I reported to General Strong next morning, disembarked, and camped. Lieutenant Greene joined his company the morning of my arrival. On Sunday Lieutenant-Colonel Rodman arrived, with Companies A and B, and assumed command; on the 3rd of July, just at dark, received orders to have two days' rations cooked, and camp struck, ready to move by daylight on the 4th.
On the morning of the 4th, was embarked on board steamer Mayflower, with two companies of the Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania. It being rough weather, we did not arrive off Stono until midnight; was met by a dispatch boat and ordered back to Hilton Head, to return and be off the bar next night by sundown.
On the night of the 5th, we arrived at sundown and were taken up to Folly Island and disembarked. After having gotten our baggage off the steamer, she went to sea before daylight, and we moved up about 3 miles and bivouacked for the night; being tired and weary (crowded aboard the boat so long), the boys soon dropped into a sound sleep, and of! such a sleep. You know from experience. Early in the morning the colonel selected a camping ground. The ground being staked out, the boys turned in with a will, and soon had it clean, and one of the best camps we ever had in this department, not excepting Augustine. The water was also the best. We were camped on the side facing the ocean, and our parade-ground the beach, and the men and officers enjoyed a good bath, twice a day; but it was too good to be of long duration. On the 8th we received orders to have three days' cooked rations on hand, until further orders, and at sundown there came an order to fall in. We were assigned the post of honor on the right of General Strong's brigade, supported by the Sixth Connecticut Volunteers. The brigade was formed and marched across the island, and the Seventh and Sixth were embarked on boats. There I ascertained from Rodman that we were to land up a creek about the center of Morris Island, were to go down toward Folly Island, and the Sixth to throw a line across the island to keep the enemy from attacking us in the rear. We were to take and spike all the guns, being, as near as they could ascertain, six single-gun batteries. After the batteries were captured, the troops were to cross Light-House Inlet, in force; but we were delayed, and did not get ready to start until 2 a. m., and so were ordered back; disembarked and returned to camp, and once more felt safe for twenty-four hours. Each officer felt the importance of the movement, and had come to a firm determination to win or die in the cause. Early in the day of the 9th, we received orders to be ready by sundown to take a fresh start. To prevent any mistake in the night, each officer and man had on his left arm a white badge, 3 inches wide, sewed on his blouse. The plan was changed to a fair, stand-up fight. General Strong was to embark 2,000 men in boats and take them up Folly River, into Light-House Inlet, and at sunrise the batteries that had been erected (there were over forty guns and mortars in position) were to open, and the gunboats to engage the batteries on the opposite side of the island. The boats arrived with the troops on time, preceded by eight boat howitzers from other gunboats. The first boat contained General Strong and a staff, and then came the Seventh Battalion. General Gillmore told Colonel Rodman that the generals had consulted and come to the conclusion that our battalion was the most reliable, and could be trusted, and was selected for that purpose. The batteries opened at daylight, and in a short time the enemy discovered the boats, and they threw shell and solid shot, trying to sink our boats,