I have the honor to further report that the country on the other side of the Chickahominy and in the vicinity of many of the bridges is favorable for the establishment of signal stations, and to request to be informed what points it is desirable should be placed under especial observation.
It has seemed to me that the fire of batteries posted upon the other side of the Chickahominy could be made to cover an advance on this by signal communication, or could equally be directed by signals here upon an enemy advancing upon our lines and invisible to us, but not to the officers at the batteries.
In reference to observations to be made from the balloons prior to or during an engagement, I would state that if an officer of experience as an engineer could be detailed to make the observations, his brief reports as to the movements of an enemy invisible to him can be sent from the car of the balloon at Hogan's to the general commanding at General Smith's headquarters, or wherever on the field in front of our present position he may be in sight of the balloon, by a signal officer to be detailed for the purpose. I am of the opinion that reports might be received in the same manner from the balloon at Mechanicsville.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ALBERT J. MYER,
Signal Officer, Major, U. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, MEDICAL DIRECTOR'S OFFICE,
Camp Lincoln, June 15, 1862.
General R. B. MARCY,
Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac:
GENERAL: Surg. J. F. Hammond, medical director, Sumner's corps, having telegraphed to me this morning that there were some signs of scurvy in that corps, I sent Dr. A. K. Smith over at once to investigate the matter. Dr. Smith reports to me that he found six cases in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Massachusetts Regiments, in Dana's brigade, and several more acquiring the predisposition to scurvy.
General Dana informed Dr. Smith that he had been unable to obtain vegetables (such as potatoes) for his men for a long time. Paragraph 1202, General Regulations, confines the issue of antiscorbutics to the sick and then they are to be paid for out of the hospital fund. I think, however, that potatoes have been made part of the ration by an act of Congress. It is certain that vegetables are absolutely necessary to prevent scurvy, and if, as in our present circumstances, they cannot be purchased by the men, the subsistence department must supply them, or the men will become scorbutic.
I have ordered a supply of lemons and cream of tartar from White House to Sumner's corps. I have also telegraphed to Colonel Clarke to issue, if possible, potatoes, dried apples, pickles, and desiccated vegetables to the men, and have promised to furnish him with any authority he needs that I can procure.
I think the issue of the three first articles absolutely necessary, and have no doubt it will speedily arrest the disease. The desiccated vegetables are less reliable, as the men dislike to use them. They should, however, be compelled to do so. Potatoes come in this shape, and I believe the commissary has them on hand. I have the honor to recommend