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Posted By: Dave Gaddy on: 09/10/2013 10:23:10 EDT
Subject: RE: Signal Service Solves CSA Cipher

Message Detail:
Joe, Nice find! It's been some time since coming across Dillingham's report. (Holman has been my number one candidate as for entry in a Civil War Hall of Honor for interception and "breaking" of enemy signals.) I've never seen anything comparable to his circular array in CS use, and suspect that he thought the Rebs were using something like the US signal cipher disk. I'm inclined to doubt that, but, as you know, the important thing is to "break" and be able to exploit an enemy cipher, and wonder later how "they" did it. The only CS use of a disk I know about is the alphabet-in-an-alphabet used as one form of device for Vigenere. It can also be made in the form of sliding parallel strips,and in that form (as well as others) CS instructions have been noted. Holman posited a single device to account for various aspects of single opereAating instructions -- in that respect I'm not sold. But if it worked for him -- as a "handy-dandy" or subject to later revision, I value his work (and imagine the variations he had encountered). This is one aspect that would be interesting in re-enactment, but difficult to imagine how to demonstrate it to on-looking visitors.
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