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Posted By: Dave Gaddy on: 09/15/2003 16:45:33 EDT
Subject: RE: A FEW ISSUES FOR THE REENACTOR SIGNAL CORPS COMMUNITY

Message Detail:
As Kipling would have said, there are circumstances in which you "blow out your brains and go to your Gawd like a soldier"--or head for a prison pen as a PW.
Reading your comments and John's, Mark, I tried to think back into Brown or otherwise for instances in which signal activity was that intimately involved with the ground combat--in which flag signaling (instead of voice, bugle, etc.) was used in the smoke and confusion to try and regulate the movement. Perhaps there were such times, but I came up short.
If the battle arena and relatively small number involved so constrains effective use of visual signals--as, for example, the terrain did at Chancellorsville, is it authentic to be trying? When precluded from effective use, signalmen were used as couriers or aides. If you can yell, blow a bugle and be heard, or "run over there in a couple of minutes," what's the purpose of flagging? A "side demo" can illustrate the observation and operational/"strategic" use of signals before, after, or even during the combat scenario, whereas trying to compete with regimental and national colors, smoke, etc., can seem silly to a lay audience, and miss the point. Karen has also spoken eloquently about keeping up signal unit morale, but there may be times when you'll have to fall back on Plan B--example, the band--there are times when they had to fall in as litter-bearers, instead of tooters. Am I off base?
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