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The system of signals used in both armies during the Rebellion originated with one man — Albert J. Myer, who was born in Newburg, N. Y. He entered the army as assistant surgeon in 1854, and, while Other facts pertaining to signalling have been derived from A manual of signals, written by General Myer (Old Probabilities) himself, since the war. Recognizing to some extent the value of his system, Congress created the position of Chief Signal Officer of the army, and Surgeon Myer was appointed by President Buchanan to fill it. Up to some time in 1863 Myer was not the Chief Signal OfficerMyer was not the Chief Signal Officer alone, but the only signal officer commissioned as such, all others then in the corpsand there were quite a number — being simply acting signal officers on detached service from various regiments. One of the officers in the regular army, whom Surgeon Myer had instructed in signalling while in New Mexico, went over to the enemy when the war broke out and organized a corps for them. From t
6 Lyon, Nathaniel, 118-19 Lynchburg, Va., 350 Lynnfield, Mass., 44 McClellan, George B., 51, 71, 157, 176, 198,251-54, 257,259,277, 298,303-4, 355-56,378 McDowell, Irvin, 71,250-52 Magoffin, Beriah, 280 Marietta, Ga., 404 Meade, George G., 72, 262, 304, 313, 340,344,349,359,367,371-75 Meade Station, Va., 351 Medical examination, 41-42 Merrimac, 271 Mine Run campaign, 134, 308, 347 Monitor, 270 Morgan, C. H., 267 Mosby, John S., 370 Mules, 279-97 Myer, Albert J., 395-96 Nelson, William, 405 Newburg, N. Y., 395 New York Herald, 403; North Cambridge, Mass., 44 Old Capitol Prison, 162 Olustee, Fl., 270 Ord, E. O. C., 264 O'Reilly, Miles, 223 Parke, John G., 260-61 Patrick Station, Va., 351 Pay, 97-99, 215,225 Peace Party, 16 Peach Tree Creek, Ga., 308 Peninsular campaign, 52, 155,198, 303,356-59,378 Perryville, Md., 355 Petersburg, 57-58, 120, 159, 177, 238,286,320,350,381,393,403 Pickett, George E., 407
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 5: military and naval operations on the coast of South Carolina.--military operations on the line of the Potomac River. (search)
t-General; Colonel R. B. Marcy, Inspector-General; Colonel T. M. Key, Aid-de-Camp; Captain 3N. B. Sweitser, 1st Cavalry, Aid-de-Camp; Captain Edward McK. Hudson, 14th Infantry, Aid-de-Camp; Captain L A. Williams, 10th Infantry, Aid-de-Camp; Major A. J. Myer, Signal Officer; Major Stewart Van Vliet, Chief Quartermaster; Captain H. F. Clarke, Chief Commissary; Surgeon C. S. Tripler, Medical Director; Major J. G. Barnard, Chief Engineer; Major J. N. Macomb, Chief Topographical Engineer; Captain Chve observed, were placed in charge of Major J. G. Barnard, and the Artillery under the chief command of Major William F. Barry. The Topographical Engineers were commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel John N. Macomb, and a Signal Corps, formed by Major Albert J. Myer, the inventor of a most efficient system of signalling, was placed in charge of that officer. This system was first practically tested during the organization of the Army of the Potomac, and, as we shall observe hereafter, it performed th
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 12: operations on the coasts of the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. (search)
see how their shots fell, but owing to the observations made by Lieutenant Wait and myself, and signaled to them from time to time, an accurate range was obtained by all the batteries, and was not lost during the day. After 12 M., every shot fired from our batteries fell in or on the fort. Lieutenant Wait (son of John T. Wait, of Norwich, Connecticut) was then only a little more than nineteen years of age. He had acquired great skill in signaling, and, for his services on this occasion, Major Myer, the chief of the Signal Department, presented him with a very beautiful battle-flag. A few months later he gave his young life to his country, while gallantly battling with his regiment (Eighth Connecticut) on the field of Antietam. The other batteries followed, and in the course of ten minutes the fort replied with a shot from Captain Manney's 24-pounder battery on the terreplein. The heavy columbiads and 32-pounders en barbette joined in the cannonade, and at eight o'clock the fort, b
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 16: the Army of the Potomac before Richmond. (search)
family. It was the headquarters of Lafayette while he was pursuing Cornwallis down the Peninsula. The writer has in his possession two autograph letters by the Marquis, dated at Malvern Hills, in the year 1781. There he made arrangements with Major Myer, the Chief of the Signal Corps, for instant communication with his army and the gunboats, and then went on board the Galena, to confer with Commodore Rodgers. By this time a greater part of the army had emerged from the White. Oak Swamp into the country up the Appomattox toward Petersburg. The two birds on the right denote the position of the gun-boats in the James that took part in the battle. beneath the roots of huge trees, we lunched; and at the small house, not far off, where Major Myer had his signal-station during the battle, we were furnished with rich buttermilk by a fat old colored woman, who said she was skeered a‘ most to death by the roar of the storm of battle. After sketching the charming view southward from the gro
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 18: Lee's invasion of Maryland, and his retreat toward Richmond. (search)
mner and Hooker, batteries of 24-pounder Parrott guns, commanded by Captains Taft, Langner, and Von Kleizer, and Lieutenant Weaver, were planted. On the crest of the hill, above bridge No. 3, were batteries under Captain Weed and Lieutenant Benjamin. Franklin's corps and Couch's division were farther down in Pleasant Valley, near Brownsville, and Morrell's division of Porter's corps was approaching from Boonsborough, and Humphrey's from Frederick. A detachment of the Signal Corps, under Major Myer, had a station on Red Ridge, a spur of South Mountain, which overlooked the Signal-Station on Red Hills. entire field of operations, and from that point it performed very important service. Such was the general position of the contending armies on the 16th of September. The Confederates opened an artillery fire on the Nationals at dawn, but it was afternoon before McClellan was ready to put his troops in position for attack, the morning having been spent in reconnoitering, finding f
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 3., Chapter 14: Sherman's campaign in Georgia. (search)
as; and he was enabled to say to the commander at Allatoona, by signal flags from Kenesaw, Hold out, for relief is approaching. The value and the perfection of the signal system employed in the army, under the general superintendence of Major Albert J. Myer, was fully illustrated in the event recorded in the text, when from hill to hill, at a distance of eighteen miles, intelligent communication was kept up by the mere motion of flags, discerned by telescopes. An account of the method of signaling, perfected by Major Myer, may be found in the Supplement to this work. And when Sherman was assured that Corse was there, he exclaimed: He will hold out! I know the man! And so he did. He repelled assault after assault, until more than one-third of his men were disabled. Then the assailants, apprised of the approach of Cox, hastily withdrew and fled toward Dalton, leaving behind them two hundred and thirty of their dead, and four hundred made prisoners, with about eight hundred muskets
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 3., Chapter 20: Peace conference at Hampton Roads.--the campaign against Richmond. (search)
proach to the coast, and especially in connection with the attack at Allatoona Pass, mentioned on page 398. the system of signaling by night and by day, on land and on the water, in use during the Civil War,was the invention of Colonel Albert <*>. Myer, of the National Army, who was the chief of the signal corps throughout the conflict. He has written, fully illustrated, and published a volume on the subject, entitled, a Manual of signals, in which may be found a full description of the charact, colors, and motions, all of which are regulated and understood by a Code. the most common method of signaling during the war, was by the use of a waving flag by day, and a waving torch by night, which the figures in this note, copied from Colonel Myer's Manual, illustrate. Plate I. Illustrates the manner of using the flag-signal. The operator has a flag of any color or colors that may make it conspicuous at a distance. He places himself in position of ready, or figure 1. the flag is h
cate were ably performed by Col. Thomas M. Key, aide-de-camp. The method of conveying intelligence and orders invented and introduced into the service by Maj. Albert J. Myer, signal officer U. S. Army, was first practically tested in large operations during the organization of the Army of the Potomac. Under the direction of MajMaj. Myer a signal corps was formed by detailing officers and men from the different regiments of volunteers, and instructing them in the use of the flags by day and torches by night. The chief signal officer was indefatigable in his exertions to render his corps effective, and it soon became available for service in every division of the army. In addition to the flags and torches Maj. Myer introduced a portable insulated telegraph-wire, which could be readily laid from point to point, and which could be used under the same general system. In front of Washington and on the lower Potomac, at any point within our lines not reached by the military telegraph,
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), San Juan Hill (search)
er a destructive fire, and advancing a short distance, both divisions found in their front a wide bottom, in which had been placed a barbed-wire entanglement, and beyond which there was a high hill, along the crest of which the enemy was strongly posted. Nothing daunted, these gallant men pushed on to drive the enemy from his chosen position, both divisions losing heavily. In this assault Colonel Hamilton, Lieutenants Smith and Shipp were killed, and Colonel Carroll, Lieutenants Thayer and Myer, all in the cavalry, were wounded. The battle of July 1, called the battle of El Caney, was over, with the Americans strongly holding all they had gained during the day. The losses were very heavy, and the reputed coming of General Pando made it necessary at once to continue the struggle the next day, and gain a decided victory before the Spanish could be strengthened. The troops had advanced and carried certain positions, but the enemy was evidently in stronger ones, and it was necessary
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