Abraham Lincoln And The Telegraph Essay

Abraham Lincoln And The Telegraph Essay

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Abraham Lincoln and the Telegraph:
A Turning Point in Warfare Communication






Erin Bristow
Junior Division
Historical Paper
Paper Length: 1732 Words
When Samuel Morse developed the telegraph and sent its first message in 1844, he had no idea of the effect that it would bring to the future of communication. He would change warfare, politics, and the world forever. Before the telegraph, all warfare communication was very slow and costly via horseback. In the 1860s, the American Civil War raged on between the Northern and Southern states over the issues of slavery, states’ rights, and President Abraham Lincoln’s actions during his presidency. Abraham Lincoln’s innovative leadership as the Commander in Chief of the Union Army included using the telegraph as a military weapon to secure the North’s victory thereby leaving a legacy of fast-paced warfare by improved communication technology.
Lincoln was the leader of the Union for the Civil War. The Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865. The war was fought over the issues of slavery and states’ rights. The Northern States were against the practice of slavery, and were known as the Union. The Southern States, known as the Confederacy, were for the practice of slavery because they believed that each state should decide whether or not to have slavery. In the 1830s, Samuel Morse began developing the telegraph and its language, Morse Code. In 1844, the first telegram was sent from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore. A few years later, telegraph lines stretched over hundreds of miles. The next step was to find what the telegraph could be useful for. Before the telegraph could be trusted for military communications, it had to be proved practically useful for commercial purpose...


... middle of paper ...


...ph led to faster warfare and better communication for society.
Wilson, James. "Erin Bristow 's Interview With Telegraph and Civil War Expert James Wilson."
E-mail interview. 19 Nov. 2014.
This interview was with James Wilson on the topic of Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War,
and the telegraph. James Wilson is a reliable source of information because he is a
member of the Morse Telegraph Club, inc. and was the “telegraph consultant” for the
Steven Spielberg movie Lincoln. He also was an Army Signal Corps member during the
Vietnam War, so he has first-hand experience with communication strategies in war. The
information was helpful in understanding how the North and South tried to use the
telegraph to their advantage. I used this information in my research to support my thesis
statement that the telegraph led to better communication for future warfare.


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