Signal Corps Association Reenactors Division (SCARD)

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Posted By: Lou Filanosky on: 12/14/2017 12:30:53 EDT
Subject: RE: Signal Corps of the Frontier

Message Detail:
Congratulations on your first event. The Association's archivist has long felt that period signal detachments may have substituted saplings for regulation poles to save on wear and tear to their issued equipment.
Night signals may be made by any number of means. Brown's book recommends: "In cases of emergency torches may be constructed of pitch-pine knots, old rope, canvas, rags, or other material, saturated with tar, or with any combustible fluid. Any light that can be visible at a distance will afford sufficient means by which to transmit messages." [page 98]
Lieutenant Gray, who served with the period corps, wrote a series of instructions for signal officers. Included amongst his instructions the fact that, "Lanterns may be used, one as a foot-light and one fixed to a pole as a flying torch. So may fire brands." Gray also recommended "If practicable use a small fire as a foot-light and let the man keep it burning briskly while you are signaling. The flame should not be more than a foot in length or breadth."
This may be another example of saving wear and tear on issued equipment through improvisation.
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