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β€˜ [175] and dragged it with its doomed freight for many miles. . . . They knew their fate if captured; their humanity triumphed. Does history record a nobler deed?’

During our short halt at Camp Finegan the men rested after their exhaustive efforts. Lieutenant Knight, Second South Carolina, kindly brought refreshments for the officers; and the men were supplied with some rations. The march was resumed at 4 P. M., and the Fifty-fourth without further incident arrived at Jacksonville about 8 P. M., going into camp on the old ground outside the town. Nearly one half the regiment was without shoes; their blankets and knapsacks were sacrificed to get speedily into action; they had no rations or shelter, so with crippled feet and weary limbs they cast themselves on the bare ground for rest after the march of twenty-two miles that day. The Adjutant-General of Massachusetts reported that β€˜the Fifty-fourth marched 120 miles in 102 hours, yet the rollcall showed no stragglers;’ and it should be added, of this time forty-four hours were given to sleep.

Seymour's infantry was all back at Jacksonville or vicinity by the 22d; his mounted force was in advance at Cedar Run. As it was feared the enemy would attack Jacksonville, reinforcements arrived daily, including Brigadier-General Vogdes with Foster's and Ames's brigades. An extensive line of earthworks was begun, encircling the town.

General Finegan, having repaired the railroad, advanced, occupying the territory to within ten or twelve miles of Jacksonville. He was soon succeeded by Brig.-Gen. W. M. Gardner. By March 3 the Confederate force in front numbered some eight thousand men. Their position was soon protected by earthworks, and was called Camp Milton.

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