War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0133 Chapter XXXVI. GENERAL REPORTS.

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vicinity of Vicksburg during the campaign which ended in the fall of that city:

Handing you this report at this late hour involves the necessity, or, at least, the expediency, of stating the reasons why it was not presented at the proper time, or immediately upon the termination of the campaign. They are as follows:

The officers in immediate charge of the corps with your army, and whose duty it was to make the report, were Captain J. W. De Ford, who resigned during the operations in the rear of the city; Captain L. M. Rose, who was forced by illness to leave the department before the end of the campaign, and Captain J. M. McClintock, upon whom the command devolved at a very late period, and who was, no doubt, unmindful that a report of the campaign would be required of him.

As to myself, I was, previous to the capitulation, ordered to Washington, and have but lately returned therefrom. I have endeavored, with the data at my command, to make as plain a statemen the duties performed by the corps, and trust that any deficiency therein may be attributed not to a lack of desire to do justice to the officers and men who compose it, but to my lack of opportunity to provide myself with such complete data as I should have had, and such as I shall feel it my duty to keep hereafter.

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

O. H. HOWARD,

Captain and Chief Signal Officer.

Lieutenant Colonel John A. RAWLINS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Tennessee.

[Inclosure.]

HDQUR. SIGNAL CORPS, DEPT. OF THE TENNESSEE,

Vicksburg, MISS., August 25, 1863.

COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this corps from the time of its reporting for duty in charge of Captain J. W. De Ford, at Young's Point, La., on April 3, up to the time of the surrender of Vicksburg, July 4, 1863:

On April 3, a line of communication by signals was opened from Milliken's Bend to the foot of the old canal, over which many important official messages were transmitted to different poisons on the line, and to Admiral Porter's flag-ship, where an officer of the corps was permanently stationed.

At a point on this line directly opposite Vicksburg a station of observation was established. The officer in charge of this station was instructed to report everything of interest occurring in the town and within the enemy's lines to the commanding general.

On April 7, a line was opened from General Grant's headquarter, then at Milliken's Bend, through General McPherson's headquarters, of General Osterhaus', at Richmond. This line was used as a means of communication between those points until the removal of General Osterhaus' command to Grand Gulf. From a point in this line another was projected to New Carthage, and opened as far as Holmes' plantation, but was not long in operation when the advancing of the army caused it to be abandoned. During the time that the main body of the army remained upon this side of the river, these lines were in considerable use as a means of communication between the different headquarters. With one or two exception, the officers employed on them performed then and there their first duty in the field as signal officers, but by their