Thursday, 7th of May, we received orders to move down the river with First Corps and establish a station near the Fitzhugh house, which we did on the next day (May 8).
Very respectfully, your obedient servants,
J. C. VIGGINS AND
N. HENRY CAMP,
Lieutenants and Acting Signal Officers.
Lieutenant WM. S. STRYKER,
Adjutant, Signal Corps.
Numbers 16. Report of Lieutenant Charles W. Keen, jr., Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Infantry, Acting Signal Officer.
NEAR BROOKE'S STATION, VA.,
May 11, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to forward the following report of the duties performed by me in the late movement, being with Captain Castle's detachment, General Howard's command, Eleventh Army Corps:
We received orders on Sunday, April 26, to be prepared to move at an early hour on Monday morning.
April 27, camped about 2 miles southwest of Hartwood Church; no opportunity occurring to use signals.
April 28, arrived at Kelly's Ford; was stationed on heights near to the Rappahannock River, to communicate with other corps, if necessary. Remained at station until the infantry had crossed, and then rejoined Captain Castle on the opposite side.
April 29, moved on toward Rapidan River; arrived about 7 p. m., and crossed about 12, midnight.
April 30, arrived at Locust Grove, 2 miles west from Chancellorsville.
May, 1, I was sent to open communication with General Hooker's headquarters, but found it was impossible at that time, the road being filled with troops.
May 2, tried again to open communication with Chancellorsville, but did not succeed, owing to the station at General Hooker's headquarters not being established. About 12 m. opened a station at Locust Grove, General Howard's headquarters, to communicate with Captain Castle, at Little Wilderness. Was in communication constantly until 6 p. m., when the enemy made a sudden attack on the right, driving our forces back, and causing Captain Castle to abandon his station. On his arrival at my station, he ordered me to pack my equipments immediately, as the enemy were advancing rapidly. I had barely secured my kit when the enemy were upon us. Remained with General Howard that night.
May 3, remained with Captain Castle at headquarters, being unable to do any signaling.
May 4, was ordered to reconnoiter the north bank of the river (Rappahannock), and, if possible, open communication with the left of our forces, then resting on the river. Proceeded down the river bank about 2 miles, but could find no position suitable, the country affording no facilities for signaling, being level and thickly wooded. I discovered three pieces of artillery, belonging to the enemy, hidden between a house and an outbuilding on the opposite side of the river, and reported