January 16, 1865: Dahlgren sees “a sign of the end.”

Rear-Admiral John Dahlgren’s official diary as commander of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron was generally constrained to operational matters.  So one would expect mention of the USS Patapsco on January 16, 1865.  And there was mention, along with other matters: January 16 – General Sherman has sent me the key of the cipher of theContinue reading “January 16, 1865: Dahlgren sees “a sign of the end.””

Marching Through Georgia, December 2, 1864: A “battle” of telegraphers

On December 2, 1864, for the tenth straight day, Major-General William T. Sherman’s men marched in dry weather.  Temperatures remained in the 50’s for the most part.  Perhaps the most favorable marching weather possible that time of year.  For the day, the Federals continued the advance along the Ogeechee River, reaching for Savannah.  Millen wasContinue reading “Marching Through Georgia, December 2, 1864: A “battle” of telegraphers”

“The mighty brain of the matchless Beauregard”: Confederates react to Federal codebreaking

From the start of the 1864 campaigns, the Federal signal teams, in all theaters, demonstrated the ability to intercept and decode Confederate messages sent by wig-wag.  While I’ve focused on efforts at Charleston, similar activities in Georgia and Virginia show the Federal signaleers were quite adept at what we would call today Signals Intelligence –Continue reading ““The mighty brain of the matchless Beauregard”: Confederates react to Federal codebreaking”