War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0229 Chapter XXIII. GENERAL REPORTS.

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officer with a telescope, or with any instrument of reconnaissance rarely failed to elicit this attention.

On the left the rebel gunboat Teazer would now and then creep up the Warwick from the James River and try the ranges of her heavy guns upon the points here her commander supposed our camps might be. With the exception made by the opening of the trenches and the placing of our siege batteries (only one of which ever opened fire), this state of affairs was without change throughout the siege. There were some skirmishes, occasional artillery duels, and the affair of the Burnt Chimneys, or Lee's Mill.

Scattered along this advanced line were the stations of the signal officers, and their duties brought them every day upon and near it. It thus happened to them, serving in their turns in front, that so many of their number came to be at different times during the siege exposed to the enemy's sharpshooters, or, what was by far more common, to the fire of his artillery. Wherever stations were known or supposed to be the enemy day after day directed practice shots, either with guns from their batteries, or, as to once or twice happened, with lighter pieces brought for the purpose.

In the list of officers whose names I had the honor to lay before the general commanding in my report of June 26, 1862, there is, I believe, no one who was not at some time during the siege exposed and near the enemy. The courage and persistence with which some of these officers held the posts to which they were ordered (though in danger day and night for a week together) was worthy of commendation.

With the army thus located the chief signal officer early found cause for regret that official indifference had prevented the construction of the field telegraph trains with which it was at first intended to equip the Signal Corps. With trains of the character of those now in use with the Army of the Potomac it would have been easy to have connected, in one day after their arrival before Yorktown, the principal headquarters of the army. The insulated wire would be even safer running through the wood land than when extended by the side of roads. There were no field telegraphic trains with the army.

On the 7th of April in obedience to an ordered of the general commanding, telegraphic communication by signals had been opened with the fleet, the detachment of signal officers ordered at Fortress Monroe having on that day joined it. The shore station, known as the headquarters station (Numbers 1), was at a barn near Camp Winfield Scott. From this day until the close of the siege there was, by day and night a transfer of messages to and from the flag-ship of the fleet, and here, as on the fleet, a constant watch observed at once the signals made by either those afloat or on the shore. In dense fogs, in rains, and sometimes when the flag-ship, moving down the river, was shut out from view, this communication failed. To provide for these contingencies another station (Numbers 7.) was opened at a house upon the shore of the bay, at the boat-landing of the fleet. This station was to send messages which could not be sent direct from the headquarters station. It was sometimes used for conferences and conversation by signals between the naval officers on the fleet and the officers of the army on shore. It was likewise in communication when necessary with headquarters station and with the fleet and the officers of the army on shore. It was likewise in communication when necessary with headquarters station and with the fleet.

A station (Numbers 6.) was, at different times in the progress of the siege, established at the Farinholt house, at the mouth of Wormley's Creek. It was intended to communicate by signals to the fleet in any sudden danger that might arise at the point and to transmit to the headquarters