ever, had ceased to be distinctive, the enemy wearing it, and with impunity, whenever they could obtain it. two signal officers, with their men, were ordered to cross the river at Sumner's Bridge, and to reach this spot if found to be held by our army. It was dark when they reached this bridge, and it was found impassable. Early the next morning they crossed at the railroad, and after a journey
of about 10 miles from their point of departure reached the clearing on Golding's farm, which was found to be occupied the advance pickets of General the station at Hogan's, and it was then first known that our forces on the opposite sides of the Chickahominy were in view of each other. These stations were worked from this day until the morning of the morning of the battle of Gaines's Mill, and for the first days with some danger, the enemy knowing the positions of both and trying often to reach them with artillery. They were, then and for some time after, of importance; to communicate by courier between the points requiring a difficult ride of some 7 miles. On the day following the occupation of this station the division commanded by General Smith crossed the Chickahominy and encamped on Golding's farm. This signal line then became his mode of communication with general headquarters, and so remained while headquarters were on the northern side of the Chickahominy.
When it was proposed that General Smith's command should move on Old Tavern officers were designated to accompany it. The make of the country was such that they could while moving have kept constant communication with the forces north of the Chickahominy. During these days stations were established at different times at Austin's house, at the bridges, and at the batteries near New Bridge whenever movements were heard of as contemplated, or when unusual firing on our part or on that of the enemy offered a chance for the service. With the left of the army the officers had by this time established perches their reports of some service to the service to the generals receiving them.
About this time information was received at headquarters of the cavalry raid led by the rebel General Stuart, who, with two regiments and some horse artillery, passed the rear of our army, attacking the railroad train, and taking a number of prisoners near Tunstall's Station. The news of this near approach of the enemy's forces ceased much alarm at the depot at White House, at which there were the but few of our forces. At the request of Colonel Ingalls, who commanded the depot, a signal officer, Lieutenant F. W. Owen, Thirst-eight New York Volunteers, and acting signal officer, came ashore from one of the gunboats, and established a station that night on one of the chimneys of the White House. The war vessels took positions in which they could cover the depot with their fire. The enemy did not attack it.
On the 13th of June general headquarters moved to Camp Lincoln, on the south side of the Chickahominy. The field telegraph wire, which had been so long stretched to Mechanicsville, was on this day ordered to be reeled up, and the train to follow headquarters to the other side of the Chickahominy. On the next day this wire was stretched throughout the woods to General Smith's headquarters at Golding's, and the line was working. From this station at Golding's communication was kept by signals with the station at Hogan's, and with another station now permanently established on Austin's house, near Beaver Dam. There was a station of observation at Mechanicsville. The messages received from these stations at Golding's were transmitted by the field telegraph line to general headquarters near Trent's house.