War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0258 NORTH CAROLINA AND S. E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

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were fired. When they were burned we turned to the vessels, all the force being embarked by 3,30 p. m.

The following is an extract from report of Lieutenant-Commander Gillis, commanding United States steamer Morris, to Acting Rear-Admiral Lee, commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, which I am permitted to make:

I would state that I received most important aid from Lieutenant Andrews, of the Signal Corps, as by his assistance i was enabled to direct the aiming of the guns on board this vessel. All my messages were transmitted with the greatest celerity, almost as rapidly as they could have been given had they been delivered orally, and with entire accuracy, and this, too, during the excitement of a sudden attack.

I desire to call especial attention to the coolness and efficiency of Private George H. Walker,signal flagman. For some months I have known of Walker's capacity to read. Ho obtained the code over a year ago through the negligence and carelessness of an officer instructed at Annapolis. For a long time I promised the severest punishment to my men if caught attempting to read or to obtain any portion of the code, but finding that officers senior to myself not only tolerated but encouraged their men to do so, I spoke of it, and was informed that the matter was well know to Major Myer. Since being at Yorktown, therefore, I have allowed Walker to read, and have been astonished at his intelligence, superior to that of some officers I have worked with Lieutenant Benson and myself abbreviated all ordinary messages to at least one-fourth their length if sent in full; but Walker seldom has trouble to read them. In directing the fire of the Morris on the 1st instant I at first partially spelled out the messages, using only the more suggestive abbreviations, such as eny, enemy; apch, approach, &c. But desiring to work more quickly I used the abbreviations fll, ef, of of, ect, and was somewhat astonished at Walker's receiving them all instantly and correctly without once calling for a "report." He has never heretofore received the official abbreviations from me, but I have now given them to him, as I deem myself justified in doing, as I am liable to any time to have occasion to use them with him.

I desire to recommend Private Walker for promotion. I intended to have recommended him for appointment as sergeant under the new organization of the Signal Corps, and now I consider that he has doubly earned his chevrons. Walker has been with me since June 25, 1862, and I have has ample opportunity of knowing his capacity.

The accompanying plan* will explain the relative positions of the forces engaged in the affair of the 1st instant. The outline of the sketch was enlarged from a chart.

I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Second Lieutenant Ninth N. Y. Vols. and Acting Signal Officer.


Acting Signal Officer, Washington D. C.

P. S.-Since this report was written information has been received at Major-General Keyes' headquarters that during the firing from the gunboats, directed by signals, on the 1st, the enemy lost 4 killed and 3 wounded.

Our forces sustained no loss whatever.


* Not found.