officer on Station Numbers 3, near Wynn's Mill, that the enemy were destroying their barracks. This was not supposed to have particular bearing upon an evacuation. On the same afternoon the enemy's fire opened as usual about sundown, and increased in rapidity after night fall, until at midnight the roar of artillery was almost incessant. Shot and shell were thrown in all directions, as though fired at random, and with ranges which had rarely been reached before.
Signals with torches were prohibited at Station Numbers 2 by the general there commanding for fear of drawing the enemy's fire. The signals made from stations at the front (Nos. 3 and 4) were therefore not answered, and no messages were received. About midnight a conflagration was observed in Yorktown. About 2
a. m. on the 4th the firing ceased, and between that hour and daylight our troops entered the works. Soon after daylight a message was received from Moore's house, announcing, "Our flag flies over Yorktown."
The claim is made by the signal officers stationed at the towers (C and E) on the center and left of our lines that the first positive information of the evacuation of the works in front of them was given by them to Generals Sumner and Keyes, with whom they were respectively serving. This report is said to have been made from the tower near Wynn's mill at 4.30 a. m., and from the tower in front of General Keyes at daylight.
On both the center and the left signal officers went into the works with the first troops that occupied them, and signaling back reports, gave positive assurance of the absence of the enemy. About 7 a. m. a message from the general commanding announced to the fleet the evacuation of Yorktown.
Lieutenant T. R. Clark, acting signal officer with the fleet, on board the marblehead, had previously, at 5.30 a. m., observed the evacuation from that vessel, and had at that time signaled the report to the flagship.
The fleet at once moved from its anchorage, and occupied the channel between Yorktown and Gloucester.
Upon the first announcement of the retreat of the enemy a party under command of Lieutenant H. L. Johnson, Fifth Connecticut Volunteers, and acting signal officer, had been sent to Yorktown to establish a signal station in that place, and to send officers to open communication across the river to Gloucester as soon as that place could be safely entered. The officer detailed for this purpose was fairly on his way across the river in a skiff to occupy Gloucester before the enemy had abandoned that position. He was recalled to save him from capture.
As the fleet moved up the enemy hastily abandoned that point, and a signal officer landed with the advance of our troops who occupied it. By 10 a. m. stations had been established (and were working) at Farinholt's house, Yorktown, Gloucester, and on the fleet, the stations at Gloucester and on the fleet communicating to headquarters through the station on Farinholt's house.
Communication with the fleet had not been suspended during the movement of the vessels from the anchorage to Yorktown. The messages transmitted this morning were numerous and important. The general commanding received at Camp Winfield Scott reports from Gloucester and Yorktown and from the senior naval officer (on board the flag-ship, some miles distant and out of sight) frequent statements of the position of the fleet; of reconnaissances made up the river and as far as West Point by steamers ordered on that duty; of captures made,