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History of Cambria County, V.2

    Col White's regiment left Harrisburg on November 19, 1861, with 774 men. On February 28, 1862, it was located at Hilton Head, South Carolina, under command of Gen. T. W. Sherman. On June 3, 1862, it was removed to Edisto Island, South Carolina, and on that date was the only regiment in the garrison on that Island. It remained there during the summer. Col. White made the following report of the engagement at Coosawhatchie.
Beaufort, S. C. , October 26, 1862
Camp 55th Pennsylvania Infantry.
    * * in regard to the action of my command I would report that after disembarking at MacKay's Landing my command was assigned to the left of the brigade. Col. Chatfield in command. In this order we marched for some miles. * * Near Frampton the command was ordered on a double quick, which was promptly obeyed.
    At this point it came under a heavy and destructive fire of shell and cannister from the enemy's batteries. The order was to form in column and advance; and although the most of the command had never been exposed to a cannonade so severe and so sustained, and men were falling rapidly from its effects, yet the order was executed with promptitude and precision, the officers, with one exception, setting a noble example, which was imitated by the rank and file.
    The order was then received to get under cover for a time, while our artillery operated against the enemy's guns. Then the order was sent to charge.
    Together with the 47th Pennsylvania and 6th Connecticut my command (Co.'s A and C) rushed in, and although the ground was difficult, covered with a dense thicket, with a swamp in front, our men, with remarkable energy, at once overcame these obstacles, swept over the hostile position, and rapidly pursued the fleeing enemy.
    The pursuit was continued to Pocotaligo, where the enemy had again taken up a strong position, broken the bridge in his front, and while reinforcements were arriving to his support opened a heavy fire of cannon and musketry.
    My command (55th) having come up at the double quick, was ordered into position on our left. In obedience to an order for two companies of sharpshooters to operate against the enemy's batteries, Company A, under command of Lieut. D. W. Fox, and Company B, Captain Shraver, were thrown forward. These companies, well armed with good weapons, went in with the greatest enthusiasm, and their deadly fire soon caused the enemy's cannonade to slacken, and more than held their own in the contest with the enemy's sharpshooters.

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Created: 21 Mar 2003, Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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