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By this date the troops on Devaux's Neck were reduced by the departure of some regiments. January 3, at night, the Twenty-sixth United States Colored Troops left Graham's for Beaufort, and the Fifty-fourth the next morning took position at the former regiment's old camp close behind the intrenchment. With the shanties there, and boards brought from a plantation, the command found better shelter. Lieutenant-Colonel Hooper, with four officers and 125 men, reconnoitred that day toward Pocotaligo, returning at dark, having seen a few mounted men only.

Sherman was now transferring his right wing from Thunderbolt to Beaufort; his left wing was ordered to Robertsville. There seemed to be some uncertainty regarding the movements of the Fifty-fourth about this time, for it was rumored at Morris Island that we were to return there, and on the 5th our horses were ordered to Hilton Head. A deserter from the Fiftieth North Carolina came in on the 10th, reporting ten regiments in our front,making a total force of two thousand men.

January 14, Lieutenant-Colonel Hooper at 10 A. M., with four officers and 125 men, went out to the Stewart house, seeing but a picket of the enemy. Colonel Hallowell, about 4 P. M., with 225 men and officers of the Fifty-fourth and about the same number of the Thirty-third, marched out under instructions to find and engage any hostile force. We fully expected a fight, but at the Steuart house orders came from General Hatch postponing the attack. That evening there were cannon-shots in our front, and at Devaux's Neck the sound of moving wagons and artillery was heard. Those of the Fifty-fourth on picket very early on the 15th were first mystified and then elated by hearing drums and fifes far to our right and front, sounding

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