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Chapter 11: Seige of Charleston

Upon returning to their several stations, the Fifty-fourth companies reassumed the old duties. The first noteworthy incident occurred on July 13, when, at noon, six shells passing over the Third Rhode Island Artillery camp, fell into ours, one of which, exploding in a tent, killed Private John Tanner and Musician Samuel Suffhay, both of Company B. We had supposed the location safe from any shell firing. These missiles came from Sullivan's Island, clear across the harbor. A lookout posted on the sand-bluff near by gave warning thereafter when this gun opened, which it did at intervals until the last of August. At such times, day or night, we were obliged to leave the camp for the sea beach. No further casualties occurred, however.

Another example of dislike to colored troops took place on the 15th. Lieut. John S. Marcy, Fifty-second Pennsylvania, when directed to join the Fifty-fourth detail for duty at the Left Batteries, with some of his men, the whole force to be under one of our officers, refused to do so, saying, ‘I will not do duty with colored troops.’ He was arrested and court-martialled, and, by General Foster's order, dishonorably dismissed. Colonel Hallowell returned on the 16th, bringing assurances that the men would soon be paid. With him came as visitors Mr. and Mrs. Lewis, relatives of Quartermaster Ritchie.

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