For our next meeting Jim Anderson offers a look at the intelligence operations during the Civil War:
Meeting time: 7:30 PM, October 11, 2011.
Location: Thomas Balch Library, 208 West Market Street, Leesburg, Virginia.
Topic: Intelligence Operations during the Civil War
Often Civil War writers spice the story intelligence operations during
the war with “pot boiler” topics focused more on the salacious
aspects. But this leaves out a very important underlying story about
how intelligence information was gathered, analyzed and disseminated.
Many of the lessons learned in the Civil War apply just as well today.
Lacking a formal intelligence structure at the start of the war, both
sides improvised with civilian detectives and recruited spies. As the
war progressed, both sides adapted to incorporate new technologies
with aerial reconnaissance and signals intelligence. Federals
collected what we might consider today “human intelligence” from
contrabands and through a system of “black telegrams” among those
living in Confederate held areas. The intelligence collected had
impacts on many of the war’s great battles. Our speaker tonight will
walk us through the evolution of intelligence operations in the war
and in particular look at the ways different commanders used their
respective intelligence services.
About our speaker:
James “Jim” D. Anderson is an expert in the military tactics and
strategy of the American Civil War. He specializes in training
classes conducted on the battlefields of Gettysburg, Antietam, and
Manassas, with an emphasis on leadership, communications and
intelligence. Mr. Anderson spent 27 years with the CIA, which
included six overseas tours in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the
Far East. He holds degrees in history from Rhodes College and the
University of Memphis. He currently works as an independent contractor
offering a rich and rewarding “trip into history” for the Civil War
enthusiasts of all ages and levels of knowledge. He also volunteers
his time and expertise on the Civil War to local civic, youth and