‘I visited the battery [Fort Wagner] yesterday. The dead and wounded were piled up in a ditch together sometimes fifty in a heap, and they were strewn all over the plain for a distance of three fourths of a mile. They had two [only one, the Fifty-fourth?] negro regiments, and they were slaughtered in every direction. One pile of negroes numbered thirty. Numbers of both white and black were killed on top of our breastworks as well as inside. The negroes fought gallantly, and were headed by as brave a colonel as ever lived. He mounted the breastworks waving his sword, and at the head of his regiment, and he and a negro orderly sergeant fell dead over the inner crest of the works. The negroes were as fine-looking a set as I ever saw,—large, strong, muscular fellows.’Of those reported missing belonging to the Fifty-fourth, some sixty were captured, about twenty of whom were wounded. The remainder were killed. Their capture occasioned one of a number of new and important questions raised for governmental consideration, which it was the fortune of the regiment to present and have decided for the benefit of all other colored soldiers. Before the actions of July 16 and 18, no considerable number of
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