Today in History:

46 Series I Volume XXXV-I Serial 65 - Olustee Part I

Page 46 S. C., FLA., AND ON THE GA. COAST. Chapter XLVII.

was done was in keeping up communications between the vessels. No other occasion offered, owing to the failure of the expedition.

All the enlisted men in this detachment who have been reported "absent without leave" have returned, and, by special orders from department headquarters, have been restored to duty without trial, they having given satisfactory reasons for their absence.

The stations now open are all in good working order. The officers and men are supplied with everything necessary to enable them to perform their duties with dispatch. A few good telescopes and marine glasses are needed. The necessary requisition for the same has been made, and when received, the detachment will be well equipped in every respect.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain and Chief Signal Officer, Dept. of the South.


In charge Signal Bureau, Washington, D. C.


Hilton Head, S. C., June 30, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the condition of the signal detachment in the Department of the South, and of its operations for the month ending this day:

There have been no active operations in this department during the month, and consequently all the work the detachment has been called upon to perform was to keep open the stations already in operation. The station at Pilot town, mouth of Saint John's River, Fla., has been reopened by order of the General Gordon, who at the time was commanding in that district. Two stations have been closed and two opened in the Northern District, on which preconcerted signals only were used. With these exceptions there has been no charge in stations.

About the 1st of the month Sergt. John D. Colvin was stationed at Fort Strong, on Morris Island, with the several codes heretofore used by the rebels, for the purpose of reading the enemy's signals if possible. If not successful he was to take down the numbers for the purpose of deciphering them. For nearly two weeks nothing could be made out of their signals, but by persevering he finally succeeded in learning their codes, a copy of which was forwarded you on the 14th instant. Sergeant Colvin is still at Fort Strong, with instructions to telegraph all messages read by him to General Schimmelfennig, who is commanding in that district. Messages have been read by him from Beach Inlet, Battery Bee, and Fort Johnson. Lieutenants Roberts reports that the sergeant has also succeeded in deciphering all but three or four of the letters of the cipher as used by the enemy. All the old, worn-out, unserviceable, and surplus stores and equipments have been shipped, in accordance with your instructions, to Captain Joseph H. Spencer, Signal Corps, U. S. Army, at Washington, D. C. I have to report Lieutenant George Stroop as absent without leave since the 27th instant, at which time his leave expired; also the death of Private Norman F. Whitmore, who died in hospital at Jacksonville, Fla., on the 9th instant, of

Page 46 S. C., FLA., AND ON THE GA. COAST. Chapter XLVII.