Today in History:

117 Series I Volume XIX-I Serial 27 - Antietam Part I


assure the commanding general that the administration of this department, which he has more than once approved, has depended to a great extent upon the chief of the Medical Bureau in Washington.

We crossed the Potomac and entered Virginia early in November, in anticipation of another battle soon taking place. Nothing of especial interest occurred in the medical department during our very rapid march through that portion of the State which was traversed by the army. My arrangements had been made, and the necessary instructions given to the medical directors of corps, and with the hearty cooperation they were affording me I felt that should the anticipated battle occur shortly after our arrival at Warrenton, the medical department would be more able than it had been hitherto to discharge the duties devolving upon it. The general was relieved; the battle did not take place.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Surgeon, U. S. A., and Medical Director Army of the Potomac.

Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac.

Numbers 5. Report of Major Albert J. Myer, U. S. Army, Chief Signal Officer, of operations August 30-September 20.

Camp near Sharpsburg, Md. October 6, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations of the Signal Corps of the Army of the Potomac, as in relation to the recent movements and battles in Maryland.

On Saturday, August 30, 1862, the Signal Corps of this army had, after some delays in transportation, just arrived at Alexandria from the Peninsula. On the next day there were verbal instructions from Major General H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief, that a party should report to Major-General Pope, then commanding an army near Centreville, Va. This army had then just met with some reverses.

On the night of September 1, twelve officers, with their flagmen, were reported for duty at Centreville.

At the formation of the line of battle near Fairfax Court-House, on the nest day, these officers were assigned to stations, and when the army retired toward Washington, on that afternoon, they accompanied the rear guards, occupying different prominent positions for observation, and giving to general officers such information as came within their power. Among communicating lines established on this march was one extending from Annandale to Fairfax Seminary.

During the few days the army lay near Washington there was little opportunity for rest or re-equipment of the signal party. It was here joined by the officers who had been attached to the Army of Virginia, who had been scattered by the rapid movements in Virginia, and some of whom had lost both public and private property by the disasters then recent. The necessities of the time seemed urgent. Signal parties were posted on the dominant heights about Washington, and the country within telescopic range was all the time under their observation.