I desire to express my obligations to the Honorable Secretary of War for the unlimited voluntary interest and assistance extended by himself and his Department in and to the U. S. military telegraph. This kind support has contributed to a great extent in making the military telegraph what it is to-day-a reliable, useful, and indispensable assistant to the Government in the conduct of military operations both in and our of the field.
It has been a pleasant reflection both to myself and my assistant superintends to know that our efforts to accomplish all that has been required of us have been duly appreciated and acknowledged by the War Department, although, perhaps, our energies may not always have realized our own most sanguine expectations.
The impression that our exertions have generally received the approval of the Honorable Secretary of War has been and agreeable incentive to renewed and untiring efforts to successfully accomplish the various tasks required of us.
STATEMENT OF LINES.
Line in operation July 1, 1862.................... 3,571
Constructed during fiscal year.................... 1,755
Line in operation, fiscal year.................... 5,326
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Asst. Quartermaster, and Supt. U. S. Military Telegraph.
M. C. MEIGS,
Quartermaster-General, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: Agreeably to General Orders, Numbers 13, issued from your department July 22, 1863, I respectfully submit to you, through Colonel A. Stager, the chief officer of the U. S. military telegraph, the following as my report of the operations and condition of the military telegraph in the Department of the Potomac, from September 1, 1862, to June 30, 1863, my official duties for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1863, having commenced at the first-mentioned date:
From September 1, 1862, to June 30, 1863, I was stationed at Washington, D. C., as assistant quartermaster, U. S. Army, in charge of the U. S. military telegraph in the Department of the Potomac. It has been my duty to superintended the construction, equipment, operation, and management of the military telegraph in my department, and to such purpose I have devoted my undivided energy and attention.
It is a matter of congratulation to me, and I trust to the Government, that from the uniform interest manifested by the telegraph employed in their several vocations and the willingness on their part to undergo privation and hardship that the welfare of the Government and its cause be served, but little delay in the construction of new military lines, when required, has occurred and but slight interruption has occasionally existed to the daily operation of the several lines in this department.
The general service which the telegraph performs is specially important to the Government and imperative in its character, the successful operation of army movements often depending upon the reliability and promptness of the telegraph and its operators. The amount of Government business transmitted over the military wires has been enormously large and, in its general purport, of the most vital nature.