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Posted By: Walt Mathers on: 12/19/2016 22:18:44 EDT|
Subject: War Telegraph History - Col. Locke
An Interesting Bit of War Telegraph History.
BY G. C. MAYNARD.
Colonel Joseph M. Locke, of Washington, D. C, a retired officer of the United States Army, now eighty-four years old, is a son of John Locke, who was quite an eminent chemist, mathematician, astronomer, inventor of an electric chronograph, once a professor in the Cincinnati College, a personal friend of Humboldt, etc.
Colonel Locke was a young boy when the successful operation of the Morse telegraph was announced and became much interested in the subject.
He learned the Morse alphabet and made sound signals with a musical instrument which were read by persons in some neighboring building who also knew the alphabet.
Colonel Locke spent some time in Germany and received a degree from one of its universities. He served actively through the Civil War.
On one occasion he was with the Union Army in the Shenandoah Valley, when the Confederate troops marched up the valley with the Union forces on the hills on both sides of the route.
One day it was of great importance that the news of the advance of the Confederates should be communicated from Locke's side of the valley to the forces opposite.
They could not use the flag signal, which might be seen and translated by the Confederate forces.
Locke removed the lens and eye-piece from the telescope, split open a tin canteen which he used as a reflector which threw the light through the telescope and using his hat to cut off the light, signalled with the Morse alphabet.
His signals were seen and read by the forces across the valley.
Colonel Locke does not assume to have been a telegraph operator and the instances mentioned are the only ones in which he really did any telegraphing, but he is much interested in the general subject of electrical transmission.
He is an active, very interesting man with large experience.
Source: TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE AGE. July, 1917