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[410] the transport a mile outside of Boston Light. On the passage down the bay, the men were addressed by Mr. Douglass, the Adjutant-General, and some of the officers. Those who were not to go with the regiment returned to the city on the Government boat. It was a splendid sight to see the large vessel, with its precious freight, vanish in the distance, as it proceeded on its way to South Carolina. The regiment reached Hilton Head June 3. On the eighteenth day of July, it led the advance at Fort Wagner, in which engagement Colonel Shaw was killed. His body never was recovered; but it was buried, as the Charleston papers said, ‘with his niggers.’

The Fifty-fifth Regiment left Boston on the twenty-first day of June, in the transport Cahawba, for Moorehead City, N. C. The Adjutant-General, in his report for 1863, gives many details relating to the organization, departure, and services of these colored regiments. The Surgeon-General, also, in his report to the Governor for 1863, gives an interesting and valuable record of the sanitary condition and good conduct of these two regiments while in camp at Readville.

‘If,’ says the Adjutant-General, ‘it be a weakness to feel a strong interest in the success of the colored men to sustain the Government, free their kindred and race from oppression, and work out for themselves and their children, through the smoke and fire of battle, a respectable position among the peoples of the earth, I confess myself guilty of that weakness; and if it be prudence to meet their proffered assistance, not with reciprocal kindness, but with coldness and with insult, I choose still to follow where natural impulse leads, and to give up that false and mistaken prudence for the voluntary sentiments of my heart.’

Among the prominent public men who contributed to raise the colored regiments was Gerritt Smith, of New York, who, too, sent the Governor a check for five hundred dollars, which was indorsed over to the committee of citizens intrusted with the superintendence of the recruiting for these regiments. This contribution is noticeable because Mr. Smith had devoted his wealth and talents for years in the interests of the American Peace Society.

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