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[227] the prisoners back to the camp. When the rolls were called, it was discovered that six officers were missing. Without a moment's delay, Lieutenant-Colonel Hooper and Quartermaster Ritchie rode to Lighthouse Inlet, and with guards, searched all the vessels there. Five officers were recaptured just as they came from the hold of a vessel with no clothes on, prepared to swim in an attempt to escape. Lieutenant-Colonel Hooper himself searched every part of a steamer previously examined, and at last found his missing man concealed in the paddle-box. The recaptured officers were doubtless surprised when the lieutenant-colonel took them to his tent, offered stimulants, told them they were blameless, and gave them permission to try again, before sending them to join their comrades.

Among the prisoners were some rabid Secessionists who would receive no favors at our hands. It is pleasant to record, that, on the 27th, Capt. Henry A. Buist, Twenty-seventh South Carolina (now a prominent lawyer of Charleston), about to be exchanged, politely expressed his thanks to our officers for kindnesses received.

September 28 was a red-letter day for the Fifty-fourth. Paymaster Lockwood, on that date and the 29th, paid the men from enlistment. They were wild with joy that their only trouble was over. An officer wrote:—

‘We had been eighteen months waiting, and the kaleidoscope was turned,—nine hundred men received their money; nine hundred stories rested on the faces of those men, as they passed in at one door and out of the other. Wagner stared Readville in the face! There was use in waiting! Two days have changed the face of things, and now a petty carnival prevails. The fiddle and other music long neglected enlivens the tents day and night. Songs burst out everywhere; dancing is ’

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