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Posted By: David Winfred Gaddy on: 10/16/2005 20:27:12 EDT
Subject: RE: Post-Civil War Heliograph

Message Detail:
RAY, SORRY TO HAVE CONFUSED THE ISSUE. APPLES AND ORANGES--I WAS TAKING ABOUT TELEGRAMS, NOT MYER'S DISK-BASED VISUAL SIGNALS, AND SPEAKING OF CS WHEN I MENTIONED FIVE-LETTER GROUPS. BOTH CS ("VIGENERE") AND USMT (ROUTE TRANSPOSITION) RETAINED ACTUAL WORD-LENGTH (IN MOST CASES), WHICH MIGHT HAVE BEEN HELPFUL IN DECIPHERING BUT ALSO HELPED THE ENEMY IN THE SAME WAY. MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE MYER DISK IS THAT IT WAS USED TO CHANGE THE ACTUAL SIGNAL CODE BEING USED, AND THEREFORE DID NOT REQUIRE A CIPHER TEXT NOR YIELD ONE--IT WAS, IN A SENSE, "PLAIN TEXT" SENT IN A VARIANT SIGNAL CODE, IF YOU FOLLOW ME.
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