Research Tool

This page is (clearly) a work in progress. I will be adding to it frequently, and will likely tinker with the format to try and keep it easy to use. It depicts sources (Primary and Secondary) that I have used and found to be valuable. Many of the academic works listed will eventually have a book review associated with them, once I get the time.

Please note that I link to monograph’s Amazon page whenever I can, but some sources are in academic journals that require access through a library or purchase.

Asterisk (*) indicates primary source material.

War and World History

US Military History

  • Revolutionary War
  • US Civil War
  • US Civil War – Intelligence Bibliography
    • Andrew, Christopher. For the President’s Eyes Only: Secret Intelligence and the American Presidency from Washington to Bush. New York: HarperPerennial, 1996.
      • The author seeks to demonstrate the history between the President and the nation’s intelligence activities, and how the Commander in Chief has influenced the development of the intelligence community. Andrew uses a mix of primary and secondary sources, from the memoirs of those who had a hand in various activities, to scholarly secondary sources that assess the veracity of these claims. Although this book primarily is concerned with the presidential uses of intelligence, there are a number of very pertinent issues discussed when Andrew (briefly) discusses the Civil War period. Specifically, he touches on aerial surveillance use and the role of the telegraph in the war. This work provided a great, high level picture of the state of military intelligence during this period.
    • Canan, Howard V. “Confederate Military Intelligence.” Maryland Historical Magazine 59, no. 1: 34-51.
      • Assesses the activities of Confederate combat intelligence throughout the war. Canan clearly highly regards the intelligence capabilities in the South, but does an admirable job of presenting strengths and weaknesses. The essay begins and ends with reminders that much of what officials knew of Southern activities were either not written down (to protect sources from Northern retribution) or were destroyed when Richmond fell.
    • Davis, James A. “Musical Reconnaissance and Deception in the American Civil War.” Journal Of Military History 74, no. 1: 79-105.
      • An interesting article on the how music was used not only for command and control, but also to deceive the enemy. In addition, reconnaissance of an enemy’s music was used to glean insights into activity.
    • Feis, William B. Grant’s Secret Service : the Intelligence War from Belmont to Appomattox. Lincoln, Neb. University of Nebraska Press, 2002
      • This book describes the evolution of Ulysses S. Grant’s use of intelligence. The author claims that Grant gave little heed to collecting accurate or complete intelligence early in the war, but by the end had an effective organization.
    • Fishel, Edwin C. “The Mythology of Civil War Intelligence.” Civil War History, Vol 10, Issue 4 (Dec 1964): 344-367
      • Edwin Fishel does a tremendous service to historians by dispelling modern concepts of intelligence and Civil War myths that are often carried into studies about this topic. The value of this essay is tremendous, as Fishel describes how intelligence (“information,” as it would have been referred to in the latter 1800s) was regarded and operationalized (or often not) by military and political leaders of the day.
    • Fishel, Edwin C. The Secret War for the Union The Untold Story of Military Intelligence in the Civil War. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1996.
      • Fishel’s seminal work, where he pulled together a comprehensive picture of Civil War intelligence activities. Focused on the Eastern Theater, Fishel presents the birth of a haphazard, uncoordinated military intelligence capability and traces its evolution.
    • Kane, Harnett T. Spies for the Blue and Gray. Garden City, New York: Country Life Press, 1954.
      • This collection of spy stories from the Civil War is of mixed value. Although Kane cites many works in his bibliography, there is no indication of any critical analysis. That he recounts stories of Alan Pinkerton and Lafayette Baker that are widely discredited, this work is best seen as representative of the earlier historical acceptance of Civil War mythology
    • Keegan, John. Intelligence in War. The Value – and Limitations – of What the Military Can Learn About the Enemy. New York: Vintage Books, 2002.
      • Stonewall Jackson had to use a significantly smaller force to defend the Shenandoah Valley. He did so by taking advantage of the varied geography of the Valley (mountains, rivers) and also through “superior use of intelligence” Although not perfect (there are several examples of Jackson’s forces either being detected by the Northern forces, or having an incorrect awareness of the size of the forces they were engaging) throughout the Valley campaign in 1862 Jackson’s intelligence on the North was much more complete and timely that what was available to his opponents

        Keegan pulls example after example of Jackson’s deft mastery of maneuver warfare. His Valley Army was typically (although not always) outnumbered, and the Shenandoah Valley is wide, bounded by mountains and crisscrossed with hills and rivers. His primary mission in 1862 was to tie down the Northern forces, led by Gen Banks, so that Banks could not join additional forces attempting to take Richmond. Complicating this was the presence on either side of the Valley of additional Federal forces. Jackson was able to pull off a string of victories (some of which, in truth, were not battlefield victories but had the effect of halting Union movement) that was enabled by a superior access to, and execution on, intelligence. Specific examples used are the advantages the South possessed over the North had in terms of accurate maps. It demonstrates how Stonewall Jackson sought out specific intelligence on the movement of Union forces in order to win operational victories in the pursuit of strategic objectives. Keegan’s narrative also touches upon intelligence failures that expose limitations on both sides.

    • Owsley, Harriet Chappell. “Henry Shelton Sanford and Federal Surveillance Abroad, 1861-1865.” The Mississippi Valley Historical Review , Vol. 48, No. 2 (Sep., 1961), pp. 211-228. Published by: Organization of American Historians.
      • Harriet Owsley’s article depicts the overseas effort of a Federal official tasked with disrupting Confederacy efforts to purchase weapons and garner political support in Europe. Owsley’s research shows an aggressive and successful intelligence and counter-intelligence operation that significantly impacted Southern efforts in Europe.
    • Pound, Roscoe. “The Military Telegraph in the Civil War.” Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Third Series, Vol. 66, (Oct., 1936 – May, 1941), pp. 185-203.
      • This article is primarily a description of the use of the telegraph as a command and control tool. However, there are insights as to how the War Department’s Telegraph Office was staffed, and the shortcomings of training and discipline of the operators assigned to operational units. The article covers the entire war, and jumps back and forth throughout the years, but this essay helps to understand the challenges that complicated the ability of the Union to take full advantage of this technology.
    • Powe, Marc B. “The History Of American Military Intelligence – A Review of Selected Literature.” Military Affairs, Vol. 39, No. 3 (Oct., 1975), pp. 142-145. Published by: Society for Military History
      • Historian Powe steps through the most useful literature to that time on the history of military intelligence.
    • Sparks, David S. 1964. “General Patrick’s Progress: Intelligence And Security In The Army Of The Potomac.” Civil War History 10, no. 4: 371-384.
      • This interesting essay provides the history of Brigadier General Marsena B. Patrick, primarily from his appointment in late 1862 as Provost Marshall until the end of the war. Of significance to my paper is David Spark’s description of the security situation facing the Union, and particular the Army of the Potomac, in the first half of the conflict. General Patrick’s rise into intelligence operations fall outside of the scope of my topic, but the foundation for the need for his involvement lay in 1862, which adds depth to the overall intelligence environment that forms the background of my paper.
    • Squires, Duane J. “Aeronautics in the Civil War.” The American Historical Review, Vol. 42, No. 4 (Jul., 1937): 652-669.
      • This early history of the Union Balloon Corp and Thaddeus Lowe claims clearly that aerial observations “played a material part in the operations of the Union Army,” during operations during the summer of 1862. This essay predates F. Stanbury Hayden’s be several years, and does a commendable job describing the history, successes, and challenges of the effort.Fishel, Edwin C. The Secret War for the Union The Untold Story of Military Intelligence in the Civil War. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1996.
  • Spanish-American War
  • World War I
  • World War II
  • Korean War
  • Vietnam War

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