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Posted By: Ray Wemple on: 10/16/2005 12:20:18 EDT
Subject: RE: Post-Civil War Heliograph

Message Detail:
I NEVER ACTUALLY CONSIDERED THE ATMOSPHERE AND YOU ARE PROBABLY CORRECT ABOUT THAT. NOT ALL THE POLLUTANTS ABOUT AS NOW. INTERESTING ABOUT THE FIVE WORD GROUPS, BUT I CAN SEE HOW IN THE HEAT OF THINGS IT MIGHT BECOME CONFUSING. DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT MYER'S CIPHER SYSTEM BUT WHAT I READ IN BROWN'S AND HAVE A REPRO MADE BY THE SIGNAL STORE. IN MYER'S ( UNION ) CASE, I THINK THAT I UNDERSTOOD IF THERE WERE THREE COUNTERCLOCKWISE WAVES FROM ORIGINATING STATION THAT THE MSG THAT FOLLOWED WOULD BE CIPHERED. IF SETTING WAS NOT SENT THEN, AGAIN, I THINK I READ THAT THE WHEEL SHOULD BE SET AT R2121 OR A SIMILAR COMBO. I AM REALLY AMAZED THAT SOMETHING LIKE THAT WOULD WORK, BEING SO SIMPLE TO DO. UNLESS YOU HAD A DISK, ESSSENTIALLY IT WAS ALL GOBBLEDEGOOK IF READING IT. SOMETIMES WONDER HOW MANY CIPHERED MSGS WERE SENT, OVER WHAT DISTANCES, AND ERROR RATES. ALSO WAS THERE A PARTICULAR EVENT OR BATTLE THAT HIGHLIGHTED THE USEFULNESS OF CODED COMMUNICATIONS?
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