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[363] that were being exchanged along the line; to messages coming from Louisville he replied in the name of the Nashville office, to those from Nashville in the name of the Louisville office. All the despatches passed through his hands, revealing to him the movements of troops destined to surround his little band. This clever trick was repeated everywhere and with the same success. When any private despatches thus fell into his hands, he says that he kept no copies of them, but availed himself of the opportunity to give his Federal interlocutor some startling information regarding Morgan's movements; he thus engaged in telegraphic conversations, by means of which he learned a great deal about the enemy, and by his false representations frustrated the best plans the latter might have formed. We can form an idea of the confusion prevailing among the Northern generals, who believed they were communicating with each other, while all their despatches were intercepted and modified by a skilful adversary. Ellsworth, the Confederate telegrapher, played his part with imperturbable presence of mind, representing several offices at once; he had scarcely ceased holding conversation in one direction when he commenced again in another. At one time he tried, but in vain, to persuade a train of cars to fall into an ambuscade prepared by Morgan. At another time he surprised a Federal employee, and compelled him to send off some unimportant despatch in his presence, in order that he might see how he handled the instrument, what was his handwriting, as it were, so that he might imitate it closely. Some registers he had succeeded in procuring revealed to him all the secret signals; and if the meaning of some of these symbols escaped him, he would soon find the means of unravelling it. Thus one day he receives despatches signed Z; not knowing whence they came, he telegraphs to Z: ‘One of my friends bets you cigars that you cannot spell correctly the name of your station.’ ‘Done!’ answered Z. ‘Lebanon Junction. How did you suppose I would spell it?’ ‘We have lost; I thought you would spell it with a double b,’ ingeniously responded Ellsworth, who had obtained all he wanted. In conclusion, the intercourse being ended, he did not withdraw without ironically expressing his thanks to his correspondents. Having nothing more to fear, and suddenly transformed again into

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