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Posted By: Dave Gaddy on: 06/03/2010 11:47:43 EDT
Subject: RE: Capt. Fisher's escape from prison

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Tom, I suspect that what you're really interested in is the question of what was divulged (if anything) to the rebs when Fisher was first taken ... or any of the other US Sig Corps personnel, especially officers. The few accounts suggest a gentlemanly treatment comparable to that of Allied and German pilots in WW I, carrying on the knightly conventions of olden days before trying to kill each other (in gentlemanly fashion). It's hard to imagine that there was not more intensive or insistent pressure to get useful, tech info from the interrogations, but what I've read, from either side, is that there was nothing to complain about on that score (as opposed to walking, feeding, the actual prison experience). I've tried to compile info on CS captures of US and gains or possible gains from an equipment standpoint (such as telescopes). Von Borcke relates the capture of "an entire set of equipments" by Jeb Stuart's cavalry in one instance. (Might there not have been "innocent" questions about "how this thing [e.g., a cipher disk?] is used"?) Perhaps respect for "classified information" was honored by both sides and, whether in debriefing of exchanged or freed PWs or letters home, no one talked about such things, but it's a frustrating research question. (This also relates to a classic Hollywood-type situation in SC, where a CS officer well acquainted with signaling, posed as a PW, was put into a cell with a newly captured US SigO, cultivated him, and learned the signal code. Was that tried only once?)
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