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A Modern Look at History: Intelligence Analysis of the Civil War - 1864 Valley Campaign

By DIA Public Affairs

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July 9, 2014 —

By day DIA analyst Greg Elder combs through many different types of intelligence information to pull together assessments for the nation’s top leaders and policymakers. On his off time, Elder is a Civil War historian, studying the battles and leaders and visiting the many battlefields close to Washington, D.C.  

In honor of the 150th anniversary of Confederate Lt. Gen. Jubal Early’s Shenandoah Valley offensive, Elder has combined his expertise with his passion, resulting in a modern look at history, and a peek into the typically secret world of intelligence analysis.

Using actual all-source reporting from early June through July 3, 1864, Elder crafted an intelligence assessment written from the perspective of the Union’s Bureau of Military Information – the first modern all-source intelligence unit in history.

The assessment assumes that Union commanders shared intelligence reporting with the BMI, which did not occur in 1864, and provides a fresh take on what constitutes an intelligence failure. 

Click here for your modern look into history.