Date & time (UTC/GMT):
June 27, 2020 4:00 PM
Cryptology played a crucial role in the Civil War, but historically this role has been under-appreciated and overlooked. The new invention of electric telegraphs, as well as aerial telegraphs using flag and lantern signalling, meant the generals had much better information and control in executing their battlefield strategy. This advantage, however, introduced the risk of having those signals easily intercepted by the enemy. This new innovation of immediate battlefield communications as a strategic advantage was leveraged by the generals on both sides of the war. Ensuring the security of your own messages and breaking your enemy’s messages was the new battlefield of this secret war. The contest between code maker and code breaker was a battle of wits that would have serious and sometimes fatal consequences for the soldiers on the field.