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[44] that policy. He ordered me, if separated from him, to burn all the plantation houses I came across.

Now, I am perfectly ready to burn any place which resists, and gives some reason for such a proceeding; but it seems to me barbarous to turn women and children adrift in that way; and if I am only assisting Colonel Montgomery in a private enterprise of his own, it is very distasteful to me.

I am aware that this is not a military way of getting information; and I hope you will feel that I shall not be hurt if you refuse to answer my question.

Believe me, very truly yours,

Robert G. Shaw, Colonel Commanding Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment.

It is not known to the writer that any answer was vouchsafed to this letter; but Colonel Shaw afterward ascertained that Colonel Montgomery acted in accordance with General Hunter's orders.

The ‘Sentinel’ at 3 A. M. got under way, landing the Fifty-fourth, after a passage of twelve hours, at the camp. Our first mail since leaving home came that afternoon. Colonel Montgomery had gone to Hilton Head, leaving Colonel Shaw in command of the post.

Camped on the Gould place, the Fifty-fourth quietly remained until its departure from St. Simon's. The plunder acquired afforded many comforts and even luxuries. Officers and men lived on army fare, supplemented with poor fresh beef, as a few cattle had been found. Religious services were sometimes held in the yard of a little church near by, most beautifully situated amid a wealth of foliage which overshadowed many old, decayed tombstones. Hardly a day passed without more or less rain falling. It was very warm at midday, but later came cool breezes from seaward.

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