After arriving before Fort McAllister
, General Sherman
sent General Hazen
down the right bank of the Ogeechee
to take the fort by assault, and himself rode down the left bank to a rice plantation, where General Howard
had established a signal station to overlook the river and watch for vessels.
The station was built on the top of a rice-mill.
From this point the fort was visible, three miles away.
In due time a commotion in the fort indicated the approach of Hazen
's troops, and the signal officer discovered a signal flag about three miles above the fort, which he found was Hazen
's, the latter inquiring if Sherman
He was answered affirmatively, and informed that Sherman
expected the fort to be carried before night.
signalled that he was ready, and was told to go ahead.
Meanwhile, a small United States
steamer had been descried coming up the river, and, noticing the party at the rice-mill, the following dialogue between signal flags ensued:--
“Who are you?”
“ General Sherman
“Is Fort McAllister
“ Not yet; but it will-be in a minute.”
And in a few minutes it was
taken, and the fact signalled to the naval officers on the boat, who were not in sight of the fort.
During the battle of Gettysburg
, or, at least, while Sickles
was contending at the Peach Orchard
against odds, the signal men had their flags flying from Little Round Top
; but when the day was lost, and Hood
with his Texans pressed towards that important point, the signal officers folded their flags, and prepared to visit other and less dangerous scenes.
At that moment, however, General Warren
of the Fifth Corps appeared, and ordered them to keep their signals waving as if a host were immediately behind them, which they did.
General E. P. Alexander
, the officer referred to as having organized the Rebel
Signal Corps, in an article in the