Author Debriefing: Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign

SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Tom Ryan, former intelligence professional for the Department of Defense and author of Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign. The first book to offer a unique and incisive comparative study of intelligence operations during what many consider the war’s decisive campaign, Ryan’s study evaluates how Gen. Robert E. Lee used intelligence resources, including cavalry, civilians, newspapers, and spies to gather information about Union activities during his invasion of the North in June and July 1863, and how this intelligence influenced General Lee’s decisions. Simultaneously, Ryan explores the effectiveness of the Union Army of the Potomac’s intelligence and counterintelligence operations. Both Maj. Gens. Joe Hooker and George G. Meade relied upon cavalry, the Signal Corps, and an intelligence staff known as the Bureau of Military Information that employed innovative concepts to gather, collate, and report vital information from a variety of sources. The result is an eye-opening, day-by-day analysis of how and why the respective army commanders implemented their strategy and tactics, with an evaluation of their respective performance as they engaged in a battle of wits to learn the enemy’s location, strength, and intentions.