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Doc. 22.-negro troops at Fort Wagner.

Report of Major T. B. Brooks.

headquarters Department of the South, Engineer's office, Folly Island, S. C., Dec. 10, 1863.
General: In accordance with your instructions, I have the honor to submit the following statement, relating to the amount and nature of the fatigue-duty performed by the colored troops of this command, as compared with the white, in those portions of our recent operations against the defences of Charleston harbor, which were under my direction, namely, the defensive line across Morris Island, the approaches against Fort Wagner, and part of the breaching batteries against Fort Sumter.

In the engineering operations, thirty-three thousand five hundred days work, of seven hours each, were expended, of which five thousand five hundred were by engineer troops, and six thousand by infantry; nine thousand five hundred days work, being more than half of that performed by the infantry, and two fifths of the whole, were by blacks, all being volunteer troops.

The whole of this work was done under a fire of artillery or sharp-shooters, or both, and the greater part of it in the night. [280]

My own observation, confirmed by the testimony of all the engineer officers who had the immediate superintendence of the work, proves that the blacks, as a rule, did a greater amount of work than the same number of whites; but the whites were more skilful, and had to be employed on the more difficult part of the work, comprising about one fifth of the whole.

We found the black soldier more timorous than the white, but in a corresponding degree more docile and obedient, doing just what he was told to the best of his ability, but seldom with enthusiasm.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. B. Brooks, Major, A. D. C., and Assistant Engineer. Major-General Q. A. Gillmore, Commanding Department of the South.

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