Journal of a graduate student in military history and the American Civil War

more about wig-wags

Hello and welcome to my blog. My name is Rene Tyree and I am a graduate student in Military History with a focus on the American Civil War. I attend the American Military University in Manassas, Virginia, a fully accredited institution that primarily serves military and other public sector students. AMU allows military history graduate students to choose between three areas of concentration: the American Revolution, the American Civil War, and World War II. [This was a tough choice.] I am very pleased to say that most of my fellow students are active members of the military and include men and women of both enlisted and officer ranks. Some are on duty stateside but many are stationed in Middle East and Europe. As you might imagine, their participation adds incredibly to the richness of discussion.

I chose the name “wig-wags” for several reasons not the least of which is the term’s relationship to “communications” during the Civil War. I work in telecommunications so find fascinating the introduction during the Civil War of  “emerging” communication techniques like the Myer signalling system known as Wig-Wag.

The good folks over at the Signal Corps Association Reenactor’s Division website have done an absolutely fantastic job documenting all things communication during the American Civil War including use of the “wig wag” system. I highly recommend it.

Signal Tower at Cobb's Hill, near New Market, VA 1864

This image is of the Signal Tower at Cobb’s Hill, near New Market, Va., 1864. [The National Archive Photo Reference #165-C-571.]





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Written by Rene Tyree

October 23, 2007 at 4:11 am

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