Today in History:

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


June 15, the flag-ship went down the river to Fort Powhatan. I was in communication with four different stations of Army of Potomac and at night with the station at City Point, and returned to old anchorage at 11.30 a. m. June 16. The admiral changed his flag-ship to gun-boat malvern 18th June. Changed station on the 19th to ironclad and directed firing against rebel rams; and again, June 21, I took station on the iron-clad Onondaga, directed and reported shots by signals sent by Lieutenant Bruyn from shore from 10.30 a. m. until 5 p. m. the enemy having retired, when I changed to the Malvern again.

June 26, I was ordered to iron-clad Canonicum to remain until the flag-ship returned, and returned at dark; and again on the 28th instant I was ordered to Canonicum.

During the mont I have sent over 100 official messages, and was constantly on duty either at signaling or practicing with 2 naval officers in order to assist me in case of any emergency. Said officers were first taught by Captain Howard while in the west. At the same time I was suffering with an illness which I had had for third days previous, reading and sending messages under a cross-fire from the battery above us and the rams in our rear, and received the thanks of all naval officers with [sic] for the prompt and great assistance which was rendered during the month by our system of signals. I would also like to report Private Sweet as a man entitled to a first class, the having proved himself as superior in watching and re porting enemy's movements from the masthead, and attention to duties and great care of signal equipments; and also that as the enemy's movements up the river cannot be seen from the vessels lying in the river, great importance is attached to the station in charge of Lieutenant Bruyn.

And hoping that my efforts meet with your approval, I am, &c., very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant and Signal Officer.

Captain L. B. NORTON,

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

Numbers 8. Report of Lieutenant Julius M. Swain, Signal Corps, U. S. Army, of operations May 1-31.


Wilson's Landing, James River, Va., May 31, 1864.

CAPTAIN: I inclose herewith a transcript of the official messages received by me during the month of May, and with it the following report of my duties for the month:

From the 1st to the 4th instant I was in charge of the station at Fort Reno, on the line of the Portsmouth defenses. On the 4th instant I reported at Fort Monroe with my part, agreeable to your duty with Brigadier-General Wild, commanding First Brigade, Third Division, Eighteenth Army Corps. I immediately reported to General Wild on board the transport Wilson Small, in Hampton roads. I had with me Privates Lathrop, Mott, Jonas, and Bell, two of whom and myself were mounted. On the morning of the