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Posted By: Dave Gaddy on: 06/13/2013 09:02:10 EDT
Subject: RE: signal corps wagons

Message Detail:
Bill,
Some "off the top" observations:

I don't recall having seen an image of -- for example -- a covered wagon marked with insignia or id'd as signal. I'd think it a reasonable assumption that what was officially provided on US side would conform to what was in use by the army or department in which the unit or detachment was serving. (See last paragraph below.)

Orders I have seen (and my special interest is Confederate) regulate number, and sometimes size/capacity, rather than specifying marking.

An exception was a (CS) Signal Bureau requisition, pre-Gettysburg, for a "surry" to carry (and reel-off?) telegraph wire. (No indication of whether fringe on top.)

Another one-time request from head of CS Signal Corps (on letterhead of Secret Service Bureau, which was his "second hat"), 23 Feb 1864, to procure "a strong, light spring wagon," "required for the service of this Bureau for transporting mails & special messengers to our outside lines" [presumably as part of the Secret Line of covert blockade-running and line-crossing]. (Illustration on p. 25 of Jul 1975 issue of "Civil War Times Illustrated.") Note states that QM Capt. Cole says that "suitable vehicle can be immediately constructed at small expense."

(Although not US Signal Corps, you may have seen photos of US Military Telegraph wagons and "battery wagons," to transport wet-cell batteries and serve as field tel offices.)

If Union commanding generals regulated field transportation within field armies, rather than from Washington, a study of General and Special orders issued by an army might be definitive.

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