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Posted By: Walt Mathers on: 05/10/2010 10:10:10 EDT
Subject: Signal Corp(s) Designated Unit Can Take on Life of Its Own

Message Detail:
To signal Re-enactors:

Dave just got to the 'core' or the matter before I did - click View Parent Message.

Once upon a time, back in the 1980's when re-enactors first began actually conversing and conveying strings of command generated instructions between one another on the re-created 1860's fields, there were two East Coast signal detachments who would be found operating on parallel weekend schedules albeit with two completely separate umbrella organizations and, at times, usually on the same weekends throughout the 125th. commemorative series of the Late Unpleasantness.

One of these two groups, led by a gent who desperately wanted to be in charge of an infantry detachment, but lacking the personal freedom he decided and felt he deserved, decided to establish a signal party/detachment whereby he could arrive on the ground as an officer, invoking the claim that he and his pards were signallists, and then he would tout a phrase he had made up which said, "When the scale or scenario at an event reaches a point where it does not lend itself to signalling, the unit will fight in support of the infantry."

This little band of jolly campers even took on a state regiment designation and number. But it didn't stop there. Enamored with themselves this set of 'teams' (as they called themselves while operating as signal parties - (insert a 19th century horse whinny here) even devised a red 'unit' flag with the names of the 125th events they had attended as battle honors. This was done on a red signal flag with name lettering outside of the white square and a state emblem within its borders, both applied in black. Imagine a certain German national flag albeit with a circle instead of the square and you get the picture.

It once happened that the tow groups met at an event. They were both to be announced at a living history outing as they entered the parade grounds off the sally port.

To describe the announcer's astonishment, when the 'other' group said that they wished to be recognized as the 3rd Hawaiian signal detachment and informed that if the one unit could take on such an absurd detachment name then , by Jove, they could too!

As far as I know, the particular group in question dropped their state number designation after that event and retired their infantry-like flag to their private relic room.

Folks considering a serious signal corps impression usually find their way to this forum, and the ones truly seeking correct information ask for it, either out in the 'clear' where everyone who find their way here can benefit or off line, if they are good scouts and want to sneak up on the challenge.

The History of the Signal Corps, U.S.A., in the War of the Rebellion, by J. Willard Brown, is now on line and is free to all those who seek to know, seek improvement and wish to obtain documented expertise. While it was written from the Northern perspective, it provides the mechanics and, in almost every chapter, it touches on what their Confederate counterparts were reportedly doing.

There are no less then seven years of offerings in this particular adaptation of the forum (the forum had a previous life). It has taken its shape from all of the announcements, inquiries and even no little amount of verbal skirmishing. Discussion threads range from what the signal re-enactors do, what was suppose to have done, why they should do it, and how best to accomplish the mission - (sometimes next time). But it works! I've just related one of them above with the imaginary signal honors flag issue.

The reasons this forum was create is manifold. May all re-enactors who come here be wiling to share openly with one another and leave here with the best possible 'impression' of how they will emulate the communication pioneers of the 1860's.

Thank you. I yield back the balance of my time.

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