safety was never imperilled.
But such was far from the fact.
At the battle of Atlanta
, July 22, 1864, a signal officer had climbed a tall pine-tree, for the purpose of directing the fire of a section of Union artillery, which was stationed at its foot, the country being so wooded and broken that the artillerists could not certainly see the position of the enemy.
The officer had nailed a succession of cleats up the trunk, and was on the platform which he had made in the top of the tree, acting as signal officer, when the Rebels
made a charge, capturing the two guns, and shot the officer dead at his post.
From the important nature of the duties which they performed, the enemy could not look upon them with very tender regard, and this fact they made apparent on every opportunity.
Here is an incident which, I think, has never been published:--
When General Nelson
's division arrived at Shiloh
, Lieutenant Joseph Hinson
, commanding the Signal Corps attached to it, crossed the Tennessee
and reported to General Buell
, after which he established a station on that side of the river, from which messages were sent having reference to the disposition of Nelson
The crowd of stragglers (presumably from Grant
's army) was so great as to continually obstruct his view, and in consequence he pressed into service a guard from among the stragglers themselves to keep his view clear, and placed his associate, Lieutenant Hart
, in charge.
Presently General Grant
himself came riding up the bank, and, as luck would have it, came into Lieutenant Hinson
's line of vision.
Catching sight of a cavalry boot, without stopping to see who was in it, in his impatience, Lieutenant Hart
sang out: “Git out of the way there!
Ain't you got no sense?”
very quietly apologized for his carelessness, and rode over to the side of General Buell
When the lieutenant found he had been addressing or “dressing” a major-general, his confusion can be imagined.