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Posted By: Dave Gaddy on: 04/21/2010 07:34:50 EDT
Subject: RE: Breaking the SC code

Message Detail:
Good point; certainly arguable. I suppose I was/am looking for a more pronounced and dramatic cause-effect case. If scaring off the opposition were the criterion, surely tactically placed bogus sig stas with uninitiated flag-wavers would have done the trick w/o expediture of resources to train and deployment sig technicians -- a la the "Quaker guns" of 1861.

There are several impediments to research: generals are loath to credit intel (vice their own brilliance) for tactical successes; records and record-keeping, especially for the early war period in which practices and procedures were being developed, are scarce, particularly on the Southern side; and the "trivial" subject matter of transient message traffic numbs the historian to the value of such "finger-on-the-pulse" data providing assurance to a commander. Maybe we're asking the wrong question. Beauregard's coms lash-up in Charleston harbor area, with visual, wire, courier and face-to-face transmission of information and orders entailed a commitment of sig specialists to effect a climate of affording the CinC a settling sense of constant awareness of threat, both actual and potential. He was alerted to, and able to react to, potential threat. Maybe we should be looking for cases in which avoidance of battle was justification for existence of Sig Corps.

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