Numbers 354. Report of Major James F. Milligan, Signal Officer, C. S. Army, of operations October 1-December 31.
Petersburg, Va., January 1, 1865.
GENERAL: In accordance with orders, I beg leave to submit the following report for the quarter ending December 31, 1864:
The Independent Signal Corps consists of two companies. The First Company consists of 119 men, rank and file, on duty as follows: At Drewry's Bluff, 1 sergeant and 5 men; at Chaffin's Bluff, 1 sergeant and 6 men; at Battery Brooke, 1 sergeant and 4 men; at Battery Semmes, 5 men; at Battery Dantzler, 5 men; on special duty in deciphering enemy's signal messages, 2 men. The above men form a signal line from Drewry's Bluff to Battery Dantzler, on James River, and co-operating with our fleet under Commodore Mitchell. This district is under command of Second Lieutenant J. B. Smith of the Second Company, Lieutenant S. C. Wells of the First Company having tendered his resignation in consequence of continued ill health. In connection with the above men there are fourteen men of the company on duty upon the James River fleet and under command of Corporal Handy. In Pickett's front, from Battery Dantzler to Swift Creek, there are twenty-two signal-men, stationed at various points, who watch and report the movements of the enemy from lookouts. This duty is extremely arduous and not without much danger. The men perform it cheerfully and with much satisfaction and information to General Pickett. This line is in command of Sergeant Rooney, of the First Company. On the Nansemond and lower James River there are sixteen men under Lieutenant Woodley (in charge on the scouts of this department). These men watch and report the movements of the enemy and their peculiarities along the lower James and Nansemond; cross to the north side of the James and get information from Old Point, Newport News, Yorktown, and Williamsburg. This is an important connection, and great care and are necessary to keep it up. The scouts upon this service are able and true men, and have performed their duties with credit to themselves and the satisfaction of the various generals commanding this department. The importance of their services has been duly appreciated, and credit accorded to them for their operations, by General Lee, which will be referred to in his report under the head of these operations. Stable guard, 1 man; signal office, 5 men; an adjutant, commissary clerk, and couriers; courier-line between Petersburg and Fort Boykin, 3 men; forage detail, 1 man; quartermaster department, 1 man; sick, 3 men; prisoners of war, 2 men. On furlough by War Department, 1 officer, Lieutenant Cannon: on furlough by Navy Department, 2 men; on furlough from headquarters Army of Northern Virginia, 3 men. Detailed by order of War Department, 22 men.
The Second Company consists of 117 men, rank and file, on duty as follows, Lieutenant R. A. Mapp commanding the company: The First Signal District, Lieutenant R. A. Forbes commanding, consists of four posts, viz: At the custom-house, in Petersburg, 1 sergeant and 4 men; post I, at Blandford, 1 sergeant and 5 men; post G, at General A. P. Hill's headquarters, 5 men; post L, at General Ransom's headquarters, in the trenches, 3 men. The Second Signal District, along the immediate front of Petersburg, consists of 4 posts: Post K, at Dunn's Hill, 6