12th, with over one thousand negroes and many wagons and draught animals.
resumed the march April 11, leaving the Twentyfifth Ohio
as a covering force for the division, the large number of contrabands, and the immense train.
The Fifty-fourth passed through Sumterville
singing John Brown
's hymn in chorus, and with the brigade, reached Manchester
after a march of twelve miles. A mile and a half beyond that town the other regiments of the brigade bivouacked toward evening on the Statesburg
road; the First Brigade moved on a mile or so farther, camping in a fine grove on the Singleton plantation
the Fifty-fourth was detached, moving along the railroad about six miles and to a point near Wateree Junction.
A reconnoissance made by Lieutenant-Colonel Hooper
resulted in the discovery at the junction of cars, water-tanks, and several locomotives,—one of which had steam up. It was not known whether there was any armed force there or not; and it was important to seize the locomotive before it could be reversed and the rolling-stock run back.
Night had set in. Some sharpshooters were posted to cover an advance and disable any train-men.
Then our column, led by Lieutenant Swails
, First Sergeant Welch
, of Company F, and eighteen picked men, rushed over an intervening trestle for the junction.
was the first man of all, and jumped into the engine-cab where, while waving his hat in triumph, he received a shot in his right arm from our sharpshooters, who in the darkness probably mistook him for the engineer.
The train-hands, some fifteen in number, fled down the railroad embankment into the swamp.
There were five engines and thirteen cars, besides tanks,