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[251] Fifty-fifth were broken into squads to remove them. Stretchers were improvised from muskets, shelter tents, and blankets, by which means and bodily help the Fifty-fourth alone carried one hundred and fifty wounded from the field. When we came to Bolan's church, the whole vicinity was weirdly lighted by great fires of fence-rails and brushwood. A confused turmoil of sounds pervaded the night air, from the rumbling of artillery, the creaking wagons of the train, and the shouts of drivers urging on their animals. The church, cleared of seats, afforded resting-places for the wounded, whom Surgeon Briggs of the Fifty-fourth and his assistants were attending there or outside. Stores of every description were strewn about to make room in the vehicles for their further conveyance to the landing. General Potter arrived at Bolan's church about midnight. Having disposed troops to cover it, he addressed himself to the task of further retirement, and did not cease therefrom until 3 A. M., December 1.

After moving back to the church, the Fifty-fourth took a large number of wounded onward, many men making more than one trip. Our regiment bivouacked on the ground occupied the night before. General Hatch's front line was kept at the Coosawhatchie cross-road, where the guns were placed in position, supported by the Naval Brigade and the Thirty-fourth and Thirty-fifth United States Colored Troops.

Regarding this battle, General Potter reports of the troops: ‘Nothing but the formidable character of the obstacles they encountered prevented them from achieving success.’ Capt. Charles C. Soule, Fifty-fifth Massachusetts, a participator, in his admirable account of the battle in the Philadelphia ‘Weekly Times,’ says: ‘The generalship ’

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E. E. Potter (2)
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