War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0123 Chapter XXXI. GENERAL REPORTS.

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was posted on the left at the position of General Burnside on the field, thence communicating with the mountain, and receiving reports for that officer. As our lines advanced on the west side of the Antietam, driving in the enemy's left, stations were established as closely as possible behind the lines, and near to the generals commanding in that portion of the field. A station was thus established, subject to artillery fire, by Lieuts. E. C. Pierce and W. F. Barrett, at the Miller house, near the position of General E. V. Sumner. The signal package carried on the saddle by one of the flagmen of this party was cut in two by a cannon-shot.

When the field near Roulette house was cleared by our troops, an advance station was ordered to that position. The point was reached by Lieuts. F. N. Wicker and G. J. Clarke. They had transmitted but few messages when the station was displace by the breaking of a part of our line. The position was soon retaken by our troops, but these officers did not reoccupy it. The fire had been close, the horse of one of the officers being slightly wounded. An hour afterward this station was occupied by Lieuts. F. Wilson and F. W. Owen, sent to supply the place of the two officers first detailed, and was bravely and efficiently worked by them under a considerable artillery fire until night. These stations were kept in communication with general headquarters.

Throughout the battle the labors of the officers and men on some of these station was almost incessant, and all exerted themselves zealously to gain and forward to headquarters any information or message to bear upon the result of the action. It was the fortune of Lieuts. J. B. Brooks and W. H. Hill to forward from the right some messages and reports of much importance. One of them, a message from General E. V. Sumner, announcing the wavering of the line and the need of re-enforcements, could probably have been sent so rapidly in no other manner. The reports from the mountains station so overlooking the field of battle were of peculiar interest, and the faithful manner in which this station was held and worked is worthy of commendation. All the stations were kept by the officers upon the field on the night of the 17th. Night signals were used, however, only between the mountain and general headquarters.

On the day and night of September 18 the stations were held in the same positions. There was constant observation and report in reference to the enemy, and movements noticed in different parts of the country. On this day the station communicating with Washington Monument, which had been withdrawn during the 17th, was reoccupied. At sundown and until dark the enemy's smoke distinctly marked the positions held by them on this side of the river and about Sharpsburg. During the night they hastily retreated.

On the morning of September 19, upon the advance of our cavalry, under General A. Pleasonton, in pursuit of the enemy, and the opening of the enemy's batteries in Virginia at the ford of the Potomac, officers who had accompanied the rapid movement of our troops established, under the direction of Captain Fisher, a station near Shepherdstown. This station communicated with the general commanding the army at headquarters until the occupation of Sharpsburg by our troops in force. On this day a signal party was ordered to Maryland Heights, whence, on the afternoon of the 20th, communication was opened with headquarters of the army at Sharpsburg. The earliest information was thus given on that day of the occupation of that place by our forces and of