Did Abraham Lincoln's Use Of The Telegraph In The Civil War

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From the late 18th century to the early 19th century, the Industrial Revolution in the United States created advancements in the fields of manufacturing and technology. One of the most influential innovations that emerged from this period was the telegraph. Invented by Samuel F. B. Morse, the telegraph transformed how information was transmitted by allowing messages to be sent and received over long distances. The invention influenced many sectors of the economy, including warfare. Most significantly, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln was the first to deploy this technology to gain a strategic advantage over an opponent. President Abraham Lincoln’s masterful use of the telegraph enabled him to revolutionize the operational aspects of the North’s war strategy, as well as manage public opinion through the media through censorship, resulting in the North’s victory in the Civil War. At the peak of the Industrial…show more content…
Fifteen years earlier during the Mexican-American War, which trained many of the Civil War, President James K. Polk sent General Winfield Scott with only broad instructions. His orders explicitly stated, “it is not proposed to control your operations by definite and positive instructions, but you are left to prosecute them as your judgement, under a full review of the circumstances, shall dictating.” Therefore, Scott and his commanders knew there would not be sufficient time to coordinate with civilian authorities, thus making his decisions in the field supreme. However, in the Civil War, this structure evolved when Lincoln used the telegraph to create a centralized power to handle military action, resulting in diminished authority from commanders in the field. By inserting himself into battlefield activity, whether invited or not, Lincoln maintained his virtual presence in the minds of his
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