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[264] over in pontoons, and brought them to camp with details of men, as there were no teams. A commissary was established at Gregory's, but no sutler was with the troops.

Christmas was a cloudy day, and brought no festivities for the regiment. Some ‘Quaker’ guns were made and mounted to deceive the enemy, as we had no artillery. On the 26th a party of five deserters came in, bringing a false report that Wilmington was captured. Across the river on Devaux's Neck little was going on besides shelling the railroad. Such portions of Hardee's army as passed, did so on foot, but cars laden with guns and ammunition ran the gauntlet of our fire over the rails. General Beauregard expected that Sherman would make an immediate advance, and directed Hardee to oppose his progress behind the large streams, and secretly to prepare for evacuating Charleston. Governor Magrath of South Carolina and the newspapers were frantically but fruitlessly calling upon all men to arm and defend the State.

From Devaux's Neck, on the 28th, the Naval Brigade departed for Port Royal, where it disbanded two days later. A family of ten contrabands came in to us at Graham's on the 29th, reporting but few Confederates in our immediate front, and that they were taking up the railroad iron. Captain Tucker, the next day, with twenty men, went out on a scout, and exchanged shots with the enemy. The last day of the year was warm and springlike; but after sundown the temperature fell, ice formed, and large fires were found necessary for warmth. The chilly nights drove the officers to make huts of logs or slabs, first covered with straw and then with earth. Though cave-like, they proved warm.

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