War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0854 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

F.

HDQRS. U. S. MIL. TELEGRAPH, DIV., OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

Louisville, Ky., October 4, 1864.

Colonel ANSON STAGER,

General Superintendent U. S. Military Telegraph:

COLONEL: I have the honor to submit herewith my report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1864:

Since my last report we have made considerable extensions of our lines, as will be seen by the accompanying detailed reports, and as a general thing our operations have been very successful. Notwithstanding frequent interference by guerilla and a lack of me to do our work, we have succeeded in keeping the armies and outposts in almost uninterrupted telegraphic communication with the War Department.

In the summer and autumn of 1863 we followed Major-General Burnside's army into East Tennessee, through Cumberland Gap, keeping up with the same as long as our material lasted, when the work was considerably delayed for want of material which had been ordered from Colonel Stager, but which he was unable to obtain in sufficient time to keep us supplied.

Notwithstanding these drawbacks and the mountainous country through which we worked, we reached Cumberland Gap almost as soon as it was evacuated by the enemy, and from thence extended the line through to Knoxville via Strawberry Plains.

This line from the Gap to Knoxville was afterward mostly destroyed by Longstreet, during his siege of Knoxville. The construction of the above-named lines to Knoxville was under the immediate charge of my chief operator, Mr. Charles Lehr, who deserves much credit for his energy and perseverance in pushing his work in keeping the lines in working order. During the siege Knoxville we built lines to all the forts, and operated them day and night. Great praise is due to Mr. Adam Bruch, chief operator, and his assistant operators, for their untiring energy and bravery in constructing and operating these lines, every man working almost constantly day and night, and under the fire of the enemy during the entire siege. After the siege was abandoned communication was opened to Chattanooga and reopened to the Gap, as will be seen by the report of lines built and repaired. In September, 1863, I appointed Mr. W. L. Gross to take charge of all military lines in Central Kentucky and East Tennessee, vice Mr. Charles Lehr, who was about to resign. Mr. Gross was subsequently appointed assistant quartermaster, and for detailed report of operations in his department after said appointment I respectfully refer you to his report.

For details of work in the Department of the Cumberland and Tennessee, your attention is also respectfully called to the reports of Captain J. C. Van Duzer and Captain W. G. Fuller.

All of these officers, who are under my direction have been faithful in the performance of their duties, and deserve great credit for the efficient management of the lines in their respective departments.

The field telegraph work formerly performed by the Signal Corps was turned over to this department in the spring of 1864, and has been very successfully managed by Captain Van Duzer in the advance from Chattanooga toward Atlanta.

The new instruments and material furnished us for this purpose by Colonel Stager seem to be much better adapted to field service