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[147] persistent and firm assertion of the rights of the men on the part of all the Fifty-fourth officers, a discontinuance of these and other discourtesies was at last obtained.

There arrived from Long Island, Mass., on the 20th, some one hundred and twelve recruits for the regiment, which served to fill the ranks nearly to the maximum. With a single exception they were all volunteers. By this date the Fifty-fourth was well clothed, fully equipped, and prepared for any service. The colder weather, although it brought some discomfort, served to lessen the number of sick. Food was better and more varied. Quartermaster Ritchie, assisted by Sergeant Barquet and Private King, secured bricks from the old lighthouse and constructed an oven which furnished soft bread. It had a capacity of two hundred loaves each baking.

Troops had been moving from various posts to Hilton Head during January, and on the 27th our brigade was ordered to embark as soon as transportation was provided. During the afternoon of the 28th everything but the tents was loaded upon two steamers assigned to the Fifty-fourth. As darkness fell, camp was struck; but as the vessels could not leave until the next forenoon, the regiment through the early part of the night remained on shore, gathered about small camp-fires.

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