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Posted By: Dave Gaddy on: 04/15/2010 08:31:50 EDT
Subject: RE: Rebel SC activity at Fredericksburg?

Message Detail:
Along with Ed Fishel, I'd hoped to get a "set-piece" scenario to study (much as Sep 62 Harpers Ferry), but have failed to find records. As at Gettysburg, we can track individuals and individual signal officers and infer presence at HQ or with CGs of major components, but not their activity in detail.

By the time of F'bg, Union sigalmen were beginning to "read" their counterparts' visual signals (i.e., they'd "broken the code"). Confeds reciprocated during that winter, but I've yet to pinpoint date (probably by March 63, at least). They were highly sensitive to the secrecy to be attached to such a feat and tried to keep the lid on, but both sides picked up evidence thru intercepts. Much of the inferences I've gleaned from there and elsewhere comes from Union intercepts, but I have not really searched for manuscript records of Union intercepts at F'bg.

Check OR 51 (2), 659 (10 Dec 62), McLaws ordered to estab sig sta at or near the town to enable pickets to communicate with his hq. (SigO prob Capt Manning, Longstreet's CSO -- OR 51 (2), 659.) Randolph with Harvey Hill; Adams with Powell Hill; Wilbourn with Jackson; Frayser with Stuart. See OR Atlas, plate XXXI, 4, for HQ locs. I suspect that, in the run-up to the Dec battle, when Union crossing points were not determined, that Frayser was running OPs from down as far as Port Royal vic, up the Rappahannock, possibly in conjunction with Wilbourn from Jackson's HQ on up.

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