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.
, with four officers and 125 men, reconnoitred that day toward Pocotaligo
, returning at dark, having seen a few mounted men only.
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.
, 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