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Posted By: Walt Mathers on: 08/05/2006 10:27:16 EDT
Subject: Mixed or Nixed Signals at South Mountain, Regard'g,

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In keeping with the thoughts of Maryland's South Mountain State Park Manager Al Preston of June 2nd 2004 concerning the possible of once more setting up of a signal station at the Washington Monument Station on the backbone of South Mountain, Maryland (see Al's posting on this forum), do you suppose we might want to shoot for effecting such an effort in mid-to-late September, 2007?

I reluctantly should point ouut that each year, the lush trees tend to take over more and more of our intended line-of-sight(s) and I would think the park rangers sometimes sigh at how difficult it has become to obtain permission in order to keep them cut back. No disrespect meant but it may well be that the historical significance of the 1860's timeframe at this location has become less of a priority in view of the nature trail groups. Then again, it ain't easy to climb all of those trees either. But we seem to progressively suffer when we lose a good portion of what had been created and is maiontained as a scenic overlook.

I remember signalling up to the Monument from a position five miles away (to the Southwest) upon the smaller lump known as Red Hill a.k.a. 'Elkridge'. Red Hill (not to be confuesd with the Union army's signal camp of instruction in Georgetown, District of Columbia lies just East of the hamlet of Keddysville heading toward Sharpsburg, MD.

The trees now obscure this line-of-sight as it also does in the direction of the Lutheran Church steeple in Middletown Valley where Union Army CSO Albert Myer in 1862 had established another major signal station to connect the Federal Army supply lines to authorities in Washington City, District of Columbia, and to the Westward thrust of the Federal advance.

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi? Perhaps not. But it will take an enlightened history-minded park administration and a supportive state legislature to see their mission being relative to ensuring a 'clear' path to restoration.

That's my 'view'... JW Brown offers his comment in the 1896 signal history. What's yours?

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Signal Corps Association (1860-1865)
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