War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0999 COMMUNICATION WITH UNION FLEET. Chapter XXIII.

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conrteous after becoming acquainted with the officers. The roads were good. At the landing is a wharf, at which mail boats formerly touched. Gunboats can cover the landing and adjacent shore. The distance from our left at White Oak Swamp to the landing is between 8 and 9 miles. The officers of the party with whom I have conversed estimate that the distance can be ridden easily in an hour and a half,, and state that they would feel safe in passing over the road at any time under the escort of a squadron of dragoons. Jam, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, ALBERT J. MYER, Signal Officer, ]Ifajor, U. S. Army. Brig. Gen. R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff, Arn4i of Potomac. No. 2. Report of Lieut. Franklin Ellis, Acting Signal Officer, U. S. Army. HEADQUARTERS SIGNAL CoRPS, Near Richmond, June 8, 1862. SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of a march across the county of Charles City, Virginia, to the James River, made by your order, and with a view to establish signal communications between general headquarters and the Federal gunboats: Having previously made an unsuccessful application for an escort to both Generals Hooker and Grover, I crossed the sonthern line of pickets (General Grovers) at White Oak Swamp on the evening of Tuesday, June 3. The party under my charge, consisting of Lieutenants Ken- dall, Herzog, Wiggins, and Keen, with their assigned flagmen, en- camped on the first night at a deserted hQuse about 4 miles outside our pickets, on the Charles City road. The next day was very rainy until 5 uclock p. ni., when we marched 4 miles farther, and encamped at the plantation of Barry Marston, an officer in the Confed~rate serv- ice. I here ascertained that a party of 7 rebel cavalry were in our immediate vicinity, and a larger party, headed by Hill Carter, jr., was directly ahead of us on the river. This rendered it necessary that our next day~s march should be made with great caution, and in the morn- ing I proceeded with only Lieutenants Herzog and Wiggins and one flagman, and at night reached the river at the plantation of John Sel- den, Westover. On Friday I learned the gunboats were lying some miles farther up the river, opposite the plantation of Hill Carter, sr., which point I afterward found it impossible to reach with what force I had, as there were at least 40 of the enemys cavalry between me and that point. I also proceeded to Charles City Court-House, wherelfoundadepot of the enemys corn (said to be 2,500 bushels) and a large quantity of fodder. Here I received in formation from a free negro that Colonel Wilcox had that morning sent a messenger secretly to the Charles City Troop, lying up the river, to come down and capture us, which induced me to hice toward the camp of General Grover. On the morning of the 7th I re-entered the Federal lines, having passed through more than 30 miles of the enemys country, none of which had ever been traversed by a Federal soldier before, and bring-