I did not know what it meant to "wigwag" a surfman, though I suspected it had something to do with signaling. This is what I discovered from Wikipedia:
"In the 1850s, U.S. Army Major Albert J. Myer, a surgeon by training, developed a system using left or right movements of a flag (or torch or lantern at night). Myer's system used a single flag, waved back and forth in a binary code conceptually similar to the Morse code of dots and dashes. This is sometimes called the wig-wag method of signaling, or 'wig-wagging'."
|Signal Corps Insignia|
|Wig-Wag Flag Movements|
I learn something new almost every day!
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of late 19th century steamship traffic to Ocracoke, and the large Victorian hotel that accommodated the guests. You can read the article here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news082114.htm.