War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0165 Chapter XXXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

On the 14th, 2.25 p.m., Lieutenants Hill and Cary established a station at or near the telegraph station, in communication with Lieutenant Jerome, on the Corn Bluff, and through that station with headquarters of General Burnside. My reason for establishing this line was this, that in case any accident happened to the signal telegraph, we could be still in communication with headquarters. Lieutenants Homer and Clarke remained on this station until we evacuated the south bank of the river.

On the 14th, I ordered Lieutenants Wiggins and Homer to report to Captain De Russy, commanding artillery, near the Seddon house, and establish a station of observation, and also as a means of communication with General Franklin. They remained with Captain De Russy until the night of the 15th, when, by my order, they returned to camp.

On the night of the 15th, General Franklin returning to the north side of the river, I closed all stations and returned with him.

To-day we moved to this point and established our headquarters.

With reference to the enlisted men of my party, I would say that they were all exposed to severe artillery fire, and where all did so well it would be invidious to mention the names of any one in particular.

With this I submit the reports of the officers under my charge.

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

E. C. PIERCE,

First Lieutenant and Signal Officer in Charge.

Captain SAMUEL T. CUSHING,

Chief Signal Officer.

Numbers 14. Report of Lieutenant David Wonderly, Third Pennsylvania Reserves, Acting Signal Officer.

BELLE PLAIN, December 18, 1862.

SIR: In accordance with your instructions, I inclose you a report of the work done by the United States army telegraph during the four days' fight at Fredericksburg.

On Thursday evening I received orders to report at headquarters by daylight on Friday morning. This I complied with at once. While there, I was ordered to open a line with the Lacy house, opposite Fredericksburg, Va. I found the wire partially laid, and in one hour's time from leaving General Sumner's headquarters the line was in full communication with general headquarters.

The following are the most important messages that were sent and received during the action, to wit:*

General SUMNER:

The advance has started on.

COUCH.

* * * * * *

General SUMNER:

I am losing a great many men, being so much exposed. The enemy are covered in their rifle-pits. Send me two rifled batteries immediately; I have none.

General COUCH.

---------------

*Those printed elsewhere are here omitted.

---------------