December 22, 1864: Christmas Comes Early Image December 22, 2014Brooks D. Simpson Share this:FacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like Loading... Related
I can’t make out every word, but I’m still impressed.
One of the most famous messages of the war.
This may be a dumb question… the top seems to say “By telegraph from Fort Monroe.” So is this written by Sherman for his telegrapher, or is this note in the hand of the receiving telegrapher?
And yes, the only possibly more famous message of the war might be “No terms, except unconditional and immediate surrender, can be accepted. I propose to move immediately on your works.”
I believe that Sherman wrote out the message (obviously not a telegram) and had it delivered from Savannah to .Fortress Monroe by steamer. From that point it would have been telegraphed to Washington. I’d guess that the entry at the top is the telegrapher’s notation recording how it was sent to Washington.
I always wondered how this message was transmitted. How long for a packet steamer to get to Fort monroe? But was there telegraph connection from there to Washington?
Yes, there was a telegraphic connection.
Four hundred seventy-five nautical miles, give or take, so call it 60 hours at 8 knots. Less with a fast dispatch steamer and cooperative winter weather off Hatteras.