Captain Howard, in his report, thus speaks of the death of General McPherson:
On the morning of the 22nd, accompanied by Lieutenant W. W. Allen, I had visited the extreme front at several points and the station in charge of Lieutenant Stickney. We were returning toward the right when the attack on the extreme left and rear was made, and immediately turned and accompanied General McPherson to the scene of action to render such services in any capacity as best we could. By order of General McPherson endeavored to rally the broken left of the Seventeenth Corps, but with but little success. We were there joined by Lieutenant W. H. Sherfy. We then accompanied the general through the broken lines and into an ambush, where the general was killed and we had a very narrow escape, Lieutenant Sherfy being badly injured by being thrown from his horse and Lieutenant Allen badly bruised by coming in contact with a tree. I afterward directed the placing of a battery to resist the further advance of the enemy, then reported to Major-General Logan, who had succeeded to the command of the army, and rendered such service as I could.
Captain Howard recommends for Honorable mention, for meritorious conduct on the 22nd, Lieuts. Edge, W. H. Sherfy, W. W. Allen, and C. Stickney.
The station in charge of Lieutenants Conard and Stickney was reopened on the morning of the 23rd and kept open until night, when the removal of General Blair's headquarters rendered the line impracticable.
At this station, on the 23rd, Private Philip W. Ashton was mortally wounded. He died on the 27th.
On the morning of the 28th, when the army was going into position west of Atlanta, stations of observation were established, one by Lieutenants Sherfy and Shellabarger and one by Lieutenants Conard and Stickney.
The latter was between the main and skirmish line. The skirmishers were driven by the advance of the enemy and the officers were compelled to abandon it.
The station occupied by Lieutenants Sherfy and Shellabarger was held until 3 p. m., when a heavy fire of solid-shot shell, and spherical-case was directed against it, and they were compelled to abandon it, and finally the hill on which the station was located.
When the army withdrew from its position in front of Atlanta the stations of observation were abandoned and the officers marched with their respective corps.
In front of Jonesborought three stations were occupied, whereby the generals were constantly informed of the enemy's movements. The station occupied by Lieutenant C. H. Fish was maintained under a heavy fire from the enemy, whose sharpshooters attempted to dislodge him front it, and finally attempted the demolition of his station by artillery. Captain Howard commends Lieuts. C. H. Fish, S. Edge, J. L. Shellabarger, and J. Q. Adams for extraordinary zeal and success during the month of August.
Captain Howard, chief signal officer of the department, has shown great zeal and fidelity to duty, and has worked his detachment with marked ability.
Casualties: One enlisted man was killed, three died of disease, and one was taken prisoner. (Appendix C, papers U, Z, D, I.)*
Department of Virginia and North Carolina.-On January 4 Captain Jesse Merill assumed command of the detachment in this department and established eight signal stations in the District of North Carolina
*See reports of Ocran H. Howard, Series I, Vol XXXI, Part II, pp. 596, 597, and Vol. XXXVIII, Part III, pp. 70, 77.