War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0225 Chapter XXIII. GENERAL REPORTS.

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other way than by the presence of the signal officers detailed for that duty.

2nd. That while the army occupied both sides of the Chickahominy in the engagement of June 25, in the battles of Mechanicsville and Gaines' Mill, at the commencement of the flank movement to the James River, and the battle of Savage Station, information was procured by signal officers and intelligence would have rendered its transmission impossible, and that this intelligence was useful.

3rd. Than in the battle of Malern Hill intelligence transmitted upon the field of battle was useful, and that the entire naval force was wielded and directed by the general in command in a manner which would have been without the services of the corps impossible.

4th. It will be claimed for the corps that Lieutenant W. G. McCreary, acting signal officer, from the observatory station established at Haxall's June 30, on the commencement of the attack on our rear, first discovered later in the afternoon the advance of the column of the enemy moving down the river and upon the left of our position, the at Malvern Hill; that this discovery was made by his while the column was about 5 miles distant; that the column was watched by him until he had formed an estimate of its numbers; that its approach and its distance from our left was then communicated by signals by him to General McClellan, on board the United States steamship Galena; that the immediate movement of the gunboats to attack this column was consequent upon this information; that the movement was by the services of signal officers carried out more rapidly than it could otherwise have been done, and that by the promptness and intelligence with which the gunboats were enabled by signals to go into action and to direct their fire they contributed by signals to go into action and to direct their fire they contributed largely to the repulse of this column of the enemy.

5th. That by the arrival and by the fire at the proper time of the gunboats, directed, at the request of General McClellan on the evening of July 2, to repel the enemy, then attacking the rear of our wagon train, then near Harrison's landing, the enemy was repulsed, and a serious confusion of the train and consequent loss was prevented. This movement would not have been so rapidly made had it been necessary to convey the orders and information otherwise than by the services of the signal corps.

6th. That within an hour after the arrival of this army at the James River the army was placed in co-operation with the naval forces, assisting it, and that then and in the battle ensuing, and up to the present time, the services of the entire naval forces on this station have been so secured and made available for action as they could in no other manner have been. A similar control of the fleet has been assured to this army throughout the campaign.

I thus early state these facts, and claim such services to have been rendered by the corps, for the reason that the battles are recent and those are now present by whom the propriety of the claims may be verified. It may be important to the officers and men now composing the corps that their services should not be lost sight of, or some of them hereafter claimed to have been rendered by others.

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


Signal Officer, Major, U. S. Army.

Brigadier General S. VILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac.