building, corner of Nineteenth and I streets, in charge of Sergt. John C. Hudgen. No. 2 at Fort C. F. Smith, Va., in charge of Lieutenant John C. Abbott. No. 3 at Battery Parrott, D. C., in charge of Sergt. Alonzo V. Richards and No. 4 at Fort Ethan Allen, Va., in charge of Sergt. J. Willard Brown. These stations had no official messages to communicate, but were kept practicing daily at least three hours.
On the 6th I sent a communication to the assistant adjutant-general, Department of Washington, in compliance with circular from office signal officer, asking that Second Lieuts. Charles H. Boone and Charles E. Duffield, on the Second Pennsylvania Artillery, and Second Lieuts. Edgar H. Wilsey and Edgar S. Moss, of the Seventh New York Artillery, be detailed for duty in the signal corps in this department.
May 11 Edgar S. Moss and Edgar H. Wilsey, second lieutenants in the Seventh New York Artillery, reported. Same date received notice that Second Lieuts. Charles H. Boone and Charles E. Duffield, Second Pennsylvania Artillery, could not be spared from their regiments, and requesting that the names of other officers be sent in. I immediately began instructing Lieutenants Wilsey and Moss in the code. They were progressing finely when I received an order from department headquarters relieving them from duty in the signal corps, and ordering them to join their regiments having been ordered to the front from this department, I made no further effort to get officers detailed into the corps.
On the morning of May 12, Lieutenant Frederick S. Benson and Lieutenant E. H. Wardwell, acting signal officers, together with Acting Second Lieutenant William Wallace and fifteen enlisted men, reported to me from signal camp, Georgetown, D. C. Lieutenant Benson was ordered to report to General De Russy and establish a station at Fort Tillinghast, Va., and open communication with Fort Smith, provost-marshal's station, and, if possible, with Lieutenant Wallace, who was sent to Fort Lyon, Va. Lieutenant Wardwell Was ordered to Fort Reno to communicate with Forts Ethan Allen and Sumner. Sergt. A. V. Richards was ordered to proceed to Fort Sumner, D. C., and open communication with Lieutenant Wardwell at Fort Reno and Sergeant Brown at Fort Ethan Allen. It being very rainy, communication was not established that day, but the next morning I was informed that communication had been opened between Forts Sumner, Reno, and Ethan Allen.
May 14 communication was opened between Forts Lyon and Tillinghast, and also between the latter fort and headquarters station.
The line is in good working order. The officers are required to practice at least three hours each day, and to send a report of practice and official duty to these headquarters weekly. The lines are sending some official messages now, and the number of such is slowly increasing. During the month twenty-eight official messages have been sent, signed by General Augur, General De Russy, General Ramsay, Colonel Haskin, Colonel Morris, and others. I have kept the line practicing in repeating messages for most of the month, and they are improving rapidly. A message can now be sent through the entire line almost as soon as in the usual way it could be sent from one station to another.