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Posted By: Walt Mathers on: 11/29/2005 05:35:11 EDT
Subject: Federal Signal Sergeant Insignia, On Wear'g Of

Message Detail:
Dave,

Relative to yours:

"US War Dept, Adj Gen's Office, Gen Orders 36, Bur of the Sig Corps, 22 Aug 64, says "Description of Badge for Enlisted Men. Device on Arm: crossed signal flags, red and white, on blue cloth. Size of flags: three-fourths of an inch square; centre, one-quarter of an inch square; length of staff, three inches." [Note this doesn't actually say a pair of different flags--white on red/red on white--nor which "facing forward." The order continues...] "Sergeants will wear the designation of the corps [i.e., the foregoing "badge"] placed in the angle of the chevron upon the left sleeve."

It is possible that the square patch may have been modified as in being cut angularly on either side to fit more snugly into the crevice of a signal sergeant's chevron but has anyone seen examples of it? Do you notice that no mention is made in the 1864 order relative to corporal chevrons?

Would you suppose that there's a reason for this? Might any corporal who may have come into the Federal army signal corps (as being detailed) would have either been promoted to sergeant by the Summer of '64 or returned to his regiment? I'd venture to say that the pay records in Record Group 111 or the soldier's individual accoounts may prove useful in knowing whether or not the corporalcy was permitted, tolerated or done away with either by promotion or reduction following the 'official' organization of the signal service in 1863.

We know this to be a fact with photographic evidence of signal privates wearing the square patch cross'd-flags w/o torch insignia on both arms of their fatigue (sack) coats in the presence of officers at the signal head-quarters building, Washington, DC in 1865.

Walt

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Signal Corps Association (1860-1865)
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