sun from morning till evening, which has caused a great deal of sickness. A portion of the country through which the line runs is sickly in the summer season, and the fear of sickness (for I can attribute it to nothing else) has made the men, in some instances, indifferent and, I may say, perfectly callous as to the success of the corps.
At one station every man is sick, and messages can only pass by relieving a man from another post and sending him there. This has been done, but has reduced the number at that post from 3 to 2 men, an evil that should be avoided. I have endeavored to induce the men to discharge their duty with cheerfulness and alacrity, but, finding there was so little duty with cheerfulness and alacrity, but, finding there was so little pride among them, and so little interest manifested throughout the whole line, I have almost despaired of its ever being a useful organization.
Charges have been preferred against 3 men, and, that it might have a better effect upon the rest, I caused 2 to be confined.
This, however, deprives us of 2 men. The loss of these 2 men, and those incapacitated by sickness, recurs the number for duty on the line so much that it will soon, I fear, become a very difficult matter to fill the places of those whose services we are thus losing daily.
From the extent of the line, and the number of men it would require to keep it up, contending against the difficulties set forth, I am convinced that the men could render by far more efficient service to the country if they were remanded to their respective companies, even if it was only until the strength of the command admitted as large a numbers the corps would require to be detailed for such service, or till the sickly months have passed.
Very respectfully submitted.
E. W. FRASER,
Lieutenant, Commanding Signal Corps.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD MILITARY DISTRICT,
McPhersonville, August 11, 1863.
The smallness of my command downs not enable me either to post guards at the signal or to relieve the signal men who get sick.
I consider the working of the line a failure, from its extreme length and the malarial character of the district in which it lies. I recommend the abandonment, for the present, of all the line excepting that portion of it connecting Mackey's Point with these headquarters.
Within 1 mile of Broad River, and at a distance of 7 miles from Grahamvill, there is a very tall house (Whitehall), from which I have seen with the naked eye the larger of the vessels at Port Royal entrance. A lookout is established at that point, who, if provided with a good glass, could serve all the purposes of notifying me of any advance of the enemy up Board River.
The system of couriers, now employed from Fort Point to Hardeeville, enables me to inform you of the enemy's movements in detail.
W. S. WALKER,