mitted the information from General Corcoran to General Peck that the enemy had attacked on the Somerton road. Promptly orders were returned to General Corcoran to open fire. These messages were transmitted while the shells of the enemy were falling around them and evidently directed at the signal flag of Lieutenant Young, who, with his flagman (Private J. W. Brown), exhibited great coolness during the attack.
These lines of communication were kept open and transmitting much valuable information until the 16th, when, the enemy threatening to cross the Nansemond River and attack our right and rear, General Peck directed communication to be opened with General Getty's front and the forces on the Nansemond. Captain Tamblyn was therefore directed to break up communication with the other fronts, as of less importance, and open a line down the Nansemond River. This was accomplished in a very short time, and the line was constantly used in transmitting important, and, in some cases, confidential messages between the different stations. This line was composed of four stations, and the officers and men operating them were all so constantly on duty, night and day, sleeping and resting only when a short leisure would permit, that without relief of them must have succumbed had not matters taken a change.
This line of communication was kept open (until the raising of the siege and department of the enemy) was continually useful.
A failed telegraph train would have been of eminent utility in this locality, and I shall have one or more of these trains at my disposal in a few days.
In closing this report I wish to state that officers and men all stood up their duty nobly and when nearly worn-out with fatigue by watching and working night and day and under fire of the enemy. To Captain W. Tamblyn, acting signal officer, the senior officer of that part of my detachment at Suffolk, great credit it due for his faithful supervision of affairs.
Lieuts. A. M. Thayer, R. P. Strong, George F. Young, and H. R. Murray, acting signal officers, deserve special mention for having stood faithfully to their duties under the fire of the enemy's sharpshooters.
Flagmen A. H. Eames, W. J. Mott, C. H. Treadwell, and J. W. Brown performed their duties faithfully, even when the flag they held in their hands was the special mark of the enemy.
I inclose herewith a map, showing the different lines of communication had by signals. The small red flags indicate the stations and the dotted lines the lines of communication had at different times.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHARLES L. DAVIS,
Captain and Chief Signal Officer, Department of Virginia.
Lieutenant Colonel LOUIS H. PELOUZE, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Reports of Major General John J. Peck, U. S. Army, commanding at Suffolk.
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES FORCES,
Suffolk, Va., May 5, 1863.
COLONEL: Or September 22, 1862, I was ordered to Suffolk, with about 9,000 men, to repel the advance of Generals Pettigrew and French