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[296] 12th, with over one thousand negroes and many wagons and draught animals.

Potter 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.

At Manchester 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. Swails 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,

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