The telegraph in this department was called upon to perform no very important operations during the period this report is designed to cover. The only incident worthy of mention attests the willingness and promptness with which those connected with this branch of the service have always obeyed orders, and endeavored to make the telegraph useful.
July 6, General Kelley received orders to move to Hancock, Md., and prevent Lee's army or such part of it as might attempt to retreat by that ford. The telegraph line to that point was unprotected and broken. Three men connected with this corps started, without escort, though an unprotected country, and repaired the line one duty before the troops occupied Hancock. The raids that have occurred from time to time did not call particularly upon the telegraph. Nothing occurred to impair the former good character of the military telegraph for promptness.
The property and men remaining on hand January 20, 1864, at which time my resignation was accepted, was transferred to Captain S. G. Lynch, assistant quartermaster.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. B. A. DAVID,
Assistant Superintendent Military Telegraph.
OFFICER U. S. MILITARY TELEGRAPH,
Hilton Head, S. C., October 18, 1864.
Colonel ANSON STAGER,
A. Q. M. and Supt. U. S. Mil. Tel., Cleveland, Ohio:
COLONEL: I have the honor to inclose the papers comprising my official report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1864, of the U. S. Military Telegraph lines in the Department of the South.
As the property belonging to the telegraph lines in this department was turned over to me in March, 1864, I have only four months of the fiscal year in which I have to report.
The military operations in that department have been confined mostly to siege and occupation, and therefore have called for but little field-work from the telegraph; but the lines have been very useful in communicating between the principal points and have saved a great deal of time to the transportation department.
The different points of importance in this department being situated upon different islands, couriers cannot be used for purpose of communication, and such duty for the telegraph would devolve upon steam-boats.
I have deemed it necessary to accumulate a considerable quantity of material to be kept in readiness for emergencies, because should the material be suddenly required it could not be procured from the North in time to meet the demand.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. F. SHELDON,
Captain and A. Q. M., Asst. Supt. U. S. Military Telegraph,
Department of the South.