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Yankee Reporters and Southern Secrets

Journalism, Open Source Intelligence, and the Coming of the Civil War


Michael Fuhlhage

Yankee Reporters and Southern Secrets: Journalism, Open Source Intelligence, and the Coming of the Civil War reveals the evidence of secessionist conspiracy that appeared in American newspapers from the end of the 1860 presidential campaign to just before the first major battle of the American Civil War. This book tells the story of the Yankee reporters who risked their lives by going undercover in hostile places that became the Confederate States of America. By observing the secession movement and sending reports for publication in Northern newspapers, they armed the Union with intelligence about the enemy that civil and military leaders used to inform their decisions in order to contain damage and answer the movement to break the Union apart and establish a separate slavery-based nation in the South.

List of Illustrations – Preface – Acknowledgments – Section I. The Union’s Intelligence Void – Introduction: News as an Intelligence Subsidy – The Role of Actionable Intelligence on the Road to Fort Sumter – Historical Context—Buchanan, Lincoln, and the Quandary of Southern Revolution – The Varieties of Information and Intelligence During the Secession Crisis – Section II. Newspapers, Journalists, and the Emergent Secession Movement – OSINT From Secessia: Actionable Intelligence From Southern and Border State Newspapers – An Ad Hoc Secret Service: News Reporters Mobilize in the North – Section III. Newspapers as the Foundation of Open-Source Intelligence – News Reporting as Actionable Information: How Unionist Authorities Used Information From the Press – Conclusion: News and the Roots of Intelligence- Gathering Organizations – Epilogue – Historiographical Essay – Bibliography – Index.