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Cole's Island (opposite Folly Island), July 17, 4 P. M.

James Island was evacuated last night by our forces. My regiment started first, at half past 9, P. M. Not a thing was moved until after dark, and the Rebels must have been astonished this morning. Terry went there originally only to create a diversion from Morris Island, and it was useless to stay and risk being driven off, after Morris was taken. It thundered and lightened, and rained hard all night, and it took us from ten P. M., to five A. M., to come four miles. Most of the way we had to march in single file along the narrow paths through the swamps. For nearly half a mile we had to pass over a bridge of one, and in some places two planks wide, without a railing, and slippery with rain,—mud and water below several feet deep,—and then over a narrow dike so slippery as to make it almost impossible to keep one's feet. It took my regiment alone nearly two hours to pass the bridge and dike. By the time we got over, it was nearly daylight, and the brigade behind us had a pretty easy time. I never had such an extraordinary walk.

We are now lying on the beach opposite the southern point of Folly Island, and have been here since five this morning. When they can get boats, they will set us across, I suppose.

There is hardly any water to be got here, and the sun and sand are dazzling and roasting us. I should n't like you to see me as I am now; I have n't washed my face since day before yesterday. My conscience is perfectly easy about it, though, for it was an impossibility, and every one is in the same condition. Open air dirt, i. e. mud, &c., is not like the indoor article. . . . .

We have had nothing but crackers and coffee these two days. It seems like old times in the Army of the Potomac.

Morris Island, July 18.

We are in General Strong's brigade. We came up here last night, and were out again all night in a very heavy rain. Fort Wagner is being very heavily bombarded. We are not far from it. We hear nothing but praise of the Fifty-fourth on all hands. Montgomery is under Stevenson. I wish I were. He is a good officer. Strong I like too.

After writing the above, the last words he ever wrote in this world, he received orders to report with his regiment at General Strong's Headquarters, and there he was offered the post of honor, because of the greatest danger, the advance in the work assigned for that very evening, the assault upon

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