54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment at the Battle of Olustee
Report of Col. Edward N. Hallowell, Fifty-fourth
Massachusetts Infantry, of engagement at Olustee.
FIFTY-FOURTH MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS,
Jacksonville, Fla., March 1, 1864.
LIEUT.: At 8.30 o'clock on the morning of
February 20, 1864,
the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers left Barber's with its colonel,
line officers, and about 480 enlisted men, the rest
of the regiment having been detailed for other duty. It marched in
of wagon train to Olustee, at which place the train was stopped
and the regiment moved forward at the double-quick about
where it was formed in line between the railroad and dirt road, under
a sharp fire from the enemy. In this
formation it advanced some 200
yards through a swamp, driving the enemy from some guns, and
checking the advance of
a column of the enemy's infantry. After firing
about 20,000 cartridges, the men of the regiment were ordered to retreat
Col. James Montgomery, commanding brigade. A new line was
formed on the right of the dirt road, where the regiment staid
dark, when it was ordered, through Col. Barton, to march back to
Barber's, where it arrived one hour after
Their loss in officers was 3 wounded-Capt. R. H. L. Jewett, First
Lieut. H. W. Littlefield, and First
Lieut. E. G. Tomlinson-in
enlisted men, killed, 13; wounded, 63; missing, 8; total, 87.
The State color three times
fell and each time was caught up by another
corporal. Sergt. Stephen A. Swails, acting sergeant-major, deserves
praise for his coolness, bravery, and efficiency during the action;
he received a severe but not mortal wound in the head.
have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. N. HALLOWELL,
Col. Fifty-fourth Massachusetts
Lieut. R. M. HALL,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
Source: Official Records, CHAP. LIII. THE FLORIDA EXPEDITION. [Series I. Vol. 35. Part I, Reports and
Correspondence. Serial No. 65.]