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Official Records of the Rebellion

Official Records of the Rebellion


The maps herewith exhibit, as nearly as practicable, the location of those signal stations established during the campaign of which it has been possible to obtain record. The sub-reports of the acting signal officers are also submitted for the information to be gained from them.

This main report has been drawn in the form of a narrative, in order that the general commanding may have laid before him the circumstances under which the duties of the corps were attempted and the labor which attended them. This has been necessary in a first report of this character.

The Signal Corps of the Army of the Potomac was not during the Peninsula Campaign so circumstanced as to be most effective. There was reason to regret in almost every battle and position the want of the field telegraph trains, so essential to the greatest usefulness of organizations of this kind. Appropriations for the other proper stores were first made by Congress at the end of February. The sums were not subject to the draft of the signal officer until May. The army was new. The duties of the corps were novel, and were understood by but few generals in the service. The acting signal officers were all of volunteers, without any experience in military usage. They had been hastily instructed and equipped, and were thrown upon their first campaign in a country very difficult for their duties and into battles and operations of unusual magnitude.

There were few at first who aided them, even when it was in their power. It was often difficult to obtain official information of contemplated movements. It was due to the good material selected from the State regiments for the corps that, so situated, the officers and men achieved on the Peninsula the success they did, and toiled willingly through unusual labor with a zeal and effort which attracted there the attention of the general commanding the army.

Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,


Signal Officer, Major, U. S. A., and C. S. O. Army Potomac.


Army of the Potomac.

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Official Records of the Rebellion: Volume Eleven, Chapter 23, Part 1: Peninsular Campaign: Reports, pp.263-264

web page Rickard, J (19 November 2006)