This is the first US war to make use of the telegraph for tactical advantage
But as the scale of the battles between North and South grew, and the field expanded across the U.S., it was tough for military leaders to communicate with troops on the front lines and coordinate the action.
In 1844, Samuel Morse invented the telegraph and soon after approximately 15,000 miles of cable were laid strictly for military use along the east coast.
For the first time in American history, President Abraham Lincoln now had access to send direct messages to his generals in the field from a telegraph room built in an office building next door to the White House.
This technology gained Union troops a massive strategic advantage over the Confederate Army who, with its limited telegraph network, failed to capitalize on the nation’s maturing form of communication.
Sending updates to the infantry regiments became a common occurrence with a few taps of Morse code.
Lincoln frequently sent messages to the press, the general public and even to the enemy.
One another positive aspect to this piece of tech was that telegraph machines were equipped with printers that generated a recording of the transmissions and eliminated human error if the incoming message was translated or written down incorrectly.
Check out the HISTORY‘s channel below to see the importance of the telegraph for yourself.
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