Today in History:

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


5th we found ourselves with the advance of the fleet, and landed at this point with the First and Twenty-second U. S. Colored Troops. On the 6th instant I went with 2 of my men and a detachment of the First Colored Regiment to Sandy Point, where the enemy still retained their signal station. We captured the party, with their signal and other equipments and arms, and burned the station. On the 7th instant we went with a party to Lower Brandon and marched from thence to Mount Pleasant, where we burned another station, but found no men, as it had been abandoned the previous day. On the 10th instant Private N. C. Jonas was taken sick with inflammatory rheumatism. 13th instant, broke up another station at a point above Powhatan, on the north bank of the James and near Harrison's Landing. Here we captured one worthless glass and a barrel of turpentine, but the party with their guard were mounted and left on our approach. 17th instant sent Jonas to Balfour Hospital, Portsmounth. 19th instant, Private Delaney reported for duty from Signal Camp, Camp Hamilton. 21st, our forces at Powhatan were attacked by cavalry, but notice of their approach and movements having been signaled to this post, General Wild, with one regiment, went to their relief, and the enemy were soon repulsed. 24th instant, Major General Fitz. Lee with 3,000 cavalry, attacked this post fiercely, but after six hours of continued firing were repulsed with serious loss. During the attack I directed the fire of the gun-boats, and for over three hours of the time we kept communication open, under fire, with Powhatan, and were enabled to send all messages ordering re-enforcements from City Point and gun-boats from Powhatan. The enemy withdrew about 7 p. m., and the attack was not renewed. Most of the messages sent this day were received verbally from the general or his staff, and no record kept of them. We have continued communication between this point and Powhatan, but the distance, about 8 miles, all over water, renders it very necessary to have good glasses. Sergeant Walker has but an indifferent one, and I would respectfully apply for a good telescope for him, as many times he cannot distinguish my flag when his can be seen.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Second Lieutenant and Signal Officer.

Captain L. B. NORTON,

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

Numbers 9. Report of Lieutenant George F. Young, Fifth New York Heavy Artillery, Acting Signal Officer, including operations May 6-June 27.


In the Field, June, 1864.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the following duties performed by me as acting signal officer while in charge of stations from the time of the landing of General Butler's force at Bermuda Hundred, Va., to the present date:

On the morning of May 6 landed at Bermuda Hundred, and receiving instructions from Captain L. B. Norton, chief signal officer, I immediately opened my station within a short distance of the