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S. Doc. 229- -39



The Signal Corps owes its origin to Maj. Albert J. Myer, who entered the Army in 1854 as an assistant surgeon, and whose active interest in sign language was manifested by its development, in 1856, into a system of signal communication which, attracting at first little or no attention, was two years later submitted to a military board convened for its consideration. It was not, however, until June 21, 1860, that Congress authorized the addition to the staff of the Army of one signal officer, with the rank and pay of a major of cavalry. "Signal Corps" was organized by the act of March 3, 1863.

June 27, 1860.-Maj. Albert J. Myer (New York), Signal Officer.
Mar. 3, 1863.-Col. Albert J. Myer (New York), Chief Signal Officer.
Dec. 3, 1864.-Col. (Bvt. Brig. Gen.) Benjamin F. Fisher (Pennsylvania).
July 28, 1866.-Col. (Brig. Gen., June 16, 1880) Albert J. Myer (New York).
Dec. 15, 1880.-Brig. Gen. William B. Hazen (Ohio).

Mar. 3, 1887.-Brig. Gen. Adolphus W. Greely (Louisiana).


NOTE.-Colonel Myer was relieved from the command of the Corps November 10, 1863, and ordered to the Mississippi. He turned over the Bureau to Lieut. Col. William J. L. Nicodemus (Maryland).



Act of June 21, 1860 (12 Stats., 64).

AN ACT making appropriations for the support of the Army for the year ending the thirtieth of June, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one.

That there be added to the staff of the Army one signal officer, with the rank, pay, and allowances of a major of cavalry, who shall have charge, under the direction of the Secretary of War, of all signal duty and of all books, papers, and apparatus connected therewith.

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February 22, 1862 (12-344).—Officers detailed as signal officers to receive, during such service, pay, etc., of cavalry officers of their respective grades.

June 2, 1862 (12-411).-Secretary of War to furnish officers appointed by him to make contracts, with a printed letter of instructions and blank forms of contracts, affidavits of returns, etc., to secure uniformity in such instruments.

Act of March 3, 1863 (12 Stats., 744).

AN ACT making appropriations for sundry civil expenses of the Government for the year ending June thirty, eighteen hundred and sixty-four, and for the year ending the 30 (th) of June, 1863, and for other purposes.

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SEC. 17. That the Signal Corps of the Army shall, during the present rebellion, be organized as follows: There shall be one Chief Signal Officer, a colonel, who shall be Signal Officer of the Army; one lieutenant-colonel; two majors, who shall be inspectors; and for each army corps or military department there shall be one captain and as many lieutenants, not exceeding eight, as the President may deem necessary, to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, who shall receive the pay and emoluments of cavalry officers of similar grades; and for each officer of the Signal Corps there may be enlisted or detailed one sergeant and six privates, who shall receive the pay of similar grades of engineer soldiers: Provided, That no officer or enlisted man shall be allowed to serve in the Signal Corps until he shall have been examined and approved by a military board, to be convened for that purpose by the Secretary of War.

SEC. 18. That the officers and enlisted men herein provided for shall be subject to the Rules and Articles of War. They may be mounted upon horses, the property of the United States, and shall serve in any military department or with any forces to which they

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