Intelligence In The Civil War Essay

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The American Civil War was a war of intelligence. Due to the similarities between the two opposing sides, such as language and culture, human intelligence (HUMINT) would become a major contributor to victory throughout the war (Bigelow, A Short History of Army Intelligence). Multiple types of intelligence operations were employed throughout the course of the war. The purpose of this paper is to identify three of those platforms and discuss their importance and methods in detail. Operations Security (OPSEC) played a vital role for intelligence during the Civil War. Commanders from both sides often gathered valuable intelligence simply by reading the newspapers. Another valuable form of intelligence that would be established during this time was signal intelligence (SIGINT). Telegraphs were often intercepted which would lead to the use of codes which ultimately brought about the method of decoding. Another type of intelligence introduced during this time period was aerial reconnaissance through the use of air balloons. (Finley, 1995) Intelligence…show more content…
Due to the similarities of the opposing sides the use of spies and other intelligence methods were valuable to commanders. A common mistake made today by intelligence professionals is limiting the resources available to conclude predictive analysis. Commanders during the civil war used a variety of resources to gather intelligence. These resources included multiple HUMINT platforms to include spies, cavalry, scouts and interrogation methods much like previous wars.(Cook, 2011) The civil war would also present new methods of intelligence gathering which were signals intelligence, open source and aerial reconnaissance. (Finley, 1995) Throughout this paper we will identify these new methods of gathering intelligence and look at the importance of

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