Numbers 16. Report of Captain Charles R. Case, Acting Signal Officer, commanding Signal Detachment, Fourteenth Army Corps.
HDQRS. SIGNAL DETACHMENT, 14TH ARMY CORPS, Ringgold, Ga.,
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part the signal detachment, Fourteenth Army Corps, took in the reconnaissance toward Dalton, Ga.:
On the morning of the 22nd of February, 1864, Lieutenants Howgate, Hollopeter, Quinton, Taylor, and myself, with 2 enlisted men each, left Chattanooga with Major-General Palmer, commanding reconnaissance, for the front, then at Rossville. On reaching the latter place the general ascertained that the troops had passed.
After halting a few moments the general started on. At Pea Vine Creek, 12 miles from Chattanooga, we came up to the head of the column, which had halted for dinner. Lieutenant Hollopeter and myself, with 4 men, went forward to a hill near by known as Pea Vine Ridge, to see if an intermediate station could not be established connecting Chattanooga and Ringgold. Arriving at the top we found that it could be accomplished. I ordered Lieutenants Hollopeter and Quinton to open this station, and keep a sharp lookout for flag at Ringgold. Lieutenants Howgate, Taylor, and myself moved forward with the column, and on reaching Ringgold found that communication could not be opened to the rear, the town being situated in a valley; but just in front, half a mile distant, White Oak Mountain reared its head, just the place for a station. We immediately took possession of it, and commenced preparations to open. I left Lieutenants Howgate and Taylor on the station, and went to headquarters Fourteenth Army Corps, then across the river in rear of town, in full view of the mountain station. At 7.30 p.m. I reported to General Palmer communication open to Chattanooga.. During the night several important dispatches passed to and from department and corps headquarters.
The next morning the troops advanced through the gap in front of Ringgold, and into the valley between the latter place and Tunnel Hill. I closed station, directing Lieutenant Howgate to look for me on east side of mountain. General Palmer established headquarters near Catoosa Station. I opened with Lieutenant Howgate, thereby making a complete line of communication from the general in the field with the general commanding at Chattanooga.
During the day General Palmer occupied different positions as headquarters. The topography f the valley was such that there was no difficulty in staying with the general and keeping communication open. At night headquarters were in the same place that we were the previous evening. Communication was opened at once with Chattanooga. Lieutenants Ayers and Flook, with parties, reported to me in compliance with your order. I placed Lieutenant Flook on duty at headquarters station. The line as far as Pea Vine Ridge worked well.
On the morning of the 24th, the general moved headquarters in the valley near Lockridge's house, on Tunnel Hill road, where Lieutenant Flook opened with mountain station. The skirmishers were at this time some 2 miles in the advance. I therefore sent Lieutenant Ayers to the front to make observations and reports as they advanced