War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0292 OPERATIONS IN NORTH CAROLINA. Chapter XX.

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cross the harbor except under cover of the night. From my station (less than 2 miles distant from the fort) I could with the aid of glasses observe distinctly the movements of the enemy, as, for instance, should a force go out to attack our troops at work on the siege batteries or any alteration be made in the position or bearing of guns or any movement made important to be immediately known at headquarters, and of which our men could have no knowledge from their position. On my representing this fact to General Parke he ordered a station to be open by day on Bogue Banks, near our batteries, to receive official messages only, having reference to observations made from my station (this station was at different times worked by Lieutenants Marsh, Lyon, and Palmer, and was several times fired upon by the enemy). By this arrangements the enemy were held under a complete surveillance during daylight. I was the only officer on the Beaufort station until the 21st instant, when Lieutenant Marvin Wait reported for duty.

On the night preceding the bombardment a number of important official messages were sent and received in communication between General Burnside's headquarters on board the steamer Alice Price (lying in Core Sound back of Beaufort) and General Parke.

The bombardment commenced on the 25th instant at 6 a.m.. I had expected to receive special instructions to watch and report the accuracy of fire; but not receiving them, I determined to act upon my own responsibility. My station was at very nearly a right angle with the line of fire, so that I was enabled to judge with accuracy the distance over or shot that the shot fell. The 10-inch shell were falling almost without exception more than 300 yards beyond the fort. Lieutenant Wait and myself continued to signal to the officer in charge until the correct range was obtained. The 8-inch shell were falling short; we signaled to the officer in charge of that battery with the same effect. The same was the case with the battery of Parrot guns, which were much elevated. From the position of our batteries it was impossible for the officers in charge of them to see how their shot feel; but owing [to] the observations made by Lieutenant Wait and myself and signaled to them from time to time, and accurate range was obtained by all the batteries, and was not loss during the day. After 12 m. every shot fired from our batteries fell in or on the fort. The accuracy of fire astonished ourselves equally with the enemy. From that time until 4 p.m.., when a white flag appeared upon the fort and the firing ceased, a greater amount of execution was done then could have occurred in twenty-four hours further bombardment without the aid of signals.

The propositions to surrender and the reply, with terms of capitulation, were sent to and from General Burnside through this station by Lieutenant Wait and myself. I saw General Parke immediately after the occupation of Fort Macon by our forces. He spoke in the highest terms of praise of the system of signals used, and extended his thanks to the signal officers for the services they had rendered.

Constant signaling during a period of over four weeks across a sheet of glaring water has injured my eyes somewhat.*

Very respectfully,


Second Lieutenant, Ninth N. Y. Vols., Acting Signal Officer.


Signal Officer, U. S. Army.


*Some personal matter omitted.