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‘ [323] command in which he fought; but he is jealous of the record of his regiment, and demands credit for every shot it faced and every grave it filled.’

It is with a pride in the regiment which we trust others may deem pardonable, a painstaking endeavor to satisfy the natural expectations of the survivors who helped to acquire its honorable record and to preserve the traditions and recount the cheerful sacrifices of both the living and the dead, that this history has been written.

During a period of field-service covering twenty-six months almost every kind of military duty fell to the lot of the Fifty-fourth. Not only did it, in common with other infantry organizations, encounter the foe on advanced posts, in assault, and battle-line, but its services under fire as engineers and artillerymen were required during the siege operations in which it bore part.

Thrice was the regiment selected for desperate duty,— to lead the charge on Wagner, to advance the siege-works against the same stronghold when defeat confronted the troops, and to hold back the victorious enemy at Olustee until a new battle-line could be formed. Twice did it land upon hostile territory preceding all other regiments of the invading force, receiving the fire of the enemy or driving his light troops. The important task of guarding several hundred Confederate officers was also especially given to it.

But these services were not rendered without serious losses. How great they were was not even known to the author until after the history, except these closing lines, was in print, as the Roster which follows was not completed, and only from it could be gleaned the long list of those who died of wounds in hospital, home, and prisonpen.

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Olustee (Florida, United States) (1)

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