War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0164 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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in making observations, reporting, receiving, and transmitting messages during the days of the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th instant. I here with transmit the reports of Set I and Set J; also Lieutenant Barrett's individual report. These reports will, I trust, make up any deficiency in my own.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain and Acting Signal Officer, Commanding Detachment.


Chief Signal Officer.

Numbers 13. Report of Lieutenant Edward C. Pierce, Third Maine Infantry, Acting Signal Officer.


December 17, 1862.

SIR: I herewith submit the following report of duty performed by the signal party under my charge and on duty at the headquarters left grand division:

On the morning of thee 11th instant, Lieutenant Wiggins, by my order, reported to General Smith, commanding Sixth Corps, left grand division, and proceeded with him to a point on the north bank of the Rappahannock River, where the pontoon bridge was being thrown across the river. We did nothing in the way of signaling until about 5 p.m., when, the troops of General Newton's division having been ordered to cross the bridge, I sent Lieutenants Wiggins and Clarke to accompany them, and open communication with Lieutenant Homer, stationed at the batteries on the bluffs, on the north bank of the river. Lieutenants Wiggins and Clarke, with their flagmen, then crossed, preceding the infantry. They dashed up the line on the other side, but were driven back by the enemy's skirmishers, who held the bluffs. One of Lieutenant Wiggins' horses was shot by a rifle ball, and Lieutenant Clarke's horse received a ball in his leg. Waiting until the skirmishers of the Second Rhode Island Infantry came up, they advanced again, and received another volley of musketry; but they held their ground, and immediately opened communication with Lieutenant Homer. Communication was kept open until 10 p.m., when, by order of General Franklin, I ordered Lieutenants Wiggins and Clarke to withdraw and join me on this side of the river, which they did at once.

On the morning of the 12th, at 9.30 o'clock, General Smith, and staff crossed the river, Lieutenants Wiggins and Clarke accompanying them, and communication was opened and kept open between General Franklin on the north bank of the river and General Smith on the south, until 3 p.m., when I informed General Franklin that the signal telegraph was working to General Smith, on the south bank of the river. General Franklin then immediately crossed and joined General Smith, and they established their headquarters at the house of Mr. Bernard. I opened communication immediately with Lieutenant Homer.

On the 13th, line was running between Lieutenant Homer and General Franklin's headquarters all day, and about noon Lieutenant Hill and Cary joined me.