War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0154 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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before Fredericksburg. The officers at their stations were unceasing in their efforts, with but one exception, to open and maintain communication. Many reports were made, and many messages passed, which were promptly submitted to the general commanding, or to his chief of staff, of the importance of which they can best judge. Besides these, many messages and reports were transmitted to the different subordinate generals on the field.

During the battle of the 13th instant, probably the earliest reports of the progress of the battle on the right from General Couch, as also on the left from General Franklin, were received by the exertions of this corps.

Captain B. F. Fisher, commanding the reserve detachment, was untiring in his efforts to promote the efficiency of the different stations, and freely exposed himself to the fire of the enemy at various times in the discharge of his duties.

All the officers previously named are well deserving of especial mention for the prompt and efficient manner in which their duties were performed. They were ably seconded in their efforts by their flagmen, to whom, also, great credit is due.

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


Captain, Acting Chief Signal Officer, Army of the Potomac.

Lieutenant Colonel LEWIS RICHMOND,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac.

Numbers 7. Report of Captain Benjamin F. Fisher, Third Pennsylvania Reserves, Acting Signal Officer.


December 18, 1862.

CAPTAIN: In answer to your circular of December 16, 1862, I have the honor to submit the following report:

In accordance with your instructions. I reported with the reserve signal detachment, equipped for field duty, at the Phillips house about daylight of Wednesday, December 11, 1862. The fog being very dense, precluded, for the time being, the possibility of working signals with success. In the mean time, by your order, I proceeded to our extreme left; place Lieutenant Wright, with his signal telegraph train, in communication with Captain De Russy in charge of the line of batteries, in position to cover the crossing of the river by General Franklin's grand division, and stationed Lieutenant Homer on an elevation, to keep open communication between the troops about to advance, and, through the signal telegraph train, with general headquarters.

Upon returning to the Phillips house, the fog having somewhat dispersed, I ordered, according to previous instructions, Lieutenants Wilson and Dinsmore to the Lacy house, near the upper bridge, and Lieutenants Adams and Jerome to a point near the middle bridge, each set being instructed to open communication with any troops that might cross the river, and also to report to the headquarters station near the Phillips house.

In the afternoon, by your directions, I visited the point opposite the lower end of Fredericksburg as the Corn Bluff, and placed