Samuel W. Mason, correspondent of the New York “Herald,” on Morris Island, wrote under date of July 19, 1863, of the regiment: —” I saw them fight at Wagner as none but splendid soldiers, splendidly officered, could fight, dashing through shot and shell, grape, canister, and shrapnel, and showers of bullets, and when they got close enough, fighting with clubbed muskets, and retreating when they did retreat, by command and with choice white troops for company.”
Edward L. Pierce, the correspondent of the New York “Tribune,” in a letter to Governor Andrew, dated July 22, 1863, wrote, —” I asked General Strong if he had any testimony in relation to the regiment to be communicated to you. These are his precise words, and I give them to you as I noted them at the time :
‘ The Fifty-fourth did well and nobly; only the fall of Colonel Shaw prevented them from entering the fort. They moved up as gallantly as any troops could, and with their enthusiasm they deserved a better fate.’”
To the correspondent of the New York ” Evening Post” General Strong said that the Fifty-fourth” had no sleep for three nights, no food since morning, and had marched several miles. . . . Under cover of darkness they had stormed the fort, faced a stream of fire, faltered not till the ranks were broken by shot and shell; and in all these severe tests, which would have tried even veteran troops, they fully met my expectations, for many were killed, wounded, or captured on the walls of the fort.”
July 25-28, 1863
Emilio quotes the dispatches of several newspaper correspondents concerning the performance of the 54th ( [BBR] pp.93-94). Gen. Strong was wounded in the assault and died on July 30, 1863.
Comments are closed.