HEADQUARTERS U. S. MILITARY TELEGRAPH,
DEPARTMENT OF OHIO, CUMBERLAND, AND TENNESSEE,
Lousville, Ky., October 28, 1863.
Colonel ANSON STAGER,
Assistant Quartermaster, Superintendent U. S. Military Telegraph:
COLONEL: In obedience to General Orders, Numbers 13, from Quatermaster-General, I have the honor to submit the following report: Previous to August 22, 1862, I was acting as assistant manager of U. S. military telegraphs for Kentucky and Tennessee, east of the Tennessee River, under the direction of Colonel Anson Stager, during which time the lines in Eastern Kentucky were constructed by Mr. W. G. Fuller, assistant manager for the construction of military telegraphs, and were operated, under my direction, with Mr. Fuller's assistance. Lines were also constructed by me from Lexington to Nicholasville, Ky., thirteen miles, and from Bardstown to Bardstown Junction, two wires seventeen miles each, making a loop, which was connected with the telegraph company's line, and worked from their batteries. The latter line was built in January and February, 1862, the former in October, 1861. Lines were repaired as the army advanced to Nashville, Tenn., by the Southwestern Telegraph Company, and operated by them. I was directed by Colonel Stager to permit them to reoccupy their lines and operate them as our army continued to advance, but finding them unable, with the means at their disposal, to do so and keep pace with the army, I assumed the responsibility of taking and putting them up and operation them at Government expense, and doing Government business free over all lines thus repaired and operated. The lines from Nashville to Stevenson, thence to Huntsville and Decatur, Ala., and from Nashville to Columbia, Tenn., were thus repaired during March, April, May, and June, 1862. New military lines were also constructed by me from Columbia, Tenn., toward Pittsburg Landing, forty-five miles, where I met Mr. George H. Smith's building party, and connected with the line he had brought to that point.
In April and May I also built from Columbia, Tenn., to Decatur, Ala., seventy-five miles after overcoming many difficulties and meeting with serious delays for lack of assistance, and by the capture by the enemy of my entire building party, and the destruction of all my wagons and material. The foreman, Mr. Thomas Keenan, alone escaped, and by his energetic assistance I soon succeeded in fitting up another party and continuing the work. These lines were all abandoned in August and September, 1862, and were mostly destroyed by guerrillas. During all the time above-mentioned I labored under many great disadvantages, as I had no assistance whatver to start with, and I found it exceedingly difficult to procure good operators and builders. I am much indibted to the energy and perseverance of Mr. Fuller in the valuable assistance rendered by him in constructing lines in Eastern and Central Kentucky. Messrs. Bart Brady, Thomas Keenan, and James Galvin, foremen, also rendered considerable assistance in making the extensions south of Nashville. On the 18th of August, 1862, I was appointed an assistant quatermaster of volunteers; accepted the same on August 18, and was assigned to duty on the 22nd of the same month by Colonel Anson Stager, as assistant superintendent of U. S. military telegraphs, in charge of the State of Kentucky, Tennessee, Southern Illinois, south of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad, and southward into North Alabama and Mississippi as far as our forces might advance. The territory west of Tennessee River to the Mississippi, and Southern Illinois,