distant places to witness the novel sight of colored soldiers in quarters and on the drill ground.
For the purpose of securing familiarity with drill and tactics, and to obtain uniformity in the unwritten customs of the service, an officers' school was begun April 20, at headquarters, and held frequent sessions thereafter, until the regiment departed for field service.
There were a few deaths and a moderate amount of sickness while at Readville, mainly from pneumonia and bronchitis, as the men were first exposed in the trying months of February and March.
Now and then the monotony of camp life was broken by some noteworthy event.
On April 21, a visit was received from the ‘Ladies' Committee.’
Mrs. Governor Andrew
, Mrs. W. B. Rogers
, Mrs. E. D. Cheney
, Mrs. C. M. Severance
, Miss Abby W. May
, Judge Russell
, Rev. Mr. Grimes
, Charles W. Slack
, and J. H. Stevenson
were of the party.
Another event was the review by Governor Andrew
and Secretary Chase
in the afternoon of April 30, the President
's Fast Day. The line was formed with eight hundred and fifty men; and the distinguished visitors were received with due honors.
, Robert Dale Owen
, Mr. Garrison
, and other gentlemen were also present.
On April 30, the regiment drew nine hundred and fifty Enfield
rifled muskets and a suitable number of noncommissioned officers' swords.
, appointed ordnance officer, issued the arms on the following day. May 2, the regiment was drilled for the first time in the School
of the Battalion.
, accompanied by Surgeon-General Dale
and the Governor
's Council, reviewed the Fifty-fourth on May 4. Brig.-Gen.