On July 11 Colonel Myer succeeded in having adopted a code of signals known as the "General Service Code," whereby the land and naval forces can co-operate. The General Service Code is intended to be used for general communication between different vessels, or between vessels and parties on land. It was designed to transmit only such messages as may constantly occur in service, and concerning which it does not matter whether they are designed to transmit only such messages as may constantly occur in service, and concerning which it does not matter whether they are interpreted by the enemy or not. Ciphers, either to be agreed upon by particular commanders or published generally through the command, must always be used in the transmission of messages of importance, or for any communication which might give information to the enemy.
An signal officer can devise a cipher for this purpose.
In the combined land and naval operations against the lower lines of defenses of Mobile there was a signal party with the field telegraph assigned to Major-General Granger, and a signal party assigned to each vessels of the fleet.
Instructions were given to those on the fleet to watch for signals from the Hartford, the flag-ship, during the operations; and to the officers with the army to open communication from the inside of Dauphin Island and the flag-ship immediately after the fleet should anchor inside the harbor.
These instructions to the signal officers were faithfully carried out. While opposite Fort Morgan, exposed to its fire and that of four gunboats, several important messages were transmitted from the flag-ship to the Brooklyn, which, having the advance, had stooped under the fire of the fort and gun-boats, delaying the further progress of the column in the order previously assigned. Captain E. A. Denicke, on the Brooklyn, and First Lieutenant J. C. Kinney, on the flag-ship, received and transmitted these messages with coolness and precision while exposed to the heaviest fire.
Shortly after the passage of the forts by the fleet, and while most of the ships were at anchor, the rebel ram Tennessee steamed rapidly up the harbor and directly to the position of the wooden vessels. Admiral Farragut called upon Captain F. W. Marston to signal the ships to get under way and run down the ram.
This message was immediately transmitted to the Brookly, Richmond, and Lackawanna, and was promptly obeyed.
After the action with the ram a large number of official messages were sent from ship to ship. The communication between the fleet and the army on Dauphin Island was valuable, and was kept open until the surrender of Fort Gaines.
During the transfer of the troops from Dauphin Island to Mobile Point, preparatory to the investment of Fort Morgan, the service of the signal officers were constantly in demand.
A station was established on Mobile Point, communicating with the Navy and with the boat Laura, the headquarters of Major-General Grander. This station was equally as valuable as that on Dauphin Island. Captain F. W. Marston mentions the name of Captain E. A. Denicke for gallant and meritorious conduct on the occasion of passing the forts and for subsequent close attention to his duties; that of First Lieutenant J. C. Kinney for gallant and meritorious conduct on the same occasion, and that of Second Lieutenant C. F. M. Denicke for displaying energy and attention to duty during the entire operations.
With the field lines in possession, the General Service Code for the Army and Navy adopted, and the office of the chief signal officer made