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33rd USCT or
1st South Carolina History
St. Augustine Members
Deo Patriae Tibi
Page 2
Mustering in the Regiment (Genealogical and Personal Memoirs relating to the families of...
Cutter )
...(On) October 7, 1862 in front of
General Saxton's headquarters in Beaufort, South Carolina, the
recruits being Captain William Jame's Company B (were sworn in). The oath was administered by
General Saxton, Military Governor of South Carolina. When the new regiment mustered eight
hundred men, encamped at Camp Saxton, near Beaufort. On November 10, 1862  
Wentworth Higginson, then a captain in the 51st Massachusetts Regiment, was appointed colonel
on the recommendation of Surgeon Hawks, General Saxton not being previously acquainted with
Colonel Higginson.

The company was reported completed on January 25, 1863 consisting of ten companies of about
86 men each.

First Engagement
The first engagement of the 1st South Carolina was an expedition along the Georgia Florida
coast. Colonel Oliver T. Beard of the 48th N. Y. Volunteer infantry was the commander of the
expedition. The force was 62 men from Company A, 1st. S. C. under Captain Trowbridge. From
November 3 to November 18, 1862 they raided picket posts collected rice and lumber and
liberated 155 slaves. 94 of these became new recruits.

Report of General Saxton on Expedition
Report of Lieut Col Oliver T. Beard on Expedition

Doboy River Expedition
Following up the expedition along the coast, General Saxton created another opportunity for the
1st South Carolina to show its usefulness. The purpose of the expedition to the Doboy River was
to gather lumber and equipment. Once again the 1st proved it was ready and able to fight.

Report of Lieut Col Oliver T. Beard on Expedition
Report of General Saxton on Expedition

General Saxton's Recruits (The New South - December 6, 1862)
Recruits for the Negro Brigade. --- General Saxton returned last Tuesday, from an expedition to
Fernandina, on the steamer Ben Deford, bring with him one hundred recruits for the First South
Carolina Volunteers. The
Ben Deford has gone to Georgetown for more negroes who desire to
enlist. The regiment is under command of the Rev. T. W. Higginson---a Unitarian minister, who
arrived here a short time ago. Mr. Higginson is possessed of a large amount of literary talent and
his genius has enriched our literature with many beautiful gems of thought. We notice in the
Atlantic Monthly for December, an article from his pen, entitled the "Procession of the Flowers,"
which abounds in elegant metaphor, and poetic thought. Mr. Higginson has laid down the pen to
take up the sword. May he be able to wield the latter as well as he does the former.

St. Augustine arrives (Dr Seth Rogers War Time Letters - January 14, 1863)
Before breakfast this morning I stood on the shore and listened to the John Brown hymn, sung by
a hundred of our recruits, as they came up the river on the steamer
Boston, from St. Augustine,
Fla. Our
Lieut. Col. Billings went down last week for them and today we have received into our
regiment all but five, whom I rejected in consequence of old age and other disabilities. It seemed
hard to reject men who came to fight for their freedom, but these poor fellows are a hindrance in
active service and we might be compelled to leave them to the mercy of those who know not that
"It blesseth him that gives and him that takes."

More Recruits for the Colored Regiment - (The New South - January 17, 1863)
The transport
Boston returned on Tuesday night from Fernandina and St. Augustine, bring up
nearly 200 negroes, a great portion of whom are recruits for the 1st South Carolina Regiment.
They were enlisted by Lieut. Colonel Billings, who went to Florida for that purpose.

Uniforms and Equipment
From November till February of 1863 the regiment had red trousers and blue coats. They wore
forage caps (and perhaps Hardee hats). On January 21, 1863 General Hunter promised them
blue trousers, Springfield rifled muskets and full pay. He was good for the trousers. In February
the troops had black overcoats and by July 1, 1863 the knapsacks were marked with 1st S. C. V.
For weapons they had a varied collection: .58 calibre rifled muskets, .58 and .57 Enfield rifled
muskets, .69 calibre Belgian or French rifled muskets with a few .69 calibre smooth bore, model
1842 muskets. The officers were armed with .58 calibre pistols. Finally on January 26, 1864 the
regiment was ordered to replace all Austrian and Springfield muskets with French rifles.

A Teacher for the 1st South Carolina (Esther Hill Hawkes Diary)
Two weeks later [Editor: around January 15, 1863] I enlisted in the Regt as teacher. Chaplin
Fowler had already prepared a school-house by driving some poles into the sand and covering
them with canvass. This gave us a shelter and the soldiers were eager to learn---a box containing
500 primers arrived from the Freedman's Aid Association, and we commenced operations. Things
went on finely 'till a great wind came and tore our old canvas house into strings. It was wholly
demolished and we were school-houseless! But our indomitable Chaplin immediately set to work
to replace it with a more substantial one, and in a very short time we had one with a capacity for
seating two hundred---circular in form built by driving posts into the sand and nailing round poles
to these to a height of ten feet---then the roof built up in the same manner---coming to a point at
the top, and supported by a pole in the center, then this rib work was covered with fresh palmetto.

Teachers were provided by the
National Freedman's Relief Association. In the spring of 1863 the
teachers for the 1st are listed as Esther Hawkes, Harriet Dewhurst and Prince Lampkin. In the fall
of 1863 Esther Hawkes is still listed as a teacher for the 1st along with Mrs. Harriet Dewhurst

The Marriage of Adj George W. Dewhurst (Esther Hill Hawkes Diary)
One little event occurred in Feb. at Camp Saxton, which I failed to chronicle in its right place. This
was the marriage of our Adj. Geo. W. Dewhurst to a lady from Maine who came all the way out
here for this purpose. The Regt. formed a "hollow square" and the ceremony was performed
inside--by the Chaplain---and witnesses by many curious eyes, who came down from Beaufort to
be present at so strange a performance. The groom was in a delightful state of military precision
and the bride pale and interesting as was becoming to the occasion.

St. Marys River (January 23 to February 1,1863)
On this expedition the skill and expertise of Corporal Robert Sutton was tested. Corporal Sutton
had lived and worked on the St. Mary's River. He would guide this full expedition (and first test of
Colonel Higginson) up the St. Mary's. The objective was to gain lumber. The ships on this
expedition consisted of 3 steamers:
Ben De Ford, John Adams, and the Planter. Finally lumber,
brick for
Fernandina and other items were obtained. The operation was a great success.

New York Times Article
Report of Colonel Higginson on St. Mary's River

Report of General Saxton on St. Mary's River

General Saxton's Success in Raising Colored Troops (The Crisis, February 11, 1863)
General Saxton has addressed the following short account of his efforts to raise colored volunteer
troops to the Secretary of War;

Beaufort, S. C. Jan 25, 1863

To the Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War:
Dear Sir: I have the honor to report that the organization of the 1st regiment of South Carolina
volunteers is now completed. The regiment is light infantry, composed of ten companies, of about
eighty-six men each, armed with muskets, and officered by white men. In organization, drill,
discipline, and morale, for the length of time it has been in service, this regiment is not surpassed
by any white regiment in this Department. Should it ever be its good fortune to get into action, I
have no fears but it will win its own way to the confidence of those who are willing to recognize
courage and manhood, and vindicate the wise policy of the administration in putting these men
into the field, and giving them a chance to strike a blow for the country and their own liberty.

In no regiment have I ever seen duty performed with so much cheerfulness and alacrity. As
sentinels they are peculiarly vigilant. I have never seen in any body of men such enthusiasm and
deep seated devotion to the officers as exists in this. They will surely go wherever they are led.
Every man is a volunteer, and seems fully persuaded of the importance of his service to his race.

In the organization of this regiment; I have labored under difficulties which might have discouraged
one who had less faith in the wisdom of the measure, but I am glad to report that the experiment is
a complete success. My belief is that when we get a footing on the main land regiments may be
raised which will do more than say now is service to put an end to this rebellion.

I have sent the regiment on an expedition to the coast of Georgia, the result of which I shall report
for your information as soon as it returns....

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant.
R. H. Saxton, Brigadier General

Negro Regiments. (The Smoky Hill and Republican Union - February 28, 1863)
It is said the Government has authorized the recruiting of fifty thousand Negroes into regiments,
for service in this Department, as soon as they can be procured. The 1st regiment of South
Carolina volunteers, under Col. T. W. Higginson, is now nearly full, and yesterday, Colonel
Montgomery, formerly of the Third Kansas Regiment, arrived by the
Star of the South from New
York, with a commission to raise the 2d regiment. There will be little impediment in the way of
quickly doing this, if---as I am informed will be the case---the work of cotton planting is not carried
on newt spring and the able Negroes now on the plantations within our lines are encouraged to

Last Wednesday,
General Hunter dropped in accidentally at the review of the 1st Regiment just
previous to its departure on transports upon an expedition down the coast, the object of which I
have not heard. The regiment made a fine appearance, numbering about 800 men and parading
600 muskets. All of the men who had received military instructions during the past two months,
and more especially the veteran companies first formed by General Hunter, did admirably.
Whatever mistakes were made were those of white officers, and those mistakes, were of distances
required in the various evolutions, for which the captains can alone be held responsible.

It is impossible to conceive any  higher  aptitude for receiving military instruction than these
Negroes exhibit. Their changes in front, formation in square, and preparation to charge in double
column, were executed scarcely to be surpassed by any regiment in the command, although more
than one-half the men have not been under a month’s instruction. When they were formed in
square, General Hunter entered, on the invitation of Colonel Higginson, and was received with
enthusiastic cheers. The General Uncovered, and speaking with that terse force always to be
noticed in silent men who seldom throw away words, said:

“Men: I am glad to be in the midst of you---glad to have seen so fine an exhibition of proficiency as
you have shown this day. I only wish there were 100,000 of you to fight for the freedom of the
Union. I see no reason why you should not make as good soldiers as any in the world, and I trust
that on all occasions you will be found willing to do your whole duty. I am sure that you are all
ready to fight for the liberty of your wives and children. Men who will not fight for their liberties are
not worthy to have it, and will always continue enslaved. I shall do my utmost to look after your
comfort, and to see that you are properly paid, fed and clothed. I wish you good day. I hope,
hereafter, to meet you when you have earned distinction for yourselves.”

Jacksonville (Higginson, Up the St. Johns) (See letter from Abraham Lincoln to General David
On March 10 the 1st South Carolina and a newly forming regiment the
2nd South Carolina with
other regiments occupied Jacksonville. The rebel forces were encamped three miles out of town.
Colonel Montgomery with two companies pushed into the woods where he attacked and defeated
a company of rebel cavalry. The 1st South Carolina was spread out on a picket line around the
town. A few days later the Sixth Connecticut and the Eight Maine were sent as reinforcements.
The city of Jacksonville was burned.

General Saxton's Orders to Colonel Higginson
Rear-Admiral Dupont's Order to Squadron

After the occupation of Jacksonville detachments of the First and Second South Carolina
Volunteers proceeded up the St. Johns river as far as
Palatka, collecting negro recruits and
supplies..  The plantation homes of Messrs. Baza, Dupont, Sanchez,
Dancy, Mays, Ballings,
Simkins, Cole, and others were searched by the troops. Poultry was appropriated. Hogs, horses,
and beeves were stolen or slaughtered; smoke-houses and corn-cribs, stripped; feasts eaten in
spacious dining-rooms by the one-time slaves. Household furniture broken up. Trunks and chests
were rifled. Out-houses and barns were burned. At the Du Pont place the soldiers threatened to
burn the family home if the hiding place of the family slaves was not revealed. At
Palatka the
Federal force was ambushed by Dickison's cavalry, and with some loss in killed and wounded”
among the latter
Lieutenant Colonel Liberty Billings of the First South Carolina ”it reembarked on
the gunboat for

On General Hunter's orders Jacksonville was abandoned.

Picket Duty - New York Daily Tribune (April 28, 1863)
The Negro brigade is still doing picket duty on Port Royal Island. The moment the Rebels on the
opposite side of Beaufort River discovered that the Negroes were in front of them, in direct
violation of an agreement not to fire upon pickets, commenced firing upon the Negroes, and
wounded two of them. The moment gen. Hunter learned what they were about he gave orders to
the Negroes to return the fire vigorously, and shoot every Rebel soldier they saw at sight. The
order was quickly obeyed, and several Butternuts were seen to bite the dust. For the past few
days we have not heard of any more firing upon Negro pickets.

General Hunter, yesterday, spent the day at Beaufort, and, with the
Rev. Mr. French, visited the
Negro Sabbath schools and churches.

The week day and Sabbath-schools at Beaufort are the most interesting places to visit in this
department. It is marvelous to see how rapidly the Negro children, under the instruction of white
teachers from the North, are acquiring the first rudiments of knowledge. If the present generation
of Negro children could all be educated in free-schools they would provide for themselves in this
fighting world much better than many of the races of Europe.

Many of the family members were left behind in Fernandina and St. Augustine. The Provost
Marshal wanted to move them to their regiment quarters (
See Lt. Col. James Hall)

Expedition to Georgia (New York Herald, June 18, 1863)
A small expedition, sent from the First South Carolina Volunteers, to the upland waters of
Georgia, ten days since, was obliged to return in consequences of the open insubordination of
the negroes. In a melee resulting from positive mutiny, two negroes were killed by the officers,
while the officer in command was almost beaten to death by a negro, before the would-be murder
was shot down. The mutineers were put in irons on their return to Hilton Head. On another
scouting expedition from Port Royal ferry to the mainland, is the excitement of the moment a
negro accidentally discharged his musket and instantly killed Lieutenant Gaston, of the First
South Carolina, who was ahead of him. This sad affair gave the rebels notice of the approach of a
hostile force, and the object of the expedition failed in consequence.

Col Higginson comments on Lieutenant Gaston's death (Letters and Journals)
We have lost our first officer, Lieutenant Gaston, who was accidentally shot by one of his own
men in a little reconnaissance across the river yesterday morning....To-night we had funeral
services here just at dusk, and it was one of the most impressive funerals I ever knew...Just at the
beginning up rode Mrs. Lander and Mr. Page, "
Tribune" correspondent. The latter looked at it as
an item; but Mrs. L. was exceedingly affected by it. I was so absorbed in our men that I forgot all
about her widowhood. ..

May 30, 1863
Went down in the early morning, a few of us, to take Lieutenant Gaston's remains to the beautiful
green quiet cemetery around the old Episcopal church (Beaufort). ...and thought there could not
be in a strange land a sweeter resting place for a discarded body.

* * *
He was later buried in Beaufort National Cemetery Name: GASTON, ROBERT M, Section: 4,
Grave #: 178, Date of Interment: MAY 27 1863, Rank - Regiment - Unit - Company: LT USC 33

Court Martial of Private Samuel Washington and Private Richard Green (New York Herald,
July 7, 1863)  Desertions have been frequent, and in the First South Carolina a widespread
mutiny has only just been summarily squelched by the shooting, off-hand, of a brace of mutineers,
the sentence of two more by court martial to be shot or hung, and the adoption of a severe
regime towards some of the others. .....

At a general court martial convened at this post, of which Colonel H. S. Putnam, of the Seventh
New Hampshire regiment, was President, the cases of two more of the mutineers of the First
South Carolina (colored) regiment were disposed of. Private Samuel Washington was found guilty
of mutiny in that on board the steamer
Saxon, at Fernandina, on May 9, he caused a mutiny
among the members of his detachment, under the command of Captain William J. Randolph, of
said regiment, by agitating the propriety of going on the mainland and declared in the presence
and hearing of the enlisted men of the regiment that he would not go on to the mainland; even if
the expedition should go; and in that; on the 25th of May, in St. Simon's Sound, Georgia, when a
spirit of mutiny was manifest among the men of the detachment, a part of whom were then in a
surf boat alongside of the steamer
Saxon, he refused to obey the order of his superior officer,
Captain William J. Randolph, to take an oar to assist in rowing the boat. He was sentenced to be
confined in charge of the provost guard at hard labor, with a twenty-four pound ball attached to
his leg by a chain four feet long, for one year, and to forfeit ten dollars per month of his monthly
pay during that time.

Private Richard Green, of the same company, was found guilty of mutiny, on specifications similar
to those in the above case, and also on one for threatening to shoot his superior officer, Sergeant
Thomas Hodges, because the latter had reprimanded him. He was sentenced to be shot to death,
at such time and place as the general commanding the department may determine.

Up the Edisto - July 10, 1863
This expedition had its beginnings with Captain Trowbridge and Col Higginson. It had received
approval from General Saxton and Colonel Davis and was approved by General Hunter before he
was removed. General Gillmore found it as a diversion from his attack on Charleston. The
objective was to burn a railroad bridge where the railroad connected Savannah and Charleston.
The bridge could not be reached although many contrabands were taken, rice destroyed, and
much fighting. Unfortunately they also lost one boat. Colonel Higginson was wounded on this
expedition and it would eventually disable him and cause his resignation.

Higginson's Report
Newspaper Account

1864 Emancipation Proclamation Celebration (The New South, January 9, 1864)
First of January Celebration
Sword Presentation to Gen Saxton and Colonel Higginson---Speech-Making and Barbecue---An
Enthusiastic Crowd

Beaufort, S. C. January 1st 1864 (Editor: date listed as 1863 in newspaper in error)
According to previous announcements the new year has been ushered in here by a grand  
demonstration under the auspices of the freedmen, in honor of the president's memorable
proclamation a year ago to day. An unusually cold and rampant South-wester did not contribute
particularly to the comfort of the occasion, but the programme nevertheless, all carried out with
entire success.

A procession of over a thousand colored soldiers, quartermaster hands, and colored women and
children , was formed under the direction of Col. T. W. Higginson of the 1st S. C. Vols.,  assisted
by  Jacob Robinson, a well known colored resident of this town, and marched through the
principal streets to the camp of the 1st S. C. Vols., where a large stage had been erected,
appropriately ornamented with arches inscribed with historic names which the world will not
willingly let die. Singing by the schools and prayer by the Rev.  Abram Murchinson, a colored man,
opened the exercises. In the mean time salutes were fired from various field works, and the John
Adams, slowly steaming down the river, joined in with the thunder of her guns. The Proclamation
of Emancipation was read by Mr. G. Pillsbury; and a happily worded "New Year's Greetings, from
Gen. Saxton to the freedmen by R. Tomlinson, chief superintendent of the Government
plantations on St. Helena Island.

Then came a sword presentation to General Saxton, made by the Rev. Mr. Lynch, an educated
colored minister from Baltimore, and now a missionary to the freedmen in this Department. In the
course of his truly eloquent presentation address, he said. "Our race here have no pledge to
make action; put the nation's uniform upon them--they will never disgrace it. They are ready to
repeat Port Hudson, Milliken's Bend, and Wagner. Over seventy-five well attended schools
flourish in this Department. The people are rapidly improving, and are self-sustaining."

General Saxton replied briefly, saying among other things, "I accept this beautiful sword with
solemn determination to wear it in the cause of the freedom till every slave in this land is as free
as you are to-day." The General portrayed the blessings to follow in the train of liberty, and
exhorted the colored soldiers to stand by the old flag whether they received $10 a month or

The sword presented is a very fine one, with a richly wrought scabbard on which are engraved the

"To Brigadier-General Saxton, Military Governor, as a testimonial of the gratitude of the
Freedmen of the Department of the South for his endeavors and labors to procure their liberty,
protection and elevation. Beaufort, Jan, 1864"

on the hilt are the Latin words:
Deo Patriae Tibi. (To thee for God and our country.)"

The next announcement was that of a speech from Colonel Van Wyck, of the 56th N. Y. Vols.,
formerly chairman of the famous Congressional Investigating Committee. The Colonel traced the
real issue between rebeldom and the rest of the country from its inception at the ballot box, to the
appeal to the arbitrament of war, showing that issue to be simply the question whether the labor
should be slave or free. He eulogizes Abraham Lincoln, the representative of free labor; "the pure
in purpose, the honest in heart," showed emancipation to be a military necessity; said "the rebels
have placed the yew tree and the cypress in all the graveyards of the North, they have clothed
mothers and wives in the habiliments of mourning, and have caused the child to moisten his
playthings with tears;" and argued that for these and their other innumerable crimes, the Negroes
should go in and possess their land, as did the emancipated Jews that of the Canaanites, for "an
inheritance forever," The rebels he said, talk a great deal about our being invaders. Why, have
we no right to come into the State of South Carolina? Our fathers and theirs gave it to me as
much as the soil of New York. We are bound to defend this might country for posterity, as we
should be treasures placed in our hands to be kept safely for others. Not one of its stars shall be
plucked away till every loyal American has gone down to the tomb.

Colonel Elwell, Chief Quarter-Master of the Department, was next introduced, and made a brief
speech to the colored people in plain and simple language. He alluded to the "Yankee weather,"
and said that the Yankee himself had come. The Emancipation Proclamation had finished the
work of the Declaration of Independence, and it would never more be undone. The Yankee had
come to stay, bringing with him his guns and steamboats, and it would not be long before the iron
horse would tear across these islands, so long shut out from every energizing influence, Port
Royal, the finest harbor on the Southern coast would be worth something. "Think of it, Colonel
Van Wyck," he exclaimed, turning to the Colonel, "you could stand on the floors of Congress and
battle for freedom, but you could not come to Port Royal." Speaking of General Gillmore he said,
"General Gillmore makes you work hard and we work hard, but no man in the Department of the
South works harder than General Gillmore himself." He closed by saying, "We are going to fight
out this war whether it be two years or thirty years longer, by the help of God and the black man."

Dr. Brisbane, one of the Tax Commissioners, was next called on. He briefly alluded to his early
school days at this place, and to his labors as an abolitionist. Unexpectedly to himself, beyond all
his hopes, he stood here to-day, seeing that his labors, mingled with those of others, had been
successful. Slavery was dead and only awaited burial. He believed that as sure as there was a
God in Heaven, all would speedily be free, throughout the length and breath of our land.

A well written poem, apropos to the occasion, penned by Mr. H. G. Judd, was read by Mr. A. P.
Ketchum and congratulatory remarks to the schools were made by the Rev. L. D. Barrows, D. D.,
General Superintendent of Instruction.

An elegant sword was then presented Colonel Higginson by Rev. M. Hall, a colored preacher, in
behalf of twelve of the prominent colored residents of Beaufort and vicinity.

[from Thomas Wentworth Higginson by Margaret Higginson: "Did I tell you that after the New
Year's Festivals, the little Tribune correspondent came to me for my 'remarks' (he is English, 3
feet high; and a goosey) and the inscription on my sword. I

Mr. Hall's speech in presenting the sword was directly to the point and told more than was
expressed, of the high appreciation, in which Colonel H. is held by his men and their friends.

Colonel Higginson accepted the sword, not for himself he said, but in the name of that regiment
which it was the greatest honor of his life to command. They had not yet made assaults like that
on Wagner, but it had been their honor to conduct an enterprise of as great danger, that of
storming the fortress of prejudice against the black man. It was they who had made Fort Wagner,
Port Hudson and Milliken's Bend, possible. Fifty thousand black soldiers were now marching
through the breach which their bayonets were the first to storm. He had been presented with
another sword, not so fine a one as this, which was taken at Willtown Bluff by his soldiers. They
had captured it from the rebel Brigadier in command of that place, and his men thought it was
about good enough for a Union Colonel. He trusted in the name of God that the one now given
him, he should never disgrace.

A benediction closed the proceedings at the stand. The good hits of the various speakers were
applauded with a vigor which showed their entire appreciation, and cheers were given with a will
for President Lincoln, General Saxton, Gen. Gillmore, and others.

After the speaking the procession was reformed and marched to the tables in the rear of the
camp, where eight roasted oxen, a quantity of hard tack, two thousand loaves of bread and two
barrels of molasses were awaiting consumption. These preparations received due attention from
the multitude present, the barbecue closing in time for those from abroad to take the steamboats
for home , in good season.

A friend suggests that something ought to be said about the music. He is right. I have all along
been Intending to do it. It was furnished by the regimental bands of the 8th Maine, and the 48th
New York, in their best style. To those who know these bands this will be sufficient---for the benefit
of those who are not so fortunate, I may add that their music was as good as any martial music to
be had in this Department.

                                       THE SHIP OF ZION.
                                  "Come along, come along,
                                        And let us go home,
                                       O, glory, hallelujah !
                                      Dis de ole ship o' Zion,
                                       Halleloo ! Halleloo !
                                    Dis de ole ship o' Zion,
                                                  Hallelujah !

                              "She has landed many a thousand,
                                  She can land as many more.
                                        O, glory, hallelujah ! &c.

                                  "Do you tink she will be able
                                      For to take us all home?
                                       O, glory, hallelujah ! &c.

                                 "You can tell 'em I 'm a coming,
                                       Halleloo ! Halleloo !
                                   You can tell 'em I 'm a coming
                                             Hallelujah !
                                  Come along, come along," & c.

Why the 33rd was not present at the Battle of Olustee (from Thomas Wentworth Higginson
by M. T. Higginson)
....suddenly summoned back by telegraph that we might be ready to move at a moment's notice---
then moving in next day, full of hopes of Florida---hopes checked by General Saxton's
remonstrance---then a definite order to go when the 4th N.H. came and to report to Gen. Seymour
Jacksonville---then arrived the 4th N. H. but no transportation for us--then came the Delaware
---down rode Gen. S. with an order countermanding our going because of small pox!

...At first we expected to go when the Small pox had diminished...but it is now evident that not
much more is to be done in Florida...It was a great delight to Gen. S. to keep us, as you may
imagine, and the men with their wonderful elasticity seem to have got over it.

Battery Gregg on James Island
Three regiments including the now 33rd USCT attacked on July 2, 1864. The fort was captured
that day.

from Susan Taylor:
"About the first of June, 1864, the regiment was ordered to Folly Island, staying there until the
latter part of the month, when it was ordered to Morris Island. We landed on Morris Island between
June and July, 1864. This island was a narrow strip of sandy soil, nothing growing on it but a few
bushes and shrubs. The camp was one mile from the boat landing, called Pawnell Landing, and
the landing one mile from Fort Wagner.

Colonel Higginson had left us in May of this year, on account of wounds received at Edisto. All the
men were sorry to lose him. They did not want him to go, they loved him so. He was kind and
devoted to his men, thoughtful for their comfort, and we missed his genial presence from the

The regiment under Colonel Trowbridge did garrison duty, but they had troublesome times from
Fort Gregg, on James Island, for the rebels would throw a shell over on our island every now and
then. Finally orders were received for the boys to prepare to take Fort Gregg, each man to take
150 rounds of cartridges, canteens of water, hard-tack, and salt beef. This order was sent three
days prior to starting, to allow them to be in readiness. I helped as many as I could to pack
haversacks and cartridge boxes.

The fourth day, about five o’clock in the afternoon, the call was sounded, and I heard the first
sergeant say, “Fall in, boys, fall in,” and they were not long obeying the command. Each company
marched out of its street, in front of their colonel’s headquarters, where they rested for half an
hour, as it was not dark enough, and they did not want the enemy to have a chance to spy their
movements. At the end of this time the line was formed with the 103d New York (white) in the rear,
and off they started, eager to get to work. It was quite dark by the time they reached Pawnell
Landing. I have never forgotten the goodbyes of that day, as they left camp. Colonel Trowbridge
said to me as he left, “Good-by, Mrs. King, take care of yourself if you don’t see us again.” I went
with them as far as the landing, and watched them until they got out of sight, and then I returned
to the camp. There was no one at camp but those left on picket and a few disabled soldiers, and
one woman, a friend of mine, Mary Shaw, and it was lonesome and sad, now that the boys were
gone, some never to return.

Mary Shaw shared my tent that night, and we went to bed, but not to sleep, for the fleas nearly ate
us alive. We caught a few, but it did seem, now that the men were gone, that every flea in camp
had located my tent, and caused us to vacate. Sleep being out of the question, we sat up the
remainder of the night.

About four o’clock, July 2, the charge was made. The firing could be plainly heard in camp. I
hastened down to the landing and remained there until eight o’clock that morning. When the
wounded arrived, or rather began to arrive, the first one brought in was Samuel Anderson of our
company. He was badly wounded. Then others of our boys, some with their legs off, arm gone,
foot off, and wounds of all kinds imaginable. They had to wade through creeks and marshes, as
they were discovered by the enemy and shelled very badly. A number of the men were lost, some
got fastened in the mud and had to cut off the legs of their pants, to free themselves. The 103d
New York suffered the most as their men were very badly wounded.

My work now began. I gave my assistance to try to alleviate their sufferings. I asked the doctor at
the hospital what I could get for them to eat. They wanted soup, but that I could not get; but I had
a few cans of condensed milk and some turtle eggs, so I thought I would try to make some
custard. I had doubts as to my success, for cooking with turtle eggs was something new to me, but
the adage has it, “Nothing ventured, nothing done,” so I made a venture and the result was a very
delicious custard. This I carried to the men, who enjoyed it very much. My services were given at
all times for the comfort of these men. I was on hand to assist whenever needed. I was enrolled as
company laundress, but I did very little of it, because I was always busy doing other things through
camp, and was employed all the time doing something for the officers and comrades."

Source: Susie King Taylor,
Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33rd United States
Colored Troops
, (Boston: 1902),  31–34.

Battle of Honey Hill
The battle of Honey Hill occurred in December, 1864. Along with the 55th Massachusetts they
were defeated.

December also saw a demonstration on the Charleston & Savannah R. R. (Dec. 6-9), Devaux
Neck (Dec. 9), Folly Island (December 9), Tillifinny Station (Dec 9), Folly Island (Dec. 9),
Pocotaligo Rd (Dec 20) Pocataligo South Carolina till Feb 1865, Occupation of Charleston till
March 8, Savannah Ga from March 8 till June 6, Augusta Ga till Jan 1866

Provost Marshals for Savannah (as told by Lieut. Col. Charles Trowbridge)
I little thought when the march to the Sea was over, and Sherman had presented the city of
Savannah, with all it contained to President Lincoln as a Christmas present, that it would fall to my
lot to take quite an active part in the government of that fair city after Sherman had marched on to
Raleigh. But such was the case.

I entered the city of Savannah March 11th 1865, remaining there till the middle of June. My
regiment did provost guard duty in all parts of the city, and during my term of service there the
following interesting incident occurred.

It was the visit of Bishop D. A. Payne of the African Methodist Episcopal Church to the South for
the first time in Thirty-five years. He having made his escape from slavery at Charleston, S. C.
when a small boy. He reached the North, secured a fair education and became a noted minister in
his church. Of course he was denied the privilege of returning to his old home until after the war,
and was in Savannah at the funeral services of President Lincoln. He had known of my work
among the slaves, in introducing them into the army as soldiers, and sent me a note expressing
his great desire to see my regiment. I accordingly set a time which would be most convenient for
both him and the men. You must bear in mind that my regiment was the first black regiment in the
war, and composed exclusively  of slaves. I had taken special pains to see that the regiment was
kept in the best of order as far as dress, discipline, and efficiency were concerned. I had erected
a temporary school house and appointed such teachers as I could get to teach the men the
rudiments of an education. Over the door of the school room I had placed a pair of stocks which I
had secured from the jail where the slaves were sent to be whipped. The school was so situated
that it was in full view from the line of review. At the time appointed the regiment was paraded, and
all companies equalized so that I could maneuver them with perfect military precision. At the close
of the parade I walked with the Bishop to my proper station, and after a shore drill in the manual of
arms, I gave the necessary command to form a Hollow Square by the Double Quick movement
and then invited the Bishop to step inside the square. When the men had uncovered their heads I
turned to introduce the Bishop and found him weeping like a child. His great soul was running
over with an irrepressible gratitude to God as he beheld the Morning of Freedom after the night of
bondage and sorrow had passed. Some moments elapsed before he became sufficiently
composed to reply to my introduction. He began in a voice full of pathos and eloquence such as I
have never listened to either before or since.

He talked of the wrongs and the sufferings that his race had so painfully endured for centuries; of
the heart rending separations when mothers and children had been torn from each others
embrace and dragged to the auction block to be sold like a beast of the stall. He then called upon
the men of the regiment to render thanksgiving to the Father of us all who had in the far off long
ago appointed Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage; so likewise he had
appointed Abraham Lincoln to lead the black race out of the bondage of slavery into the promised
land of Liberty.

Then pointing to the school house over the door of which the broken stocks in whose cruel
shackles their bleeding forms had so often been firmly bound while their quivering flesh had been
beaten with many stripes, said, but at last the day of our deliverance has come. The last shackle
has been broken; the last slave has been set at liberty. Hence forth the church, the school house,
our wives, and our children are our own forevermore. He exhorted them to enter into the new life
before them with songs of rejoicing, with full purpose of heart to prove themselves worthy of their
exalted citizenship into which they had come.

Then in closing he reminded them that the Moses that led God's ancient children, had been
denied the joy of entering the promised land. He died, and God buried him, no man knowing
where his sepulcher is. But our Abraham found a burial place where all men of every nation can
do him homage. And he is embalmed in the hearts of sixty millions of  American Freeman.

The square was then reduced, the parade

Additional Resources:
Rev. James M. Fowler, Newspaper article on captivity
Lieut Col Charles Taylor Trowbridge Regimental History after Civil War in South Carolina
Thomas Higginson Civil War Journal  Excerpt
Thomas Higginson
Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33d United States Colored Troops Late 1st S. C.
by Taylor, Susie King
War-Time Letters From Seth Rogers, M.D. Surgeon of the First South Carolina Afterwards the
Thirty-third U.S.C.T. 1862-1863.   Dr. Seth Rogers Company Surgeon
Col Thomas Wentworth Higginson
General Rufus Saxton
Rev. James Lynch
Col. Charles Van Dyke
Doctor William Henry Brisbane
Lieut Eli C. Merriam
Lieut James Thompson
Lieut Jerome Furman
Furman 2nd Picture
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