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Posted By: Capt Eric Reeder on: 07/25/2004 23:26:32 EDT
Subject: RE: Keeping Track of On-The-Field Signal Parties, More Concerning

Message Detail:
This is wondeful thread and massively important to our impressions. The problem is very simular to the problems that occured in the real Signal Corps 140 years ago. According to Brown, there were constantly problems of commanders being reluctant to accept the validity of Signals. The Signalmen had to basically go out of their way to MAKE THEMSELVES USEFUL to their commanders. At Neshaminy, We were in a wooded area uncondusive to signals. My commanders basically set us aside and told us to stay out of the way. I was determined to be of more service, so I extended my people the length of the logging road our forces were deployed along. We had between us a total view of the battlefield covering all entrance points and avenues of approach. My people were instructed to send their reports to the center of the road where I was with command and I was able to convey to my commander all information on Federal Units and direction of approach. This was crucial to our effective deployment of out forces at the start of the tactical. We even were able to identify a Cavalry movement as simply a screen to throw us off balance. As soon as our forces were properly deployed to meet the attack. Our usefullness deteriorated a bit. Yes we were able to request reinforcments to an area that needed it, but as you know after the fighting starts battles tend to go where they want and commanders get too busy at times to deal with us. This is why we need to keep our faces in front of them... let them know we are going to be there for them whether they want it or not. Soon hopefully, they will expect us there. In my eyes, there is absolutely no excuse for us not to be used in scripted scenarios. We are the perfect Stage directors for such things. We can be in constant communication with both sides as to time tables of scenario events... such as The Rebel left wing may advance as our center has begun their withdrawl... These can be all preconcerted and therefore can beat ANY radio around. Both sides need to speak to each other in such actions continuously. The crowd won't know who we are talking to... Hell we know who wins the darned thing so why be secretive? I returned this weekend from an simple street fight in which we basically signaled from one end of the street to the other. The event was strictly scripted for safety's sake and the commander depended upon Signals to make sure everything went like clockwork. I gotta tell you, it did.... And the crowd loved it! We did an Educational Demo before the combat and explained our mission... man, it was a small event reenactorwise, but when 5,000 specators give Signals a round of applause it shows we are important to those who view us. I like Walt's idea of adding the tactical flag to a pole... Another idea was suggested by W.P. Alexander of using a Red Flag for specific Artillery Signals. This gives us Historical precidence to use different color flags for specific goals... So, the Black Flag for cross line communications does have some basis to be historically correct. We could also have a stationary flag next to the wigwagging flag of a differing color depending on the recipient.. there are numerous ways to try. Our predesessors have used all these ideas and many more I'm sure. We only do them honor when we as reenactors try anything we can (as they did) to get the message through.
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