Eckert, Thomas Thompson, 1825-1910

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Chief of the War Dept. Telegraph Office, 1862. Sucessively General Manager, President, and Chariman of the Board of Western Union.

From the description of Thomas T. Eckert letter to S. S. McClure [manuscript], 1892 Sep 13. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 174964728

Eckert served as head of military telegraph headquarters in the United States War Department during the Civil War.

From the description of Diary, 1865. (Auburn University). WorldCat record id: 25696258

U.S. Brigadier General.

From the description of Papers, 1861-1862. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 36735184

Thomas Thompson Eckert (1825-1910) had begun his career as an operator in the Morse Telegraph Company; in 1852 he became the head the Chicago Branch of the Union Telegraph Company. In the fall of 1861, Eckert was appointed Assistant General Superintendent of the United States Military Telegraph. The Telegraph was organized from the Western Union Company as an expressly civilian service, subordinated directly to the Secretary of War and the President. The service remained under the civilian control, despite numerous attempts to put it under the command of the Signal Corps. In February 1862, Eckert was put in charge of all telegraphic operations of George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac. He remained with McClellan throughout the Peninsula campaign, supervising construction and operation of field telegraph offices in Virginia and Maryland. In April 1863, when the General Superintendent of the Military Telegraph Anson Stager moved his office to Cincinnati, Ohio, Eckert was recalled to Washington and appointed the head of the Military Telegraph office at the War Department. In addition to managing the Telegraph Washington office, Eckert was entrusted with important political, intelligence and diplomatic missions. In March 1865, he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, and on July 1866 became Assistant Secretary of War. He held this position until he resigned from the War Department in February 1867. In the post-war decades, Eckert managed first the Vanderbilt family's Western Union and then its chief competitors, Jay Gould's Pacific Telegraph Company and the then American Union Telegraph. From 1893 to 1900. he was the president of Western Union, and then served as chairman of the company's board of directors.

From the description of Papers of Thomas T. Eckert, 1862-1877, (1862-1867 ) (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 780190980

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Stanton, Edwin McMasters, 1814-1869. Telegram (draft) : ms. : Washington, D.C., to Ulysses S. Grant, Appomattox C.H., Va., 1865 Apr. 9. Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States Commandery of the State of Massachusetts Civil War collection, 1724-1933 (inclusive);, 1861-1912 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf Eckert, Thomas Thompson, 1825-1910. Thomas T. Eckert letter to S. S. McClure [manuscript], 1892 Sep 13. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Bates, David Homer, b. 1843. David Homer Bates papers, 1837-1926. Library of Congress
creatorOf Eckert, Thomas Thompson, 1825-1910. Diary, 1865. Auburn University.
creatorOf Adams, Charles Francis, 1807-1886. Collection of Massachusetts literary letters, 1844-1906. Massachusetts Historical Society
creatorOf Eckert, Thomas Thompson, 1825-1910. Papers, 1861-1862. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Eckert, Thomas Thompson, 1825-1910. Papers of Thomas T. Eckert, 1862-1877, (1862-1867 ) Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Cornell, Alonzo B., 1832-1904. Letter : Albany, N.Y., to General Eckert, 1881 Feb. 28. Texas Christian University
referencedIn David Homer Bates Papers, 1837-1926 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Hay, John, 1838-1905. Correspondence, 1854-1914, "Dewey" to "Elliott". Brown University, John Hay Library
referencedIn Cornell, Alonzo B., 1832-1904. Letter : Albany, N.Y., to General Eckert, 1881 Feb. 28. University of Chicago Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Place Name Admin Code Country
Washington (D.C.)
United States
United States
Fort Monroe (Va.)
Cost and standard of living--History
Telegraph--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Sources


Birth 1825-04-23

Death 1910-10-20



Ark ID: w6b288hp

SNAC ID: 68675481