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John D. Billings, Hardtack and Coffee: The Unwritten Story of Army Life 2 0 Browse Search
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abet and the numerals be communicated, but an endless variety of syllables, words, phrases, and statements besides. As a matter of fact, however, it contained several thousand combinations of numerals with the significance of each combination attached to it. Let me illustrate still further by using the symbols 2 and 1. Let us suppose the flagman to make the signal for 1, and follow it immediately with the motion for 2. This would naturally be read as 12, which the code showed to mean O. Similarly, two consecutive waves to the right, or 22, represented the letter N. Three waves to the right and one to the left, or 2221, stood for the syllable tion. So by repeating the symbols and changing the combinations we might have, for example, 2122, meaning the enemy are advancing; or 1122, the cavalry have halted; or 12211, three guns in position; or 1112, two miles to the left,--all of which would appear in the code. Let us join a signal party for the sake of observing the method of com