War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0262 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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At this time the commanding general reached the flag-ship with the Ariel; was informed of the facts, and came at once on shore, having signaled from the vessel the fact of his coming and a reply to a question about preparation. The whole army was under arms to meet the enemy, the men moving out cheerfully for the anticipated battle. Two signal officers had been sent to the front, with instructions to proceed as far as possible to reconnoiter, and to report to the station on the mansion.

The chief signal officer was now ordered to see that communication was kept with the vessels of the fleet, and to establish a station connecting this communication with a point near the position which the general commanding took on the field. A few moments later the guns of the was vessel down the river were heard as her fire opened upon the woods where the enemy had been seen, and presently a couple of rounds from a field battery in front silenced the enemy's guns. A signal message sent from the front to the mansion station asked that the gunboat down the river might cease until our forces could reconnoiter the positions lately held by the enemy. This message was sent to the flag-ship. It could not be signaled from the shore or the flag-ship instantly to the vessel engaged, and her fire was kept on the woods.

A squadron of our cavalry sent on a reconnaissance came in sight of her officers, and the guns were at once turned upon them as enemies. Fortunately one of the signal officers detailed for the station at the front had accompanied the reconnaissance. His signal were recognized on the vessel, communication was opened, and the gunboat's fire ceased. The reconnaissance showed no enemy in our front in force. A dispatch reporting the result was signaled from the officer who had accompanied the reconnoitering party to the general commanding. An hour or two later the camp had resumed its quiet.

On this day the detachment of four officers and their men who had been at White House during the evacuation of that place reported for duty.

On the night of the 4th of July the commanding general had received information which induced the belief that an attack would be made upon our position by the whole force of the rebels on the following day. The chief signal officer was instructed to so arrange communication that the gunboats stationed to cover the right and left flanks of the army at points should be in communication with that station; that from this station communication should also be had to the flag-ship and as far toward the front as was practicable. Stations were also to be arranged on each flank of the army on shore, communicating thence to the flanking gunboats. Lieutenant Fisher was instructed to arrange the shore stations. Lieutenant Stryker was sent to post the officers on the fleet.

On the morning of the 5th all the preparations had been made. The enemy, however, did not advance the attack. There was no engagement. These stations were afterward adopted as the permanent stations, and were held thereafter for the forty-one days our army lay at Harrison's Landing. The accompanying map and report will illustrate the positions.

A week later the positions at Harrison's Landing had become so strong that anticipations of an attack by the enemy had ceased. The army awaited re-enforcements to resume the offensive. The officers of the Signal Corps, wearied and exhausted by three months of constant movement and labor (many of them sick from diseases incident to the