Gregory Elder
on "Civil War Intelligence"


A copy of the slides to his presentation for reference while listening to this recording is available by clicking HERE.

Summary of Presentation:
This presentation details the role that intelligence played in the War Between the States and has two objectives: First, to provide a brief history of how the two sides used intelligence at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels and the strengths and weaknesses of their methods. Second, to examine how the convergence of new technologies, concepts of organization and increased literacy led to the transformation of intelligence into a game changer in military operations. The telegraph, balloons, expansion and freedom of the press, cryptology, organized detainee interrogation techniques, and the world's first all source military intelligence organization made the Civil War a critical period in military intelligence history. There is a strong case to be made that Union intelligence made as much of a contribution to the outcome of the battle of Gettysburg as any other factor. In a larger sense, this war transformed intelligence into a vital part of all modern warfare.

Mr. Gregory Elder is a career intelligence officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). He has completed graduate studies in military history at multiple institutions and holds three masters degrees from the Naval War College, Northeastern University, Norwich University, the National Intelligence University, and the University of Maryland. Mr. Elder was the winner of the US Army War College Strategic Landpower Award, and he was recognized twice by the Director of National Intelligence for analysis in military operations. While at DIA, Mr. Elder was asked to develop a series of lectures on Civil War intelligence as a learning tool and assist in preserving its vital history for the Intelligence Community; this series has been taught across the Department of Defense and is used for instruction by several agencies. He has published articles in the Central Intelligence Agency's "Studies in Intelligence" and DIA's Communique Magazine. Additionally, Mr. Elder has provided more than fifty staff rides to Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Gettysburg, and Monocacy Battlefield for elements of DIA, US European Command, and the National Security Administration.

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