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Posted By: Guide John on: 06/14/2003 18:45:08 EDT
Subject: Some fairly important posts - please look at (RE: Organizing)

Message Detail:

Just to clear up name confusion... I posted a few months ago on the issue of Scouts, Spies, and Guides. I found your emails provocative.

I agree a list of proper qualifications for signallers should be put together, if only to assure that all schools of instruction are playing from the same sheet of music. Likewise, I too find extreme stitch-counting to be annoying. Custom-making period flagpoles is tough enough to not be worth the effort, so long as the more modern reproduction doesn't detract from the overall accuracy of the event (or so I say!).

You raised an issue under goals which I've seen here before, and which confuses this non-wagger: a simultaneous interest in signalling both specific battlefield tactical instructions as an army signal corps would do (which, I suppose, could get dull at scripted events; the infantry already KNOW they're storming Cemetery Ridge, so stop waving the pesky flags at them!), and signalling event-specific information and instructions, a la a third-party "event coordinator". This would certainly be cooler than having commanders hide Motorolas in their saddlebags.

Both of these, obviously, have value, the one historic, the other practical. But I'm not sure they are both compatible. I don't want to sound restrictive, but to me it's an either-or matter. After all, Yank and Reb used different codes and put a lot of work into breaking each other's. The thought of running telegraph wire ACROSS the battlefield to connect opposing HQs is, to me, almost heresy, putting a smooth event as a priority over the accuracy of two armies at war--and when has war gone smoothly, anyway?

I suppose signallers could agree to use two codes--one their own side's "tactical" code and the other an agreed-upon "shared" code for necessary coordination messages on a "guard channel". But overall I think signallers need to decide: are they a unit of Yanks or Rebs determined to use their skills to aid their force in the accomplishment of its mission, or are they a "blue/gray" group of guys who help make sure the show goes smoothly? Call me a purist, but that second one doesn't quite ring right to me.

Sorry again for the long posts.


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