Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Union Intelligence Officer's Notebook, 1864-1865

James S. Schoff Civil War Collection

Finding aid created by
Rob S. Cox, November 1997

Summary Information
Title: Union intelligence officer's notebook
Creator: Anonymous
Inclusive dates: 1864-1865
Extent: 391 pages
Abstract:
During the Civil War, intelligence on enemy forces was gathered from a variety of sources. This notebook includes meticulously recorded information on Confederate emplacements, strength, troop movements, and morale, gathered from debriefings of deserters, prisoners of war, civilians, and refugees.

Language: The material is in English.
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Donated, 1979. M-1883.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open to research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown.

Provenance:

Donated to the Clements Library in 1979 by Dr. John C. Dann.

Preferred Citation:

Union intelligence officer's notebook, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


History

During the Civil War, intelligence on enemy forces was gathered from a variety of sources, from refugees, deserters, prisoners of war, and covert observation, to name just a few. The length and massive scale of the operations during the Petersburg Campaign of 1864-65 made intelligence gathering of vital importance.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The name of the intelligence officer who kept the "Union Intelligence Officer's" journal is unknown, as it probably should be. To use the term "spy" would probably be somewhat misleading, for the notebook consists of information culled largely from debriefings of deserters, prisoners of war, civilians, and refugees, rather than from the sorts of covert operations typically associated with spies. But it is clear that the man who kept the notebook was charged with obtaining, recording, and analyzing the immense volume of randomly scattered facts

The notebook includes meticulously recorded information on Confederate emplacements, strength, troop movements, and morale, and is made more valuable in that every informant is named and identified as to regiment and location. In many cases, the intelligence officer provided sketch maps of positions which, while skeletal, can be highly informative. At the end of the journal, perhaps in idle moments, he sketched out caricatures of a soldier, a civilian (?), and a Union shield.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Spies--United States.
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Secret service.
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Military intelligence.
    • Virginia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
    • Military deserters--Confederate States of America.
    • Petersburg (Va.)--History--Siege, 1864-1865.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Box   3.1 Schoff Civil War Diaries & Journals  
    Union intelligence officer's notebook,  1864 November 02-1865 March 30 [series]: