Working on a Confederate Signal Corp soldier in General
Lees command group at Gettysburg 1863. Minisoldiers Washington artillery
soldier with new hat and a few small changes. Just started the base coat for
the face and fit of flag. See brief history of Confederate Signal Corp below.
Edward P. Alexander, Myer’s assistant in testing the wigwag signaling system, resigned his U.S. Army commission on May 1, 1861, to join the Confederate Army as a captain of engineers. While organizing and training new recruits to form a Confederate signal service, he was ordered to report to Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard at Manassas Junction, Virginia. He became the chief engineer and signal officer of the (Confederate) Army of the Potomac on June 3. After becoming the chief ordnance officer for the Army of Northern Virginia, Alexander retained his position as signal officer, but his other duties took precedence.
Although the Confederate Signal Corps would never achieve a distinct branch identity to the extent that the Union version did, the Confederate Congress authorized its establishment as a separate organization, attached to the Adjutant and Inspector General’s Department, on April 19, 1862, a year before the U.S. Congress did so. The first chief signal officer was Captain William Norris, a Maryland lawyer then a civilian volunteer on the staff of Maj. Gen. John B. Magruder. The corps under Norris was organized to consist of one major, 10 captains, 20 lieutenants, 20 sergeants, and 1500 men detailed from all branches of the service. A signal officer was authorized for the staff at each corps and division. The
Confederate Signal Corps perform duties and utilized equipment very similar to
their Northern counterparts, with some exceptions. Electric telegraphy was not
used in tactical battlefield communications due to shortages of telegraph wire
and trained operators. Their aerial telegraphy was performed with similar
flags, but with slightly modified codes and movements from the Myer methods.
Unlike the Union Signal Corps, however, the Confederate Signal Corps also was
chartered to conduct espionage for the South. (Both services provided valuable
battlefield intelligence, and sometimes artillery fire direction, from their
elevated observation points, but the Confederate corpsmen performed undercover
missions behind enemy lines as well.)