War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 1000 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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jug with me I prisoner, a private of the Eighth Virginia, whom I turned over to General Casey. I consider it entirely impracticable to signal across this country by the usual method, as the distanc& .in a right line cannot be less than 9 miles, and in no place, except near the river bank, can an opening of a mile in extent be found. But communication with the gunboats may be had by rockets for preconCerte(l messages, or perhaps better still, by means of a balloon ascending from the headquarters of General Casey, at Doggets farm. I am also convinced that many free negroes can~be found who could be fully trusted with the transmission of messages in cipher. I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant, FRANKLIN ELLIS, Acting Signal Officer. Maj. ALBERT J. ThrEE, Signal Officer, U. S. Army. JUNE 5, 1862.Skirmish at New Bridge, Va. Reports of Capt. Alonzo Snow, Battery B, First Maryland Light Artil icry. CAMP NEAR NEW BRIDGE, VA., ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Thursday, Junc 5, 1862. SIR: In obedience to special orders handed me by you early this morning my battery was hitched out, and proceeding from camp took position on the left of New Bridge in a corn field about 6 oclock. Noticing squads of rebels on the opposite bank of the Chickahominy I fired at intervals, driving them back into the woods. About 8 oclock the rebels opened fire upon us from four batteries occupying command- ing positions on the hills, those on their right and left being masked by timber, the others planted to the east of a large farm-house, and continued for t~vo hours from smooth-bore amid rifled pieces pouring npon us shot and shell, which fell thick amid fast all around the battery. Their round shot flew over us, striking in the field and woods in our rear; but their rifled shot and shell, having better range, struck close in front, rear, on either flank, and between the pieces, covering the can- noneers with earth. I returned their fire, dividing it among the four batteries according to the excellence of their range ,and silenced each in succession from their right to left. Those of their batteries which seemed the best were in the right and left of their line. We expended 030 rounds of shell and case-shot during the engagement. Their firing being constant, was returned as rapidly as possible to insure execution. Our position being miry, was unfavorable for maneuvering, the limbers and caissons sinking to the axles whilst passing to and fro replenishing the ammunition chests, rendering it necessary at times to unhitch the teams and draw the carriages out by hand. The command generally behaved with commendable gallantry, and being in action for the first time and tlmat under severe fire from large odds, discharged their duties with promptitude and coolness. I ani happy to report that none of my command were injured excel;t 2, and they so slightly as not to unfit them for duty. Two horses were killed by one shot, which also damaged time limber-chest of the