and explode near Fort Sumter
, in the hope of shattering the structure; but they caused no damage.
In Congress the third Conference Committee reported, on June 10, that the House
recede from the amendments reducing the bounty, and that all persons of color who were free on April 19, 1861, should, from the time of entering service, be entitled to the pay, bounty, and clothing allowed by the laws existing at the time of their enlistment.
was to determine any law question, and the Secretary of War
make the necessary regulations for the pay department.
After discussion this unjust compromise was accepted by both branches of Congress.
Over two months, however, passed, until, on August 18, the War Department issued Circular No. 60
, providing that officers commanding colored organizations should make an investigation to ascertain who of their men enlisted prior to January 1, 1864, were free April 19, 1861.
The fact of freedom was to be settled by the sworn statement of the soldier, and entered against the man's name on the musterrolls.
August 29, Sergeant Cross
and a few men of the Fifty-fourth returned from Beaufort
, where they had received full pay from enlistment in accordance with the foregoing regulations.
made the first effective muster for pay of the regiment on the 31st.
As no particular form of oath had been prescribed, he administered the following:—
‘You do solemnly swear that you owed no man unrequited labor on or before the 19th day of April, 1861.
So help you God.’
This form had been the subject of much thought, and was known in the regiment as the ‘Quaker Oath.’