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Rail Splinters

Thomas T. Eckert Archive: Telegraphic History of the Civil War

January 4, 2012

As most Lincoln buffs are aware, Thomas T. Eckert was in charge of the War Department’s telegraph office during most of the Civil War. He came into daily contact with President Lincoln who would often visit the office to view incoming messages or send out new ones. For some time, it was thought that the “paper trail” had been lost on these important communiques. Not so. The Huntington Library in San Marino, California just bought the Eckert Archive which covers the years 1862-1877. It includes many telegraph messages never before published, as well as coded messages sent by Lincoln to Union commanders in the field. The collection will be featured in a exhibit at the Huntington titled “A Just Cause: Voices of the Civil War Era” which runs from September 22, 2012 to January 7, 2013. For further information, go to huntington.org.