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Posted By: Walt Mathers on: 06/02/2009 18:42:49 EDT
Subject: Making Sense of Re-created Events With Compasses

Message Detail:
TOWER SIGNAL STATION, February 10, 1865-6 p.m.

[to:] Capt. C. L. DAVIS,
Chief Signal Officer, Headquarters Army of the Potomac:

This p.m. three brigades of rebel infantry were seen moving toward Petersburg [Va] on military road, running parallel to Cox road, and nearer South Side Railroad. They were first seen at a point 50 degrees west of north, and last at a point north by east, still marching. Two of the brigades had four regiments, and the other three. The column was eighteen minutes passing a point. Two trains have passed toward city on South Side Railroad, in all twelve platform and two box cars. The platform cars were loaded with wood. One train of nine platform cars, with nothing on them, passed westward. A brigade on parade at large camp 10 degrees west of north. Camp-smokes as usual.

T. H. FEAREY,
Lieutenant, Signal Corps.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How often do we see reports showing compass headings by degrees? How many signal re-enactors carry and/or employ pocket compasses onto their campaigning platforms?

If signal parties arriving at re-enactment sites were to soon thereafter engage themselves in developing area maps and then seek to such maps affix historical scenario place names, they may gain much favor for the exercise from over-all commanders. Of course, providing a representative (or two) for pre-event walk-throughs, if possible, could accomplish much for the gain of all attending signal detachments.

I am of the understanding that Mr. Williams of New York, and members of his 1st Section detachment, have made much use of such aerial maps (Google Earth) as were available to him/them even during the din of events.

With all of the material being made available with period cross-hatching examples and other mapping aides,we can not help but to excel.

Do we have a section at any of our home pages on period map making maybe?

Walt

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