The reports of Lieutenants Benner and Jencks will show that these stations have been of good service in keeping the army and navy instructed in each other's movements during the siege of Port Hudson, and have transmitted a large number of official messages.
First Lieutenant Thomas S. Hall was relieved from duty on the gunboat, and reported to me at General Augur's headquarters on the 31st of May. Lieutenant Harris reported to me, by order of Captain W. B. Roe, on the 21st of June.
Signal stations were established on the left of our line, 5 miles above Springfield Landing to communicate with the fleet above and below Port Hudson; also with the left wing, commanded by Brigadier-General Dwight; the right, by Brigadier-General Grover; the center by Major-General Augur; and with Major-General Banks' headquarters, 2 miles in rear of the center. Communication was established through these stations from Major-General Banks' headquarters to Springfield Landing. Lieutenants [H. C.] Danie, and Main wherein charge of C station; Lieutenant Hall, D station both stations on the left; Lieutenant James H. Rundlett, E station on the right; Lieutenant Harris, F station, on the center; and Lieutenant John W. Dana, A station at Major-General Banks' headquarters. Owing to heavy woods and the peculiar position of the enemy's works in and around Port Hudson, we were obliged to build stations in tall trees, within easy range of the rebel batteries.
The enemy frequently opened on the stations with solid shot and shell, which was a source of some annoyance when sending and receiving messages. E station was shelled on the 5th of June, and the officer in charge obliged to leave it for the time being. He returned to his post after the enemy had ceased firing, and, on the 6th, built another station near the first, but less exposed to the enemy.
On the 14th of June, in compliance with verbal orders from Captain William B. Roe, I reported for signal duty to Brigadier-General Dwight. A station for signaling with the right and center was built in a point of woods on the left, near General Dwight's headquarters. We were about to open communication, when our position was discovered by the enemy, and the station was shelled by his artillery. It being so near the rebel breastworks, and the firing so rapid and close, we were obliged to fall back to D station. The enemy attempted to shell this station, but the range was very poor. Communication was kept open from this point during the day.
Stations, C, D, and E, overlooking the fort, have been of great benefit in discovering the movements and position of the enemy, and directing the fire of our artillery.
I am happy to report that the officers and enlisted men deserve credit for faithfulness in the discharge of their duties, and that no casualties have occurred to any of the party. Communication was kept open with the fleet above and below Port Hudson and Springfield Landing to and from Major-General Banks' headquarters, until the surrender of Port Hudson.
In conformity with orders from Captain William B. Roe of the 9th of July, the officers were relieved from their stations, and reported to him at headquarters of the signal corps, Port Hudson, La.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOS. L. HALLETT,
First Lieutenant Thirty-first Mass. Vols., Acting Signal Officer.
Lieutenant GEORGE R. HERBERT,
Acting Adjutant, Signal Corps, Department of the Gulf.