Lincoln's Spies: In 1861, the U.S. Army had no intelligence staff, no spies, no agency to coordinate sources of information about the enemy. By 1863, the North had an excellent, professional intelligence service. Presented by Bruce Thompson, Ph.D., via live video stream with interactive Q&A. Friday, August 21, 2020, 7:00PM. ONLY ONE TICKET PER HOUSEHOLD IS NECESSARY.
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Lincoln's Spies: By 1861, the role of intelligence in Washington's conduct of the Revolutionary War had been forgotten. The small U.S. Army had no intelligence staff, no corps of spies, no agency to coordinate diverse sources of information about the enemy, not even a plan on which these services could be based. Lincoln had to start from scratch. By 1863, the North had an excellent, professional intelligence service, with the innocuous name "Bureau of Military Information." And in the nick of time: if Robert E. Lee had won at Gettysburg, morale in the North would have collapsed; Britain and France might have recognized the Confederacy as a state; and Lincoln's presidency would have been crippled. Colonel George H. Sharpe's Bureau of Military Information gave General Meade the edge he needed against Lee at Gettysburg, as it did General Grant in the struggle against Lee in Virginia in 1864. Also in the spotlight: Elizabeth Van Lew, a Virginia heiress, who used her inherited wealth to sustain the most important Union spy ring behind the lines: in the South's capital, Richmond. Presented by Bruce Thompson, Ph.D., via live video stream with interactive Q&A. Friday, August 14, 2020, 7:00PM. ONLY ONE TICKET PER HOUSEHOLD IS NECESSARY.
Bruce Thompson is a lecturer in the Departments of History and Literature and the Associate Director of Jewish Studies at U.C.-Santa Cruz. He received his Ph.D. in History from Stanford; his areas of scholarly research include European intellectual and cultural history, French history, British Isles history, American Jewish intellectual and cultural history, the history of cinema, and the history of espionage.