As a consequence, a more robust, strong, and healthy set of men were never mustered into the service of the United States.’
Companies A and B were filled by March 15; Company D was then formed; Company C came to camp from New Bedford on March 10.
These four companies were mustered into the United States
service on March 30. Lieutenant Partridge
on March 28 was assigned to begin Company E; Lieutenant Bridge
, reporting from recruiting service, was placed in command of Company F, just forming; Lieutenant Smith
, on April 10, was chosen to organize Company G.
As recruits came in during April at the rate of one hundred per week, these three companies were ready for muster on April 23. Companies H, I, and K were mustered May 13, completing the regiment.
With some twenty-one officers and four hundred men in camp, on April 1, the regiment was fairly under way. The material of which it was to be composed could fairly be judged from what was at hand.
There were ample grounds for encouragement even to the most sceptical.
It is pleasant to record that the soldier appointed to the command was early assured of the fact that he had not dared to lead in a hopeless task, for on March 25, Colonel Shaw
‘If the success of the Fifty-fourth gives you so much pleasure, I shall have no difficulty in giving you good words of it whenever I write.
Everything goes on prosperously.
The intelligence of the men is a great surprise to me. They learn all the details of guard duty and camp service infinitely more readily than most of the Irish I have had under my command.
There is not the least doubt that we shall leave the State with as good a regiment as any that has marched.’