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 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” because of 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 signaling system known as Wig-Wag.

“An essential supplement of telegraphic communication in supporting the movement of armies during the Civil War was a system of “wig-wag” signaling developed in 1856 by then Lieutenant Albert J. Myer. Patented by Myer in 1858, his system used a single flag – or, at night, a torch – which, when moved to the left or right, expressed a four-element code. In 1859, Myer formally presented the system to a military board chaired by Lieutenant Colonel Robert E. Lee who thought it might be usefully employed in the field and ordered trials and further evaluation.”

—The Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference by Margaret E. Wagner, Gary W. Gallagher, James M. McPherson, 358-359.

The good folks over at the Signal Corps Association website have done a nice job documenting 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. The National Archive Photo Reference #165-C-571.

8 Replies to “About”

  1. Hi Renee, I am developing a major new film on the subject of civil war, which I think would be of great interest to your readers. Please contact me if you would like more details.

    Kind regards

    Chris Morgan

  2. HI, Rene ! !

    I discovered this site by “accident,” as I was researching information for a graduate assignment I have with A.M.U.

    The “reason” for this quick note is: I was unable to locate the price(s) for the size of book-covers currently posted on your site. I’ve written a few non-fiction books, history genre (all at various stages of completion), and would like to know what the cost would be to get a book-cover placement on this site.

    If you could assist me with this matter, I would be most greatful!!

    Very Respectfully,

    Dave Stevens, CW4 (Ret)

    1. Hi Dave,
      Sorry for an extremely late response. I’m glad to share with you my advertising rates if you’d like prime placement. Let me know the topics of the books you’ve written. I’m very interested!

      Best regards,


  3. Hello, I came across an image of an ancient Roman battle scene on Google Images that was ascribed to Wig Wag. I’m a type designer and have recently completed a new font design called “Roma”. I’d like to be able to use the illustration in a tongue-in-cheek introduction of the new font. (If you can give me your email address I will send both the illustration in question and my intended use.) In any case, I need both a high res copy and your permission, thus this inquiry.

    Thank you,

    Tom Lincoln

  4. Hello Renee,
    Sorry to pop this in a comment, but I couldn’t find an email address.

    This message is from a group of history educators in Pennsylvania who have developed a Civil War project that is in the process of raising a modest amount of money to build prototypes for gathering additional partners.
    Our project, the Civil War Augmented Reality Project, is intended to enhance the experiences of visitors to Civil War sites. It is also intended to increase attendance and revenue for historic sites by offering both “high” and “low” tech experiences to best reach the majority of the population.
    We feel that our project is fulfilling a need that educators, park workers, technology enthusiasts, and Civil War enthusiasts have discussed in the past: How can historic sites both raise public interest in their institutions though technology, and not alienate the non-technical history fans?
    We have worked hard on the answer, and are interested in promoting our creative solutions.
    We would like to make clear that the project is not intended solely for Pennsylvania. It is our hope that the project will expand to other venues, as we feel that we have the ability to use our ideas to enhance the experiences of all Americans at historic sites.

    If you have a chance, please check out our blog:

    And our fun, Civil-War flavored funding campaign on Kickstarter:

    If you think that our project has merit, we would be delighted if you could help spread the word, and mention it in your blog.

    Thanks very much for considering us!

    The Civil War Augmented Reality Project
    Jeff Mummert- Hershey High School and York College of Pennsylvania
    Art Titzel- Hershey Middle School
    Jay Vasellas- Red Lion Area High School and York College of Pennsylvania

    1. Hi Jeff,
      Thanks for the note. No worries on posting a comment. If you’d like to send an email, look for the envelope picture on the center nav column.

      Your project sounds terrific and I’d be glad to take a look. Stay tuned.



  5. Hi, Renee,

    I’m a student at JCCC and I am friends with Bonnie and Pete Hansen. I’ve recently been assigned a research paper on the Battle of Mine Creek, and I’m looking for resources. Bonnie and Pete suggested I contact you. I am particularly interested in the political ramifications (what if Sterling HAD succeeded — would it really have disrupted the election of 1864) or in the presence of camp followers (I am interested in women’s issues/studies). Our papers will be donated to the KSHS and hopefully be used as supplemental material for the visitors’ site, so I would really like to do a nice job and cover something of relevance — perhaps even something unusual about the battle or the site.

    Can you help me? My email address is sympawtico@gmail.com. Thank you!

    Suezi Thibodeau

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