On the battlefield, the accumulation of secret intelligence is one of the most important weapons that can be used to gain vital advantages. The Civil War was no exception. Each side adeptly gathered information to help win its cause. The covert operations of civilian and military spy networks in both the North and South used the latest technology—disappearing ink, complex cyphers, codes, counter-intelligence, and propaganda—all the while maintaining operational security.
Initially, neither the Union nor the Confederacy had a security organization, no secret service. The capitals of the North and South, Washington and Richmond, lay only 100 miles apart and were obvious targets for spies. Union agents effortlessly maneuvered in and out of Richmond while Confederate spies easily set up headquarters in Washington. However as both sides suffered embarrassing defeats from careless security, organized intelligence programs gradually emerged. An invaluable tool in the game of espionage, the cypher wheel allowed both sides to carry on unending correspondence in secret code.
Wooden cypher wheel. Rotate the 12 wheels to spell out a secret message. “How to Use” instructions included. Meets CPSIA safety standards.