August 18, 2016

Help Decode 15,971 Civil War Telegrams!

The Huntington Library is looking for volunteers to help decode and transcribe 15,971 telegrams sent by the Union Army during the Civil War. These telegrams are part of the Thomas T. Eckert Papers which not only contain everyday wartime communication, but are also know to contain coded messages to Abraham Lincoln.  The project aims to make these messages available online and accessible and is funded by a grant from the Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Eckert was the aide-de-camp of military telegraph operations for General McClellan and soon became the administrator of the War Department's military telegraphs at the capitol and went on to become Assistant Secretary of War in 1866. The telegraphs are part of his personal collection and no doubt hold a lot of new information about the war that can only be discovered if everyone helps!  


  1. I translated a page of 64 code words for towns already! This is fun! I guess I had 30 years of practice from reading my own school handwriting. I always wrote in cursive until I was in college and mine was always described as "atrocious"


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