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Lt Peter A Taylor's Official Report

Report of October 1, 1862

[author biography]

SIGNAL STATION, GENERAL HEADQUARTERS,
October 1, 1862.

Capt. B. F. FISHER,
Commanding Signal Detachment.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of signal duty in the month of September, 1862:

(Received.)

SEPTEMBER 11.-- (At Poolesville Station, Md.)

To Major MYER:

We occupy Sugar Loaf.

FISHER AND OTHERS.

(Received.)

To General MCCLELLAN, from Sugar Loaf:

We see two regiments of cavalry near Frederick. No other signs of enemy in Maryland. Opposite Point of Rocks is a large force encamped.

HALL.

(Sent.)

SEPTEMBER 12.

To B. F. FISHER:

Headquarters are at Middleburg. All right. Report any movement of enemy toward Frederick and Leesburg.

Major MYER.

(Received.)

To Lieutenants BROOKS and TAYLOR:

You will go to Urbana immediately.

FISHER.

(Received.)

15th.

To OFFICERS AT POOLESVILLE:

You report to me immediately at Boonsborough.

FISHER.

(Received.)

17th.-- At Headquarters Station, near Sharpsburg, Md.

To Major Myer

We have found General Slocum. He is near us.

PIERCE AND BARRETT.

(Received.)

To General MCCLELLAN:

The infantry are not engaged on our right, but are preparing to do so.

WILSON.

(Received.)

l7th.

To General MCCLELLAN:

There is no change in the position of troops. We are holding our own beautifully.

WILSON.

(Received.)

To General MCCLELLAN:

We have just heard from the front. General Hooker is wounded. General Sumner is in command.

PIERCE AND BARRETT.

(Received.)

To General MCCLELLAN:

Re-enforcements are badly wanted. Our troops are giving way. I am hunting for French's and Slocum's divisions. If you know where they are, send them immediately.

General SUMNER.

(Received.)

To General MCCLELLAN:

Do you think it proper to countermand the order to send Slocuni's division to Richardson's support, as I shall need it on the right if I advance?

General SUMNER.

(Received.)

18th.

To General MCCLELLAN:

The rebels sent flag of truce this morning, asking to bury their dead. Flag was sent back.

General SLOCUM.

(Received.)

To General MCCLELLAN:

All quiet this morning so far. The enemy's pickets are in the front of me.

General SUMNER.

(Received.)

21st.

To Major MYER:

We are in communication with General Sumner.

MBN STATION.

(Received.)

To General MCCLELLAN:

The station at Maryland heights reports a force of 5,000 inflintry and 60 wagons at Charlestown.

MBN STATION.

(Sent.)

To MBN STATION:

Where is General Sumner?

Major MYER.

(Sent.)

To MBN STATION:

Look out for station near Williamsport. You will have to look from the tree.

Major MYER.

(Sent.)

To General E. V. SUMNER:

Have your command ready to move with your train to Harper's Ferry to-morrow morning at daylight. Order sent by orderly.

R. B. MARCY,
Chief of Staff.

(Sent.)

To General SUMNER:

Please acknowledge message sent to you as received.

Major MYER.

(Received.)

To General MARCY:

Dispatch received. Will come at daylight.

General SUMNER.

(Received.)

22d.

.

To Major MYER:

Order out of chaos. Communication with General Couch and Maryland Heights. All right.

FISHER.

(Sent to MBN Station.)

Can you send a message to General Couch now? Do not say yes unless you are certain.

Major MYER.

(Received.)

To Major MYER:

Yes.

MBN STATION.

(Sent.)

To OFFICERS AT WILLIAMSPORT:

Ascertain and report if any movements of the enemy have been visible near Williamsport to-day.

Major MYER.

(Received.)

To Major MYER:

There have been no movements visible. I reported to Couch. Franklin is in command.

OWEN.

(Sent.)

23d.

To CLARKE and BARRETT:

Any report from General Couch this morning? Try and get three reports per day of the state of affairs on the right and send them in.

FISHER.

(Sent to Maryland Heights.)

Cut trees down to see station at general headquarters, a mile and a half to your right of the river.

FISHER.

(Sent.)

To MBN:

Any signs of enemy from the MBN?

Major MYER.

(Sent.)

To General FRANKLIN, Williamsport:

I have just sent you an order to move your command to near Bakersville; General Couch to Downsville, on the same road. You can move at once. The orderly will meet you.

R. B. MARCY,
Chief of Staff.

(Sent.)

To PAINE:

Look out for a call from Wicker. Major Myer and I are going there, and will report to you.

FISHER.

(Received.)

To General MCCLELLAN:

Clouds of dust running parallel with mountains a little north of west are seen. It goes north.

JEROME.

(Sent.)

To JEROME:

The general says can you give more definite information. How far off was the dust -- this side of Martinsburg or the other?

P.

(Received.)

To General MCCLELLAN:

The dust appears to be on a line between Williamsport and Martinsburg, about 11 miles from Sharpsburg, between the mountains and the river, going southwest, now extending a long distance.

JEROME.

(Received.)

To Captain FISHER:

Franklin and Couch are leaving. Any orders?

CLARKE.

(Sent.)

To CLARKE:

Go with them and open communication with the MBN, if possible, when they stop.

STRYKER.

(Sent.)

24th.

To MBN:

You will daily send to these headquarters three reports and one during the night -- at 7 a. m., 1 p. m., 6 p. m., and 12 p. m. If the state of the weather precludes the possibility of these reports being made precisely at these hours, they will be made as soon as possible thereafter. Give signatures to reports.

B. F. FISHER,
Captain, Commanding Signal Detachment.

(Received.)

25th.

To General MCCLELLAN:

A very considerable movement and much dust S. 15° W. from this mountain, apparently 5 miles distant southwest from Shepherdstown. Smoke of encampment and dust are seen in the vicinity of Martinsburg. The dust seen near Shepherdstown is close to a sharp cut in the woods, like one made for a railroad. I can see no enemy east of Shephmerdstown or south of Martinsburg.

Major MYER.

(Received -- 12 and 6 report.)

All quiet. Fog precluded the possibility of any report sooner emanating from here.

JEROME.

(Received 1 p. m.)

Dust seen about 3 miles south of Shepherdstown.

JEROME.

(Sent.)

To MBN STATION:

Another exhibition of such gross negligence will compel me to prefer charges of incompetency. The guard must not be permitted to leave the glass until relieved.

FISHER.

(Sent.)

To MBN:

Send a full and concise report immediately.

FISHER.

(Received.)

To Captain FISHER:

No report. The smoke hides everything, and has all day.

(Received 7 a. m.)

27th.

All quiet. Clarke not visible.

JEROME.

28th.

To General MCCLELLAN:

Saw to night, 3 miles northwest of Falling Waters, two squadrons of enemy's cavalry marching north. No signs of troops from this point except pickets half mile [of] river.

DENICKE.

29th.

To General MCCLELLAN:

Heavy dust seen south-southwest, about 10 miles from Shepherdstown. Cannot make out anything in it.

JEROME.

(Received.)

To Major MYER:

Great smoke at the foot of the mountain, southwest of your headquarters. Extends along several miles.

JEROME.

(Sent.)

Lieutenant Jerome will report the distance and the bearings of the smoke from Shepherdstown.

Major MYER.

(Received.)

To Major MYER:

It must be about 8 or 9 miles south-southwest from Shepherdstown.

JEROME.

(Received.)

Cannonading heard 3° northwest of Shepherdstown and about 5 miles from that place.

JEROME.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

P. A. TAYLOR,
First Lieut. Forty-ninth New York Vols., Actg. Signal Officer.

Source: OR1





Notes

1   US War Department, The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (OR), 128 vols., Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1880-1901, Vol. 19/Part 1 (Ser #27), pp. 133-137  [AotW citation 188]

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