At this point in the campaign, the signal officers who were assigned to the Army of the Potomac were augmented by a detachment of signal officers from the Signal Camp of Instruction sent to assist the Army by Col. Myer. This detachment was headed by Capt. William Nicodemus who organized and controlled it. The actions of the detachment are described by the reports of Capt. Norton and Capt. Nicodemus.

Report of Capt. Lemuel B. Norton, Chief Signal Officer, Army of the Potomac:

       July 7, The headquarters of the army moved to Frederick. The signal officer who had been previously assigned to duty with the detached command under General Neill made a reconnaissance near Waynesborough, Pa., discovering the whereabouts and movements of the enemy.

       July 8, in the afternoon, general headquarters moved to Middletown. A party of signal officers, under charge of Capt. W. J. L. Nicodemus, arrived from Washington, for the purpose of working in conjunction with the signal corps of this army. Captain Nicodemus opened a line of communication between Frederick and South Mountain Pass.

       On July 9, headquarters of the army moved to Turner's Gap. A station was occupied near this place, communicating, through others at Middletown and Crampton's Pass, with Maryland Heights. This line, appearing of little importance on account of telegraphic facilities, was abandoned the same day, and its officers ordered to more active duty in the front ...

[O.R.,XXVII, Part I, p.- 203]

Report of Capt. William J. L. Nicodemus, Signal Officer,
Commander of the Washington Reserve Signal Detachment


       I have the honor to report that, in obedience to Special Orders, No. 106, dated Office of the Signal Officer, Washington, July 6, 1863, 1 reported to General French, at Frederick.

       July 7. - on the 7th instant, with 12 officers and 27 enlisted men, General French ordered me to report to General Meade, who ordered me to the front, then the South Mountain Pass; ordered Lieutenants [Charles] Herzog and [Thomas P.] Rushby to Maryland Heights; Lieutenant Fisher to Crampton's Pass; Captain Daniels, with Captain Denicke and Lieutenants [William J.] Galbraith, Briggs, Denicke, Swain, and [S. Cary] Tuckerman, to the front, with the following instructions:

       You will open communication between Frederick City and South Mountain Pass, and establish observation stations to command the Boonsborough Valley. July 8. - Left Frederick City on the 8th instant, accompanied by Captain McCreary. Lieutenant [William S.] Andrews being sick, was left at Frederick City, with orders to report to me as soon as able. Broke up stations along the route as fast as Morse's telegraph communication was established. Captain Daniels opened communication at 12 m. between battle-field and South Mountain station. Result of the day's fighting was driving the enemy to Beaver Creek Bridge, on Boonsborough and Hagerstown pike, 31-2 miles north of Boonsborough. All movements of the enemy were observed from Washington Monument on South Mountain, by Captain [Ernst A.] and Lieutenant [C. F. M.] Denicke, and promptly reported to the different headquarters concerned.

       July 9. - General Buford on the 9th drove the enemy about 2 miles. A line of signal stations commanded the enemy's front. A timely report of Captain McCreary prevented our left from being flanked this day. July 10. - Heavy skirmishing on the left; enemy driven to Funkstown; his dispositions accurately reported to the general commanding.

[O.R., XXVII, Part I, p. 207.1]

You should now drive to STOP 10

       Continue towards BOONSBORO and take the first right on WASHINGTON MONUMENT ROAD. Drive 1.2 miles, following the signs to WASHINGTON MONUMENT STATE PARK. Park in the parking lot and follow the signs on the walking trail to WASHINGTON MONUMENT. Climb to the top of the monument.



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