Send it in Super Extra Secret Code

mssEC_10_112 - extra special encoding - red_mtn.jpg

7 P.M.  N.Y. Apl 19. 1864
street, signed, J. R. Giddings, 430 PM
likely stop at sixty five wall
for New York tomorrow and will most
in this city and will leave
of the rebel secret service is
Secy of State Washn Thos E Courtney Capt
Mon-tre-al April 19th

Zooniverse volunteer red_mtn has hit the jackpot lately in finding interesting telegrams! In this particular instance, red_mtn pointed out that the message, which seems like gibberish at first, actually makes sense when read from the bottom up! Rearranging the text, we get

7 P.M.  N.Y. Apl 19. 1864
Mon-tre-al April 19th
Secy of State Washn Thos E Courtney Capt
of the rebel secret service is
in this city and will leave
for New York tomorrow and will most
likely stop at sixty five wall
street, signed, J. R. Giddings, 430 PM

The reason for this strange subterfuge may be that Joshua Reed Giddings, serving as U.S. Consul General in Canada, did not have any of the codebooks that were distributed to the Military Telegraph operators, and had to devise something on his own. Here he is passing on information about the movements of Thomas Courtenay, a Captain in charge of the recently formed Confederate Secret Service. A little over a month later, Giddings died while playing billiards in Montreal.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: