James River, communicating with flag-ship Onondaga and Dutch Gap. Station at General Graham's headquarters, near pontoon bridge, communicating with general headquarters through the Cobb's Hill tower; station of observation at river-bank, Spring Hill, communicating with Cobb's Hill tower, and through the latter with general headquarters Tenth Corps, in front of Petersburg, communicating with station of observation (officers watching enemy's movements) at Avery's house and Friend's house.
A map is herewith inclosed showing by the signal flags placed upon it where the stations now in operation are located, and by deterred red lines those with which they communicated. In reviewing the operations of the signal detachment in this department for the four months and a half herein recorded, I find that seventy signal stations were established and operated, and of those twenty-seven were worked under the fire of the enemy, and twenty-four still remain in operation. Of the importance of the information of the enemy's movements given by the detachment, and of the information of the enemy's movements given by the detachment, and of its other labors, the commanding general, of course, is best able to judge. Although nearly all of our signal officers and flagmen have been freely exposed to the severest fire of the enemy in the performance of their various duties, I am happy to be able to state that the casualties have been small; we have lost but 1 officer and 2 men killed, and 2 men were slightly wounded.
All of the officers of the detachment have performed their duties to my entire satisfaction, but the following are especially mentioned as having made them conspicuous for gallantry, uncommon zeal, and close attention to duty, viz: First Lieutenant H. W. Benson, signal officer on the flag-ship of the James River flotilla, frequently under fire. First Lieutenant W. Bruyn, signal officer of the Water Battery, who remained at his post making observations of the rebel rams and directing the fire of our gun-boats upon them, himself under a severe cross-fire from the roams and the Howlett and Signal Hill batteries. First Lieutenant C. F. Cross, signal officer at Dutch Gap, who maintained constant communication with the gun boats and the Water Battery during the severe fire of the enemy upon Dutch Gap, August 13, 1864. His flagman was wounded by his side. Second Lieutenant O. B. Ireland, signal officer at Crow's Nest, who made the important discoveries of the enemy's movement across the James, and maintained his post under severe fire from the enemy. Second Lieutenant J. M. Swain, signal officer at Fort Pocahontas (Wilson's Wharf), who directed by signal the fire of our gun-boats upon the enemy during the attack upon Wild's colored brigade and whilst he himself was under the fire of the rebels. Second Lieutenant W. W. Clemens, signal officer on the iron-clad steamer Onondage, frequently under fire. Second Lieutenant D. L. Craft, signal officer at Cobb's Hill tower, who bravely maintained his position although the enemy for several days endeavored to knock down his tower with solid shot. Second Lieutenant A. G. Simons, acting signal officer at river-bank station, Spring Hill, through whose vigilance the commanding general was furnished with information of the enemy's movements upon the railroad and turnpike.
I have the honor to be, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. B. NORTON,
Captain and Chief Signal Officer, Dept. of Va. and N. C.
Major R. S. DAVIS,
Asst. Adjt. General, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina.