Newtown to open station of observation, and if possible, to find a place visible from headquarters, otherwise to report by courier, and in certain events to use a preconcerted rocket code, to go beyond Newtown at night, keep concealed, and send scouts to Winchester, to fall back to Middletown at daylight.
On the 18th I opened an additional station at Round Top (being Strasburg), sending Lieutenants Jones and Fortney with a guard of two companies of infantry to watch the Valley and to communicate with headquarters through Round Top.
On the 19th General Sigel directed Round Top station to be discontinued to-night and resumed in the morning. I procured fifty axes for the infantry to clear the hill, and on the 20th at daylight the station was resumed. This night (20th) General Sigel again ordered the station discontinued, the party to fall back to Fisher's Hill and return in the morning. I presume General Sigel considered the guard too weak to leave so far out in the night, and could not spare more troops for the duty. He gave no reason for the order.
During all the time we lay at Cedar Creek, from the 16th to the 26th, I used every opportunity for drilling officers and men, and the actual signal service they had to perform was of benefit in their instruction. Under Major-General Hunter, preparations were commenced for our march on the 22nd. On the 23rd we sent to Martinsburg all baggage, surplus transportation, and sick, but did not march till the 26th.
On the 26th we marched to Pugh's Creek. During the march I kept communication between headquarters and a cavalry column on a parallel road to the right, also with advance and rear guard. I left a station at Round Top with a guard of two companies of infantry, and after halting placed stations of observation at extreme front on right and left. We remained at Woodstock till the 29th, when we marched to Rude's Hill, and after halting opened a line to the front beyond New Market. We remained here until June 2, when we marched to Harrisonburg.
This march was made on three parallel roads, and all the columns and our advance and rear were kept in communication with headquarters during the march. We skirmished with the enemy during most of this march. After halting I established stations outside of our pickets in front. We remained at Harrisonburg during the 3rd.
On the 4th the main column marched by a direct road to Port Republic, while a feint was made on the enemy's front on the Valley pike by a cavalry force. During this day communication was kept open between headquarters and the column on the pike, and with our front, rear, and flanks, and from several points of observation. We bivouacked after passing the town, and I made stations on right and left front.
On the 5th, marching in the presence of the enemy, I kept out signal parties as far as possible in front and on our flanks. We commenced skirmishing early in the morning and drove the enemy to a point near Piedmont, where he had a line of defense. This we took, driving him back to second line, where he stood. After much fighting and unsuccessful attacks from each side alternately, the day was decided by an attack of our infantry reserve on the enemy's right flank, where he had massed in front of us. The enemy gave way, and the attack being followed by the charge of a brigade of