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Posted By: Walt Mathers on: 06/21/2009 18:56:09 EDT
Subject: RE: Re-enact'g Intelligence Chiefs & Their Supports

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You've hit it on the head! Working at this web forum with the serious minded to develop the collective imagination is what might work.

Once we collectively understand who we can become... what we ought to be dedicating ourselves to representing, who we historically ought to be; once we know, understand, and are capable of implementing what was available, utilized during the 1860's, we'll have the imagination and forward thinking of what can and should be brought to bear upon the re-created field.

Once we fully grasp the potential impact of it all, a party chief or flagman who wouldn't see his role at any re-enactment as anything less than essential and necessary to the success of the event is emulating the wrong branch of service.

Getting serious about what we can do and ought to do could still create a profound impact at historically scripted outings and indeed alter the way we consider our 'collective imagination' at events.

I'm a bit embarrassed, and think others will see the following as tooting my own horn, but the stakes are high for the future of the signal service, so I'll just have to take that chance with what comes next.

Please find the following, penned by Charles Clark, late over-all adjutant and later commander for the Army of Northern Virginia (ANV) Re-enactors. It was written and posted to this very forum back on July 19th 2005 and received at 16:52:16 EDT

"... Remember, back then, I was a battalion adjutant, and when I arrived at the 125th 1st Manassas, my eyes were big as silver dollars taking in the carnival atmosphere. It was the best thing since lil green apples.

"As I was trying to lay out the camp I remember hearing this fella walking up and down the streets hollowering for ‘Signalist’ to join him. If you didn’t know what a signalist was, he’d give you the 25 cent tour, and put a flag in your hand…..I thought “This guy is Crazy!” After I saw what these makeshift signal detachments did on the field the first day, my whole persona of this department changed forever. They were great! … and that crazy guy (Lt. Walt Mathers) manipulated the signal corps for that event into the beginning of something Great.

"Since the 125th, I’ve seen both good and bad signal detachments. I’ve seen these same detachments make or break an event. You must know how important you all are to our hobby. If you fellas aren’t on the same sheet of music for the dance, it doesn’t make any difference how talented the General or the army is….you all are rolling the dice.

"I used to depend whole heartedly on the signalists. Any time someone would come up on a sure way communication using radios….I knew right than that they knew nothing about running an event. I have never, at any event, using AM or FM radios been able to orchestrate a battle scenario…"

(Charles Clark)

"You must know how important you all are to our hobby." In order to realize this fact, we will have to find a way to further develop our collective imagination, candidly re-define our current worth to the re-enacting community and then dedicate ourselves to a setting forth a well defined collective mission that in the future will be seen as an indispensably service throughout the re-enacting community.

To those who may consider themselves great or small in the realm of emulators, is it time to re-new our thinking? Is it time to developing a plan that leads, as it does in other areas of the community, toward standardization? Is it about time for making it work, first amongst signal re-enactors nationwide and then throughout the re-enacting community, here and abroad?

Serious-minded re-enactors can and have helped develop the collective imagination in other areas of the hobby. Can you?


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