Steve, I don't know if you saw my previous comments on Middletown.
Brown's "Signal Corps USA in the War of the Rebellion" was compiled by
veterans and published in 1896 (in over 900 pages). It is not well
indexed, making little jewels appear here and there, but also easily
missed. On p. 329, there is a statement about Middletown that might
lead to more information. It states that, as the Union army was
marching from Fredericksburg to South Mountain, a signal station was
established on Catoctin Mountain, intended to communicate with (that
is, be able to "see") Sugar Loaf Mountain "and with a prominent tower
on the church in Middletown, which had been selected as an eligible
potition of observation for the valley." (Note that it is referred to
as if it were the only church in town.) It was assigned to Lts. George
J. Clarke (62nd NY Vols) and Norman Henry Camp (4th NJ Vols.), who
were relieved by Lts. Frank N. Wicker (Co. C, 28th NY Vols.) and
George H. Hill (55th Pa.) You might want to "run" their names through
the OR, if you have a CD, or use the on-line version with a good
search engine, to see if they show up in reports. Other than that, the
longer search for personal narratives from them--letters, or whatnot--
might yield some specifics, but I realize that's a long shot.
I have never looked into the Middletown station (which I believe
figures in both 1862 and '64), nor am I familiar with the town as it
was. I had hoped that there was only one church, or one with
a "prominent tower" or steeple. Evidently that isn't the case. Still
it puzzles me that the signal corps history speaks as if "the" church
was obvious, for whatever reason. Good luck in your research. Let us
know if you nail it down.
> Can you refer me to any specific documentation of the use of the
> Lutheran steeple in middletown for signaling, as opposed to the
> Reformed Church steeple. Right now, all I have is local lore, which
> is counter to our logical assumption of the use of the Lutheran
> Church. And we all know local lore can be embellished.
> Steve Bockmiller
> (ps to folks...even though my email address starts off with jeff...I
> ain't Jeff!) Regards.