War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0352 Chapter XXIV. OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD.

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the best officers now on signal duty become dissatisfied and request their relief from the duty.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Signal Officer, Major, U. S. Army.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War, War Department, Washington, D. C.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]


Strasburg, Va., March 26, 1864.

MAJOR: I have the honor to report that on Saturday, the 22nd instant, the division commanded by General Williams, in the Fifth Army Corps, took up its line of march for Manassas via Berryville and Snicker's Ferry.

On the afternoon of the same day the rebels made their appearance near Winchester; had some little skirmishing, but of no importance. The next day rebels made their appearance with much force. During the morning there was nothing but the firing of artillery. In the afternoon I took the field with nearly all the signal officers and men. The firing of artillery still continued; the enemy had four guns.

At 3 p. m. the general commanding ordered up one brigade of five regiments to flank the rebels on their right and capture the guns. I had before that established communication with the right, left, and center of our force, and had extended the line back to headquarters in Winchester, making in all six station. The signals worked beautifully, and were used almost constantly, transmitting messages of an important character, such as ordering up re-enforcement, informing the commanders of movements of the enemy, &c. At the movement of our forces to flank the enemy's right I dispatched Lieutenant Taylor, with a flagman, to accompany them. As they approached the place of assault they were greeted by a heavy volley of musketry from the enemy, hid behind a heavy stone fence. The rebels had five regiment to meet ours. At the first volley many of our men fell. Lieutenant Taylor's flagman (Mr. Temple) was wounded in the right forearm; his horse was shot. Lieutenant Taylor remained during the fight, but could not communicate,as his man had returned. He had a button shot off from his overcoat, but was not wounded.

I them sent Lieutenant Byram to a point near the scene of battle, where he opened communication with the center station and kept it finely although battles flew thick around him.

The struggle lasted about two hours, and was, I think, as fierce and closely contested as any of the war.

Several of the officers, with myself, remained upon the field all night, and were employed much of the time in sending and receiving messages. The next day we chased the rebels from Winchester to this point, or near it. At the general's request I located stations on the way, so as to keep up communication with Winchester.

At all times a signal officer was with the foremost of the advance, communicating with the rear.

At General Banks' request I have established three station around here. The remained are ready to proceed with out forces toward Manassas. I am certain we were of great service on the field on Sunday, and hope to again have an opportunity of making ourselves very useful.