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Edwin C. Fishel Papers

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS278

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

The Edwin C. Fishel Papers contain research material generated by Civil War historian Edwin C. Fishel for his book "The Secret War for the Union: The Untold Story of Military Intelligence in the Civil War." Of note is correspondence between Fishel and noted Civil War historians, such as Bruce Catton, James M. McPherson, and Stephen W. Sears. Also, Fishel's extensive subject files on a variety of topics are retained. In addition, drafts of Fishel's masterpiece are preserved, and copies of his published articles on Civil War military intelligence are present. The collection is contained in 25 boxes (35.5 l.f.).

SERIES SYNOPSIS: Series 1 - Correspondence Series 2 - Subject Files Series 3 - Manuscripts Series 4 - Xeroxed Documents Series 5 - Printed Materials Series 6 - Note Cards Series 7 - Photographs


  • 1918 - 1999
  • Majority of material found within 1980 - 1990

Collection-level Access Restrictions

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical note

A native of Alliance, Ohio, Edwin C. Fishel moved to Washington, D.C. during World War II while serving with the Army Signal Intelligence Service. After the war, he remained as a civilian with the government codes and cipher organizations. From 1947 to 1968, he worked for the National Security Agency. Thereafter until his retirement in 1972, he worked at the National Cryptologic School Press. Fishel's book "The Secret War for the Union" (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996) was a landmark in Civil War intelligence history. Fishel wrote a number of articles on Civil War military intelligence. He also performed in a jazz band and lectured on jazz. Edwin C. Fishel died on February 11, 1999, in Arlington, Virginia, at the age of 84. [Source: "Washington Post" 15 February 1999, p. B7.]


35.5 Linear Feet (25 boxes)

Language of Materials


Edwin C. Fishel Papers
Scott S. Taylor. Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057