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[38] town to a point about half a mile from the river, the command bivouacked in an old cotton-field of the Thompson plantation. Shelters from the hot sun were made from bushes or blankets. During this first afternoon on South Carolina soil Colonel Shaw thoughtfully sent to the officers a present of champagne.

Beaufort was our abiding-place for only four days, and the Fifty-fourth never returned to it. Sandy streets shaded with fine oaks crossed one another at right angles. There were some fine old houses and gardens skirting the shell road running along the low bluffs, with churches, public buildings, and a spacious green. Scattered about the island were some white and the two South Carolina colored regiments, besides some cavalry and artillery. The landward side of Port Royal Island, fronting Rebel territory, was strongly picketed and fortified.

While camped there, the days were intensely hot, with cooler nights. Troublesome insects infested our camp. Shelter tents for the men were issued and put up. Our first taste of fatigue work in the field was on June 6, when Companies A, D, and H were sent out on the shell road to work on fortifications. The Second South Carolina had departed for the Georgia coast. Late in the day orders came to embark, Colonel Shaw having applied for active service.

Camp was struck at sunrise on the 8th, after a rainy night, and an hour later saw the regiment in line in accordance with orders establishing the positions of the several companies for the first time. The formation was with Company B on the right as follows:— H F G D E K C I A B.

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