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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Army Life in a Black Regiment, Chapter 5: out on picket. (search)
in all possible information about the enemy's position; and we accordingly, as usual in such cases, incurred a great many risks that harmed nobody, and picked up much information which did nobody any good. The centre of these nightly reconnoissances, for a long time, was the wreck of the George Washington, the story of whose disaster is perhaps worth telling. Till about the time when we went on picket, it had been the occasional habit of the smaller gunboats to make the circuit of Port Royal Island,--a practice which was deemed very essential to the safety of our position, but which the Rebels effectually stopped, a few days after our arrival, by destroying the army gunboat George Washington with a single shot from a-light battery. I was roused soon after daybreak by the firing, and a courier soon came dashing in with the particulars. Forwarding these hastily to Beaufort (for we had then no telegraph), I was soon at the scene of action, five miles away. Approaching, I met on t
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Army Life in a Black Regiment, Chapter 8: the Baby of the regiment. (search)
Chapter 8: the Baby of the regiment. We were in our winter camp on Port Royal Island. It was a lovely November morning, soft and spring-like; the mocking-birds were singing, and the cotton-fields still white with fleecy pods. Morning drill was over, the men were cleaning their guns and singing very happily; the officers were in their tents, reading still more happily their letters just arrived from home. Suddenly I heard a knock at my tent-door, and the latch clicked. It was the only latch in camp, and I was very proud of it, and the officers always clicked it as loudly as possible, in order to gratify my feelings. The door opened, and the Quartermaster thrust in the most beaming face I ever saw. Colonel, said he, there are great news for the regiment. My wife and baby are coming by the next steamer! Baby! said I, in amazement. Q. M., you are beside yourself. (We always called the Quartermaster Q. M. for shortness.) There was a pass sent to your wife, but noth
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Army Life in a Black Regiment, Chapter 10: life at camp Shaw. (search)
xhilaration of health, followed by a month or two of complete prostration, when the work was done. This passing, I returned to duty, buoyed up by the fallacious hope that the winter months would set me right again. We had a new camp on Port Royal Island, very pleasantly situated, just out of Beaufort. It stretched nearly to the edge of a shelving bluff, fringed with pines and overlooking the river; below the bluff was a hard, narrow beach, where one might gallop a mile and bathe at the fay for this new battalion, and I had sent him, at his request, some hints as to its formation. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executive Department, Boston, February 5, 1863. To Col. T. W. Higginson, Commanding 1st Regt. S. C. Vols., Port Royal Island, S. C. Colonel,--I am under obligations to you for your very interesting letter of January 19th, which I considered to be too important in its testimony to the efficiency of colored troops to be allowed to remain hidden on my files. I there
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Army Life in a Black Regiment, Appendix B: the First black soldiers. (search)
. J. Hinton, the first officer detailed to recruit it. To sum up the above facts: my late regiment had unquestioned priority in muster over all but the Louisiana regiments. It had priority over those in the actual organization and term of service of one company. On the other hand, the Kansas regiment had the priority in average date of enlistment, according to the muster-rolls. The first detachment of the Second South Carolina Volunteers (Colonel Montgomery) went into camp at Port Royal Island, February 23, 1863, numbering one hundred and twenty men. I do not know the date of his muster; it was somewhat delayed, but was probably dated back to about that time. Recruiting for the Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts (colored) began on February 9, 1863, and the first squad went into camp at Readville, Massachusetts, on February 21, 1863, numbering twenty-five men. Colonel Shaw's commission (and probably his muster) was dated April 17, 1863. (Roport of Adjutant-General of Massachuset
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Army Life in a Black Regiment, Appendix E: farewell address of Lt.-Col. Trowbridge. (search)
on, only to be disbanded and sent to your homes, without even a hope of reward. And when our country, necessitated by the deadly struggle with armed traitors, finally granted you the opportunity again to come forth in defence of the nation's life, the alacrity with which you responded to the call gave abundant evidence of your readiness to strike a manly blow for the liberty of your race. And from that little band of hopeful, trusting, and brave men, who gathered at Camp Saxton, on Port Royal Island, in the fall of 1862, amidst the terrible prejudices that then surrounded us, has grown an army of a hundred and forty thousand black soldiers, whose valor and heroism has won for your race a name which will live as long as the undying pages of history shall endure; and by whose efforts, united with those of the white man, armed rebellion has been conquered, the millions of bondmen have been emancipated, and the fundamental law of the land has been so altered as to remove forever the p
and shore. On the renewal of the attack the riflemen opened fire from their concealment, and in a short time the rebel artillerists were compelled to abandon their battery in hot haste, their infantry and cavalry leaving the ground about the same time. For the want of a sufficient infantry force and battery to protect his movements, Colonel Leonard was compelled to let the rebel guns remain in position, and after nightfall the rebels returned and took them off.--(Doc. 217.) Port Royal Island, S. C., on which the town of Beaufort is situated, was taken possession of by the Union forces on the 6th inst., but neither the island nor the town were fully occupied till to-day, when a reconnoissance in force, consisting of three hundred of the Fiftieth Pennsylvania regiment, three hundred of the Roundheads, and half of Hamilton's Battery, all under command of General Stevens, drove the enemy completely from the island, they having to cross Port Royal Ferry, and taking up a position on
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 5: military and naval operations on the coast of South Carolina.--military operations on the line of the Potomac River. (search)
n March, 1866. Captain Elliott and his command retreated with the rest of the troops, first to St. Helen's, then to Port Royal Island, and then to the plan of Fort Beauregard. main, with all possible haste, for the Charleston and Savannah Railway. eed, it was difficult to get them to notice it at all Messengers were sent with it, under a flag of truce, first to Port Royal Island, and thence to the main. The Confederate officers they met told them there were no loyal citizens in South Carolinston and Savannah, both cities might have been an easy prey to the National forces. Beaufort, a delightful city on Port Royal Island, where the most aristocratic portion of South Carolina society had summer residences, was entered, Nov. 9, 1861. aing of the 31st of December. 1861. A large portion of the vessels went up the Broad River, on the westerly side of Port Royal Island, to approach the Ferry by Whale Creek; and at the same time General Stevens's forces made their way to a point wher
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 8: capture of Fernandina and the coast South of Georgia. (search)
the battle of Port Royal, and seemed disposed to commence offensive operations against our forces, and re-occupy the works they had so precipitately abandoned. Upon this an expedition was fitted out under General Stevens and Commander C. R. P. Rodgers, which resulted in the abandonment of any attempt of the enemy to plant batteries within range of the gunboats, whose farreaching shells committed some havoc among them on this occasion; nor did they ever attempt to obtain a lodgment on Port Royal Island, which remained in possession of the government during the war. A reconnoissance up the Tybee River was made by Captain C. H. Davis and Commander C. R. P. Rodgers with the Ottawa, Seneca, Ellen, Western World, and the armed launches of the Wabash, accompanied by three transports, having on board 2,400 troops, commanded by Brigadier General H. G. Wright. The expedition crossed the bar, and reached a point nearest Fort Pulaski on its land side. No shots were fired at the vessels, as
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 9: operations of Admiral Dupont's squadron in the sounds of South Carolina. (search)
aken away by the gunboats, and if the expedition had accomplished nothing else, the Commander would have deserved credit for thus relieving suffering humanity. Otter Island Fort and the adjacent waters were, on this occasion, placed in charge of Lieut.-Commanding Nicholson, who was directed to supply the negroes with food and do what he could for their comfort. The attention of Admiral Dupont had, in January, been drawn to the fact that the enemy designed to shut up the troops on Port Royal Island, by placing obstructions in the Coosaw River and Whale Branch, by erecting batteries at Port Royal Ferry, at Seabrook, and at or near Boyd's Neck, and by accumulating troops in the vicinity in such a manner as to be able to throw a force of three thousand men upon any of these points at short notice. On a consultation with General T. W. Sherman, it was determined to arrest the designs of the enemy and to do it in such a manner as to prevent any more attempts of the kind. A joint ex
William Tecumseh Sherman, Memoirs of General William T. Sherman ., volume 2, chapter 22 (search)
bject, but I know the Government will never receive full accounts of our captures, although the result aimed at was fully attained, viz., to deprive our enemy of them. All these animals I will have sent to Port Royal, or collected behind Fort McAllister, to be used by General Saxton in his farming operations, or by the Quartermaster's Department, after they are systematically accounted for. While General Easton is collecting transportation for my troops to James River, I will throw to Port Royal Island all our means of transportation I can, and collect the rest near Fort McAllister, covered by the Ogeechee River and intrenchments to be erected, and for which Captain Poe, my chief-engineer, is now reconnoitring the ground, but in the mean time will act as I have begun, as though the city of Savannah were my objective: namely, the troops will continue to invest Savannah closely, making attacks and feints wherever we have fair ground to stand upon, and I will place some thirty-pound Par
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