thence around several miles westward of the city to the line of the Appomattox; also a view of the left bank of the Appomattox from the hills back of Pocahontas to Fort Clifton, with all the batteries or works between these two points. In addition, the officer upon this station, intercepted the daily reports of observations made by the enemy's signal officers from the Chesterfield Heights.
Numbers 2, upon the Jordan house, which commanded a point on the street in Petersburg leading to the bridge crossing the Appomattox River from Petersburg to Pocahontas. It likewise had a sweeping view of the left bank of the river, and the officer upon the station was frequently employed by the artillery officers in that vicinity to note the effect of shots fired at the enemy's batteries at Archer's and other points, thus aiding in directing the firing.
Numbers 3. was located upon a hickory three near the Prince George Courthouse road, at an elevation of eighty-five feet. This afforded a view of the lines from the Appomattox to the vicinity of the plank road, of Cemetery Hill, the city, the country for several miles west of the city, and a small section of the Richmond pike about one mile from Pocahontas.
Numbers 4. was established upon the Avery house, giving a close view of the works east of Cemetery Hill and thence southward; also a section of a road northwest of the city running toward Richmond.
Numbers 5, near the Jerusalem plank road, now in Fort Davis, commanding a good view of the first and second lines of the enemy's works from the east side of Cemetery Hill to west of Weldon railroad; also of the roads leading out of the city in the vicinity of the Lead Works, such as the Weldon railroad, the Boydton plank road, and the Squirrel Level road.
Upon the 23rd of June, our lines having been extended west of the Jerusalem plank road, were drawn out toward the Weldon railroad, and the enemy detached a portion of his army to operate against that flank.
This movement, made by about 10,000 infantry and several batteries of artillery, wa discovered from the plank road station and reported to the geneal commanding, thus affording him timely information to take the necessary precaution to thwart any design the enemy might have.
Upon the 27th of June the enemy concentrated, in the vicinity of Reams" Station, a force of cavalry and infantry, in order to intercept, as events proved, the returning expedition under the command of General Wilson. The movement of these forces, from the vicinity of Petersburg by the way of the Squirrel Level road, was discovered and reported.
Upon the 29th of July the information was forwarded to the commanding general of the withdrawal of a portion of the enemy's troops from the vicinity of Petersburg. This knowledge gave that officer positive information of the success of his feint upon the north bank of the James River, and promised success in the assault upon the enemy's lines upon the morning of the 30th of July.
From drawn until dark of each day a careful watch was kept from the several stations of each new work, of every change in the enemy's line considered of any importance, and all movements of troops were immediately reported.
During this campaign, from the crossing of the Rapidan to Petersburg, this detachment occupied over seventy stations of observation and established eleven line of communication.