move in single file, groping their way and grasping their leader as they progressed, that they might not separate or go astray.
Along the foot-bridges the planks became slippery with mire from muddy feet, rendering the footing insecure, and occasioning frequent falls, which delayed progress.
Through the woods, wet branches overhanging the path, displaced by the leaders, swept back with bitter force into the faces of those following.
Great clods of clay gathered on the feet of the men.
Two hours were consumed in passing over the dikes and foot-bridges alone.
In distance the route was but a few miles, yet it was daybreak when the leading companies reached firmer ground.
Then the men flung themselves on the wet ground, and in a moment were in deep sleep, while the column closed up. Reunited solidly again, the march was resumed, and Cole's Island
The regiments following the Fifty-fourth had the benefit of daylight most of the way.
Footsore, weary, hungry, and thirsty, the regiment was halted near the beach opposite Folly Island
about 5 A. M., on the 17th.
Sleep was had until the burning sun awakened the greater number.
Regiments had been arriving and departing all the morning.
Rations were not procurable, and they were fortunate who could find a few crumbs or morsels of meat in their haversacks.
Even water was hard to obtain, for crowds of soldiers collected about the few sources of supply.
By noon the heat and glare from the white sand were almost intolerable.
In the evening a moist cool breeze came; and at eight o'clock the regiment moved up the shore to a creek in readiness to embark on the ‘General Hunter
,’ lying in the stream.
It was found that the only means of boarding