joined by Crook, and marched to Lexington in four columns. From Lexington Averell's cavalry was sent in advance to Buchanan, the main force following next day on two parallel roads. From Buchanan we marched toward Lynchburg, crossing the Blue Ridge at the Peaks Otter. We skirmished continually with the enemy after passing Staunton, and on the 17th of June pushed him into his works at Lynchburg, where darkness ended the day's fighting, and during the night he was heavily re-enforced, and on the 18th we fought to gain possession of their works and the city, but failed to do so, and at night on the 18th commenced to fall back, recrossing the Blue Ridge at Buford's Gap (the enemy pursuing and harassing our rear till clear of the mountains), and marched by way of New Castle, Sweet Springs, Meadow Bluff, and Gauley Bridge, to Loup Creek, where we took water transportation in part, and part marched to Parkersburg. There we learned that the enemy's force, released from the Valley by our forced retreat westward, were invading Maryland, and Hunter hastened forward his troops toward Martinsburg. Sullivan's division was made the advance, and after recovering Martinsburg, he proceeded to Harper's Ferry, and on the arrival of General Hunter and staff the troops were disposed about the foot of the Valley. General Wright, moving from Washington by way of Poolesville, crossed the Potomac at Edwards' Ferry into Virginia. The enemy having fallen back, again advanced and retook Martinsburg, but were again driven out. Wright's command having rejoined Hunter, the whole force was moved toward Frederick City, July 30, and encamped about Frederick City till the 6th of August, when we returned to Harper's Ferry, and shortly after General Sheridan was placed in command.
The operations of the signal detachment during these movements were in detail as follows:
On the 29th of April I received at Cumberland, telegraphic orders from General Sigel, who was at Martinsburg, to go there with my whole party (sending the mounted men by the turnpike and bringing the others by rail), and on the morning of the 30th I left Cumberland in obedience to that order. The mounted men I placed under the command of Lieutenant Jones, assisted by Lieutenants Fortney and Brault, and with the dismounted men reached Martinsburg that evening, where I was advised by Captain Melvin, assistant adjutant-general, to remain until I heard from General Sigel, who was at or near Winchester. I remained there, re-arranging the party as well as possible the next day.
On the 2nd of May I determined to go out and find General Sigel and get some orders; so taking a small detail of mounted men from the party previously at Martinsburg and a part of the dismounted men, I went out and reported to General Sigel at his headquarters, about two miles beyond Winchester. The next morning (3rd) I went into Martinsburg, and met the mounted party, who had arrived from Cumberland the evening before, and took them out to Winchester.
On the 4th I opened a station of observation at Round Hill, about three miles west of Winchester, and surveyed route for a line of stations to Strasburg.
On the 5th I opened a line to Martinsburg, the intermediate stations being at Green Spring and Mills' Gap.
On the 8th, by direction of General Sigel, all stations were discontinued and officers and men called in.