Army and Navy Signal System

“After practicing as a physician for three years, [Albert Myer] sought and obtained a commission as assistant surgeon in the regular army. Lieutenant Myer was soon ordered to New Mexico. It is said that one day, seeing some Comanches making signals to another group of Indians on a neighboring hill by waving their lances, the thought struck him that such motions might be utilized for connecting adjacent military posts, or parts of an army in active operations. So firmly did this idea take possession of the young surgeon that he devoted much of his leisure to its development, and finally devised a system of signals which became the basis of the code or codes used through the war. He came east, explained his system to the authorities, and took out letters patent on his invention.”