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Thread: Casey's, 1862, and changing usage of buglers\bugle calls.

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Casey's, 1862, and changing usage of buglers\bugle calls.

    Didn't want to change horses in the middle of the reenacting stream during the 150th national events of 1862.....and didn't want to upset the higher ups use of SCR-536 Handie-Talkies whilst mounted this past year.

    By the late fall of 1862 buglers had come into their own as a battlefield communications tool. Several bugle calls were added to the repetoire, new uses found for some old calls, and field invented calls showed up from time to time. Commanders were using bugled calls as voice augmenters....you simply couldn't hear screamed commands during battle (which many of our current commanders have found out at our 'small' national events...imagine 10,000+ rifles and 50+ cannon going off near a 40 acre cornfield).

    Take a look at Casey's Vol. III Corp d'Armees:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=5Go...page&q&f=false
    (yes, the manual many of our commander's simply haven't gotten to).

    Discuss the following:
    1. McClellan's order in October 1861 to sound To the Color at the head of any column forming battle line (at Chickamauga the Confederate's hear the call from William Carson of the US Regulars and react accordingly). ALWAYS. Use of To the Color to rally a battalion on the color line (III Corps retreat from the Peach Orchard for example). Every time you march out to a battle and ploy into a battle line the call must be sounded.

    2. New Call: Signal of Execution.
    This is the huddle and snap count to try to get battalionSSSS to manuever as one. Should be used by every reenacting 'Brigade' and higher commander. (and the commander should keep his vocal exercises muted, If I had a dollar for every commander who complained on a Sunday about losing their voice I could pay for my broken ribs medical bills). Couriers\fifer runners deliver the orders......5 minutes later the Signal of Execution is sounded, all units execute the play.

    3. New Call: Attention.
    Most of us are familiar with this 'First Call' when there are no musician's around to use Assembly of the Buglers\Drummers Call. And its use as a Fall In or Order Arms call. The real use of the Attention has been LOST on reenactors! The classic words\ditty to the song give away its use according to Casey's manual: "I know you are tired but still you must go, OFF to Atlanta to see the big show". The words are not "Stand In Line", "Fall In", "First Call", "Wake Up People"....the words are Tired, Off [Go To, MARCH to]. Casey's states that the bugle call Attention means FORWARD.

    Hello! The Attention when sounded at the head of a column\battalion means fall in (if you are at rest) and resume the 25 mile march. The Accordion marching pattern of Corps on the move is tiring....throw in the rest halts every two miles (25 minutes\mile, 2 miles = 50 minutes, 10 minutes of rest = 1 hour= 2MPH). And do you really think they sounded the Forward and, shouted out March, started off in a Cadence step to a drum beat every single time they halted\paused? 20+ times a day? Maybe an Attention on the march to close up ranks prior to a formal halt. Halt to stop the column. Lie Down to rest. But much simple to sound HALT, LIE DOWN, and 10 minutes later sound Attention and off you go at the route step.

    Rally Calls: much simpler system than Hardee's.....rarely used in reenacting today, and skirmishing is still truly the lost art of ACW battle. 1863 we have entire battalions deployed as skirmisher's....

    CRAWL: invented by Berdan's....Lie Down + 1/2 of the Forward repeated.

    False Calls: they assumed that other's were listening.....nothing like having buglers sound Tattoo at night whilst the entire Corps was stealing a march.

    Prelude Calls: many of the regiment's had them (and even the Iron Brigade that didn't, received one in September 1863). Veteran's recognized them 40 years later.

    Taps: East Coast Only in 1863 (comes to Central US after Chickamauga, that's AFTER...and I didn't state Trans-Mississippi). Means lights out (not end of battle, that might be cease fire).

    Fun times!
    RJ Samp
    Horniste! Blas das Signal zum Angriffe!
    "But in the end, it's the history, stupid. If you can't document it, forget about it. And no amount of 'tomfoolery' can explain away conduct that in the end makes history (and living historians) look stupid and wrong. "

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    519

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    RJ

    To clarify, on Items 2 & 3 are you talking about the attention and execution
    mentioned under "General rules for commands." in TITLE VII?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    I'm wondering how this fits with Butterfield's "Standing Orders" Article I. He mentions "the General," "the Assembly," and "To the Color," but then gives an interesting exception: "If some of the regiments only [of the brigade] are to depart, these sounds will be preceded, in each of the regiments, by the particular march of the regiment. Each regiment will prepare, and instruct the bugler in, its own refrain or march."

    I never noticed that before. Did regiments universally follow this directive and did the regimental march become the prelude call we know and love as reenactors?

    It's also interesting that in "On the March" Butterfield states that, when the whole column is to close up and halt there's no call -- the lead regiment just halts and the others close up on it. When on the other hand "Halt" is sounded, the regiments stop and close up where they are.

    But this is all pretty academic. I'm just happy when we can get any functional buglers.
    M. A. Schaffner
    Midstream Regressive Complainer

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