New experiments are made here for the improvement of the signal service.
First Lieutenant E. H. Russell, ably assisted by First Lieutenant P. H. Niles and Second Lieutenant Asa T. Abbott, has labored zealously and faithfully in the discharge of his responsible duties. The good results of this school have been particularly manifest this year. It was not possible to give the requisite discipline and instruction to the raw recruits, as the exigencies of the service required them in the field, but a few weeks" stay in the camp was invaluable to them.
Recruiting service.-Recruiting stations for the corps were opened between June 3, 1863, and September 8, 1864, in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, in addition to those in the field. Recruiting in the States was stopped September 8. The number of original enlistments is 948 and of re- enlistments 127, making a total of 1,075.
These men passed a mental as well as physical examination. They are young, intelligent men and will make first-class soldiers.
The recruiting service was under the immediate management of First Lieutenant R. P. Strong, who conducted it with marked ability and success. All officers and men on this duty worked with commendable zeal. (Appendix E.)*
Average number of officers on signal duty, 170; of enlisted men, 1,400. (Appendix I.)+
ECONOMY OF THE SERVICE.
The entire expense of the action Signal Corps for the year ending June 30, 1862, was $192,523.40; for 1863, $545,612.64, and for 1864, $848,584. This includes pay for officers and men, clothing, transportation, forage, arms, and signal apparatus and stores. The total expense for signal service for the three years ending June 30, 1864, is $1,586,720.54, making the average expense for one year $528,906.83. This economy challenges comparison with that of any other organization in the Army. (appendix F.)++
I have the honor to call the attention of the Honorable Secretary of War to my communication of September 24, 1864, recommending the adoption of a General Service Code, therewith submitted, for the Army and Navy of the United States. I also have the honor to testify to the indomitable energy, patriotic zeal, and cheerful obedience to orders of both officers and men since November 15, 1863, when I was placed in command of the corps. (Appendix G, Papers A, B.)&
Captain Joseph H. Spencer has been disbursing officer of the corps during the past year.
Captain Henry S. Tafft was adjutant of the corps till relieved in August by Captain Stephen M. Eaton.
These officers deserve special mention for their zeal, ability, and assiduity in the discharge of their respective duties.
Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
WM. J. L. NICODEMUS,
Lieutenant Colonel and Acting Signal Officer of the Army.
*Contains list of recruiting stations and a consolidated return of the recruiting service, both here omitted.
+Consolidated return of enlisted men in the Signal Corps for the year ending October 31, 1864, here omitted.
++Summary statement of the expenses incurred by the Signal Corps, U. s. Army, for the year 1862, 1863, and 1864 here omitted.
@See General Orders, Nos. 17 and 18, Nov. 15, 1863, Vol. III, this series, p. 1043