1 United States Army, Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States, as printed in facsimile in Joseph R. Riling, Baron von Steuben and His Regulations (Philadelphia: Ray Riling Arms Books Co., 1966). See also Raoul F. Camus, Military Music of the American Revolution (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1976) and Robert K. Wright, Jr., The Continental Army, Army Lineage Series (Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History, United States Army, 1983).
2 Chester L. Kieffer, Maligned General (San Rafael, Calif.: Presidio Press, 1979), p. 254; K. Jack Bauer, The Mexican War: 1846-1848 (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, Inc., 1974), pp. 237 and 396; Erna Risch, Quartermaster Support of the Army: A History of the Corps, 1775-1939 (Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History, United States Army, 1989), p. 250.
3 Duane Koenig, "Telegraphs and Telegrams in Revolutionary France," Scientific Monthly 59 (Dec 1944): 431-37; James Dugan, The Great Mutiny (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1965), pp. 22, 81-82; Baron de Jomini, The Art of War, trans. G. H. Mendell and W. P. Craighill (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1862), ch. 6, art. 42.
4 R. F. H. Nalder, The Royal Corps of Signals: A History of Its Antecedents and Development (circa 1800-1955) (London: Royal Signals Institution, 1958), pp. 9-13.
5 See "Report of the French Minister of War to the Emperor, on the Administrative Arrangements for the War in the East," in Alfred Mordecai, Military Commission to Europe in 1855 and 1856, 36th Cong., 1st sess., 1860, S. Doc. 60, p. 87.
6 Richard Delafield, Report on the Art of War in Europe in 1854, 1855, and 1856, 36th Cong., 1st sess., 1860, S. Doc. 59, p. 110. Two other American Army officers observed the conflict, Maj. Alfred Mordecai and Capt. George B. McClellan.
7 Dennis Showalter, "Soldiers into Postmasters? The Electric Telegraph as an Instrument of Command in the Prussian Army," Military Affairs 37 (Apr 1973): 49.
8 Myer's daughter later gave the year as 1829, but this is the date accepted by Myer's biographer, Dr. Paul J. Scheips, in "Albert J. Myer, Founder of the Signal Corps: A Biographical Study" (Ph.D. dissertation, American University, 1966), p. 5. The information given here on Myer's early life is taken from this study, hereafter cited as Scheips, "Myer."
9 This company operated instruments developed by Alexander Bain of Scotland. Unlike the electromagnetic Morse system, the Bain telegraph operated by an electrochemical process. The codes were similar, with the Bain consisting of dots and lines instead of dots and dashes. Myer may also have been employed at some point by a company that used the Morse system. See Scheips, "Myer," pp. 65-69.
10 While some authors have attributed Myer's inspiration for his invention to his observation of Southwestern Indians signaling with lances, Dr. Paul J. Scheips, the foremost authority on Myer, has seen no evidence to validate this contention. See Paul J. Scheips, "Albert James Myer, an Army Doctor in Texas, 1854-1857," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 82 (Jul 1978): 20.
11 See Ltr, Myer to Davis, 1 Oct 1856, in the Albert J. Myer Papers. The letter is on roll 1 of the microfilmed papers in the custody of the U.S. Army Center of Military History (hereafter cited as CMH). The papers reproduced are among the collections of the Library of Congress and the U.S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania (hereafter cited as MHI).
12 End, Davis, 11 Dec 1856, on Myer to Davis, 1 Oct 1856, on roll 1, Myer Papers microfilm, CMH.
13 Scheips, "Myer," pp. 177-78.
14 A copy of the report to Adjutant General Col. Samuel Cooper, 12 Mar 1859, is on roll 1, Myer Papers microfilm, CMH. The original copy of the report that is reproduced on the film is in the custody of the Signal Corps Archives at Fort Gordon, Georgia. See also Scheips, "Myer," pp. 182-87.
15 For more details on the code and its variations, see J. Willard Brown, The Signal Corps, U.S.A. in the War of the Rebellion (Boston: U.S. Veteran Signal Corps Association, 1896), pp. 91-97; Albert J. Myer, A Manual of Signals: For the Use of Signal Officers in the Field (Washington, D.C.: Signal Office, 1864), pp. 28-47; Historical Sketch of the Signal Corps (1860-1941), Eastern Signal Corps Schools Pamphlet no. 32 (Fort Monmouth, N.J.: Eastern Signal Corps Schools, U.S. Army, 1942), pp. 15-17.
16 Scheips, "Myer," pp. 227-29.
17 U.S. War Department, Annual Report of the Secretary of War, 1859, p. 8 (hereafter cited as ARSW followed by year). On Floyd's subsequent actions relative to Myer's signals, see Scheips, "Myer," pp. 235-44.
18 Congressional Globe, 36th Cong., 1st sess., 1859-1860, 29, pt. 2: 1430.
19 This is the date that is officially celebrated as the Signal Corps' birthday. See the Senate debates of 2, 5, and 7 June 1860 in Congressional Globe, 36th Cong., 1st sess., 1859-1860, 29, pt. 3: 2558-60, 2636-37, 2727-31. A detailed discussion of the congressional action is given in Scheips, "Myer," ch. 8.
20 War Department General Orders 17, 2 Jul 1860, p. 4 (hereafter cited as WDGO with date).
21 E. P. Alexander, Military Memoirs of a Confederate (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1907; Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1962), pp. 1-4. The reprint contains a very useful introduction by T. Harry Williams discussing Alexander's work with Myer.
22 Among those who expressed an interest was J. E. B. Stuart, then a cavalry lieutenant in Kansas. See Scheips, "Myer," pp. 274-75; on signal operations in New Mexico, see ch. 9.
23 For a discussion of their views, see Scheips, "Myer," pp. 327-32.
24 As quoted in Scheips, "Myer," p. 327.
25 See letter of 1 August 1861 in U.S. War Department, War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 128 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901), ser. 3, vol. 1, pp. 375-76 (hereafter cited as OR with series and volume numbers). An extract appears in Brown, Rebellion, pp. 46-47.
26 For details on Myer's service at Fort Monroe, see Scheips, "Myer," pp. 337-42, and Brown, Rebellion, pp. 39-42.
27 Prentice G. Morgan, "The Forward Observer," Military Affairs 23 (Winter 1959-1960): 209-12. Morgan incorrectly places this first performance of fire direction in May 1862 rather than June 1861. See Brown's account in Rebellion, pp. 41-43. While Morgan indicates that this was a unique event, signal officers in fact performed this function many times throughout the war.
28 Diary of Luther Furst, MHI. The quote is from the entry for the period from 28 August to 19 October 18.
29 Brown, Rebellion, ch. 3; Scheips, "Myer," p. 384.
30 Scheips, "Myer," p. 423. Myer set forth his plan in a letter to Brig. Gen. Seth Williams, McClellan's assistant adjutant, on 30 October. Brown extracts this letter in Rebellion, pp. 63-65.
31 See Rpt, Brig Gen Isaac I. Stevens, commander of the land forces, to Capt L. H. Pelouze, assistant adjutant general expeditionary corps, 3 Jan 1862, in OR, ser. 1, vol. 6, pp. 47-53, in which he praises the services of Tafft and Cogswell. See Tafft's recollection of his service with the expedition in "Reminiscences of the Signal Service in the Civil War" in Personal Narratives of the War of the Rebellion, Being Papers Read Before the Rhode Island Soldiers and Sailors Historical Society, Sixth Series, no. 3 (Providence: Published by the Society, 1903).
32 GO 20, Headquarters, Signal Corps, 19 Mar 1862, and GO 3, Office of the Signal Officer, 7 Feb 1863, Record Group 111, Records of the Chief Signal Officer, National Archives and Records Administration (hereafter cited as RG 111, NARA). There are three bound volumes of orders that cover the years 1861 to 1869. The first volume contains orders from August 1861 to March 1862; the second from March 1862 to November 1863; and the third from January 1864 to December 1869. GO 20 is found on pages 126 to 128 of the first volume and GO 3 on page 51 of the second volume.
33 U.S. War Department, Annual Report of the Chief Signal Officer, 1861 (hereafter cited as ARSO with year), in OR, ser. 3, vol. 1, pp. 694-97; ARSO, 1862, in OR, ser. 3, vol. 2, p. 757; ARSO, 1863, in ARSW, 1863, p. 174. The annual reports of the chief signal officer for the years 1861-1866 are reprinted in volume 1 of Paul J. Scheips, ed., Military Signal Communications, 2 vols. (New York: Arno Press, 1980).
34 The act appropriating funds for the Signal Corps is printed in WDGO 21, 26 Feb 1862. Myer also mentioned the need for "countersign" signals which were to be used to distinguish friendly from hostile troops. Although Congress appropriated nearly $35,000 to equip each regiment with supplies for making these signals, their use never became widespread, and they were eventually abandoned. On countersign signals, see Brown, Rebellion, pp. 107-13.
35 Scheips, "Myer," pp. 410-13; Congressional Globe, 37th Cong., 2d sess., 1861-1862, 32, pt. 1: 240, 269-71, 859 and pt. 4, app., p. 337.
36 Scheips, "Myer," pp. 413-19; WDGO 68, 18 Jun 1862.
37 ARSW, 1862, p. 17.
38 See Scheips, "Myer," pp. 520-35, for details on Myer's efforts and the resulting legislation. The provisions of the bill pertaining to the Signal Corps are printed in WDGO 73, 24 Mar 1863, pp. 22-23.
39 ARSO, 1864, in OR, ser. 3, vol. 4, p. 819.
40 See the provisions of WDGO 106, 28 Apr 1863, and WDGO 223, 17 Jul 1863. Myer's appointment was announced in WDGO 316, 18 Sep 1863. Scheips, "Myer," pp. 535-44.
41 See Myer's original request for a course at the Military Academy in ARSO, 1861, p. 695. The chief signal officer stated in his 1864 report that "For some cause unknown the course of instruction at West Point was not continued during the past year. ARSO, 1864, p. 819. On naval signaling, see Linwood S. Howeth, History of Communications-Electronics in the United States Navy (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1963), p. 9.
42 Subsequent editions were published in 1866, 1868, 1871, 1877, and 1879.
43 For details on signal apparatus and methods, see Brown, Rebellion, chs. 5 and 6.
44 Rpt, Cushing to Myer, 23 May 1863, and Rpt, Fisher to Lt William S. Stryker, Adjutant, Signal Corps, 9 May 1863, both in OR, ser. 1, vol. 25, pt. 1, p. 220 and p. 228, respectively.
45 Brown describes the disk in Rebellion, pp. 99-102, 118-19. See also Historical Sketch, p. 11.
46 Myer, Manual, 1864, pp. 87-88.
47 Ibid., p. 61.
48 Balloon operations never found a niche within the Union Army. They were initially placed under the Bureau of Topographical Engineers where they remained until March 1862 when they were placed under the Quartermaster Department. In April 1863 balloons were transferred to the newly created Corps of Engineers. A few months later, in June 1863, Myer declined an offer to direct the balloon corps, and it was subsequently disbanded. For additional details, see F. Stansbury Haydon, Aeronautics in the Union and Confederate Armies With a Survey of Military Aeronautics Prior to 1861 (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins Press, 1941), ch. 8. A brief essay by Lowe, entitled "Balloons in the Army of the Potomac," is included in Francis T. Miller, ed., The Photographic History of the Civil War, 10 vols. (New York: Review of Reviews Co., 1911), 8: 369-82. See also Tom D. Crouch, The Eagle Aloft: Two Centuries of the Balloon in America (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1983), chs. 12 and 13.
49 Risch, Quartermaster Support, pp. 366-68.
50 Frank A. Flower, Edwin McMasters Stanton, The Autocrat of Rebellion, Emancipation, and Reconstruction (Akron, Ohio: Saalfield Publishing Co., 1905; New York: AMS Press, Inc., 1973), p. 219. Legislation passed in January 1862, drafted by Stanton, gave the president control over the nation's railroad and telegraph lines. Lincoln, in turn, delegated these powers to Stanton. See Benjamin P. Thomas and Harold M. Hyman, Stanton: The Life and Times of Lincoln's Secretary of War (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1962), pp. 153-55. The authors do not, however, discuss Stanton's relationship with Myer and the Signal Corps.
51 Myer later expressed this belief in writing after losing the battle with Stanton over control of electric telegraphy in November 1863. At that time, Myer wrote: "For many months a hostile feeling had been provoked by the continued success of this element in war, and though at first provocative of mirth, its importance was now so great that the gigantic arm of monopoly had been stretched out in greed to clutch this condemned instrumentality." He is quoted in Brown, Rebellion, p. 423. The description of Stanton is by Robert V. Bruce, Lincoln and the Tools of War (1956; reprint, Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 1989), p. 153.
52 See David Homer Bates, Lincoln in the Telegraph Office: Recollections of the United States Military Telegraph Corps During the Civil War (New York: Century Co., 1907).
53 In his 1863 annual report Myer indicated that twenty miles was the longest distance over which a telegraph train had been used. The average distance was five to eight miles. ARSO, 1863, p. 176.
54 See copy and endorsements in Letters Sent, vol. 1, RG 111, NARA.
55 His letter is printed in Brown, Rebellion, p. 50.
56 Beardslee Magneto-Electric Co., Beardslee's Military Telegraph: The History of Its Invention, Introduction, and Adoption by the Government of the United States (New York: John A. Gray & Green, 1863), p. 11.
57 A good article on the development of the train is that by George R. Thompson, "Development of the Sig C Field Telegraph, 1861-1863," Signal 12 (Jul 1958): 28-34.
58 "Proceedings of a Board of Examination on the Field Telegraphic Train," file number C-28, Letters Received 1861-1862 A-W, RG 111, NARA. One of the board members was 1st Lt. Benjamin F. Fisher, who went on to become chief signal officer.
59 Beardslee's son, Frederick, joined the Signal Corps as a telegraph operator.
60 OR, ser. 1, vol. 5, p. 31. Author's emphasis added.
61 For reports of the battle of Fredericksburg, see those by signal officers Samuel Cushing, Benjamin Fisher, Frederick Beardslee, David Wonderly, and others in OR, ser. 1, vol. 21, pp. 151-67. For a breakdown of the placement of the thirty telegraph trains, see ARSO, 1863.
62 ARSW, 1863, p. 13. Stager's report for fiscal year 1863 is printed in William R. Plum, The Military Telegraph During the Civil War in the United States, . . . , 2 vols. (Chicago: Jansen, McClurg and Company, Pubs., 1882), 2: 368.
63 Douglas Southall Freeman, Lee's Lieutenants: A Study in Command, 3 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1942-1944), 2: 644-45; Rpt, Cushing to Myer, 23 May 1863, OR, ser. 1, vol. 25, pt. 1, pp. 217-23; John Emmet O'Brien, Telegraphing in Battle: Reminiscences of the Civil War (Scranton, Pa.: The Raeder Press, 1910), p. 124 (O'Brien served with the Military Telegraph); Plum, Military Telegraph, 1: 363; Edward Hagerman, The American Civil War and the Origins of Modern Warfare (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988), pp. 82-87. The Signal Corps did operate some telegraph lines during the battle. According to Myer in his 1863 annual report, the shorter lines were successful while the longer lines failed (p. 176). For a detailed study of the Chancellorsville campaign, see John Bigelow, Jr., The Campaign of Chancellorsville: A Strategic and Tactical Study (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1910). A more recent analysis is Jay Luvaas and Harold W. Nelson, eds., The U.S. Army War College Guide to the Battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville (Carlisle, Pa.: South Mountain Press, 1988).
64 See copy of letter on roll 1, Myer Papers microfilm, CMH.
65 His letter of 27 Oct 1863 is printed in Plum, Military Telegraph, 2: 100-101.
66 An extract from War Department Special Orders 499, dated 10 Nov 1863, relieving Myer from his position, is printed in Plum, Military Telegraph, 2: 102. An extract is also on roll 1, Myer Papers microfilm, CMH. See also Scheips, "Myer," pp. 564-78.
67 Scheips, "Myer," pp. 586-87, contains details on their meeting and agreement.
68 Plum, Military Telegraph, 1: 71 and 2: 99.
69 See extract in Plum, Military Telegraph, 2: 346-50.
70 Biographical information about Nicodemus can be found in George W. Cullum et al., comps., Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N. Y. . . . , 9 vols. (Cambridge, Mass.: Riverside Press and others, 1891-1950), 2: 711-12. Nicodemus was graduate number 1820. Brown, Rebellion, gives the Corps' strength in October 18 63 as 198 officers and 1,012 men.
71 Nicodemus was dismissed per WDGO 304, 26 Dec 1864. He was later restored to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Signal Corps and mustered out in August 1865. He returned to the line as a captain and was honorably discharged on 29 December 1870. He became a professor at the University of Wisconsin where he taught military science and civil and mechanical engineering. Nicodemus died at Madison, Wisconsin, in 1879 at age 45. Cullum, Biographical Register, 2: 711-12. Records of the Confederate War Department examined after the war revealed that Nicodemus, while serving in New Mexico in 1861, may have attempted to secure a commission in the Confederate Army. Stanton would not have known about this in 1864, and whether Myer ever knew is uncertain. Scheips, "Myer," pp. 323-24.
72 Scheips, "Myer," p. 461; Brown, Rebellion, pp. 358, 370.
73 ARSO, 1863, p. 166; Rpt, Myer to the Adjutant General, Army of the Potomac, 21 Oct 1862, in OR, ser. 1, vol. 11, pt. 1, p. 247.
74 John D. Billings, Hardtack and Coffee or the Unwritten Story of Army Life (1887; reprint, Williamsport, Mass.: Corner House Publishers, 1980), p. 405; Brown, Rebellion, pp. 460-61.
75 Hagerman, Origins of Modern Warfare, p. 172; Brown, Rebellion, p. 509.
76 Scheips, "Myer," pp. 343-49. See also the account in Haydon, Aeronautics in the Union and Confederate Armies, pp. 68-71, which is not complimentary to Myer. After this disappointing episode, Myer made no further attempts to obtain control of balloon operations.
77 Brown, Rebellion, pp. 241-42. Brown relates that Maj. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart personally captured the signalmen, but this story may be apocryphal.
78 The Military Telegraph operated this line. Due to the demand for telegraphers on the Peninsula, however, "there was no military operator at Point of Rocks, at the time of Lee's forward movement from Chantilly, and Stuart's approach seems not to have been telegraphed." Plum, Military Telegraph, 1: 230.
79 Stephen W. Sears, Landscape Turned Red. The Battle of Antietam (New Haven, Conn.: Ticknor and Fields, 1983), p. 286. Earlier in the day Burnside had requested information from the signal station as to enemy movement in the area. See Rpt, Gloskoski to Lt William S. Stryker, Adjutant, Signal Corps, 29 Nov 1862, in OR, ser. 1, vol. 19, pt. 1, pp. 137-39.
80 On signal operations in Maryland, see Rpt, Myer to Brig Gen S. Williams, Assistant Adjutant General, Army of the Potomac, 6 Oct 1862, in OR, ser. 1, vol. 19, pt. 1, pp. 117-25; Rpt, Capt B. F. Fisher to Myer, 30 Sep 1862, in OR, ser. 1, vol. 19, pt. 1, pp. 126-30. See also Brown, Rebellion, pp. 324-37, and Scheips, "Myer," pp. 481-85. Myer, still serving as McClellan's signal officer, apparently oversaw signal operations from Elk Mountain, as both Fisher and Gloskoski mention his presence there.
81 Norton became chief signal officer of the Army of the Potomac following Fisher's capture by the Confederates in June 1863. Norton states in his report that "signal telegraph trains were sent to Frizellburg [nineteen miles from Gettysburg], and everything held in readiness to extend the wire at a moment's notice to the points desired by the commanding general." Apparently, Meade never called for their use. Rpt, Norton to Brig Gen S. Williams, 18 Sep 1863, in OR, ser. 1, vol. 27, pt. 1, pp. 199-207.
82 OR, ser. 1, vol. 27, pt. 3, p. 488. Although the Official Records gives the date of this message as 2 July, Col. Alexander W. Cameron, a student of the use of signals at Gettysburg, believes the correct date is 1 July. See his article, "The Signal Corps at Gettysburg," Gettysburg (Jul 1990): 9-15. For a more in-depth study, see A. W. Cameron, A Communicator's Guide to the Gettysburg Campaign (Carlisle Barracks, Pa.: U.S. Army War College, 1989).
83 OR, ser. 1, vol. 27, pt. 3, p. 488.
85 Accounts differ as to who first transmitted the information about enemy movement. Not surprisingly, perhaps, Norton's report and J. Willard Brown in Rebellion credit the signalmen with first discovering the flanking activity. Shelby Foote, however, in vol. 2 of The Civil War: A Narrative (New York: Random House, 1963), p. 503, states that Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren, chief engineer of the Army of the Potomac, while reconnoitering the position on Little Round Top, noticed the troops and delivered the information to Meade himself. According to Foote, Warren instructed the signalmen to look busy "whether they had any real messages to transmit or not" so as to confuse the enemy. Brown, on the other hand, contends that it was because of the signaled information that Warren went to Little Round Top (Rebellion, p. 367). Edwin B. Coddington, in The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1984), remarks that "romantic tradition has accorded General G. K. Warren the glory of the main role in that drama" (p. 388). He notes that Warren's own account of what happened "puts a strain upon belief' and that Warren probably arrived on Little Round Top about the time that the signal officers reported the flanking movement (see n. 20, p. 740). For Warren's version of events, see the letter printed as part of his biographical sketch in Cullum, Biographical Register, 2: 401-09. Warren was graduate number 1451. There is no report from Warren in OR, ser. 1, vol. 27, pt. 1, that contains the reports of the Gettysburg campaign, and Meade's report sheds no light on the question. According to Maurice Matloff, gen. ed., American Military History, Army Historical Series (Washington, D.C.: Office of the Chief of Military History, United States Army, 1969), pp. 251-52, Warren, upon discovering that no infantry held Little Round Top, persuaded Maj. Gen. George Sykes to send two brigades and some artillery there, and they arrived in time to meet the assault.
86 Furst diary, entries for 3 and 4 Jul 1863.
87 The work of the signal stations after the battle is discussed in Bill Cameron, "The Signal Corps at Gettysburg Part II: Support of Meade's Pursuit," Gettysburg (Jan 1991): 101-09. The author wishes to thank Colonel Cameron for providing copies of his very useful publications.
88 As quoted in Brown, Rebellion, p. 367.
89 OR, ser. 1, vol. 27, pt. 1, pp. 206-07.
90 Brown, Rebellion, pp. 650 and 661.
91 On operations at Port Hudson, see Brown, Rebellion, pp. 507-17, and Paul J. Scheips, "Signaling at Port Hudson, 1863," Civil War History 2 (Dec 1956): 106-13; on Vicksburg, see Brown, Rebellion, pp. 571-84.
92 Paul J. Scheips, The Battle of Allatoona, a preliminary draft [Washington, D.C.: Historical Section, Signal Corps Intelligence Agency, 1956]. Earlier in the fighting the Confederates had operated a signal station on Kermessaw Mountain.
93 Paul J. Scheips, Hold the Fort! The Story of a Song from the Sawdust Trail to the Picket Line, Smithsonian Studies in History and Technology, no. 9 (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1971).
94 See published copies of messages in OR, ser. 1, vol. 39, pt. 3, pp. 78 and 97. For slightly different wording and punctuation, see Brown, Rebellion, p. 547. Messages transmitted between Kennessaw and Allatoona are printed on pages 547-52. Sherman remained on Kermessaw during the battle. See Fish's report in OR, ser. 1, vol. 39, pt. 3, pp. 111-12.
95 Although he had no direct involvement in the Allatoona operation, Myer received a brevet brigadier generalcy for the Signal Corps' services there. See citation, dated 3 Dec 1867, on roll 2, Myer Papers microfilm, CMH. Allatoona provides an interesting case study on the uses and effects of visual signals in battle. Shelby Foote writes that Maj. Gen. Samuel G. French, leader of the Confederate attack, intercepted the wigwag messages for help and decided to withdraw (The Civil War. A Narrative, vol. 3 [New York: Random House, 1974], p. 612). French, however, in his report of 5 Nov 1864 mentions that Sherman "had been signaled to repeatedly during the battle" but he does not say whether the messages were being read (OR, ser. 1, vol. 39, pt. 1, p. 817). On this point, see Scheips, "Allatoona," p. 70, who states that French probably did not know what the messages said until after their publication. Could the psychological effect of all the "mysterious" flag waving have influenced French's decision to withdraw? Conversely, French later contended that Sherman's messages inspired hope in the defenders (Scheips, "Allatoona," pp. 70 and 79). Due to battle conditions, there was considerable difficulty getting a message through to Sherman regarding Corse's arrival and consequent confusion as to the size of the reinforcements. French writes in his 5 November report that he learned from prisoners that Corse had arrived at Allatoona. He explains that he decided to withdraw because he feared that his division was in danger of being cut off by Sherman's advancing army. For a discussion of the battle, see Fred E. Brown, "Battle of Allatoona," Civil War History 6 (Sep 1960): 277-97.
96 William T. Sherman, Memoirs of General William T. Sherman by Himself, 2 vols. (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1875), 2: 398.
97 J.Willard Brown was one of the signal officers on this expedition, and he devotes considerable space to it. See Rebellion, ch. 23. See also Robert M. Utley, Frontiersmen in Blue: The United States Army and the Indian, 1848-1865 (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, Inc., 1967), pp. 323-32.
98 A. W. Greely, "The Signal Service," in Francis T. Miller, ed., The Photographic History of the Civil War, 10 vols. (New York: Review of Reviews Co., 1911), 8: 318.
99 Niles' report of the incident is quoted in Ltr, Capt Charles L. Davis, Chief Signal Officer, Army of the Potomac, to Col George D. Ruggles, Assistant Adjutant General, Army of the Potomac, 20 Apr 1865, OR, ser. 1, vol. 46, pt. 3, p. 851. Davis forwarded the Nansemond's flag with his letter. See also Paul J. Scheips, "Private Lane's Gold Medal," Military Affairs 24 (Summer 1960): 87-91 and Rebecca Robbins, "For gallantry in action and other soldierlike qualities,"' Army Communicator 5 (Fall 1980): 59.
100 See extract of Special Orders 84, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, 29 Jun 1861, in OR, ser. 1, vol. 51, pt. 2, p. 150.
101 For details of Alexander's service at Bull Run, see his Military Memoirs, ch. 2.
102 OR, ser. 1, vol. 2, p. 500.
103 Alexander, Military Memoirs, p. 52. According to Alexander, he was offered the leadership of a "Department of Signals" with the rank of colonel in the fall of 1861. See Brown, Rebellion, p. 205, and David W. Gaddy, "William Norris and the Confederate Signal and Secret Service," Maryland Historical Magazine 70 (Summer 1975): 170. Alexander may have passed up the chance to be chief signal officer, but he distinguished himself as an artillery commander and was promoted to brigadier general in 1864. After the war he became a successful businessman. Alexander died on 28 April 1910 at age 74 and is buried in Augusta, Georgia. Besides his Military Memoirs, Alexander also penned Fighting for the Confederacy: The Personal Recollections of General Edward Porter Alexander (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989). See also Maury Klein, Edward Porter Alexander (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1971).
104 Special Orders 40, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, 29 May 1862, printed in OR, ser. 4, vol. 1, pp. 1131-33, and Special Orders 93, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, 22 Nov 1862, in OR, ser. 4, vol. 2, p. 199. In another quirk of fate, the adjutant general to whom the Confederate Signal Corps was attached was General Samuel Cooper. Cooper had been the adjutant general of the U.S. Army when Myer first presented his system and had been a supporter of it.
105 David W. Gaddy, "Confederate States Army Signal Corps Insignia," Military Collector and Historian 25 (Summer 1973): 87, based on an estimate by Charles E. Taylor in "The Signal and Secret Service of the Confederate States," North Carolina Booklet 2 (Hamlet, N.C.: Capital Printing Co., 1903).
106 Hagerman, Origins of Modern Warfare, p. 146.
107 Gaddy, "William Norris," pp. 173 and 175. For a full-scale study of the Confederate Signal Corps' involvement with intelligence operations, see William A. Tidwell, James O. Hall, and David W. Gaddy, Come Retribution: The Confederate Secret Service and the Assassination of Lincoln (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1988). For the Union, the famous detective Allan Pinkerton directed secret service activities in the Army of the Potomac under McClellan. A Bureau of Military Information was later set up to perform similar functions.
108 Gaddy, "Confederate Signal Corps Insignia." This article raises the intriguing possibility that the Confederate Signal Corps first used the crossed flags insignia.
109 Brown states that "The alphabet or code first used by the Confederate Signal Corps was a modification of that introduced by Maj. Myer into the service of the United States" (Rebellion, p. 213). Gaddy surmises that Alexander changed the letter values for security reasons and may also have reversed the flag motions. See his correspondence of 23 and 29 July 1974 with Dr. Paul J. Scheips in the possession of Dr. Scheips. See also Gaddy, "William Norris," p. 172.
110 Other sources of information on the Confederate Signal Corps are Brown, Rebellion, ch. 11, and Edmund H. Cummins, "The Signal Corps in the Confederate States Army," Southern Historical Society Papers 16 (1888): 93-107.
111 The Military Telegraph returned the commercial lines to their owners and sold those it had constructed. Plum, Military Telegraph, 2: 347-48; Risch, Quartermaster Support, pp. 458-59.
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