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American Civil War Secret Message Decoded

In 1896, the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia, received a bottle with a piece of paper inside. It was added to the collection. But until recently, the paper was left inside, unread. Curator Catherine Wright recently opened it, discovered that it was a coded message, and asked two professional crytologists to break it. The message was addressed to Confederate Gen. John Pemberton (left), the commander of forces defending Vicksburg, Mississippi:

"You can expect no help from this side of the river," says the message, which was deciphered by codebreakers.

The text is dated 4 July 1863 - the day Vicksburg fell to Union forces.


At the link, you can view a photograph of the bottle and the message.

Link via Glenn Reynolds | Image: National Park Service

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