ginia, to date from September 1, 1862. Having previously acted as assistant superintendent of military telegraphs in this department from the breaking out of the rebellion, it was simply a resumption of my former duties.
The telegraph in this department has been equal to all emergencies. The first wire was erected in the month of July, 1861, by order of Major-General McClellan, to follow up the army moving on to Cheat Mountain via Buckhannon and Beverly. Being an experiment in military operations, and regarded with disfavor by some old and experienced army officers, it was the desire of the general superintendent that the importance of the telegraph should be felt, and I was ordered to give the construction of this line my personal supervision. The experiment proved successful, as witness the fact that the commanding general was thereby enabled to change the plan of the campaign three times in as many days, a matter then stated to be unparalleled in military history.
In September of the same year Brigadier-General Rosecrans ordered the construction of a line following his army to Gauley Bridge, via Weston, Sutton, and Summersville, and subsequently ordered it extended during the same fall and winter down the Big Kanawha River to Hamden, Ohio. These lines were constructed under the personal supervision of Mr. W. G. Fuller, of Ohio.
In May, 1862, Major-General Fremont succeeded to the command of the (then Mountain) department. The plan of the campaign was the movement of two columns-one from Gauley Bridge, via Raleigh and Princeton, under command of Brigadier-General Cox; the other, up the New Valley, via Monterey and Warm Springs, under command of General Fremont.
The telegraph line was ordered to follow both columns, and we were successful in keeping them in constant communication, notwithstanding the route laid, for the most part, through a wild and heavily timbered country, which increased the ordinary causes of interruption, and afforded hiding places for the guerrillas, who were continually committing depredations on the wires. The line from Hamden, Ohio, to Gauley Bridge, from Clarksburgh to Weston and to Beverly, and from Green Spring Run to Romney are still in operation; all the others are, for the present, abandoned.
The property which has come into my possession in the year ending June 30, 1863, consists of horses and equipments, telegraph
instructments, and telegraph material designed for and applied to the construction, repairs, and operation of military telegraph lines in Western Virginia. A tabular statement of the principal items has been forwarded to the Quartermaster-General.
The only property lost during the year was by capture, and consists of two horses, one relay magnet and one operating key, the value of which articles does not exceed $200.
The sums of money which have been received by me from September 1, 1862, to June 30, inclusive, amount to $20,591.10. The disbursements equal the amount received balancing my account with the Treasury Department to June 30, 1863.
A statement has been forwarded to the Quartermaster-General.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. B. A. DAVID,
Captain and Asst. Quartermaster, Asst. Supt. Military Telegraphs.