse before any advance was made by Gen. Meade." Most historians concur that the true responsibility for the catastrophe rested on the shoulders of the drunken James Ledlie and the hapless Ambrose Burnside. On August 8th, Bates recorded that "A telegram...confirms death of rebel Gen. Forrest." Forrest was again reported killed on December 19th. On August 29th, "rebels say that Hood is killed & Longstreet is in command at Atlanta." Forrest and Hood would no doubt have chuckled at the reports of their deaths. On April 12, 1865, Bates received word that "Mrs. Gen. Lee is dying." Reports of her imminent death were greatly exaggerated. The most poignant passages of Bates' diary follow the assassination of President Lincoln. While the country grieved and raged, Bates mourned Lincoln's loss in a very personal way: "I have seen him and conversed with him nearly every day and have learned to love him for his many virtues & his few faults." David Homer Bates will in all likelihood never be a household name associated with the Civil War. Thanks to the expert editing of Donald Markle, however, Bates' absorbing diary provides readers with the unique experience of reliving the war's last eighteen months.

https://www.amazon.com/Telegraph-Goes-War-Personal-Lincolns/dp/1892059029/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=The+Telegraph+Goes+to+War:+The+Personal+Diary+of+David+Homer+Bates,+Lincoln's+Telegraph+Operator&qid=1562948328&s=gateway&sr=8-1
2727

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 
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rebelatsea

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Allied to this subject is the use of Heliographs for signalling. This as already in use in Europe and eventually developed into a high art. I haven't seen any mention of it in the War between the States.
 

Norm53

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Allied to this subject is the use of Heliographs for signalling. This as already in use in Europe and eventually developed into a high art. I haven't seen any mention of it in the War between the States.
Good question, since the device is simple in principle and was invented in 1821 (the heliotrope). According to Wiki, a practical heliograph was first invented in 1869, which seems oddly late, and it was not used by the army until 1878. (Also later used in the hunt for Geronimo.)
 
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