Confederate Signal Corps
DOI link for Confederate Signal Corps
Confederate Signal Corps book
Secret signals are a part of war. It’s important to be able to tell soldiers what to do and keep it a secret from the enemy. The Confederate Army realized this and formed the Confederate Signal Corps. During the Civil War, there were no telephones, no radios, and definitely no satellites. Flags were inexpensive and easy to carry and became a standard way to send messages on the battlefield. The Signal Corps used a code called the wig-wag system, where waving the flag to the left, right, and front represented the numbers 1, 2, and 3, in that order. The Confederate soldiers built tall towers so their signalmen could be seen from miles away. Unfortunately, their enemies could see them too and they became targets. It was one of the most dangerous jobs in the Confederate Army, with 1 in 12 signalmen being wounded or killed. Flag signals were not the only form of communication they used.