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Posted By: Ken Dombroski on: 01/02/2003 16:58:20 CST
Subject: Signal Corps Organization

Message Detail:
Does anyone have any documentation as to the organization of the Signal Corps in the Army of the Potomac circa 1863? Brown offers a fairly good snapshot of the organization in 1862 as well as Myer's proposed organization. Brown cites the act of Congress that established the Signal Corps as a branch of the Army in 1863, but I'm looking for what we would call today the Table of Organization & Equipment (TO&E) for the detachment assigned to the Army of the Potomac during 1863, particularly from April to October.

It seems to me that prior to the big reorganization in late 1863, a typical signal party consisted of a lieutenant and two flagmen. Captains tended to be assigned to division and/or corps headquarters with multiple signal parties assigned to them as needed. Sergeants seemed to be assigned to signal parties led by captains, so I'm assuming their job was to look after the enlisted flagmen within their division/corps signal organization.

I can find no mention of signal sergeants in charge of signal parties or stations until 1864, after the establishment of a formal Signal Corps and the reorganization and appointment of signal officers, sergeants, and privates into the corps. Throughout the 1861-1863 period Brown mentions signal officers leading parties and in charge of stations, but in the 1864 campaigns he starts to mention sergeants in charge of signal stations around the time of the siege of Petersburg. Does anyone know when and why sergeants started to command signal stations?

Regards,

Ken
333

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