Published Books


"Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign"
published April 2015 by Savas Beatie LLC (

As intelligence experts have long asserted, “Information in regard to the enemy is the indispensable basis of all military plans.” Despite the thousands of books and articles written about Gettysburg, Tom Ryan’s groundbreaking Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign: How the Critical Role of Intelligence Impacted the Outcome of Lee’s Invasion of the North, June - July 1863 is the first to offer a unique and incisive comparative study of intelligence operations during what many consider the war’s decisive campaign. Based upon years of indefatigable research, the author evaluates how Gen. Robert E. Lee used intelligence resources, including cavalry, civilians, newspapers, and spies to gather information about Union activities during his invasion of the North in June and July 1863, and how this information guided Lee’s decision-making. Simultaneously, Ryan explores the effectiveness of the Union Army of the Potomac’s intelligence and counterintelligence operations. Both Maj. Gens. Joe Hooker and George G. Meade relied upon cavalry, the Signal Corps, and an intelligence staff known as the Bureau of Military Information that employed innovative concepts to gather, collate, and report vital information from a variety of sources. The result is an eye-opening, day-by-day analysis of how and why the respective army commanders implemented their strategy and tactics, with an evaluation of their respective performance as they engaged in a battle of wits to learn the enemy’s location, strength, and intentions. Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign is grounded upon a broad foundation of archival research and a firm understanding of the theater of operations that specialists will especially value. Everyone will appreciate reading about a familiar historic event from a perspective that is both new and enjoyable. One thing is certain: no one will close this book and look at the Gettysburg Campaign in the same way again.

Reviews of "Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign"

What historians and publishers are saying about Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign:


Most Civil War histories and memoirs that discuss the Battle of Gettysburg are concerned with the strategy and tactics of the battle and its impact on the politics of the war. Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign takes a different approach; it focuses on the intelligence aspects of the campaign from the Battle of Chancellorsville to Lee's retreat in defeat, back across the Potomac River. Civil War historian Thomas Ryan describes how intelligence was organized and employed by the northern and southern generals and the influence it had on the outcome. Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign illuminates how intelligence was collected and applied in more detail than any other book on the entire Gettysburg campaign. It is a valuable contribution to Civil War history.
Hayden Peake in The Intelligencer: Journal of U.S. Intelligence Studies (Spring 2016). He is the Curator of the CIA's Historical Intelligence Collection, and has served in the Directorate of Science and Technology and the Directorate of Operations.

Thomas Ryan's masterfully researched and written study builds upon the pioneering work of Edwin C. Fishel, Stephen W. Sears, and others. Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign is destined to become a classic Civil War study.
Edwin C. Bearss, former Chief Historian of the National Park Service and award-winning author of The Petersburg Campaign: Volume I, The Eastern Front Battles and Volume 2, The Western Front Battles.

This is a truly original study on the role that the collection, analysis, and dissemination of military intelligence had on the strategic and tactical decisions of both army commanders. The author tells an almost unknown side of this well chronicled battle about how the use of intelligence by both sides affected one of the most decisive battles in American history.
Jerry D. Lenaburg, New York Journal of Books

This book should become the seminal work on intelligence in the Gettysburg campaign. Spies, Scouts, and Secrets is an important and insightful study. Through a masterful use of a variety of sources, Thomas J. Ryan explores and evaluates the workings of the intelligence-gathering arms of both armies during the Gettysburg Campaign and their impact on the battle's strategy and tactics.
Michael T. Russert, Civil War News

Without a doubt, Thomas J. Ryan's Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign: How the Critical Role of Intelligence Impacted the Outcome of Lee's Invasion of the North, June-July, 1863 most likely will be considered one of the best Civil War books published in 2015, will be nominated for several annual book awards, and be a winner.
Rea Andrew Redd, posted on Civil War Librarian, June 15, 2015

Thomas J. Ryan maneuvers masterfully through the details of northern and southern movements, examining reports and illustrating the situation on the ground as both army commanders almost felt their way to the fields surrounding Gettysburg. This book offers much to recommend to military historians and students of the battle of Gettysburg who want to investigate a well-written and deeply researched analysis of intelligence during this vital campaign.
Nate Buman, Civil War Monitor Magazine (former editor of Civil War Book Review)

For those people who think that nothing new can be written about the Gettysburg Campaign, I ask you to read this book. The amount of information in this volume will send this work into the pantheon of Civil War writing. It is destined to become a classic.
Matthew Bartlett, Gettysburg Chronicle

This is a fascinating book, and the most detailed account you will find about intelligence operations during the Gettysburg Campaign.
Dr. Vince Houghton, Historian/Curator, International Spy Museum (podcast)

Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign is the first book to detail how the intelligence game was played, by both sides, in this momentous campaign, and Thomas Ryan’s experience as an intelligence officer for the Department of Defense brings context to this story it has not had before.
Stephen W. Sears, author of "Gettysburg"

No one has studied the critical role that intelligence played in the Gettysburg Campaign like Tom Ryan. In fact, the role of intelligence is often overlooked, causing scholars and students alike to miss the "why" so important to the "what" that everyone is familiar with. Now, for the first time the vital information collected by the BMI, scouts, spies and civilians - as well as how it was processed and used by the high command and its results, is told here for the first time in detail that helps complete the story of how and why the campaign developed as it did.
J.D. Petruzzi, co-author of "The Complete Gettysburg Guide" and "The Gettysburg Campaign in Numbers and Losses"

Accurate and timely information is the lifeblood of great generalship. Too often do military historians neglect exploring the flow of information and the effect it has on the decision-making of the great captains. In his excellent new book, "Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign: How the critical role of intelligence impacted the outcome of Lee's Invasion of the North — June-July 1863," Author Tom Ryan has given us a new and insightful window into Lee's decisions, and the Union effort to counter them, during the summer of 1863. The legions of Gettysburg students will need to read this book.
David Powell, author of "Failure in the Saddle: Nathan Bedford Forrest, Joseph Wheeler, and the Confederate Cavalry in the Chickamauga Campaign"

In the vast realm of Civil War writing, military intelligence is frequently overlooked or glossed over with little detail. Knowing what the military leaders knew explains why decisions were made. Tom Ryan’s work gives us a clearer picture of what the military leaders knew, how they knew it, and how this impacted their decisions. It fills an often-neglected gap in Civil War literature and answers many questions that might otherwise remain a mystery.
Andy Turner, Gatehouse Press



"Essays on Delaware During the Civil War
A Political, Military and Social Perspective"

This collection of articles addresses the lives and experiences of Delawareans during the mid-nineteenth century in general and the Civil War in particular. It examines the subject matter from three perspectives, political, military and social, that combined provide an understanding of the issues and circumstances that influenced the people of Delaware and their leaders during this traumatic period. The objective of this publication is to provide an understanding of Delaware's role during those stressful years in our country's history. The citizens of Delaware were not found wanting when Northern and, to a certain extent, Southern leadership called upon them for political support and military service. From a societal point of view, specifically regarding racial equality, however, it is important to recognize the slow progress that Delawareans made over the next century following the Civil War.
Table of Contents

Comments about "Essays on Delaware During the Civil War""

As a native Delawarean and Civil War enthusiast I have enjoyed every story written by Mr. Ryan. I’ve known Tom for many years and can attest to his love of history and his attention to details when writing. His stories are well written and researched thoroughly before putting the ink on the paper. The topics he has chosen encompass many areas of varied interest about Delawareans who contributed or were impacted by the War that defined our nation.
T. Glenn Layton, Captain 2nd Delaware Volunteer’s, Wyoming, DE

What I respect and admire about Tom Ryan and his Essays on Delaware During the Civil War, is that he brings to the forefront, the rich local history that is often taken for granted or forgotten altogether. His essays are informative, interesting and gives the reader an opportunity to explore Delaware’s role in the Civil War. He takes you to places you never heard of, like Fort Delaware Prison on Pea Patch Island. His stories may have roots in Delaware, but many of them will travel outside the State to some familiar and unfamiliar places along the way.
Mark D. Fedorka, Hagerstown, MD

Tom's expertise on the Civil War is only matched by his eagerness to learn even more on the subject. He has fascinated and informed our readers through his research and insight, and I get excited myself every time his latest column comes to my desk. Tom takes the reader beyond dates and statistics and really opens the door to understanding perhaps the most tumultuous time of our nation's history. His work is must-read for anybody who wishes to know more about the Civil War, and the people who participated.
Darin McCann, Editor, Coastal Point, Ocean View, DE

Tom Ryan’s articles are well-written and thoroughly researched. The library keeps his articles on file in our Reference section, so patrons have ready access to his writings. It is a great resource for any Civil War buff. His articles are always worth the read!
Barbara Litzau, MSLS, Reference Librarian, South Coastal Library, Bethany Beach, DE