p.m. on the 5th. Here I established a station of observation upon one of the churches. We reached Burkeville Junction at 10 p.m. same day; moved on to Rice's Station the next day, where we met the enemy, and quite an engagement ensued. I established a station of observation in a tree near our line of battle, which commanded a very good view of the enemy's, hastily constructed line of breast-works. The detachment rendered very good service at this place by reporting to the general commanding the number of guns in position, the movements of troops, &c. Reached Farmville the next day (7th), and remained over night. Here another station of observation was established. Moved on the next day (8th), passed through Prospect Station, and arrived near Appomattox Court-House about 8 a.m. on the 9th. Here we found the enemy driving the cavalry and making a desperate effort to escape by the road leading from the Court-House to Lynchburg. The First and Second Divisions, Twenty-fourth Army Corps, were immediately brought forward at a double-quick and formed across this road. They moved forward then and pressed the enemy back until about 10.30 a.m., when notice was received of a cessation of hostilities.
Information was received that a portion of the enemy, in anticipation of a surrender, were leaving, and I was ordered to establish a station of observation in a high tree near by; not being able to get onto the tree I established the station on a Mr. Tibbs' house, from which a very good view of the enemy's camp was had. I could ascertain nothing in regard to the reported movement. The station was abandoned about 3 p.m., official news of the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia having been received. We remained in camp at Appomattox Court-House (Major-General Gibbon commanding Twenty-fourth Army Corps, having been assigned to the duty of settling everything consequent to the surrender) until the morning of the 17th, when we started for Burkeville Junction, passing through Evergreen Station, Pamplin's Station, Prospect Station, Farmville, and arriving at Burkeville Junction about 8.30 a.m. on the 19th. Remained at Burkeville Junction until the morning of the 22nd, when we received orders to report at Richmond, Va. We started at 5 a.m. on the 22nd; passed through Jennings Ordinary Station, Jetersville, Five Forks, Amelia Court-House; crossed the Appomattox River at Goode's Bridge, Swift Creek; passed through Gregory's, Manchester, and arrived in Richmond, Va., about 2.30 p.m. on the 23rd. Twenty-fourth Army Corps headquarters were established on the 25th on Ford's place, Richmond, where the detachment has been ever since.
Frequently on the route Major-General Gibbon has called upon me to observe with the telescope certain points which he wished examined. I have endeavored to make myself as useful as possible, and think the general is perfectly satisfied with the work accomplished by the detachment accompanying headquarters.
The reports of the greater portion of this detachment, which was on duty with the Third Division, Twenty-fourth Army Corps, and relieved from duty with this detachment on the 25th, will probably be forwarded to the chief signal officer of the department direct.
I had but three enlisted men with me, one of whom was driving the team, until the 10th, when two more were reported.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
FRED. J. AMSDEN,
Second Lieutenant, Signal Corps, U. S. Army.
Major J. C. PAINE,
Chief Signal Officer, Department of Virginia.