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Posted By: John Schultz on: 09/15/2003 11:31:47 EDT
Subject: Sort of

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Back from Appomattox. Whew - it stopped raining Saturday enough for the battle - then was nice (but no sun) on Sunday. Battles were "ok" sized - about 140 or so Federal and about twice times that on Confederate.

I'm a 2nd Lt - Federal. My Captain, Reed Lewis has developed a stutter code that is EXCELLENT for controlling wings during battle.

On the Federal side the overall Commanding General (Gen. Valuska) was back from the Infantry with Capt Lewis. I was with the Infantry Commander on the line.

Capt. Lewis used the 3' red flag for across field communications and the 2' white flag to communicate with me. At ONE point - he was busy with cross-line comms and he handed off the white flag to an Engineer who started flagging me orders for the infantry from the General.

His code is THAT easy. Anybody who knows how to wave a flag can competently run a wing flag party by themselves (if they run around a bit!).

At many points IN the battle the infantry would fall back to where the General was and at that point I'd back up Capt. Lews in his cross-line comms by being a recorder and messenger.

Bottom line is that he has developed a code to use that is VERY simplified and that WORKS GREAT and that ANYBODY can pick up a flag and use with about 5 minutes of training.

When time permitted we'd flag for attention and use 3's, however the pace of battle didn't always allow for that. Quite often he'd flag a command from the general and drop the white flag and pick up the red flag for across line comms.

It was quite busy - but we got the job done. BOTH Generals (Valuska and Maupin) left their radios in their tents both days because they trusted the Signal Corps to direct the battle.

"HIGH PRAISE" goes out to both the Federal and Confederate Signal Corps who were in attendance during the battles from BOTH Generals.

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