To all able body men (and their families)
Signal Corps of the James is now recruiting!
We are a "Family Friendly - Mainstream" reenacting unit based out of Central Virginia. We have over 15 members from several states all around Virginia. We are most likely the largest Signal Corps unit in the hobby today.
We are primarily Confederate although we do galvanize some of our folks when the needs of the event dictate.
Doing a "Signal Corps" impression is, what I like to call, low drag. During the Civil War, Signal Corps was known as the 'Secret Service'. They camped by themselves and did not participate in many of the normal evolutions that the infantry did. In other words - they kept to themselves and they liked it that way. We do the same at today's events. Our Privates carry Pistols (historically correct - but we rarely load because we're too busy signaling to shoot); we, as enlisted, convey orders to Generals and they are obliged to obey; and finally we donít march or participate in "Dress Parade". "We keep to ourselves and we like it that way." (quote from Brown's book - "Signal Corps in the War of Southern Independence."
Signal Corps today provides Army Commanders with period communications to control the entities of his army while on the field. We are 'stage directors' who, through the General's Orders, keep the scenarios on track as best we can.
We do this through the use of Signal Flags. No - not semaphore, but a system developed immediately prior to the Civil War. By the use of one flag we can convey almost any message that is needed in "near-real-time". Infact we pride ourselves on our signals arriving to the receiving station prior to the mounted courier - and most times we even beat the walkie-talkies that are some time in use!
We are an active Signal Corps group who have been asked to be the Reenacting Organization Army of Northern Virginia's lead Signal Unit. Our Commanding Officer, Scott Dailey, is now designated as the ANV's Chief of Signals. The ANV's leadership is dedicated to using us to the maximum extent possible which keeps us busy on the field.
Pictured below is some of the Signal-Unique equipment that we use.
To the LEFT is one of our three period Telegraph boxes. At larger events, where permitted by event organizers, we run wire and hook up at least two stations to provide camp-to-camp communications for the Armies.
In the MIDDLE are our Signal Torches. We use these to communicate at night using the same system of signals that is used with the flags during the day.
On the RIGHT is various equipment that is "Signal Specific".
As stated, we are a "Family Friendly" unit so as you can imagine we are not part of the CPH or Hardcore type (although we admire them greatly). We strive for authenticity within our guidelines and enjoy each other's company as well as sharing a general love of history and the out-doors.
Our unit has one Major, myself as the First Sergeant, another Sergeant, a Corporal and the rest are Privates. Our unit also has a Civilian Coordinator who has been in the hobby for over 15 years and has skill at getting a good Civilian program going within a unit.
The Civilians in our unit donít just 'sit there' at events. They are organized and have specific things to do. They are currently in the midst of hand sewing a quilt. At our last event (Neshaminy Pa.) they made hand-made doughnut holes and handed them out the troops as they marched back from battle. In the fall our Civilians will be taught about the Confederate Spy and Intelligence network and gain helpful hints into how to best portray that impression.
Our camp is quite large and very comfortable. Our Military folks are used at events and our Civilians have things to do and keep busy.
The bottom line - this is a HOBBY - and we have FUN doing it!
For more information on our unit please visit the link in my signature. If you are interested in joining or getting more info, please click the "NOW RECRUITING" button on the main page.