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[281] for the First Brigade to report to General Potter, our Second Brigade to take post on Charleston Neck and the Third Brigade to remain. At 6 P. M. we marched to a wharf, but as transportation was not furnished, returned again to camp. With this day the Fifty-fourth completed its longest term of field service.

General Hardee in command of Charleston, disregarding General Beauregard's orders, deferred abandoning the city until the last moment. For some days previous to February 17, trains loaded with army supplies and citizens with their effects were being sent away. At the last the place was largely deserted by its people, the streets littered with refuse and the books and papers of the merchants, and stores and residences showed few signs of occupancy. From James and Sullivan's islands the Confederates moved to the city on the 17th, thence taking the road to Cheraw, their ranks depleted by desertion as they marched. Detachments were left in the city until the 18th with orders to burn every building holding cotton. They fired a large shed at the Savannah railroad wharf and another on Lucas Street. Lucas's mill and Walker's warehouse were destroyed. The bridge over the Ashley was burned. A terrific explosion occurred at the Northeastern Railroad Depot, filled with ordnance stores, causing great loss of life and communicating the flames to several adjoining blocks.

Not only on land but on the water was this fell work carried out. The gunboats Palmetto State,Chicora,’ and ‘Charleston’ were fired, and blew up with deafening reports; and vessels in the shipyards, torpedo-boats, and blockade-runners, were scuttled or burned. Over 450 pieces of ordnance in the city and vicinity were abandoned,

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