their charge, deserve great credit for the skill and energy displayed in establishing and maintaining communication with the advance of the army. When General Schofield went to North Carolina, in January, a telegraph party under Richard O'Brien, chief operator, was sent with him. A line was already [established] from Morehead City to a short distance beyond New Berne, N. C., connecting the different military posts with district headquarters. As General Schofield advanced, the line was extended from New Berne toward Goldsborough.
To assist in the operation of the force advancing against Wilmington by way of Fort Fisher a line was built from the fort up the Peninsula toward the city, and immediately after the capture was extended into the city, and an office opened there February 23. From there the line was extended to Goldsborough, and thence to Raleigh; the office at the former place being opened March 23, and at the latter place April 14. Mr. O'Brien is deserving of special notice for his energy and perseverance in establishing prompt communication by telegraph in this department, and the men under him for their vigilance and faithful attention to the interests of the service.
After the surrender of General Johnston and the forces under his command arrangements were made to open telegraphic communication with all important points in the South as speedily as possible.
In April a line from Petersburg to Weldon was built, and the line from there to Raleigh and to Goldsborough repaired. The lines from Raleigh to Greensborough and from Danville to Greensborough were also repaired.
In May a new line was built from Alexandria to Fredericksburg, and the railroad line thence to Richmond repaired. During June a line was built from Richmond to Williamsburg, Va., connecting there with the line to Fort Monroe.
By these means communication was had with all important points south, and all telegraph lines placed under direct supervision of the Waough the military telegraph.
For a report of the operations of the military telegraph in Department of the South, I respectfully refer you to the annual report of Captain James R. Gilmore, assistant quartermaster, and assistant superintendent U. S. Military Telegraph, who had charge, under my direction, of the lines in that department.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. T. ECKERT,
Major, Assistant Quartermaster, and
Assistant Superintendent U. S. Military Telegraph.
Bvt. Major General M. C. MEIGS,
Quartermaster-General U. S. Army, Washington City, D. C.
[40, 42, 46.]
Report of Colonel John H. Holman, First U. S. Colored Troops, of operations June 15.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST U. S. COLORED TROOPS,
Camp in the Field, June 20, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to report the movement of the troops under my command in the engagement with the enemy and the assault upon his works before Petersburg on the 15th instant:
Pursuant to orders from division headquarters, I moved from City Point at 2 a. m. on the 15th instant with the following command: First