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Posted By: Walt Mathers on: 09/12/2005 18:58:47 EDT
Subject: If You Have Soft Skin - Disregard This Post

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There has been a battery of postings on other forums concerning the use of emulators of 1860's period field communcators. I just received this to-day and was not involved in the recent salvo so if you think I am re-hashing old problems and not being part of the progressive solution (which I haven't sensed in the last few years but perhaps I'm out of the loop in certain veins of re-creations) and I should HOPE that we who claim the title need to give serious thought to just what that entails and what we ought to be expected to be required to accomplish and maintain as far as the rest of the re-enactment community has need for.

I'd like to address the use of radios during battle scenarios. I've been the Confederate Commander at the Neshaminy event for the past three years, and it looks like I'll be the Commander again next year. I've had good success using period commo with my own troops, using flags, and both mounted and foot couriers. But, when it comes to communication with my Federal counterpart, I want a radio.

When doing a scripted scenario, you are trying to recreate an event that happened 140 years ago, SNAFU's and all. We don't have the luxury of making our own mistakes. Walk throughs and good intentions are no guarantee that things are going to go exactly as planned. The first scenario at "The Summer of '62" being just one good example.

Radio communication is the quickest and most reliable method of passing information from one side of the battlefield to the other. And to me, at least, it seems kind of silly to have Confederate and Federal signal people sending messages back and forth to each other.

Just my two cents on the subject. I'm sure other's mileage will vary.

Bill Rodman"

I have no ill feelings again st Bill Rodman. If I could I'd give him a big kiss. He is willing to say what most who grace this board and attend re-enactments dare not say.

Some of the folks here on this forum have expressed pleasure in attending the Neshaminy event and said what a great event it has been. Did you realize there were those thinking you to be silly and superfulous? If signallists were standing that close to one another, why weren't they using the homographic code? If they didn't know it, why don't they study our web offering to learn how simple it is instead of making the lot of us look simple in the eyes of at least one over-all field commander? If WE haven't decided to meet in conference with other detachment leaders at Gettysburg and at other locations around the country to strike a challenge for standardization what is it WE really want and how long do WE think it will take by employing inertia?

Some knowingly and others un-wittingly have taken the field actively wishing to abort functional communcators or mis-represent us by their claims to understanding what they SHOULD have been about while grasping signal flagged poles and sewing crossed signal flag insignia ADVERTISMENTS on various parts of their duds.

Is it really a case of WE refuse to rock the boat? Now if you ask me... that's silly! There are many roads to Roma.

Please hear me out! We first need to gain approval amongst ourselves as to how we'll wish to operate and then inform our parent group leaders that we are qualified to do the job and do it with good judgement.

Let's talk about the issues instead of talking at, or in many cases, AROUND the issues. Will you commit now to a goal of qualification of standards or isn't this enough of a wake up call?

I'm not here to be beat upon or to lash out at any of my compatriots.. but the issues couldn't be clearer (in my opinion) and they could sure use a good working over... if you catch my drift.

I'm asking our readers who re-enact to not kid ourselves - yourselves, OURSELVES.

If there ever was a time, this is a time to get your hackels up but get angry with the current situation not with those who are interested in improving our lot that we may regain lost territory and thrust ahead with confidence and dignity.

Walt Mathers

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