officers of the detachment have been collected, and the officers now or soon will have such equipments only as are needed in the performance of their duties.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. R. CLUM,
Captain and Chief Signal Officer, Dept. of the South.
Major W. J. L. NICODEMUS,
In charge Signal Bureau, Washington, D. C.
HDQRS. SIGNAL DETACHMENT, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH,
Hilton Head, S. C., May 31, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the condition of the signal detachment in the Department of the South, and of its operations during the month ending this day:
The station at Pilot Town, mouth of Saint John's River, Fla., has been closed by direction of General Birney, then commanding in that district. The station had been used only to report vessels coming in or going out the river. We have no troops stationed at Pilot Town, and it had not been of much service. At the station at yellow Bluff, vessels can be discovered as soon as they enter the mouth of the river; consequently the arrival at the mouth of the river of any vessels is known at Jacksonville as soon as it was when the station at Pilot Town was open. With this one exception the stations remain the same as last month.
Previous to the 22nd instant no active operations had taken place in this department. On that day a reconnaissance was made on James Island, in the Northern District. Some of the enemy's rifle-pits were taken by our troops, but the enemy having been re-enforced, our troops were obliged to withdraw from the island. lieutenant Andrews, at the time, was absent by order of the general commanding the district. Lieutenant C. Roberts, jr., however, with the assistance of Sergeants Colvin and Parsons, rendered good service. the accompanying map* showing the tract of country in which the stations were located, and which was forwarded by Lieutenant Roberts with his report, shows the stations that were opened. Lieutenant Roberts was at the white house, Station Numbers 1 on map, on Folly Island, at which place General Schimmelfennig has his headquarters. Sergeants Parsons was at Station Numbers 2, on Cole's Island, and Sergeant Colvin at Station Numbers 3, on Long Island. Quite a number of important messages were transmitted. The general commanding being on Folly Island during the whole time, his communication with the front was had wholly be means of signals.
On the 25th instant, an expedition under General Birney left Hilton Head for the purpose of destroying the Jacksonborough bridge and some of the railroad between Charleston and Savannah. Lieutenants Fisher and Carrique accompanied the expedition as signal officers. Two of the transports by mistake went up the wrong river. One of them, loaded with troops and horses, got aground,w as riddled by a rebel battery, and, to prevent her falling into the hands of the enemy, was burned. The expedition then returned to Hilton Head, not having accomplished its object. The only signaling that