Short Takes

A tour around the web for Civil War topics…

A look at a recently acquired archive of Civil War telegraph messages, thought to be lost. As the article points out, there is quite a bit of similarity between the telegraph messages of the 19th Century and today’s text messages. Some are ciphered and the code has not yet been broken. They are crowdsourcing the project to digitize and decipher them if you wish to join in.

Also from Slate, a short bio of aeronaut Thaddeus Lowe and his balloons.

From Smithsonian, a look at Newton Knight and the “Free State of Jones,” the subject of a recent movie by that name. One detail I found interesting was that Knight was not forcibly conscripted but joined voluntarily in 1861, then deserted. That fits the general pattern of bushwhackers here in western NC. Recent scholarship has established that almost all of them were Confederate deserters who had enlisted voluntarily and had then left for one reason or another.

Now for some videos. Cap and Ball takes a look (and shoots) some CW-era weapons.

The 1855 Colt Root percussion revolving carbine was essentially an overgrown revolver that saw limited service in the war. Berdan’s men were equipped with them initially but wanted the Sharps instead. Still, as you can see, it’s quite a good shooter.

While we’re on repeaters, he tries out a repro of an 1860 Henry repeater.

And, from a different channel, a comparison of the Henry and the Spencer by The Gunny (R. Lee Ermey) himself.


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