BATTLE OF GAINES' MILL.
Before daylight on the 27th of June the sound of cannon announced that the battle had recommenced. Word was sent to Lieutenant Fisher to carry out the instructions given him the night before. The signal detachment serving at Gaines' Mill numbered eight officers, with their flagmen. As our troops fell back from Mechanicsville the station at Hogan's house was abandoned, the enemy skirmishers being then in the same piece of woods and not far distant.
When our forces took up their position near Gaines' Mill Lieutenant Fisher disposed of the officers of his command as follows, viz: Lieutenant Gloskosky, acting signal officer, was stationed near the north end of Duane's Bridge, whence he observed and reported the movements of the enemy in the valley of the Chickahominy at points where they crossed the river from the south to the north side to take part in the action, and upon the heights on the north side, adjacent to the stream. These reports were signaled to Lieutenant Camp, acting signal officer stationed near General Porter's headquarters. Lieutenants Wiggins and Fisher were upon the right of the army, and reported the appearance and advance of the enemy coming in the direction of Gaines' Mill and Cold Harbor. These reports were sent to Lieutenant Horner, near General Porter's headquarters.
Lieutenants Tompkins and Beckett were ordered to open communication across the Chickahominy from a point near General Porter's headquarters to a point near General Smith's headquarters. These officers failed to make this communication. The persistence with which some of the officers held their stations in the ensuing battle of that day attracted attention. Lieutenant Gloskosky, reporting from the left, early drew upon himself the fire of the enemy's guns, to which he paid but little attention, and helf his station until the destruction of the bridge behind him, rendering it necessary that he should change his station.
The station on the right was held by the officers upon it until they were notified that to hold it longer, while it involved very great risk, would be useless. From all the stations reports were sent to General Porter, near the Adams house, as the enemy drew near, and until, in the smoke and confusion of the general engagement, messages could no longer be sent.
About 2 p.m. the chief signal officer received instructions from the general commanding to open communication from the position then occupied by the general near Trent's house to General Porter's headquarters on the field of battle on the north side of the river. It would have been easy to carry out this order had it been earlier given, and it would have been possible to do so had our troops on the north side been able to hold their position. As the action resulted, the stations-one at Trent's house, the other in a tree near General Porter's headquarters-were no sooner determined upon than it became necessary to abandon them. With the retreat of our forces at sunset efforts to establish this communication ceased. During the progress of this engagement Lieutenant Denicke, Cameron Rifles, and acting signal officer, stationed at Smith's redoubt, was able to render some service by reporting the effects noticed with his telescope of the shots directed from the battery of 20-pounder guns there stationed upon the enemy appearing near Gaines' house.
The detachment held in reserve on the south side of the river rendered on this day no material assistance. There was no advance of our forces