War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0063 Chapter XV. ENGAGEMENT AT PORT ROYAL FERRY.

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messages instantly. Both General Stevens and Captain Rodgers were pleased to express their appreciation of the importance of your system of signals, commending it very highly. Without its assistance I do not think the fleet would have been able to have rendered the great service it did and our land forces would have met much greater resistance.

In conclusion, permit me to congratulate you upon the success of the expedition and part your signals took in it.

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


Lieutenant, Acting Signal Officer Second Brigade E. C.


No. 12. Report of Lieutenant Henry S. Tafft, Fifteenth Massachusetts Infantry, signal officer.


Beaufort, S. C., January 3, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, agreeably to your instructions, I accompanied the expedition under your command to the mainland, and was present during the engagement with the enemy near Port Royal Ferry on the 1st instant; that during the whole time your requests to the commander of the gunboats were successfully transmitted by the system of signals invented by Major Myer. The firing from the gunboats was in this manner done in entire concert with you, and therefore proved the more effective, as the various positions of the enemy were thus made known to Captain Rodgers, commanding gunboats. My signal flag, carried by myself, was repeatedly fired upon when in presence of the enemy. Without egotism, I claim the honor for Lieutenant Cogswell (who was on gunboat Ottawa) and myself of being the first signal officers who have performed signal duty under fire upon the battle-field since the adoption of the system into the service of the United States; whether successfully or not I of course leave to your judgment.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant, Signal Officer.

Brigadier-General STEVENS,

Commanding Second Brigade.


Beaufort, S. C., January 4, 1862.

MAJOR: I have the honor to report that I was present and took part in the battle of Port Royal Ferry on the 1st instant, Lieutenant William S. Cogswell being on board gunboat Ottawa, acting in concert with me.

General Stevens (commanding our troops) directed all the firing from the gunboats during the battle through the signal officers, naming different points where their shells should be thrown, when to cease firing, when to open fire, &c., thus enabling the gunboats to use their artillery