column of companies just in rear of the Fifty-fourth.
About this time, Colonel Shaw
walked back to Lieutenant-Colonel Hallowell
, and said, ‘I shall go in advance with the National
You will keep the State
flag with you; it will give the men something to rally round.
We shall take the fort or die there!
Presently, General Strong
, mounted upon a spirited gray horse, in full uniform, with a yellow handkerchief bound around his neck, rode in front of the Fifty-fourth, accompanied by two aids and two orderlies.
He addressed the men; and his words, as given by an officer of the regiment, were: ‘Boys, I am a Massachusetts man, and I know you will fight for the honor of the State
I am sorry you must go into the fight tired and hungry, but the men in the fort are tired too. There are but three hundred behind those walls, and they have been fighting all day. Don't fire a musket on the way up, but go in and bayonet them at their guns.’
Calling out the colorbearer, he said, ‘If this man should fall, who will lift the flag and carry it on?’
, standing near, took a cigar from between his lips, and said quietly, ‘I will.’
The men loudly responded to Colonel Shaw
's pledge, while General Strong
rode away to give the signal for advancing.
calmly walked up and down the line of his regiment.
He was clad in a close-fitting staff-officer's jacket, with a silver eagle denoting his rank on each shoulder.
His trousers were light blue; a fine narrow silk sash was wound round his waist beneath the jacket.
Upon his head was a high felt army hat with cord.
Depending from his sword-belt was a field-officer's sword of English manufacture, with the initials of his name worked