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Posted By: Walt Mathers on: 07/26/2004 10:31:43 EDT
Subject: On-The-Field Re-enactor Signal Considerations

Message Detail:

Pete,

You bring up some very good points of discussion and I (being me) love to jump in with both feet.

Your lines saying:

"The professionalism of Signal reenactors of course is important. But at a reenactment, it may be more realistic and practical to have two or more Signal stations set up on the high ground and wig-wag each other as well as higher headquarters on what they see from "Points of Observation," as recommended by our friend Dave [Gaddy]."

Again, we must, by the constraints given us by the size and phyisical character of the terrain, plus the confidence an over-all army commander places in the elements operating on the re-created field, make our determinations as to where the various stations will be established. Event CSO's sometimes are given the cold shoulder by some of their own flag flopping groups.

Then too, we must remember that is signal re-enacting, the rank-and-file may be willing to play ball for the benefit of seeing the event succeed but their detachment or party chiefs more than not choose or at least wish not to mingle and so go off and attach themselves to the artillery or pre-determine that it is the best interest ot help the folks distribute ice and water to the over-worked under-exercised participant. This cuts down on the effectability of a CSO's ability to place parties where needed. Don't get me wrong, I'll help anyone who need medical attention (I even carry the code for such occurrences), but I an not a medical re-enactor or EMT. I communicate for them. Don't get me wrong, I love to see well thought out choreography involving artillery, but when unit chiefs declare that they are going to orchestrate the firing of the guns from one end of the massed batteries to the other, I just think that functional signal operators have a higher purpose for the good of the event. Its a personal thing. I mean no harm by it.

I especially like your lines...

"Sometimes the selection of the ideal site may be annulled by the natural desire of the reenactors to be close to the action, where they never would have been in a real engagement."

Pete, let me tell you when you mention the word 'tactical' it comes across as the scariest word in some re-enactor's vocabulary. No sutlers - no-go, no-tent, no-go. The saddest part for me seems to be, no black powder, no-play.

Into the Wilderness (ITW) saw not one flag flutter but it was one of the most intense events I've ever attended. While making clandestine observations I was fearful of cavalry approaching me at anytime. Remember the saying about the horsey lads...Eyes and Ears? Well while we were watching them, they had equal chance to observe us too. Maybe we were saved by what I can only call 're-enactor mentality', which in signalese means not being able to think outside of the box (I didn't say sand box but if it applies, well...)

Two deep breathes and I'll feel just fine, I will.
Walt
5-5-5

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Signal Corps Association Re-enactors' Division (SCARD)
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