Rollin, Frank [Frances] A.
|CHAPTER XXV. -- CAMP OF INSTRUCTION|
THE 105th Regiment United States Colored Troops was now ordered to be raised, and Lieutenant Colonel Hutchins to take command. This was designed to form the basis of the camp of instruction, with the colonel as commander. This, at the time was of vast importance in character, interest, and purpose, as well as great in the object of its establishment. The importance of this will not seem to be overestimated, because it must be borne in mind that no authentic action of the military had yet been ordered for the avowed object of emancipation.
The following order was the first move towards the accomplishment of that end, worded in that peculiar style of caution which distinguished all of Major General Saxton's orders, when not definitely directed by the war department--
Headquaters Superintendent of Recruitment
and organization Colored Troops,
Department of The South,
Beaufort , S.C., May 3, 1865.
Special Order. No 19
Lieutenant Colonel R.P. Hutchins, 94th Ohio Volunteers, assistant superintendent of recruiting, Charleston,S.C., will at once commence the organization of the regiment, of which he will
The men will be recruited as rapidly as possible at Charleston, S.C.,and the camp established at or near that city.
Lieutenant Colonel Hutchins will communicate to these head quarters the names of such officers and men as he may think competent to be appointed to Lieutenancies in his regiment, and the necessary orders will be issued, if the nominations meet with the approval of the general superintendent.
By order of Brevet Major General R. Saxton General Superintendent of Recruiting
Stuart M. Taylor , Asst, Adjutant General
The order for the camp having been received, the selection of ground was now the object of attention, resulting in the choice of the extensive race-course, where once the elite of the city were want to gather to witness the races under the auspices of the South Carolina Jockey Club, and where the blood of some of her best have been shed in accordance with the "code of honor." But now this has been made sacred by the sufferings, death, and burial-place of the Union prisoners, and was as familiar to the recruit as his own home; for had he not been there braving detection and death in many forms to bear some little comfort, time and again to the helpless prisoners? Had they not entered even the following dingy jail while the shelling of the city was most furious, under the plea of selling provision to the imprisoned Union officers, and carried rough plans and information which were turned to account by those officers? Therefore, their camp, beside the graves of the Union martyrs, was but a fitting spot. To hasten the accomplishment of this, handbill, the
RALLY TOUND THE FLAG!
, APRIL 28, 1865
The Free Colored Man of Charleston
The free colored man in this city, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, are hereby
earnestly called upon to come forward to join the
now to be organized. It is the duty of the colored of every colored man to vindicate his manhood by becoming a soldier, and with his own stout arm to battle for the emancipation of his race. I urge you by every hope that is dear to humanity, by every free inspiration which a sense of liberty has kindled in your hearts, to be soldiers, until the freedom of your race is secured. The prospect of your future destiny should be enough to call every man to the ranks. But in addition, you are to have the
PAY, RATION, AND CLOTHING
our other soldiers receive
Let a full Regiment of the Colored Freedom of Charleston be under arms, to protect the heritage which has been promised to your race in this department.
In addition to pay as above, stated, one ration per day and an abundant supply of good clothing are allowed to each soldier. Quarters, fuel, and medical I attendance are always provided by the government, without deduction from the soldier's pay. If a soldier should become disabled in the line of his duties, the laws provided for him a pension; or he may, if he prefer it, obtain admission into the "Soldier's Home," which will afford him a comfortable home so long as he may wish to receive its benefits. It is the intention to make this an excelsior regiment. All desired information given at Recruiting Office, No. 64 St. Philip Street, Corner Calhoun.
Major 104th United States Colored Troops
R.P. Hutchines , Colonel
Office No. 123 Calhoun Street.
Colonel Hutchins had now ceased to be assistant to the general, and was hastening preparations for the camp of instruction. Recruits were fast coming in, companies were forming with alacrity. Some of the best young men in Charleston had their names enrolled with high expectations, looking forward to the camp. Besides this, independent regiments were fast being
At this time many of the fugitive citizens were returning to the city, among them some of the best officers of the rebel army, and the city was gradually awakening into life.
The headquarters of the major presenting a scene always of active life, its attraction was still more enhanced, as the fine brass band of Wilson, drum major in the service, was in full attendance, discoursing music from the corridors, and enlivening the entire neighborhood, and parading the streets with martial pump.
The major, taking an honest pride in the battalion, writes, "This splendid new battalion now performed its duties when parading the streets. They were commenced by acting Captain Shadd, who was well qualified for an officer, besides being a young gentlemen of fine literary attainments. Conscious of his abilities, he took pride in his duties, and discharged them satisfactorily. Nobbly assisted as he was by his acting assistant First Lieutenant Toussaint L'Ouverture Deleny, and a newly recruited non-commissioned officer, the almost entire duties of the command devolved upon him on parade. Had the condition of the country required a continuance of this movement to completion, this noble young man, so assiduous and diligent, would have had a position worthy of him."