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Posted By: Dave Gaddy on: 09/08/2003 21:00:08 EDT
Subject: RE: Check this out Dave!

Message Detail:
1. Quite an impressive piece. If it were war-period, I'd suspect the components (if not the whole thing) came from France. I'd make a wild guess post-war. A bit flashy for field use, but possibly could pass for the sort of school/wealthy planter 'scope pressed into service by the Confederacy. But at that price, would you take it out of the safe? I've noticed a couple of three-four-draws Bardou 'scopes on eBay recently that might better fall into the war period and significantly less expensive.
2. Even Stringfellow's biographer didn't know about the SigC cmsn. It was made in Nov 64, just five yrs before Appomattox. There's evidently some info about the circumstances, which I haven't tracked down yet, but I've wondered if this wasn't a matter of "protective cover" for him as a junior officer in case he was captured. I've found no other indication that he practiced being a SigO, and, as CR brings out, there were odd things going on in those last months of the war, with two SigC guys being xferred to Benjamin for State Dept Secret Svc, Longstreet's CSO going to Mosby, etc. (In that connection, recently noted a ref to Capt. Manning, Longstreet's CSO, running sta at Front Royal--Mosby country--in contact with "Signal Knob" sta on northern spur of Massanutton Mt range, the key lookout for the Valley District. From there the sig line ran down to New Market, then to Staunton and elec telegraph to Richmond. This Valley sta was still being manned AFTER Appomattox. Gen Tidwell considered it Mosby's link to Richmond via the Valley.
3. Benjamin Franklin Stringfellow was quite a guy. He deserves better literature, but I doubt that the paper trail survives--he and Pres Davis were security-conscious models.
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