officer at that post directed the fire of the gun-boats upon the enemy and kept up constant communication with Fort Powhatan, seven miles distant, where was located the nearest force that could afford assistant if needed.
On the 15th a code for rocket alarm signals was devised for use along our picket-line, in case the enemy should make a demonstration at night.
On the 30th the general commanding directed, by signals, the fire of Spring Hill Fort upon the railroad at Waltahall Junction.
On the 31st about 700 of the enemy attacked Duncan's brigade, posted at Spring Hill, on the south bank of the Appomattox, and the signal communication previously established between the two sides of the river was maintained and called into constant requisition throughout the fight.
In the District of North Carolina the station built across the railroad track at Batchelder's Creek was destroyed May 26 by the accidental explosion of some torpedoes, which it is supposed were being carelessly handled from the cars beneath the signal station. By that accident Privates H. B. Tibetts and A. P. Barnes were killed, and one private was wounded.
During the summer seventy signal stations were established and successfully used. Of these, twenty-seven were worked under the fire of the enemy, and twenty-four still remain in operation.
Although nearly all the officers and men were exposed to the severest fire of the enemy in the performance of their various duties, the casualties have been small: One officer killed and 1 injured by being thrown from his horse, 2 enlisted men killed, 1 wounded, 3 taken prisoners, and 3 died of disease.
Captain Norton reports that all the officers performed their duties to his entire satisfaction, but he especially mentions the following as having rendered themselves conspicuous for gallantry or uncommon zeal and close attention to duty:
First Lieutenant H. W. Benson, signal officer on the flag-ship of the James River Flotilla, frequently under fire.
First Lieutenant W. Bruyn, signal officer of the water battery, who remained at his post making observations of the rebel rams and directing the fire of our gun-boats upon them, himself under a severe cross-fire from the rams and the Howlett and Signal Hill batteries.
First Lieutenant C. F. Cross, signal officer at Dutch Gap, who maintained constant communication with the gun-boats and the water battery during the severe fire of the enemy upon Dutch Gap August 13, 1864. His flagman was wounded by his side.
Second Lieutenant O. B. Ireland, signal officer at Crow's Nest, who made the important discovery of the enemy's movements across the James and maintained his post under severe fire from the enemy.
Second Lieutenant J. M. Swain, signal officer at Fort Pocahontas, Wilson's Wharf, who directed by signals the fire of our gun-boats whilst he himself was under the fire of the rebels.
Second Lieutenant W. W. Clemens, signal officer on the iron-clad steamer Onondaga, frequently under fire.
Second Lieutenant D. L. Craft, signal officer at Cobb's Hill tower, who bravely maintained his position, although the enemy for several days endeavored to knock down his tower with solid- shot.
Second Lieutenant A. G. Simons, acting signal officer at river- bank station, Spring Hill, through whose vigilance the commanding general