Today in History:

43 Series I Volume XXVIII-I Serial 46 - Ft. Sumter - Ft. Wagner Part I

Page 43 Chapter XL. GENERAL REPORTS.

seem to be thoughtless of their pledge, because they know that consisted men understand the code as at present used, I have required each officer to sign an additional pledge referring to the cipher code, and have instructed every officer and man that any enlisted man who may be found to have in his possession any papers relating to the system of signaling, or may be found taking down numbers or endeavoring to gain any information of the code, will be court-martialed for "conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline," and punished to the extent permitted by regulations.

On the 12th instant, Brigadier General Q. A. Gillmore assumed command of this department, relieving Major-General Hunter. I have as yet had no official intercourse with him in person, but I doubt not he will make use of the signals in such manner as to afford opportunity to gain credit for the corps.

In the event of active operations by our forces (which appearances would indicate are imminent), I feel assured that our party can rendered good service and gain creditable notice alike to ourselves and the corps, and I am persuaded that every officer of the party will use his best efforts to this end.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,


First Lieutenant 42nd New York Vols., Chf. Actg. Sig. Off., D. S.


Chief Signal Officer.

Folly Island, S. C., July 13, 1863.

COLONEL: I have the honor to inform you that the forces of this department under General Gillmore have commenced active operations in the field, with a view, apparently, to the capture of Charleston.

The signal party in the field comprises 13 officer and 42 men, all of whom are constantly and profitably occupied. The general commanding and his subordinate generals speak in the highest terms of the efficiency and good conduct of the party.

By means of a high lookout tower on Folly Island, the general commanding is kept in perfect communication by signals with his entire command, though operating on James Folly, and Morris Islands, and with all points with which he desires to communicate.

During the bombardment of Morris Island batteries by our batteries on Folly Island, on the 9th instant, the general commanding (at the tower) was advised by signals of every movement, and detachments in boats, waiting to storm the batteries, were kept in communication, and immediately on their landing communication was opened with Morris Island, up to the advanced line of rifle-pits, under the guns of Fort Wagner. Several of our officers and men have distinguished themselves by the coolness and efficiency with which they signaled under fie.

Our forces occupy a part of Morris Island, and are operating for the reduction of Fort Wagner and other batteries on Morris Island and Fort Sumter. Some time must necessarily elapse before these objects, and the capture of Charleston, to which they lead, can be accomplished, and until then I shall kept your office advised of our

Page 43 Chapter XL. GENERAL REPORTS.