I think there were other messages sent, but I have not a copy of them-one to General Hooker that General Howard was marching out, signed D. N. Couch, and another to General Sumner that General Couch's front line was falling back.
General Couch seemed to depend much on the station, and most of his orders were given to me by himself verbally. Upon ordering over re-enforcements, in a few moments after, he wanted to know if I had got the message through, when, to his satisfaction, I told him I had, and that they were already crossing the river, which he could see by his own observation. After the station was opened, I of course, expected Lieutenant Yates to take charge, and that I was to render all aid in my power; but, upon inquiring, no one could tell me where he was. I was obliged to make observations and send all messages unaided, and with only one flagman, the other being obliged to guard my horses. The messages were given to me rapidly, and often three or four at once. Upon receiving the order directed to Lieutenant Yates, from General Burnside, I again tried to find him, but could not. He came up once, when, by the greatest urging, I succeeded in getting him to send one message, after which he ignominiously fled, and openly declared, in presence of the men, that he would not stay there. My thanks are due to Lieutenant Barrett, who had been sent there by General Willcox to make observations, for kindly offering to take charge of the station while I could get a drink of water. I then found Lieutenant Yates in rear of the court-house, but could not prevail on him to go on the station. After six hours of tedious duty I was ordered to join Captain Pierce. I left the station a little after 5 p.m. This order was received through Lieutenant Yates, when all responsibility rested on him; yet he remained on the ground in rear of the building when I left. I am pleased to report that both of my flagmen, J. C. Kintner and Fayette McClure, behaved well, and displayed coolness and bravery under this terrific fire and during the entire engagement.
Second Lieutenant Fifty-second Pa. Vols. and Actg. Signal Officer.
Captain SAMUEL T. CUSHING,
Chief Signal Officer.
Report of Lieut Joseph Gloskoski, Twenty-ninth New York Infantry, Acting Signal Officer.
IN CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH,
December 18, 1862.
CAPTAIN: On the 11th instant, at daybreak, we reported, agreeably to your orders, to Colonel Hays, commander of batteries at Falmouth, and, establishing station near his headquarters, opened communication with Phillips house, or General Sumner.
On this as on the following days, dense fog allowed us but few hours for observations; for the same reason, also, we could not see any movements of our troops or of the enemy south of Fredericksburg.
On the following day I reported to the chief signal officer that the
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