War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0568 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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distance from Winchester, but they were soon rallied, and preserved very good order during the rest of the day.

The First Brigade, Colonel Donnelly commanding, proceeded in good order to the right of the road, while the Third Brigade, Colonel Gordon commanding, proceeded to the left, going toward Martinsburg. I dispatched three officers to accompany the First Brigade and three to accompany the Third Brigade, myself remaining upon the road.

We had not much occasion to use our signals during the day until after we passed Bunker Hill, when by some means the officers got detached from the First Brigade and did not come up with it again, thus preventing any communication between the two columns. While at Martinsburg the corps was employed in transmitting signals for a short time. After leaving the latter place no signaling was done until we arrived at this place, when two stations wee immediately established, one upon either side of the river, where they were retained until last night, when all the troops were ordered on this side of the river. The corps arrived at this place all safe and well, losing none of our baggage, camp or garrison equipage.

I cannot say too much for the noble conduct displayed by the signal officers and men under my command, ever ready to endure fatigue and exposure upon the slightest call for duty.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,


First Lieutenant, 28th N. Y. Vols., Chief Signal Officer, in Command.


Assistant Adjutant-General and Major of Volunteers.

Numbers 11. Report of Captain James W. Abert, U. S. Topographical Engineers, of operations May 24.


Williamsport, Md., May 28, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor herewith to report as follows in regard to the operations of Saturday, May 24:

Having been ordered by the general-in-chief to burn the bridge over Cedar Creek as soon as I should receive final instructions, I detained Captain Collis' Zouaves to assist in carrying out your orders, and to hold the enemy in check in case he should rush down upon us and endeavor to save the bridge. In a neighboring barn I procured a tar-barrel, some straw, some commissary pork, and other inflammable materials, lit a fire close by, and waited until 3.30 o'clock. Finding the ford was in much better condition than the bridge, and that its destruction would be of no advantage to us, I concluded to follow on to Winchester.

In approaching Middletown I saw that the enemy had occupied the ridge on the east side of the town and was shelling some of our cavalry, General Hatch's, which turned off to the left (west), and again resumed their route to Winchester.

We were slowly approaching the town, when Captain Collis requested me to post his company. I desired the captain to walk to the top of the ridge to the east and look over it, when he reported the enemy