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[87] and the 62d and 67th Ohio, afterwards tried the attack, Colonel Putnam himself being shot through the head. It was a series of perfectly hopeless and desperate night attacks, serving only to test the courage of the men. In this respect it had an effect, beyond any action of the war, in vindicating the character of the colored troops. On this subject there can hardly be said to have been a dissenting voice. When the writer asked General Strong afterwards, on board the steamer which was to carry him North, how the 54th behaved, he said emphatically, ‘No new regiment, which had lost its colonel, could have behaved better.’1 But the final test is that of Confederate officers themselves. Lieut. Iredell Jones, visiting the battery afterwards, wrote, ‘One file of negroes numbered thirty. Numbers of both white and black were killed on top of our breastworks as well as inside. The negroes fought gallantly and were headed by as brave a colonel as ever lived. He mounted the breastworks waving his sword and at the head of his regiment, and he and a negro orderly sergeant fell dead over the inner crest of the works.’2

A good deal of just indignation was created after this event, by a report, widely disseminated, that an order had been given by General Hagood, in command at Fort Wagner, in respect to Colonel Shaw's body, ‘to bury him with his niggers.’ In conversing with General Hagood ten years after the writer was expressly assured by him that no such order was given by him and that no such conversation took place, and I was entirely convinced that there had been some misunderstanding on the part of Assistant Surgeon John T. Luck, U. S. N., by whom the charge was originally made in the Army and Navy Journal.3 A letter to me on the same point from General Hagood will be found in Emilio's History of the 54th Mass.,4 where the whole affair is discussed. I still retain my original opinion of the matter.

The 24th Mass. Infantry (Colonel Osborne) formed an important part of the besieging force which subsequently brought about the surrender of Fort Wagner, and was ordered, Aug. 26, 1863, to capture by a sortie some riflepits in front of the fourth parallel of the besieging force. Some two hundred men took part in the attack and carried the position, capturing the occupants (sixty-seven) with a loss of three; the victors then entrenched

1 For a similar remark made by him to Mr. E. L. Pierce, see Emilio's 54th Mass., p. 94.

2 Emilio's 54th Mass., p. 95.

3 Army and Navy Journal, III, p. 71.

4 Emilio, p. 100.

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