Today in History:

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

Page 132 OPERATIONS IN V. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

November 1, left Sandy Hook, crossed the Potomac, and marched to Neersville, Va., having requested Maryland Heights to look for us in that direction. Eighteen minutes after reaching Neersville we were in communication with Maryland Heights, and through them to General McClellan's headquarters. This instance of prompt opening of communication was entirely due to the vigilant watch kept up by Lieutenants hall and Taylor. All that night and the next morning, up to the very minute of starting off, were employed in sending and receiving messages of great importance, eighteen lengthy messages passing between us during the night and morning.

November 2, started one hour after the general; overtook him on the road, and reached Snicker's Gap while the enemy were threatening it. On the road the day before, Lieutenants Pierce and Fuller joined me, having ben sent for by General Porter at my request. Their presence enabled me to accomplish that which the general indicated immediately on arriving at Snicker's Gap, viz, the establishing of two stations, one at or near the front, connecting it with his headquarters. No sooner was this done than it was put in use by General Hancock, commanding the forces which held the gap, in communicating with Generals Couch and Porter. No fight occurred, but the stations were well place to of use in case of an attack, and did good service in facilitating the transmittal of orders and information for the arrangement and disposition of our forces. The position at the gap was also a good one to see or be seen by any station on Short Mountain or up the valley, where we thought stations would be placed.

November 3, we continued these two stations, and kept one officer seeking good points from which to observe enemy's position and movements, full reports of which were immediately sent to the general. At 12 m. Captain Fisher visited us and expressed himself entirely satisfied with what we had done. At 9 p. m. the mountain station as discontinued for the night, as Lieutenants Clark and Fuller had succeeded in finding general headquarters from their station at General Porter's headquarters, through Lieutenants Yates and hebrew, who had been sent by the Chief Signal Officer to an intermediate point. This communication was kept up through the entire night and next day (November 4), up to about 2 p. m., and constantly used by General Porter in communicating important information to General McClellan, when it was suddenly destroyed by the breaking up of a station at Bloomfield, leaving several very important messages half way over the line, and several more at General Porter's headquarters waiting to be sent.

In the morning of November 4 we reopened the mountain station as one of observation, and also to endeavor to open with a station on Short Mountain. I reporting observations it was quite useful, but we did not succeed in attracting Short Mountain, although a man was sent there to notify them where we were. November 5 we were still unable to reopen with headquarters.

November 6, at 4 a. m., we started on the march and reached White Plains at 6 p. m., having seen during the day Lieutenants Brooks and Stone, Yates and Hebrew, all of whom were advised to report to headquarters Signal Corps immediately.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain Seventh N. J. Volunteers, and Acting Signal Officer.


Page 132 OPERATIONS IN V. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.