Battery Simkins on James Island
opened against our trenches for the first time on the 25th.
For the first time also sharpshooters of the enemy fired on our working parties with long-range rifles.
Orders came on the 26th that, owing to the few officers and lack of arms, the Fifty-fourth should only furnish fatigue details.
, who was sent to Hilton Head
, returned on the 29th with the officers, men, and camp equipage from St. Helena, and tents were put up the succeeding day. Some six hundred men were then present with the colors, including the sick.
The number of sick in camp was very large, owing to the severe work and terrible heat.
About nineteen hundred were reported on August 1 in the whole command.
The sight of so many pale, enfeebled men about the hospitals and company streets was dispiriting.
As an offset, some of those who had recovered from wounds returned, and Brig.-Gen. Edward A. Wild
's brigade of the First North Carolina and Fifty-fifth Massachusetts, both colored, arrived and camped on Folly Island
Mr. De Mortie
, the regimental sutler, about this time brought a supply of goods.
After August 2 the details were somewhat smaller, as the colored brigade on Folly Island
began to send over working parties.
But calls were filled from the regiment daily for work about the landing and the front.
Two men from each company reported as sharpshooters in conjunction with those from other regiments.
The famous battery known as the ‘Swamp Angel
’ was begun August 4, and built under direction of Col. E. W. Serrell
, First New York Engineers, and was situated in the marsh between Morris
and James islands
It was constructed upon a foundation of timber, with sand-bags