Today in History:

27 Series I Volume XXXVI-II Serial 68 - Wilderness-Cold Harbor Part II


with Battery Numbers 3, and Cobb's Hill station on the bank of the Appomattox River, all of which are shown on the accompanying map. They are exposed to the enemy's fire constantly. There have been seventeen stations established and worked by my party since coming to this place; twelve of them under fire, four of the latter now in operations.

Very respectfully, yours,


Captain Signal Corps, U. S. Army.

Captain L. B. NORTON,

Chief Signal Officer, Dept. of Va. and N. C.

In the Field, Va., july 23, 1864.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations for the month ending June 30, 1864:

The stations reported as being worked by this party May 31 continued unchanged, with the exception of one at Battery Numbers 6, which was removed 200 yards to the left to avoid the concentrated fire from the enemy's batteries to which it was exposed while in its former position until June 7, when signal communication between, headquarters Tenth Army Corps and Battery Numbers 3., via General Terry's headquarters, was established, air lines having been cut through the woods for that purpose. To further facilitate the communication between the army and Admiral S. P. Lee, whose flag-ship is in the James River near Dutch Gap, as well as to gain an excellent post of observation, I received permission to erect a tower on a high bluff on the bank of the James River, about 300 yards to the rear of the Curtis house, abandoning the Curtis house, and communicating with the batteries and the different headquarters, via General Terry's headquarters. This communication was established on the 12th, an air line having been cut through the woods between General Terry's headquarters and the tower.

On the night of June 8 I accompanied General Gillmore on the expedition toward Petersburg, having with me Second Lieutenant O. B. Ireland, Signal Corps, U. S. Army and 5 men.

We reached the defenses of the city at 11 a. m., and finding them too strong to be assaulted with any show of success by our small force, General Gillmore ordered the return to our old post, which we reached on the evening of the 9th. No opportunity was offered for using signals, but Lieutenant Ireland and myself made some important observations.

During the remaining portion of the month the lines of signal communication remained the same, the stations worked by this party being as follows: From Admiral Lee's flag-ship Agawam, lying in the James River near Dutch Gap, to the tower at the water battery. As a station of observation this tower has proved invaluable, all the movements of Lee's army crossing to the south side of the James as well as all the movements of the enemy near Chaffin's farm batteries, Howlett's house, &c., having been reported by the officers on duty there. From the tower to General Terry's headquarters, thence to General Gillmore's headquarters; also to Battery 3, through which communication is kept up with the tower on the