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[464] picket, the total loss, killed, wounded, and missing, was, forty-five men,—pretty heavy for three companies. When we reached our line it was in order of battle, the batteries ready, and the gunboats. Then the Rebels caught it. They were sent back double-quick. The whole regiment then went on picket, was relieved that night, and marched by causeways to the neighborhood of Folly Island. . . . . My men report three to have surrendered, and then to have been shot; but wounded men were often kindly treated, and told not to be alarmed, as they should not be harmed. This last was where officers were. In the marsh, where my men were, there were no officers, and, of course, no restraint. Wilson was a splendid fellow: he died like a hero. Where he lay was tramped in a circle of twenty feet or so where he had kept three cavalry men and some infantry at bay. Good by, dear father; my men did nobly.


This was the last letter that his friends received from Captain Russel. His fellow-officers relate that he was very much gratified by the good behavior and spirit of his men, and that during the march of the next two days he seemed very happy and pleasant. A short sketch of those days is added from the pen of his friend, Adjutant James, who was himself severely wounded, and barely escaped with life from the assault on Fort Wagner:—

Captain Russel took part in the sharp skirmish on James Island on the 16th of July, where his company bore the brunt of the battle, and he showed distinguished ability and courage. When the skirmish line was driven in by an overwhelming force of the enemy, he was ordered to regain the old position, and to hold it at all hazards. Accordingly he deployed his skirmish line, advancing anxiously and boldly, with field-glass in one hand and sword in the other, rallying his men by fours and by platoons, as the necessity of the moment required, and capturing himself the first prisoner of the day. He sent back word to his Colonel in less than thirty minutes that his line was formed fifty yards in advance of the old one.

On the night of the 17th instant, orders were received to join General Strong's brigade, then at the front of Morris Island. About three o'clock of the afternoon of the 18th, the Fifty-fourth reported for duty to Brigadier-General Strong, and was placed by him at the head of an assaulting column, then forming on the beach in front of Fort Wagner, which was the objective point. Company

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