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Posted on Dec 28, 2010 in History News

Civil War Message in a Bottle Decoded

Gerald D. Swick

You’re on your own, Vicksburg. That’s the gist of a coded message that was stuffed into a bottle in 1863 and has only recently been deciphered.

Intended for General John Pemberton, commander of the besieged Confederate soldiers in Vicksburg, Mississippi, the missive apparently was put into the bottle, along with a .38-caliber bullet to add weight in case the messenger had to throw it into the river to prevent its being intercepted. For decades, it was merely a curiosity in the Museum of the Confederacy until the bottle was recently opened and the code interpreted by modern codebreakers.

Read the Associated Press story about the Confederate message in a bottle here.