office. A detailed account of these cannot properly accompany this paper. The number of plans and of models submitted have rendered it necessary that a general rule should be adopted in reference to them. It has been the usage, for this reason, to submit each to a board of officers for examination and report. This report, with the writings, models, and plates accompanying each device, is directed to be kept on file in this officeAmong the plans submitted have bvices for signals, and for ciphers, signal torches, rockets,and signal lights of various construction; specimens of insulated wire, of double wire, and of wire twisted to be made flexible; different varieties of electric instruments for field use; plans for field trains, observatory towers, &c.
The war has brought toward numerous inventions for this service.
The different varieties of apparatus carried with our armies in the field, crude as some of them are in this the first year of their use, have been the subject of attentive study by the agents of different foreign powers who have visited our encampments.
INSTRUCTIONS AT MILITARY AND NAVAL ACADEMIES.
The course of instruction commenced at the Naval Academy at Newport, R. I., to which reference was made in my last report, has been continued, as I am informed, at that institution during the past year. A communication from Lieutenant Commander S. B. Luce, U. S. Navy, the officer charged with the duty by the Navy Department, states:
At the coming June examination twenty-one midshipmen leave the Academy for active service. I shall make a special report of the fact to the Department, that they may be sent on board different vessels, and thus the entire number be made available at once. In October next thirty-one more midshipmen, competent to act as signal officers, leave the Academy, and the wants of the Navy will be in a very great measure supplied.
Practical illustration of the progress and skill of the second class were, I believe, given before the Board of Visitors at the annual examination at the Naval Academy of this year.
In Jully last instruction in military signals and telegraphy was mad by an order of the War Department part of the course of instruction at the Military Academy at West Point. Captain Samuel T. Cushing, acting signal officer, with proper assistants, was detailed for this duty. The course has been ably conducted by this officer. It has embraced instructions in the drill and management of signal parties, the theory and practical use of aerial and electric telegraphy, and a thorough field practice with the field-line modes used in the Army. At the last report of the officer on duty the first class of cadets had so far advanced as to real easily, by day or by night, communications telegraphed with flags or torches from Newburg to West Point, a distance of eight miles. They have studied, by practice, the working of the light field telegraph lines, which come within the management of the cross. The course to be conducted by Captain Cushing and his assistants would embrace practice on these lines and the modes of working them in common use. The addition of this branch to the studies before pursued at the Military Academy promises, in my opinion, an advantage to the service.
The use of field signals and field telegraph lines has now become so common in military operations an officer can hardly be considered instructed who is not informed as to their employment. This especially applies in the existing war.