War of the Rebellion: Serial 109 Page 0096 Chapter LXIV. SW. VA., KY., TENN., MISS., ALA., W. FLA., & N. GA.

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[First indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH AND TWELFTH CORPS,

Lookout Valley, Tenn., January 20, 1864.

I have read this and the accompanying papers of Lieutenant Ayers, and believe them to be correct in every respect. I had no cause to complain of his services during my operations.

JOSEPH HOOKER,

Major-General, Commanding.

[Second indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS SIGNAL CORPS,

DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,

Fort Monroe, February 1, 1864.

I believe this to be truthful account of the operations of Lieutenant Ayers. He deserved and received censure from me for not having equipments with which to communicate at night. He deserves credit for the energy and zeal with which he followed Major-General Hooker and the good services he rendered under the very unfavorable circumstances that he, in common with the rest of the detachment, was compelled to work. Two officers near to General Hooker were ordered to report to him. They, however, reported themselves as sink and unable to go. Others could not be sent, for some reason that I have forgotten (though I think it was because one of the pontoon bridges was broken). An attempt was made to reache Lieutenant Ayers with torches and turpentine when it was found that he did not have them. It was impossible, though, as the enemy still held the ground between us.

Respectfully submitted.

JESSE MERRILL,

Captain and Chief Signal Officer.

[31.]

Report of Captain Cuthbert H. Slocomb, Fifth Company, Battalion Washington Artillery.

HDQRS. FIFTH COMPANY, BATTLN. WASHINGTON ARTY,

Near Dalton, Ga., December 3, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 25th of November, at 3,30 o'clock, I received an order from General Bate, commanding Breckinridge's division, to move the battalion of artillery from its position in the trenches in Chattanooga Valley, around by Rossville to the rear of General Bragg's headquarters on Missionary Ridge. Owing to the nature of the country adn the terrible condition of the roads, the horses showed great unwillingness to work, and it was with great difficulty that the point indicated was reached by 9 a. m. Here I soon placed the batteries in position, bringing Cobb's battery, under command of Lieutenant Gracey, in front of General Bragg's headquarters, and my own, under Lieutenant Vanght, some 300 yards to its left. Mebane's battery was kept in reserve. From this position, in which we remained for several hours, fire was opened at intervals upon the forming masses of the enemy in the valley. The distance was, however, too great for effect. Here also you informed me that I was relieved of the command of the battalion, as Captain Semple had returned and assumed that of the artillery of the corps. I