corps were opened on the banks of the river. In the marches and battles which followed, and at the battle of Champion's Hill, the party serving with general McPherson had the distinguished mention of that officer. At the first investment of the city if fell to the corps to keep the communication between the wings of our army and the naval forces above and below that fortress-a service at that time of importance. As the siege was prolonged their service (though necessary, and of a character that their default might have caused serious loss to our arms) was not altogether satisfactory. Their field telegraphic trains, delayed at Memphis, did not reach them. The officers, reporting, deplore that such an opportunity for their service was lost. A signal party took part in the operations in the Yazoo, in the descent of Admiral Porter to join Admiral Farragut at Red River, and in most of the join operations of the land and naval forces. A small detachment also served successfully with General Ellet's Marine Brigade.
In the Department of the Cumberland the detachment there stationed was present at the battle of Stone's River. It is reported by General Rosecrans to have "done well." The field telegraphic trains had not then reached them.
At the occupation of Murfreesborough, and in the operations in that vicinity in the spring and summer, the party has been kept at work on stations of observation and of communication. In the attack by the enemy on Franklin it reported the need of aid when the message could not well have otherwise gone. During the movements on Chattanooga the line of signal stations is reported to have extended at one time a distance of eighty miles. The officers seem to have deserved and gained the confidence of General Rosecrans, who then commanded the department.
A detachment now accompanies General Burnside in Eastern Tennessee and Kentucky, and smaller parties are with expeditions in Louisiana and Arkansas and at different points along the Mississippi.
These are, above stated cursorily and in brief, some of the instances of service selected from those mentioned in the mass of reports and the correspondence on file at this office.
In a year's service, embracing occasions almost innumerable, and covering such vas operations as those in which these parties have striven to take a part, there must be many incidents of failure and of disappointment. The a would not always come to this officer clearly, and sometimes not at all. The Department has before it the data as they have been given to me. To arrive at fair decisions of general value, it is proper-certain successes being known to have been accomplished-to contemplate what disaster might have happened to our arms, and, by consequence, to the general success of our armies, had the aid acknowledgedly given in any one instance failed to have been there given. I am of the opinion that it can be held, in behalf of those time and labor have been devoted to this duty, that their service has been fully as arduous, and at least as successful, as the general duty of that of any of the same number of persons in the Army.
The legislation of the last Congress providing for the organization of the corps has had a good effect upon its service. It placed within the reach of many deserving men positions they had fairly earned by labors in the field.