War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0239 Chapter XXXVII. THE CHANCELLORSVILLE CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

report, and observations of about 20 miles in length, and being established on the very best points for each and all of these objects, I saw nothing to alter, nothing I could better, and telegraphed to Captain Cushing to this effect. At 9.30, Lieutenant Wiggins met me at the telegraph station, and reported that General Reynolds had crossed the river about 3 miles below, and desired communication with General Sedgwick, whose headquarters were about one-half mile in rear of Captain Kendall's station. I immediately telegraphed to Captain Cushing a plan for opening this communication, and received, at 9.45 a. m., authority from him to establish any line required by using any officers I could find. At 10 a. m. the communication between Generals Reynolds and Sedgwick was opened by Lieutenant Wiggins opening with Captain Kendall, from whom I had the messages carries by orderlies to General Sedgwick. This line proved of the utmost importance. It was used constantly by Generals Sedgwick, Reynolds, Butterfield, and Newton, and many division and brigade commanders. Captain Kendall's station, being on a point which overlooked the entire battle-field of the left wing, was often made the headquarters of General Sedgwick, who commanded the entire force on the left. While there, or near there, as he was during the entire fight up to Sunday morning, he was in direct communication with the headquarters of the army by signal telegraph, and with the Phillips house, the Fitzhugh house, Seddon house, and Buckner's Neck by signals, and had on the hill a station of observation reporting constantly to him every movement of his own or the enemy's troops. At his request I had established this last-named station of observation by ordering Captain Pierce and Lieutenant Clarke to remain there on duty.

When these stations had all commenced working, I found nothing more to be done, nothing more desired by any one, and therefore joined Captain Kendall, whose station was in constant use, and assisted him in working it, reporting to Captain Cushing, who approved of my course.

On the first day, April 29, over forty important messages passed through this station to and from corps commanders, the chiefs of staff, and the heads of departments. No complaint was made by any one regarding this complete chain of stations. It is impossible to furnish any complete record of the messages sent and received at this central point of the line, as many have been lost or destroyed, but enough remain to give an idea of its utility, copies of which are attached to this report.*

In working this line, all important orders or reports were transmitted in cipher.

April 30, part of the Sixth Corps had crossed the river at Washington farm, and part of the First Corps about 2 miles below. General Reynolds, commanding the First, was in communication by signals with General Sedgwick, through Lieutenant Wiggins, and to facilitate his operations, the telegraph under Lieutenant Wilson was extended to his headquarters.

May 1, General Reynolds' corps was withdrawn and marched to the right, Lieutenants Camp and Wiggins going with him, and the telegraph drawn in to its old position at General Sedgwick's headquarters.

During all this time, reports were coming in from Lieutenants Fortescue, at Fitzhugh house; Gloskoski and Marston, at Seddon's house, and Hill and Brooks, at Buckner's Neck, which were forwarded to General Butterfield, through Captain S. T. Cushing, and copies sent to General Sedgwick and General Reynolds.

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

* Not found.

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