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Posted By: Dave Gaddy on: 08/19/2013 10:16:18 EDT
Subject: RE: Signal Corps Forms?

Message Detail:
Logan, if you are referring to the confidential setting ("countersign") for the cipher disc, as opposed to the countersign used especially early war for identification friend/foe, I have a filled-in type-set printed form of 22 Jul 1865 printed in the quaint style of mixed fonts adored by mid-century printers. (Unfortunately, my computer printer is taking some time off at the moment, but perhaps a description will give you an idea of what to look for or expect.)
Plain white paper, 5" wide by 7 5/8" lomg.

Header [Old English] Headquarters Signal Detachment.
[Script] Department of Washington,
[Italic, filled in by hand in black ink]
Washington, D.C., July 20th, [printed] 1865.
[Bold] Confidential:
[Italic script] Countersign for cipher disc for the week commencing on Sunday [hand: July 22nd.] and ending on Saturday [hand: July 29th] [printed] 1865.

[drop 1 and 1/2" to a 2" line of dots, on which is hand-
printed in red ink] 181 - 1881 - R - T.

[authentication hand-written in black ink below third fold, 2 1/2" from bottom] By command of/ Bvt. Capt Geo. J. Clarke/Signal Corps, U.S.A./Actg. Ch. Sig. Offr/

[signed] Oscar B. Ireland
[Italics, printed] 1st [written thru as 2nd] Lieut., Signal Corps, U.S.A./Chief Signal Officer [written thru as Actg. Adjt.]

The size seems pretty much standard for SigC and USMT message forms for short items, folded to roughly 3x5 thirds for filing. Given gen staff interest, I suspect you may rather be referring to the challenge-response used by troops, which was a responsibility of the SigC under Myer and McClellan, but I don't have one of those readily available.

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