War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0158 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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[CHAP. XXXIII.

ing my men from repairing the wire when broken, and keeping the lines in good order.

During the evening, I received an order from you directing me to run a wire from the Phillips house to the Lacy house by daylight, but, owing to the order being read to me when I was very tired, having been up three nights in succession, I did not fully understand the order until late, when Lieutenant Wright telegraphed for more wire to cross the river, saying that General Franklin wished him to do so. I immediately telegraphed to you asking whether Lieutenant Wright should cross the river, and whether I should run the wire to the Lacy house, as you wished. I meant to have asked the distance to the Lacy house, which I omitted, thinking that I would not have wire enough to extend one line across the river and to run out the other. On receiving your answer referring me to the dispatch from Lieutenant Wright, stating the wishes of General Franklin, which I had not seen before, I considered that it was best to extend the line to Franklin, across the river, and, if I had wire enough, to return and run out to the Lacy house, calculating to have time enough to do it all before daylight. The men I sent out with the wire to Lieutenant Wright lost their way, owing to a dense smoke, and returned to me. I then concluded it best to go with them myself, and thought I would have time enough to return before daylight, but, I regret to say, I did not; but immediately on my return the wire to the Lacy house was started, and up ready for use within an hour. Meantime I telegraphed to Lieutenant Wonderly, as you directed, to come up to the Phillips house, which he did. I immediately placed him in charge of the station at the Lacy house, sending the instrument there on horseback.

For the particulars of the working of the station at the Lacy house and at Franklin's headquarters, I respectfully refer you to the accompanying reports of Lieutenant A. M. Wright* and Lieutenant D. Wonderly.

To work the lines properly, I took the instrument at headquarters that was used on the While Oak Chapel line to the Phillips house, and used it on the line to the Lacy house, making it an independent line. During the day, while the commanding general was at the Phillips house, the station at Franklin's headquarters only communicated to that place; but when the general returned to his headquarters, and while there, the Franklin station worked through to headquarters, making three stations-one at Franklin's headquarters, one at the Phillips house, and the other at headquarters. In doing so, I had to disconnect from Belle Plain, so as not to interfere with important messages going to and coming from headquarters. All day during the battle of the 13th we were kept busy sending and receiving messages, many of them very important, and I think that, considering the little practice the operators at the various stations had on lines of more than one station, that everything worked remarkably well.

At 4 a.m., the morning of the 14th December, 1862, I sent wire, lances, and men to Lieutenant Wonderly, to run a wire across the river, to be ready for use if we wished to move the station across the river. This wire was not used at all, but taken up on the night of the 15th of December, 1862.

The wire across the river at Franklin's headquarters, after doing good service, was also taken up on the night of the 15th, or rather the morning of the 16th, Lieutenant Wright and party being about the last ones to cross.

On the 18th of December, 1862, the line to the Lacy house was taken

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*Not found.

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