earthwork in the vicinity of Old Tavern and upon some positions of the enemy near Garnett's house. Lieutenants Camp and Wiggins, acting signal officers, who had been serving for some time at the Hoganhouse station, petitioned that, as this was to be active service, they might remain during the cannonade. Three additional officers were ordered to join them, and Lieutenant W. S. Stryked, Ninth New York State Militia, and acting signal officer, was sent to arrange the communications on the north side of the river. Lieutenant B. F. Fisher, acting signal officer, was sent with a party of four officers to report to General Smith, and was instructed to arrange the communications on the south side of the river.
On the following morning the officers were posted, and were in communication at the following points in view of each other, viz: At the battery at Hogan's house, at New Bridge, at the battery near Gaines' house, on Smith's redoubt, and in the edge of the woods near James Garnett's. The fire commenced at daylight, and was for a time met with a spirited reply by the enemy's guns. During this cannonade a screen which had been erected to hide Lieutenant Wiggins (station near New Bridge) from the view of the enemy was penetrated, at a moment his duties called him outside of it, by a cannon shot from their guns. The fire for a time was quite severe. Later in the day the enemy's guns ceased to reply.
In front of our left our picket line extended through the open fields near Garnett's, the enemy's line of pickets being in the same fields near Garnett's, the enemy's line of pickets being in the same field, in view and quite near them. As the shot from our long-range guns on the north side of the river fell their range and effect were noticed by an officer on our picket line. Messages were sent from time to time by him to an officer stationed behind the first fringe of woods, whence the report went by signals to the batteries on the other side of the river. In the afternoon the shots ranged near the earthworks at Old Tavern, and as they fell in the woods close to them shouts, as of masses of men, could now and then be heard. Our guns were evidently so placed that they could seriously annoy the enemy and aid us in our advance. The firing ceased at sunset. It was to be resumed on the following morning. Lieutenant B. F. Fisher, acting signal officer, was ordered to take charge of all the details for this duty and to report to General Porter at daylight. The signal telegraph line was ordered this night to be reeled up and to report to General Porter in the morning. It was anticipated there might be an engagement on the north side of the river.
ACTION IN FRONT OF FAIR OAKS ORCHARD.
On the day that this cannonade was taking place on our right the action in front of Fair Oaks Orchard was fought upon our left. At this engagement there were present at different times Generals Hooker, Heintzelman, and McClellan. A detachment of four signal officers, with their men, Lieutenant W. G. McCreary, One hundred an second Pennsylvania Volunteers, and acting signal officer, commanding, had been sent at daylights McCreary and Denicke, acting signal officers, were posted in a tree-top in front of Casey's redoubt, from which they overlooked the positions of the enemy not visible from the ground. Hence messages were sent in reference to the direction and range of our artillery when engaged to Lieutenant C. S. Kendall, First Massachusetts Volunteers, and acting signal officer, stationed with the batteries on the Williams