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At the time, the fort had 5,000 men. When the steamships landed, the regiment found out it was 18 miles below the fort. The regiment helped build a road through the thick forest in order to place heavy siege mortars and cannon. The regiment stayed with the batteries of guns to protect them. At 8:15am on April 10th the guns fired upon Fort Pulaski. At 2:00pm to next day the Fort surrendered.
On February 26th, the 97th left to help another navel and land attack. On the 26th of February the 97th boarded the Boston. The regiment was to help attack Fort McAllister. They were on the steamer for 2 days. The finally landed on March 1st. While they were there they took Fort Clinton because it was abandoned. That night the 97th was ordered to post pickets.
When they came back in the morning they had found 2 batteries. They took the batteries and held them all night. These batteries help cover the retreat from Fort Clinton. While they were at camp the men received their first pay check. On Mach 24th the men were order to strike there tents because they were to go help support troops in Jacksonville. At the wharf near Fort Clinton, the 97th boarded the Cosmopolitan and took off for Jacksonville.
When the regiment landed the set up camp in Jacksonville. While moving through Jacksonville the next day, troops uncovered a very large army of Confederates. The Confederates advance on the Union troops. The Confederates had about 14,000 men. That's when the 97th was told to retreat from Jacksonville. The were to go board ships and get out of the vicinity of Jacksonville.
The Federal army was not up for a fight. Another factor was that it would take days in order to get reinforcements to the front lines. By that time the army could be crushed. On April 8th, the entire Union army was evacuated from Jacksonville. On April 10th, they landed and set up camp. Once again the 97th was ordered to board the U.S.S. Delaware to help support the attack on Charleston, South Carolina. The 97th boarded the Delaware on the 19th and landed on the 20th. The regiment set up camp 18 mile away from Charleston. Many people in the regiment caught Typhoid Fever. On June 2nd 1862 the regiment advanced on Charleston. That night the men set up camp near Legarville, South Carolina. At this camp the regiment had over 840 men in the ranks. That night the regiments pickets were charged at. The pickets pulled back. Heavy skirmishing took place for the rest of the night. In the morning the enemy was found in Secessionville and heavily entrenched. On June 10th and 11th the Union Army shelled the entire area. After the shelling the 79th New York lead the attack against the rebel breast works*. The first assault failed and fell back to a safe position. Then the 97th and 3rd New Hampshire lead another assault. The regiments took the first position in the breast works. While the regiments were in the works, a Confederate battery started shelling them. Col. Guss ordered the men to fire at the battery. So they did.
But they could not drive them back. Then a Union battery opened fire on it. The union battery destroyed the Confederate one. The men than retreated from the works. They took all of there wounded and dead. The On June 10th the Rebels advanced in front of the 97th. The Rebs came within 10 feet of the regiment. But the men held out with minimal casualties. Then 2 more Rebel regiments approached the 97th but they held. The battle lasted for more then two hours. The next few days were filled with tense skirmishing.
The regiment was then pulled out and sent back to Hilton Head. There the regiment rested. At this point in the regiment stayed inactive until April 3rd, 1863. Col. Guss at this point did not like to get his regiment into any major military operations. They stayed back from all of the fighting. Because of this they sat around in camp for nearly an entire year doing nothing. Things changed when they were assigned to help with the siege of Charleston.


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