War of the Rebellion: Serial 109 Page 0484 SW. VA., KY., TENN., MISS., ALA., W. FLA., & N. GA. Chapter LXIV.

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country to another. A distant command on some part of the line receives, through the means of this lighting communication, its orders to move forward and create a diversion, perhaps in favor of the struggle which is going on in some other part of the line, and possibly by destroying the enemy's line of communication or his supply trains, a victory is won. General orders are given, armies are moved, battles are palnned and fought, and victories are wno with the assistance of this simple yet powerful aide-de-camp, the military telegraph. Even the history of this unholy rebellion is being recorded by the electric dottings of the telegraph from day to day as the war progress-let us hope to its sppedy termination and reunion against all enemies for all time to come. The military railroads and telegraphs are the great arteries which warm the soul and keep alive the body of our grand Union army.

By a close estimate it appears that at least 1,200,000 telegrams have been sent and received over the military lines in operation during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1863, being at the rate of about 3,500 per diem. These messages have varied in length from ten to one thousand words and upward, and generally were of an urgent or most important character. All business of an important and cofidential nature has been transacted in cipher, and the contents of the telegams thus transmitted have been known only to the War Department or general officers with whom they originated and the sworn cipher operators. This mode of secrecy has been invaluable to the Government, and of great advantage to military opertions. I take pleasure in acknowledging the valuable services of my assistant superintendents, Major Eckert and Captain Bruch, Smith, David, Bulkley, and Wade. These officers have given their personal and undivided attention to the interests of the military telegraph, and to their exertions it is indebted for its uniform promptness, reliability, and usefulness. I would call especial attention to the paper herewith, marked G*, it being a report from Captain Bulkley, assistant superintendent, upon the removal of rebel obstructions in Bayou Teche, La. Major-General Banks having called upon Captain Bulkley to remove the impediments to the navigation of the bayou, he undertook the task and speedily accomplished the same. The operators in the service of the U. S. Military Telegraph have, as a general rule, manifested a spirit of partiotism and devotion to their duty in the highest degree commendable. They are not bound by any military organization or regulations, yet they have undergone all the exposure, the dangers and privations of camp life with a degree of endurance and forbeaurance worthy of mention. They have been on duty night and day, and of all many important trusts and positions bestowed upon them, there is yet to be recorded the first case of recreancy to the task confident to them. The amount of pay generally received by these persons is not considered a fair remuneration for the service performed. Instances of meritorious conduct on the part of telegraphers in the field I should be glad to have rewarded by favorable mention of, or presentation of suitable medals to, such persons.

July 1, 1862, there was remaining in my hands the sum of $9,829.24. During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1863, I received from the Treasurer of the United States, at Washington, D. C., the sume of $418,000, making the total amount of funds in my possession during the fiscal year, for application to operating and constructing military telegraph, air, and water lines, within the United States, $427,829.24. I have made


* Omitted.