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[174] The Fifty-fourth was not allowed to take the clothing left there, which was destroyed with other stores. There Companies A and E re-joined, and the regiment continued on to near McGirt's Creek, where it halted for the night after throwing out pickets. A twenty-two mile march had been made that day. Barton's brigade and Montgomery with the First North Carolina continued on farther.

At 4 A. M. on the 22d the Fifty-fourth stood to arms until daylight. Hawley, with the Fifty-fourth, Seventh New Hampshire, and Eighth United States Colored Troops, moved on at 7 A. M., the Seventh Connecticut having been left at Baldwin to support the Light Brigade. Four miles farther on, Colonel Hallowell received orders from General Seymour to march his regiment back to Ten-Mile Station, and bring on the railroad train, as the locomotive had broken down. It was a hard trial for the footsore and hungry men to retrace their steps; but the thought of the cars laden with wounded nerved them to the task, so they faced about cheerfully. Upon arriving at the station, Quartermaster Ritchie found some hard bread on the train which he distributed to our men, sadly in need of food. Then ropes were attached to the engine and cars; and the Fifty-fourth furnishing the motive-power, they were pushed and dragged over the rails to Camp Finegan, where horses were provided for further progress.

Dr. Marsh, of the Sanitary Commission, who was present, thus describes this event:—

‘Through eagerness to escape the supposed pursuing enemy, too great pressure of steam was employed, and the flue collapsed; and here the immortal Fifty-fourth (colored) did what ought to insure it higher praise than to hold the field in the face of a victorious foe,—with ropes it seized the engine (now useless) ’

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