Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Search Results

Collections Search Center
177 documents - page 1 of 9

Department of Virginia, U. S. Army

Type:
Archival materials
Date:
May 1865–Oct. 1866
Collection Restrictions:
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commercial use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org.
Collection Citation:
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.FB.M1048, File 4.2.3
See more items in:
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869 / Series 4: Letters and Telegrams Received / 4.2: Unregistered Letters and Telegrams Received
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/io3a5968d3b-ea38-4759-aae2-8b505ef2f0f6
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmaahc-fb-m1048-ref112
3 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Department of Virginia, U. S. Army digital asset number 1
  • View Department of Virginia, U. S. Army digital asset number 2
  • View Department of Virginia, U. S. Army digital asset number 3

Governor of Virginia

Type:
Archival materials
Date:
June 1865–Feb. 1866
Collection Restrictions:
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commercial use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org.
Collection Citation:
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.FB.M1048, File 4.2.4
See more items in:
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869 / Series 4: Letters and Telegrams Received / 4.2: Unregistered Letters and Telegrams Received
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/io332e4588a-e0ba-407d-bc0e-4c4d8010f579
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmaahc-fb-m1048-ref113
2 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Governor of Virginia digital asset number 1
  • View Governor of Virginia digital asset number 2

Bureau Headquarters in Washington

Type:
Archival materials
Date:
May 1865–Apr. 1866
Collection Restrictions:
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commercial use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org.
Collection Citation:
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.FB.M1048, File 4.2.5
See more items in:
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869 / Series 4: Letters and Telegrams Received / 4.2: Unregistered Letters and Telegrams Received
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/io34cf02960-8792-4f45-80a3-5a3e52961ddd
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmaahc-fb-m1048-ref114
10 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Bureau Headquarters in Washington digital asset number 1
  • View Bureau Headquarters in Washington digital asset number 2
  • View Bureau Headquarters in Washington digital asset number 3
  • View Bureau Headquarters in Washington digital asset number 4
  • View Bureau Headquarters in Washington digital asset number 5
  • View Bureau Headquarters in Washington digital asset number 6
  • View Bureau Headquarters in Washington digital asset number 7
  • View Bureau Headquarters in Washington digital asset number 8
  • View Bureau Headquarters in Washington digital asset number 9
  • View Bureau Headquarters in Washington digital asset number 10
Online Media:

Headquarters Staff in Virginia

Type:
Archival materials
Date:
June 1865–May 1868
Collection Restrictions:
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commercial use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org.
Collection Citation:
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.FB.M1048, File 4.2.6
See more items in:
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869 / Series 4: Letters and Telegrams Received / 4.2: Unregistered Letters and Telegrams Received
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/io3f5e382dc-f645-4227-a24f-60f03c2bf797
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmaahc-fb-m1048-ref115
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Headquarters Staff in Virginia digital asset number 1

1st and 2nd Districts

Type:
Archival materials
Date:
May 1865–Sept. 1868
Collection Restrictions:
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commercial use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org.
Collection Citation:
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.FB.M1048, Item 4.2.7.1
See more items in:
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869 / Series 4: Letters and Telegrams Received / 4.2: Unregistered Letters and Telegrams Received / 4.2.7: District Headquarters in Virginia
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/io3ef820b1b-54bc-43ca-aa30-1d8597851dc8
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmaahc-fb-m1048-ref117
10 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View 1st and 2nd Districts digital asset number 1
  • View 1st and 2nd Districts digital asset number 2
  • View 1st and 2nd Districts digital asset number 3
  • View 1st and 2nd Districts digital asset number 4
  • View 1st and 2nd Districts digital asset number 5
  • View 1st and 2nd Districts digital asset number 6
  • View 1st and 2nd Districts digital asset number 7
  • View 1st and 2nd Districts digital asset number 8
  • View 1st and 2nd Districts digital asset number 9
  • View 1st and 2nd Districts digital asset number 10
Online Media:

3rd – 8th Districts

Type:
Archival materials
Date:
June 1865–May 1868
Collection Restrictions:
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commercial use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org.
Collection Citation:
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.FB.M1048, Item 4.2.7.2
See more items in:
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869 / Series 4: Letters and Telegrams Received / 4.2: Unregistered Letters and Telegrams Received / 4.2.7: District Headquarters in Virginia
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/io3e2739860-f8f3-4745-8b6c-ce5378a2f000
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmaahc-fb-m1048-ref118
10 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View 3rd – 8th Districts digital asset number 1
  • View 3rd – 8th Districts digital asset number 2
  • View 3rd – 8th Districts digital asset number 3
  • View 3rd – 8th Districts digital asset number 4
  • View 3rd – 8th Districts digital asset number 5
  • View 3rd – 8th Districts digital asset number 6
  • View 3rd – 8th Districts digital asset number 7
  • View 3rd – 8th Districts digital asset number 8
  • View 3rd – 8th Districts digital asset number 9
  • View 3rd – 8th Districts digital asset number 10
Online Media:

9th and 10th Districts

Type:
Archival materials
Date:
Aug. 1865–July 1866
Collection Restrictions:
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commercial use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org.
Collection Citation:
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.FB.M1048, Item 4.2.7.3
See more items in:
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869 / Series 4: Letters and Telegrams Received / 4.2: Unregistered Letters and Telegrams Received / 4.2.7: District Headquarters in Virginia
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/io34e6d6bf0-1722-4caa-a8ff-3c65433e0762
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmaahc-fb-m1048-ref119
10 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View 9th and 10th Districts digital asset number 1
  • View 9th and 10th Districts digital asset number 2
  • View 9th and 10th Districts digital asset number 3
  • View 9th and 10th Districts digital asset number 4
  • View 9th and 10th Districts digital asset number 5
  • View 9th and 10th Districts digital asset number 6
  • View 9th and 10th Districts digital asset number 7
  • View 9th and 10th Districts digital asset number 8
  • View 9th and 10th Districts digital asset number 9
  • View 9th and 10th Districts digital asset number 10
Online Media:

District Headquarters in Western North Carolina

Type:
Archival materials
Date:
Oct.–Nov. 1866
Collection Restrictions:
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commercial use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org.
Collection Citation:
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.FB.M1048, File 4.2.8
See more items in:
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869 / Series 4: Letters and Telegrams Received / 4.2: Unregistered Letters and Telegrams Received
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/io38944c01b-372e-4080-a19a-5016592a74c9
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmaahc-fb-m1048-ref120
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View District Headquarters in Western North Carolina digital asset number 1

Individuals, A – W

Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commercial use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org.
Collection Citation:
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.FB.M1048, File 4.2.9
See more items in:
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869 / Series 4: Letters and Telegrams Received / 4.2: Unregistered Letters and Telegrams Received
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/io3ee7cbce1-f23b-4d9c-80ad-b92389a1ed49
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmaahc-fb-m1048-ref121
10 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Individuals, A – W digital asset number 1
  • View Individuals, A – W digital asset number 2
  • View Individuals, A – W digital asset number 3
  • View Individuals, A – W digital asset number 4
  • View Individuals, A – W digital asset number 5
  • View Individuals, A – W digital asset number 6
  • View Individuals, A – W digital asset number 7
  • View Individuals, A – W digital asset number 8
  • View Individuals, A – W digital asset number 9
  • View Individuals, A – W digital asset number 10
Online Media:

W411 – Y

Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1865–1866
Collection Restrictions:
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commercial use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org.
Collection Citation:
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.FB.M1048, Item 4.1.2.12
See more items in:
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869 / Series 4: Letters and Telegrams Received / 4.1: Registers of Communications Received / 4.1.2: Entered in Registers 1 – 4
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/io385ae874e-472a-4cc2-9672-43b9d7729936
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmaahc-fb-m1048-ref91
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View W411 – Y digital asset number 1
Online Media:

Records of the Field Offices for the State of Kentucky, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872

Extent:
133 Reels
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Reels
Date:
1865–1872
Summary:
This collection is comprised of digital surrogates previously available on the 133 rolls of microfilm described in the NARA publication M1904. These digital surrogates reproduced the records of the Kentucky headquarters for the Assistant Commissioner and his staff officers and the subordinate field offices of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872. These records consist of bound volumes and unbound records, containing materials that include letters sent and received, monthly reports, registers of complaints, labor contracts, and other records relating to freedmen's claims and bounty payments.
Records Description:
These records consist of volumes and unbound records. The volumes reproduced in this publication were originally arranged by type of record and thereunder by volume number. No numbers were assigned to series consisting of single volumes. Years later, all volumes were arbitrarily assigned numbers by the Adjutant General's Office (AGO) of the War Department after the records came into its custody. In this publication, AGO numbers are shown in parentheses to aid in identifying the volumes. The National Archives assigned the volume numbers that are not in parentheses. In some volumes, particularly in indexes and alphabetical headings of registers, there are blank numbered pages that have not been filmed.

The volumes consist of letters and endorsements sent and received, press copies of letters sent, registers of letters received, letters and orders received, registers of freedmen court cases, special orders and circulars issued, registers of claimants, registers of complaints, marriage certificates, and monthly reports forwarded to the Assistant Commissioner. The unbound documents consist of letters and orders received, unregistered letters and narrative reports received, special orders and circulars issued, and general orders and circulars received. The unbound records also contain monthly reports; labor contracts; marriage certificates, and records relating to claims.

Some of the volumes contain more than one type of record, reflecting a common recording practice of clerks and staff officers of that period. In Series 4.6, for example, the volume of contracts for the Columbus field office also contains a register of marriages. Some other examples of additional series within volumes can be found in records of Series 4.18, 4.20, and 4.29. Researchers should read carefully the records descriptions and arrangements in the Table of Contents to make full use of these documents.
Historical Note:
[The following is reproduced from the original NARA descriptive pamphlet for M1904.]

HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, also known as the Freedmen's Bureau, was established in the War Department by an act of Congress on March 3, 1865 (13 Stat. 507). The life of the Bureau was extended twice by acts of July 16, 1866 (14 Stat. 173), and July 6, 1868 (15 Stat. 83). The Bureau was responsible for the supervision and management of all matters relating to refugees and freedmen, and of lands abandoned or seized during the Civil War. In May 1865, President Andrew Johnson appointed Maj. Gen. Oliver Otis Howard as Commissioner of the Bureau, and Howard served in that position until June 30, 1872, when activities of the Bureau were terminated in accordance with an act of June 10, 1872 (17 Stat. 366). While a major part of the Bureau's early activities involved the supervision of abandoned and confiscated property, its mission was to provide relief and help freedmen become self-sufficient. Bureau officials issued rations and clothing, operated hospitals and refugee camps, and supervised labor contracts. In addition, the Bureau managed apprenticeship disputes and complaints, assisted benevolent societies in the establishment of schools, helped freedmen in legalizing marriages entered into during slavery, and provided transportation to refugees and freedmen who were attempting to reunite with their family or relocate to other parts of the country. The Bureau also helped black soldiers, sailors, and their heirs collect bounty claims, pensions, and back pay.

The act of March 3, 1865, authorized the appointment of Assistant Commissioners to aid the Commissioner in supervising the work of the Bureau in the former Confederate states, the border states, and the District of Columbia. While the work performed by Assistant Commissioners in each state was similar, the organizational structure of staff officers varied from state to state. At various times, the staff could consist of a superintendent of education, an assistant adjutant general, an assistant inspector general, a disbursing officer, a chief medical officer, a chief quartermaster, and a commissary of subsistence. Subordinate to these officers were the assistant superintendents, or subassistant commissioners as they later became known, who commanded the subdistricts.

The Assistant Commissioner corresponded extensively with both his superior in the Washington Bureau headquarters and his subordinate officers in the subdistricts. Based upon reports submitted to him by the subassistant commissioners and other subordinate staff officers, he prepared reports that he sent to the Commissioner concerning Bureau activities in areas under his jurisdiction. The Assistant Commissioner also received letters from freedmen, local white citizens, state officials, and other non–Bureau personnel. These letters varied in nature from complaints to applications for jobs in the Bureau. Because the assistant adjutant general handled much of the mail for the Assistant Commissioner's office, it was often addressed to him instead of to the Assistant Commissioner.

In a circular issued by Commissioner Howard in July 1865, the Assistant Commissioners were instructed to designate one officer in each state to serve as "General Superintendents of Schools." These officials were to "take cognizance of all that is being done to educate refugees and freedmen, secure proper protection to schools and teachers, promote method and efficiency, correspond with the benevolent agencies which are supplying his field, and aid the Assistant Commissioner in making his required reports." In October 1865, a degree of centralized control was established over Bureau educational activities in the states when Rev. John W. Alvord was appointed Inspector of Finances and Schools. In January 1867, Alvord was divested of his financial responsibilities, and he was appointed General Superintendent of Education.

An act of Congress, approved July 25, 1868 (15 Stat. 193), ordered that the Commissioner of the Bureau "shall, on the first day of January next, cause the said bureau to be withdrawn from the several States within which said bureau has acted and its operation shall be discontinued." Consequently, in early 1869, with the exception of the superintendents of education and the claims agents, the Assistant Commissioners and their subordinate officers were withdrawn from the states. For the next year and a half the Bureau continued to pursue its education work and to process claims. In the summer of 1870, the superintendents of education were withdrawn from the states, and the headquarters staff was greatly reduced. From that time until the Bureau was abolished by an act of Congress approved June 10, 1872 (17 Stat. 366), effective June 30, 1872, the Bureau's functions related almost exclusively to the disposition of claims. The Bureau's records and remaining functions were then transferred to the Freedmen's Branch in the office of the Adjutant General. The records of this branch are among the Bureau's files.

THE FREEDMEN'S BUREAU IN KENTUCKY

ORGANIZATION

From July 1865 until June 1866, Maj. Gen. C. B. Fisk served as Assistant Commissioner for both Kentucky and Tennessee. Fisk appointed Bvt. Brig. Gen. John Ely to serve as chief superintendent for the Bureau at Kentucky (from March to June 1866). Ely established his headquarters at Louisville, Kentucky, and divided his operations into five subdistricts: Lexington, Louisville, Northwestern, Southern, and Central. Records relating to Kentucky created prior to Ely's tenure may be included among the files of the Assistant Commissioner for Tennessee.

In June 1866, Maj. Gen. Jeff C. Davis was appointed as the first Assistant Commissioner for Kentucky. Superintendents (or subassistant commissioners) employed under Davis were generally responsible for from 3 to 11 counties, and agents (civilian and military) from 1 to 3 counties. Agents received their orders directly from superintendents, and all superintendents were required to submit monthly reports of their activities to the Assistant Commissioner. Brig. Gen. Sidney Burbank succeeded Davis in March 1867 and was replaced by Maj. Benjamin Runkle, who served from January 1869 to May 1869 as Assistant Commissioner and superintendent of education. In August 1870, when superintendents of education were withdrawn from the states, Runkle served as claims agent for Kentucky until July 1871. H. H. Ray succeeded Runkle as claims agent, and served in this capacity until December 1871. P. J. Overley became the claims agent in January 1872 and remained in this position until the Bureau's operations in Kentucky were discontinued in April. The major subordinate field offices for the Bureau at Kentucky included those with headquarters at Bowling Green, Lebanon, Lexington, Louisville, and Paducah. For a list of known Kentucky subordinate field office personnel and their dates of service, see the Appendix.

ACTIVITIES

While the Freedmen's Bureau did not begin full operations in Kentucky until June 1866, its activities in the state generally resembled those conducted in other Southern states. The Bureau supervised labor contracts between planters and freedmen, administered justice, assisted freedmen in the establishment of schools, helped freedmen legalize marriages, and worked with black soldiers and their heirs in processing claims relating to military service.

The regulation of written labor agreements between planters and freedmen was a major concern of the Freedmen's Bureau. In a circular issued on July 24, 1865 (Circular Number 2), Assistant Commissioner Fisk told his subordinates that for both Kentucky and Tennessee freedmen must be free to choose their own employers and that wages were to be based on supply and demand rather than a fixed rate. Bureau officials were to negotiate and approve labor contracts and enforce violations by either party. Compulsory unpaid labor was strictly prohibited. In some areas of Kentucky, planters refused to enter into written agreements with freedmen, and freedmen themselves were reluctant to enter into annual agreements for fear of being reduced to slavery. However, with strong reservations, Bureau officers negotiated monthly agreements for them but encouraged freedmen to sign annual contracts that offered yearlong employment. Wages for monthly contracts ranged from $8 to $10 a month for adult male field hands, well below the state's average wage of $15 a month for men. However by the summer of 1866, with the Bureau's insistence, adult laborers in the tobacco region of the state received $25 per month and laborers in the farm belt areas earned $12 per month. In some Kentucky counties, freedmen received a third of the crops rather than wages. However, because of the shortage of laborers in the state, freedmen were able to demand higher wages, and thus over time the sharecropping system became less attractive.1

The Bureau worked to protect the rights and legal status of freedmen, which, despite the ending of slavery by the 13th Amendment, were still endangered by the persistence of the old slave codes. On May 30, 1865, Commissioner Howard issued Circular Number 5, authorizing Assistant Commissioners to establish courts in states where the old codes existed and the right of blacks to testify against whites was prohibited. Gen. Fisk subsequently announced to the citizens of Kentucky that freedmen courts would operate in the state as long as freedmen weren't given the same rights as whites. By 1867, as a result of several Federal court rulings, Bureau courts ceased to operate in Kentucky. When state courts denied black testimony, the agency, under provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, took cases involving freedmen to the U. S. District Court of Kentucky. In instances where freedmen lacked resources to pursue their cases in Federal court, the Bureau provided transportation for witnesses and other forms of assistance. Despite the Bureau's efforts to safeguard rights and secure justice for freedmen in Kentucky, admitting the testimony of blacks against whites still remained an issue in 1869 when Bureau Assistant Commissioners and their subordinates were withdrawn from the states. However, in January 1872, with a change in public opinion and pressure from the courts, the Kentucky State Legislature amended state law and allowed blacks to testify.

When Gen. John Ely began his duties as chief superintendent for Kentucky under Gen. Fisk's supervision, there were 30 freedmen schools and more than 2,000 students. The schools were organized and maintained by black churches, with black clergy as instructors. Freedmen schools faced widespread violence and white opposition, and in many cases, teachers and students were forced to abandon efforts to maintain school buildings. Ely and his subordinate assisted freedmen in reopening schools that had been forced to close.2 Under Maj. Gen. Jeff C. Davis, who replaced Ely in the summer of 1866, the number of freedmen schools increased to 54, with some 67 teachers and more than 3,200 students. Excluding the schools established at Lexington and Covington under the auspices of the Cincinnati Branch of the Western Freedmen's Aid Society and the Cincinnati Branch of the American Missionary Association, the freedmen schools were taught by black teachers who were supported by subscriptions from parents and black religious institutions. The Bureau, however, rented the building for the school at Lexington. Under Brig. Gen. Sidney Burbank, who succeeded Davis in March 1867, the number of freedmen schools increased to 96, accommodating about 5,000 students aged 6 – 18. By September 1868, in spite of continued violence and opposition, the Bureau had provided support for 135 day schools and 1 night school, serving more than 6,000 students.3

On February 14, 1866, the Kentucky State Legislature passed an act legalizing marriages freedmen had entered into during slavery and authorizing black ministers to solemnize such marriages. Nearly 2 weeks later, on February 26, 1866, Assistant Commissioner Fisk issued Circular Number 5, in accordance with the Kentucky law, directing those freedmen who sought to solemnize a marriage to the county clerk for a marriage license. If the county clerk refused to issue a license, Bureau officials in the subdistricts were authorized to solemnize marriages and issue marriage certificates. Local Bureau officers were required to maintain a register of freedmen marriages and forward a report of such marriages to the Assistant Commissioner at the end of each month. Subordinate Bureau officers were also told to notify persons living as man and wife who had not legalized their marriage, to report to the Bureau to take the necessary steps to do so. Persons who failed to comply were guilty of a misdemeanor and were to be punished by a fine and imprisonment.4 This publication reproduces marriage licenses, certificates, and registers of marriages for the Kentucky subdistricts at Augusta, Bowling Green, Columbus, Cynthiana, Owensboro, Paducah, Mt. Sterling, and Winchester. A single freedmen marriage license and a marriage certificate from Kentucky, filed in the Bureau's headquarters records, has been reproduced on roll 1 of National Archives Microfilm Publication M1875, Marriage Records of the Office of the Commissioner, Washington Headquarters of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1861–1869.

In addition to assisting freedmen in solemnizing slave marriages and efforts to sustain the black family, the Bureau helped discharged soldiers, sailors, marines, and their heirs in claims for back pay, bounty payments, and pensions. In accordance with a law passed by Congress on March 29, 1867 (15 Stat. 26), making the Bureau the sole agent for payment of claims relating to black veterans, Bureau disbursing officers assisted freedmen in the preparation and settlement of military claims. In November 1866, in spite of the difficulties in locating veterans who fled the state for fear of violence, Assistant Commissioner Davis reported that he had forwarded more than 260 black soldiers' claims for back pay and bounty payments to Commissioner Howard's office in Washington, DC. In the following year, Assistant Commissioner Burbank reported that his office had assisted nearly 500 veterans with military claims, and in the fall of 1868, for the year ending October 10, 1868, that more than 1,100 received bounty payments through his office.5

ENDNOTES

1 House Ex. Doc. 70, 39th Cong., 1st Sess., Serial Vol. 1256, p. 48. See also Victor B. Howard, Black Liberation in Kentucky: Emancipation and Freedom, 1862–1884 (Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky, 1983), pp. 96 – 97.

2 See report of Maj. J. C. Davis, August 23, 1866, "Synopses of Letters and Reports Relating to Conditions of Freedmen and Bureau Activities in the States, January 1866–March 1869," Vol. 135, Records of the Commissioner, Record Group 105, NARA, pp. 294 – 395.

3 Ross A. Webb, "The Past Is Never Dead, It's Not Even Past: Benjamin P. Runkle and the Freedmen's Bureau in Kentucky, 1866–1870," The Register of Kentucky Historical Society Vol. 84, No. 4 (Autumn 1986), pp. 348 – 350.

4 See Victor B. Howard, Black Liberation in Kentucky, pp. 121 – 125.

5 Senate Ex. Doc. No. 6, 39th Cong., 2nd Sess., Serial Vol. 1276, p. 67; See also Annual Reports of the Assistant Commissioners, Kentucky, 1867 and 1868, Records of the Office of the Commissioner, Record Group 105, NARA.
Freedmen's Bureau Personnel in Kentucky:
This list provides the names and dates of service of chief medical officers and known Freedmen's Bureau personnel at selected subordinate field offices in Kentucky. Additional information regarding persons assigned to various field offices might be found among the Bureau's Washington headquarters station books and rosters of military officers and civilians on duty in the states and other appointment-related records.

LOUISVILLE

July 1866–Mar. 1867 -- Chief Medical Officer F. S. Town

Mar.–Nov. 1867 -- Chief Medical Officer W. R. De Witt, Jr.

Nov. 1867–June 1869 -- Chief Medical Officer R. A. Bell

BOWLING GREEN

July 1866–July 1867 -- Chief Subassistant Commissioner Charles F. Johnson

July–Dec. 1867 -- Chief Subassistant Commissioner Joseph C. Rodriguez

Jan.–Feb. 1868 -- Chief Subassistant Commissioner Louis A. Reynolds

Feb.–June 1868 -- Chief Subassistant Commissioner A. Benson Brown

BOWLING GREEN

Jan.–Mar. 1866 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner R. W. Thing (Superintendent)

Sept. 1866–July 1867 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner Joseph C. Rodriguez (Subassistant Comm.)

July–Dec. 1867 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner James A. Shepley (Subassistant Commissioner)

BRANDENBURG

Sept. 1866–June 1867 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner York A. Woodward (Superintendent)

May–June 1868 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner James A. Bolton (Subassistant Commissioner)

BURKSVILLE

Oct. 1866–July 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner George W. Kingsbury

COLUMBUS

Mar.–Apr. 1866 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner Lt. James F. Bolton (Superintendent, Paducah)

Apr. 1866–Mar. 1868 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner Lt. James F. Bolton (Superintendent)

Mar.–Apr. 1868 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner Lt. James F. Bolton (Subassistant)

Apr.–July 1868 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner Capt. Emerson H. Liscum (Subassistant)

COVINGTON

Jan. 1866–July 1868 -- Superintendent John L. Graham

DANVILLE

Jan.–May 1866 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner William Goodloe (Superintendent)

June 1866–Apr. 1867 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner W. R. Roume (Superintendent)

Apr.–Aug. 1867 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner W. R. Roume (Subassistant)

Aug.–Dec. 1867 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner A. Benson Brown (Subassistant)

Dec. 1867–Apr. 1868 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner Martin Norton (Subassistant)

Feb.–June 1868 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner H. G. Thomas (Chief Subassistant)

GREENSBURG

Oct. 1866–Nov. 1866 -- Superintendent and Chief Agent George Duff (Superintendent)

Mar. 1867–Feb. 1868 -- Superintendent and Chief Agent P. S. Reeves (Chief Agent)

HENDERSON

Feb.–May 1868 -- Chief Subassistant Commissioner James McCleery

May 1868 -- Chief Subassistant Commissioner V. H. Echorn

June–July 1868 -- Chief Subassistant Commissioner A. Benson Brown

HENDERSON

Jan.–Dec. 1866 -- Superintendent and Subassistant F. F. Cheaney (Superintendent)

Apr.–Sept. 1867 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Wells Bailey (Subassistant)

Jan.–July 1868 -- Superintendent and Subassistant V. H. Echorn (Subassistant)

LEXINGTON

Feb.–Mar. 1866 -- Chief Superintendent and Chief Subassistant John Ely (Chief)

Apr.–June 1866 -- Chief Superintendent and Chief Subassistant James H. Rice (Chief Superintendent)

June 1866–Feb. 1867 -- Chief Superintendent and Chief Subassistant R. E. Johnson (Chief Superintendent)

Aug.–Oct. 1866 -- Chief Superintendent and Chief Subassistant James H. Rice (Acting Chief Superintendent)

Oct. 1866–Apr. 1867 -- Chief Superintendent and Chief Subassistant R. E. Johnson (Acting Chief Superintendent)

Apr. 1867–Dec. 1868 -- Chief Superintendent and Chief Subassistant R. E. Johnson (Chief Subassistant)

LEXINGTON

June 1866–Apr. 1867 -- Superintendent and Subassistant James H. Rice (Superintendent)

Apr.–June 1867 -- Superintendent and Subassistant James H. Rice (Subassistant)

June–July 1867 -- Superintendent and Subassistant W. R. Montmolin (Acting Subassistant)

July–Oct. 1867 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Patrick H. Flood (Subassistant)

LOUISVILLE

July–Aug. 1865 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner S. A. Porter (Superintendent)

Aug.–Nov. 1865 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner H. A. McCaleb (Superintendent)

Nov. 1865 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner E. D. Kennedy (Acting Superintendent)

Mar.–Apr. 1866 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner Walter Babcock (Superintendent)

Apr. 1866 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner A. Benson Brown (Superintendent)

Apr. 1866–June 1866 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner C. H. Frederick (Superintendent)

June 1866 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner A. Benson Brown (Acting Superintendent)

July 1866–Apr. 1867 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner C. H. Frederick (Superintendent)

July 1866–Apr. 1867 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner A. Benson Brown (Assistant Superintendent)

Apr.–July 1867 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner R. W. Roberts (Subassistant)

July 1867–July 1868 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner J. Catlin (Subassistant)

July–Dec. 1868 -- Superintendent and Subassistant Commissioner J. Catlin (Chief Subassistant)

PADUCAH

Apr.–Dec. 1866 -- Chief Superintendent and Chief Subassistant Commissioner John H. Donovan (Chief Superintendent)

Aug. 1866 -- Chief Superintendent and Chief Subassistant Commissioner John F. Smith (Acting Chief Superintendent)

Dec. 1866–Apr. 1867 -- Chief Superintendent and Chief Subassistant Commissioner W. James Kay (Chief Superintendent)

Apr.–June 1867 -- Chief Superintendent and Chief Subassistant Commissioner W. James Kay (Chief Subassistant)

June 1867–Mar. 1868 -- Chief Superintendent and Chief Subassistant Commissioner W. James Kay (Chief Subassistant)

Apr.–July 1868 -- Chief Superintendent and Chief Subassistant Commissioner P. T. Swaine (Chief Subassistant)

July–Dec. 1868 -- Chief Superintendent and Chief Subassistant Commissioner A. Benson Brown (Chief Subassistant)

PADUCAH (McCracken County)

Aug. 1865–Apr. 1866 -- Superintendent, Chief Agent, and Subassistant Commissioner A. M. York (Superintendent)

Apr.–Nov. 1866 -- Superintendent, Chief Agent, and Subassistant Commissioner John F. Smith (Superintendent)

Dec. 1866–Jan. 1867 -- Superintendent, Chief Agent, and Subassistant Commissioner Jas. Drysdale (Superintendent)

Feb.–Apr. 1867 -- Superintendent, Chief Agent, and Subassistant Commissioner C. D. Smith (Superintendent)

Apr. 1867 -- Superintendent, Chief Agent, and Subassistant Commissioner C. D. Smith (Chief Agent)

Apr.–May 1867 -- Superintendent, Chief Agent, and Subassistant Commissioner C. D. Smith (Subassistant)

May–Nov. 1867 -- Superintendent, Chief Agent, and Subassistant Commissioner C. D. Smith (Chief Agent)

May–July 1868 -- Superintendent, Chief Agent, and Subassistant Commissioner R. S. Egelston (Subassistant)

PARIS

Mar. 1866 -- Agent Joseph A. Hilduth

Mar.–May 1866 -- Agent Thomas I. Elliott

June–July 1866 -- Agent R. W. Hutchraft

RUSSELLVILLE

Mar. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner H. A. Hunter

Apr.–June 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner M. E. Billings

SMITHLAND

Mar. 1866–Jan. 1867 -- Agent J. Bone Thompson

Mar.–June 1867 -- Agent Solomon Littlefield

WINCHESTER

Feb. and Sept. 1866 -- Superintendent H. C. Howard

Feb.–June and Sept. 1866 -- Superintendent George W. Gist

Apr. 1866 -- Superintendent R. C. Nicholas
Related Materials:
See also Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection
Provenance:
Acquired from FamilySearch International in 2015.
Restrictions:
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commercial use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org.
Topic:
American South  Search this
Freedmen's Bureau  Search this
Reconstruction, U.S. history, 1865-1877  Search this
Slaves -- Emancipation  Search this
Citation:
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.FB.M1904
See more items in:
Records of the Field Offices for the State of Kentucky, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/io358923399-4fa1-4983-ae13-15e5c99fc822
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmaahc-fb-m1904
Online Media:

Records of the Field Offices for the State of Georgia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872

Extent:
90 Reels
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Reels
Date:
1865–1872
Summary:
This collection is comprised of digital surrogates previously available on the 90 rolls of microfilm described in the NARA publication M1903. These digital surrogates reproduced the records of the Georgia staff offices and subordinate field offices of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872. These records consist of bound volumes and unbound records, containing materials that include letters and endorsements sent and received, monthly reports, registers of patients, orders and circulars issued and received, and other records relating to freedmen's complaints and contracts.
Records Description:
These records consist of volumes and unbound records. The volumes reproduced in this publication were originally arranged by type of record and thereunder by volume number. No numbers were assigned to series consisting of single volumes. Years later, all volumes were arbitrarily assigned numbers by the Adjutant General's Office (AGO) of the War Department after the records came into its custody. In this publication, AGO numbers are shown in parentheses to aid in identifying the volumes. The National Archives assigned the volume numbers that are not in parentheses. In some volumes, particularly in indexes and alphabetical headings of registers, there are blank numbered pages that have not been filmed.

The volumes consist of letters and endorsements sent and received, press copies of letters sent, registers of letters received, letters and orders received, special orders and circulars issued, registers of complaints, and monthly reports forwarded to the Assistant Commissioner. The unbound documents consist of letters and orders received, unregistered letters and narrative reports received, special orders and circulars issued, general orders and circulars received, monthly reports, and records relating to complaints, labor contracts, patients, and court papers.
Historical Note:
[The following is reproduced from the original NARA descriptive pamphlet for M1903.]

HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, also known as the Freedmen's Bureau, was established in the War Department by an act of Congress on March 3, 1865 (13 Stat. 507). The life of the Bureau was extended twice by acts of July 16, 1866 (14 Stat. 173), and July 6, 1868 (15 Stat. 83). The Bureau was responsible for the supervision and management of all matters relating to refugees and freedmen, and of lands abandoned or seized during the Civil War. In May 1865, President Andrew Johnson appointed Maj. Gen. Oliver Otis Howard as Commissioner of the Bureau, and Howard served in that position until June 30, 1872, when activities of the Bureau were terminated in accordance with an act of June 10, 1872 (17 Stat. 366). While a major part of the Bureau's early activities involved the supervision of abandoned and confiscated property, its mission was to provide relief and help freedmen become self–sufficient. Bureau officials issued rations and clothing, operated hospitals and refugee camps, and supervised labor contracts. In addition, the Bureau managed apprenticeship disputes and complaints, assisted benevolent societies in the establishment of schools, helped freedmen in legalizing marriages entered into during slavery, and provided transportation to refugees and freedmen who were attempting to reunite with their families or relocate to other parts of the country. The Bureau also helped black soldiers, sailors, and their heirs collect bounty claims, pensions, and back pay.

The act of March 3, 1865, authorized the appointment of Assistant Commissioners to aid the Commissioner in supervising the work of the Bureau in the former Confederate states, the border states, and the District of Columbia. While the work performed by Assistant Commissioners in each state was similar, the organizational structure of staff officers varied from state to state. At various times, the staff could consist of a superintendent of education, an assistant adjutant general, an assistant inspector general, a disbursing officer, a chief medical officer, a chief quartermaster, and a commissary of subsistence. Subordinate to these officers were the assistant superintendents, or subassistant commissioners as they later became known, who commanded the subdistricts.

The Assistant Commissioner corresponded extensively with both his superior in the Washington Bureau headquarters and his subordinate officers in the subdistricts. He prepared reports that he sent to the Commissioner concerning Bureau activities in areas under his jurisdiction, based upon reports submitted to him by the subassistant commissioners and other subordinate staff officers. He also received letters from freedmen, local white citizens, state officials, and other non–Bureau personnel. These letters varied in nature from complaints to applications for jobs in the Bureau. Because the assistant adjutant general handled much of the mail for the Assistant Commissioner's office, letters were often addressed to him instead of to the Assistant Commissioner. In a circular issued by Commissioner Howard in July 1865, the Assistant Commissioners were instructed to designate one officer in each state to serve as "General Superintendents of Schools." These officials were to "take cognizance of all that is being done to educate refugees and freedmen, secure proper protection to schools and teachers, promote method and efficiency, correspond with the benevolent agencies which are supplying his field, and aid the Assistant Commissioner in making his required reports." In October 1865, a degree of centralized control was established over Bureau educational activities in the states when Rev. John W. Alvord was appointed Inspector of Finances and Schools. In January 1867, Alvord was divested of his financial responsibilities, and he was appointed General Superintendent of Education.

An act of Congress, approved July 25, 1868 (15 Stat. 193), ordered that the Commissioner of the Bureau "shall, on the first day of January next, cause the said bureau to be withdrawn from the several States within which said bureau has acted and its operation shall be discontinued." Consequently, in early 1869, with the exception of the superintendents of education and the claims agents, the Assistant Commissioners and their subordinate officers were withdrawn from the states.

For the next year and a half the Bureau continued to pursue its education work and to process claims. In the summer of 1870, the superintendents of education were withdrawn from the states, and the headquarters staff was greatly reduced. From that time until the Bureau was abolished by an act of Congress approved June 10, 1872 (17 Stat. 366), effective June 30, 1872, the Bureau's functions related almost exclusively to the disposition of claims. The Bureau's records and remaining functions were then transferred to the Freedmen's Branch in the office of the Adjutant General. The records of this branch are among the Bureau's files.

Constrained by limited resources, Southern opposition, and the politics of Reconstruction, the Bureau faced an enormous challenge in its efforts to assist the freedmen and refugees. Its relief efforts, without question, saved thousands of southerners from starvation. Its attempts to assist freedmen to become self–sufficient, to provide public education, administer justice, and, to a lesser degree, to provide land, all worked with varying degrees of success to lessen the difficulties during the transition from slavery to freedom. One of the Bureau's greatest legacies is the body of records it created and received during the course of its operations. These records are arguably some of the most important documents available for the study of the Federal Government's policies, efforts to reconstruct the South, and Southern social history and genealogy.

THE FREEDMEN'S BUREAU IN GEORGIA

ORGANIZATION

Bvt. Maj. Gen. Rufus Saxton, who had directed the "Port Royal Experiment," was appointed Assistant Commissioner for South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Saxton established his headquarters at Beaufort, SC, in June 1865, and assigned Gen. Edward A. Wild the responsibility for Bureau affairs in part of Georgia. In September 1865, after Wild was relieved from duty, the office of Assistant Commissioner for Georgia was established, and Brig. Gen. Davis Tillson was appointed as Acting Assistant Commissioner, with exclusive control of all matters concerning the Bureau in Georgia. Tillson reported to General Saxton in South Carolina until December 1865, when he was ordered to report thereafter directly to Commissioner Howard at Washington. Generally, the records pertaining to Georgia and Florida that were created during this early period are included among those of the Assistant Commissioner of South Carolina.

The organization of the Bureau in Georgia was similar to that of the Bureau headquarters in Washington. The Assistant Commissioner's staff included an assistant adjutant general, an assistant inspector general, a chief quartermaster and disbursing officer, and a superintendent of education. Three officers served as Assistant Commissioner in Georgia between 1865 and 1869 and located the Bureau offices in four different cities during that period. General Tillson first established his headquarters at Augusta in September 1865, but moved it to Savannah in October 1866. Col. Caleb C. Sibley succeeded Tillson as Assistant Commissioner in January 1867, and 2 months later he moved the headquarters from Savannah to Macon. It remained there until July 1867, when the office was transferred to Atlanta. In October 1868, Maj. John R. Lewis replaced Sibley as Assistant Commissioner. Lewis served until the office was discontinued in May 1869. From January to May 1869, Major Lewis combined the duties of Assistant Commissioner, with those of superintendent of education. After the office of the Assistant Commissioner was discontinued, Lewis continued to serve as superintendent of education until May 1870.

The major subordinate field offices for the Bureau in Georgia, for example, included those with headquarters at Albany, Americus, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Macon, and Savannah. Under the direct supervision of the subassistant commissioners were the civilian and military agents. Occasionally, the Bureau retained military officers in a civilian capacity after the termination of their military service. For a list of selected Georgia subordinate field office personnel and their dates of service, see the Appendix.

ACTIVITIES

The major activities of the Freedmen's Bureau in Georgia generally resembled those conducted in other states. The Bureau issued rations and provided medical relief to both freedmen and white refugees, supervised labor contracts between planters and freedmen, administered justice, and worked with benevolent societies in the establishment of schools.

When General Davis Tillson took over as Assistant Commissioner for the Freedmen's Bureau in Georgia in September 1865, many of the major cities and towns in the state were troubled with overcrowding, disease, and poverty. In the cities of Macon, Atlanta, Augusta, and Savannah, freedmen and refugees were living in some of the most crowded and deplorable conditions, and many were in dire need of food and clothing, shelter, and medical attention.1 Convinced, however, that Federal Government relief should be temporary and solely for the needy, General Tillson issued an order on October 3, 1865, prohibiting the distribution of rations to freedmen and refugees who were able–bodied but refused work. To discourage idleness and dependency, Tillson further ordered that only those persons who were able to provide for themselves would be allowed to remain in the towns and cities. Those who desired to stay, said Tillson, "must be compelled, if necessary, to go to the country and accept places of labor found by themselves, or for them, by officers or agents of the Bureau."2

Tillson's orders were strictly enforced. One month after his pronouncement, rations issued in Savannah had been reduced from 120,000 to 60,000 per month. For the month of June of 1866, the number of rations issued for the entire State of Georgia totaled less than 20,000. However, in spite of the Bureau's "Self–Help" policy, limited resources, and the belief that local governments should play a greater role in providing relief for the destitute, the Georgia Bureau issued some 847,669 rations from June 1865 to September 1866. Although the Bureau's actions prevented wholesale starvation and untold suffering, the agency's rations–relief efforts were far less extensive than what Bureau officials had done during the same period in Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Tillson's successors, Assistant Commissioners Caleb C. Sibley (January 1867–October 1868) and John R. Lewis (October 1868–May 1869) continued to follow the policy of providing limited rations relief. During their tenures, rations were issued only in emergencies and for the most part to hospitals and asylums.3

The Georgia Bureau's policy of temporary relief for the needy also guided its approach in providing medical care and assistance for the destitute. Like its ration program, the Bureau viewed its responsibility as one of providing temporary medical relief, primarily in cases of extreme emergencies. The Bureau believed that the ultimate responsibility for providing medical care to those in need lay with Georgia civil authorities. J. W. Lawton, who served as surgeon–in–chief under General Tillson, saw the use of dispensaries as the best means of administering medical relief and the most effective approach to encourage civil officials to take on some of the cost for operating them. Lawton and his successor at various times maintained dispensaries at Albany, Americus, Brunswick, Columbus, Darien, Newton, St. Catherine's Island, St. Marys, and Stone Mountain. The Bureau's medical department also opened hospitals with the idea of eventually turning them over to state and local authorities. The Bureau maintained hospitals at Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Macon, and Savannah. At the height of its medical operations (1866–67), however, the agency employed just 13 physicians. Nonetheless, with its limited and over burdened medical staff, the Bureau treated more than 5,000 freedmen for various aliments and vaccinated some 20,000 freedmen and refugees against smallpox from September 1, 1865, through September 20, 1866. By September 1867, the number of freedmen treated by the Bureau nearly tripled. At the end of June 1868, close to 17,000 freed men, women, and children received treatment. Despite the Bureau's efforts to treat the weak, sick, and infirm, the mortality rate among freedmen remained high. By late 1868, most of the Bureau's medical activities ceased, and care for the destitute was turned over to local authorities.4

In Georgia, as in other states under the Bureau's jurisdiction, the regulation of written labor contracts between planters and freedmen was of paramount concern. General Tillson's order of October 3, 1865 (Circular Number 2), which restricted the issuing of rations only to those in need, also instructed his subordinates to "Make Immediate and Vigorous Efforts" to secure work for unemployed freedmen "where fair compensation and kind treatment will be secured to them." Upon arrival at his post in early September 1865, Tillson found the labor system in Georgia in disarray. Able–bodied freedmen were being paid from $2 to $7 per month. Many were of the notion that the Federal Government was planning to distribute land to them at Christmas or New Year's, and thus large numbers of freedmen were refusing to sign labor contracts. Planters, on the other hand, were convinced that the Bureau was the "Champion" of the freedmen and totally insensitive to their concerns about freedmen and their unwillingness to labor, and were thus making little effort to prepare for the planting season.5

On December 22, 1865, in an effort to remove "False and Mistaken Impressions" held by the both planters and freedmen, Tillson issued wage guidelines that both parties were expected to follow. Under the new rules, freedmen had the right to choose their own employers, but those freedmen who refused to sign contracts after January 10, 1866, "where employers offer good wages and kind treatment," had to accept contracts that the Bureau made for them. In upper and middle Georgia, where the land was poor and unsuited for raising large quantities of crops, Tillson instructed his officers to secure contracts paying men $12 – $13 per month, and $8 – $10 dollars per month for women. Freedmen were to provide for their own clothing and medicines. In other parts of the state and along the coast and southwestern Georgia, where "Good Crops" could be raised, men were to be paid $15 per month, including board and lodging, and women $10 per month. In areas where planters preferred to pay a share of the crop, the order required payment of "from one–third the gross to one half the net proceeds."6

Realizing that not all planters would comply with his new wage guidelines, Tillson instructed his subordinates to call on the military to enforce his orders whenever necessary. He was aware in spite of his orders, many of the contracts being signed, even some approved by his own agents, were substandard and not in compliance with his wage schedule. He made clear to both his agents and the planters that such contracts would not be recognized. To emphasize the importance of his commitment to fair contracts and compensation for freedmen, Tillson offered transportation to freedmen to such areas as southwest Georgia and the Mississippi Valley where wages were higher. In a November 1866 report to Commissioner Howard, Tillson indicated that he had issued 381 orders for transportation for some 2,947 men and 1,013 children.7

Safeguarding rights and securing justice for freedmen was a major area of concern for the Freedmen's Bureau. Following the Civil War, several Southern states enacted a series of laws commonly known as "Black Codes," which restricted the rights and legal status of freedmen. Freedmen were often given harsh sentences for petty crimes and in some instances were unable to get their cases heard in state courts. In a circular issued by Commissioner Howard on May 30, 1865 (Circular Number 5), Assistant Commissioners were directed to "adjudicate, either themselves or through officers of their appointment, all difficulties arising between negroes themselves, or between negroes and whites or Indians." In response to Howard's circular, General Tillson issued an order on November 15, 1865 (Circular Number 4), instructing his officers to hear and make determinations in cases involving freedmen in which the disputed sum did not exceed $50, or the punishment did not exceed $50 or 30 days' imprisonment. Agents were also told that they could "try offences committed by or against freedmen, provided the sentence imposed does not exceed one hundred and fifty dollars or imprisonment for hard labor for sixty days." Tillson further ordered that "It is preferred that all cases of any importance . . . whenever under the laws there of [the State of Georgia], or by agreement of the parties . . . [where] the testimony of Freedmen can be admitted . . . the Agent will turn them over to the civil authorities for trial." To carry out Tillson's orders, agents were to establish three member tribunals (known as freedmen's courts) consisting of a Bureau official and two citizens, one chosen by each party involved in the case.8

However, when the Georgia State Legislature passed an act conferring civil rights on "Persons of Color," approved March 17, 1866, Tillson advised his officers on April 6 (Circular Number 4) that they were no longer required to comply with Commissioner Howard's orders of May 30, 1865. While Tillson told his agents that they were to continue to follow instructions issued by him on November 6, 1865 (Circular Number 4), "all cases exceeding their jurisdiction, unless otherwise specially directed by the Department Commander, [were to] be turned over to the civil authorities of the State for adjudication." Despite the Bureau's efforts to secure justice and civil rights for freedmen in Georgia, blacks continued to complain to the agency about some of the "Most Fiendish and Diabolical Outrages" suffered by them at the hands of gangs known as "Regulators," "Jayhawkers," and the "Black–Horse Cavalry." Perpetrators of crimes against freedmen were often not apprehended or prosecuted by civil authorities. At various times, because of increased hostilities toward freedmen and the failure of civil authorities to take action in their cases, Bureau officials in Georgia were compelled to reassert their authority.9

Bureau educational activity began in Georgia in October 1865, when G. L. Eberhart was appointed as superintendent of schools (later education). In August 1867, Edward A. Ware succeeded Eberhart. In January 1869, Assistant Commissioner Maj. John R. Lewis assumed the duties of superintendent of education. Lewis served in both capacities until May 1869, when the office of Assistant Commissioner was discontinued, and remained as superintendent education until May 1870. The records of the two offices were not combined. Ware, who had been acting as assistant superintendent, remained in Georgia as acting superintendent until August 1870, when all Bureau officers except the claims agents were withdrawn from the state.

Congress's failure to provide an appropriation for the Freedmen's Bureau during it first year of operation, impacted significantly on the agency's ability to provide adequate assistance for freedmen education. With limited financial resources, the Bureau provided help when it could, and worked vigorously to encourage freedmen and Northern benevolent societies to take on the primary responsibility for providing support for black schools. G. L. Eberhart and his successors were of the opinion that "colored people who are unwilling to help educate their children do not deserve to have schools." To encourage freedmen to participate in this self–support effort, Eberhart urged them to establish educational associations. With assistance from local Bureau agents, educational associations were established in the subdistricts of Thomasville, Bainbridge, Albany, Georgetown, Cuthbert, and Americus. In early 1866, the "Pay Your Own Way" policy led to the founding of the Georgia Educational Association (initially organized as the Georgia Equal Rights Association). The Educational Association worked closely with the Bureau and Northern aid societies and became the model "to encourage the people [freedmen] to organized effort in supporting their own schools & managing their own affairs." By the end of 1866, freedmen owned 57 schoolhouses and provided support for 96 of the 127 schools in the state. By the spring of 1867, freedmen contributions sustained some 104 schools and teachers and more than 3,000 students. During the same period, the Bureau maintained some 44 schools and 50 teachers and close to 3,100 pupils. Northern aid societies provided support for 84 schools, 78 teachers, and over 7,000 students. Freedmen also defrayed the expenses for 45 schools under the control of the Bureau and the aid societies.10

With the passage of the Army Appropriations Act on July 13, 1866 (14 Stat. 90), the Bureau received its first appropriation and was able to provide greater assistance in its effort to support freedmen education. In addition to providing some $21,000 for state superintendents' salaries, the Act made available $500,000 more for the rent and repair of school buildings. In the same month, Congress overrode President Andrew Johnson's veto and extended the life of the Bureau for 2 years. In this new legislation (14 Stat. 173), the Bureau was allowed to "Seize, Hold, Use, Lease, or Sell" Confederate property for the purpose of educating freedmen. The act also required the Bureau to work closely with benevolent groups and to lease buildings to those associations that supplied teachers. By early July 1869, the Bureau had expended nearly $105,000 for the construction and repair of school buildings that provided accommodations for 4,690 students. The Bureau spent an additional $10,471 for the repair of buildings that provided part–time space for more than 3,500 pupils. By the time the Bureau withdrew from Georgia in 1870, the agency had contributed funds for the building of some 50 schools in the state.11

ENDNOTES

1 Mildred Thompson, "The Freedmen's Bureau in Georgia in 1865–66: An Instrument of Reconstruction," The Georgia Historical Quarterly V, No. 1 (March 1921): 42 – 43.

2 House Ex. Doc. 70, 39th Cong., 1st Sess., Serial Vol. 1256, p. 58.

3 House Ex. Doc. 6, 39th Cong., 2nd Sess., Serial Vol. 1276, p. 57; Thompson, "The Freedmen's Bureau in Georgia in 1865–66: An Instrument of Reconstruction," pp. 42 – 43. For a detailed discussion of the Georgia Freedmen's Bureau's efforts in regards to relief, see Paul A. Cimbala, Under the Guardianship of the Nation: The Freedmen's Bureau and the Reconstruction of Georgia, 1865–1870 (Georgia: The University of Georgia Press, 1997), especially pp. 80 – 98.

4 Paul Cimbala, Under the Guardianship of the Nation: The Freedmen's Bureau and the Reconstruction of Georgia, 1865–1870, pp. 98 – 104; See also Todd L. Savitt, "Politics in Medicine: The Georgia Freedmen's Bureau and the Organization of Health Care, 1865–1866," Civil War History XXVIII, No. 1 (March 1982): pp. 45 – 64.

5 "Statement in brief, of the operations of the Freedmen's Bureau in Georgia, since September last, the date of his assignment to duty," Davis Tillson, Bvt. Maj. Gen., Annual Reports of the Assistant Commissioners, GA, August 7, 1866, Records of the Office of the Commissioner, 1866–69, Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, Record Group (RG) 105, National Archives Building, Washington, DC.

6 Paul A. Cimbala, "The Talisman Power:" Davis Tillson, The Freedmen's Bureau, and Free Labor in Reconstruction Georgia, 1865–68," Civil War History XXVIII, No. 2 (June 1982): 160.

7 Ibid, 160 – 164.

8 House Ex. Doc. 70, 39th Cong., 1st Sess. Serial Vol. 1256, pp. 61 – 62.

9 Senate Ex. Doc. 6, 39th Cong., 2nd Sess., Serial Vol. 1276, pp. 54 – 56.

10 Paul A. Cimbala, Under the Guardianship of the Nation: The Freedmen's Bureau and the Reconstruction of Georgia, 1865–1870, pp. 105 – 110.

11 Ibid., pp. 116 – 118.
Freedmen's Bureau Personnel in Georgia:
This list provides the names and dates of service of known Freedmen's Bureau personnel at selected subordinate field offices in Georgia. Additional information regarding persons assigned to various field offices might be found among the Bureau's Washington headquarters station books and rosters of military officers and civilians on duty in the states and other appointment–related records.

ALBANY

Feb. 1866–Oct. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner F. A. H. Gaebel (Headquarters at Cuthbert)

Oct. 1867–Dec. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner O. H. Howard (Headquarters at Albany)

Mar.–Oct. 1867 -- Agent O. H. Howard

Oct. 1867–Jan. 1868 -- Agent C. C. Hicks

Dec. 1867 -- Agent William Pierce

Jan.–Nov. 1868 -- Agent Charles Rauschenberg

AMERICUS

July 1866–Mar. 1867 -- Assistant Subassistant Commissioner George Wagner

Apr. 1867–Apr. 1868 -- Agent J. W. Robinson

Apr.–Nov. 1868 -- Agent A. C. Morrill

ATLANTA

Oct.–Dec. 1865 -- Subassistant Commissioner George Curkendall

Jan.–Feb. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner D. C. Poole

Feb.–June 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner George R. Walbridge

June 1866–May 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner John Leonard

May 1867–Dec. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner Fred Mosebach

AUGUSTA

July–Aug. 1865 -- Subassistant Commissioner J. F. H. Cooke

Aug.–Nov. 1865 -- Subassistant Commissioner J. E. Bryand

Nov. 1865–Apr. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner George R. Campbell

Apr.–Sept. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner William Shields

Sept. 1866–Feb. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner W. L. White

Feb.–July 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner William F. Martins

July 1867–Jan. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner E. S. Ehlers

Jan.–Dec. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner H. Catley

Jan.–May 1869 -- Assistant Superintendent of Education E. B. Bingham

BAINBRIDGE

June 1867–Dec. 1868 -- Agent W. L. Clark

Jan.–May 1869 -- Assistant Superintendent of Education W. L. Clark

BAIRDSTOWN

July 1866–Sept. 1868 -- Agent Joseph McWhorter

BARTON

Oct. 1867–Aug. 1868 -- Agent William Moffitt

BLAKELY

June–Nov. 1867 -- Agent William Genth

BRUNSWICK (Subdistrict)

July 1866–Mar. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner George Crabtree

Mar.–May 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner E. S. Ehlers

May 1867–Dec. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner Douglas Risley

Jan.–May 1869 -- Assistant Superintendent of Education Douglas Risley

May 1867–Dec. 1868 -- Agent S. North

BUTLER

May–Oct. 1868 -- Agent A. Pokorny

CAMPBELLTON

Feb. 1866–May 1867 -- Agent E. S. Jackson

CARNESVILLE

May–June 1867 -- Agent C. W. Beal

June–Sept. 1867 -- Agent K. Tyner

Sept. 1867–Aug. 1868 -- Agent J. W. Barney

CARROLLTON

July 1867 -- Agent Edward Belcher (also at Dawson)

CARTERSVILLE

Apr. 1867–Dec. 1868 -- Agent C. B. Blacher

CLARKSVILLE

June–Nov. 1867 -- Agent T. J. Herbert

COLUMBUS

Apr. 1866–Apr. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner Fred Mosebach

May–Dec.1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner George Wagner

Jan.–Dec. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner John Leonard

Dec. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner Harry Haskell

May 1867–Dec. 1868 -- Agent C. W. Chapman

Jan.–Mar. 1869 -- Assistant Superintendent of Education Harry L. Haskell

CRAWFORDSVILLE

Apr. 1867–Apr. 1868 -- Agent William B. Moore

May–Nov. 1868 -- Agent John H. Sullivan (also at Greensboro)

CUMMING

Apr. 1867–Jan. 1868 -- Agent W. J. Bryan

Jan.–Dec. 1868 -- Agent W. J. Bryan (also at Marietta)

CUTHBERT

Feb. 1866–Oct. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner F. A. H. Gaebel

June 1867–Jan. 1868 -- Agent Charles Rauschenberg

Jan.–Mar. 1868 -- Agent C. C. Hicks

Mar.–May 1868 -- Agent James A. Shiels

May–Dec. 1868 -- Agent George Ballou

DAHLONEGA

July 1866–Jan. 1867 -- Agent M. P. Archer

DALTON

June 1867–Apr. 1868 -- Agent Ralph L. Finney

Apr.–Nov. 1868 -- Agent P. I. O'Rourke

DARIEN

June 1866–Apr. 1867 -- Agent Thomas Pease

DAWSON

Mar.–Apr. 1867 -- Agent Charles Rauschenbert

July 1867 -- Agent Edward Belcher (also at Carrollton)

Aug.–Sept. 1867 -- Agent Edward Belcher (also at Forsyth)

Dec. 1867 -- Agent William Pierce (also at Albany)

Dec. 1867–Aug. 1868 -- Agent William Pierce (also at Smithville)

Sept.–Oct. 1868 -- Agent Andrew Clark

DORCHESTER

Jan. 1867 -- Agent A. M. McIver

EATONTON

June–Dec. 1867 -- Agent J. D. Rogers (also at Milledgeville)

ELIJAY

Sept.–Nov. 1867 -- Agent M. R. Archer

FORSYTH

Aug.–Sept. 1867 -- Agent Edward Belcher (also at Dawson)

FORT GAINES

June–Nov. 1867 -- Agent William Genth (also at Blakely)

Nov. 1867–June 1868 -- Agent William Genth

FORT VALLEY

Sept. 1867–Jan. 1868 and Oct.–Dec. 1868 -- Agent Daniel Losey

GREENSBORO

May–Nov. 1868 -- Agent John H. Sullivan (also at Crawfordsville)

GRIFFIN

July 1866–Feb. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner E. S. Ehlers

July 1867–Jan. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner John Leonard

Jan.–Nov. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner George Wagner

Jan.–Sept. 1866 -- Agent J. Clarke Swayze

Sept. 1866–Mar. 1867 -- Agent James J. Boynton

HALCYONDALE

July–Dec. 1867 -- Agent Lewis Wheelock

Mar.–Apr. 1868 -- Agent Chas Sawyer

June–Dec. 1868 -- Agent A. Leers

HAWKINSVILLE

Apr. 1867–Feb. 1868 -- Agent E. A. Polloch

Mar.–Sept. 1868 -- Agent L. Lieberman

HINESVILLE

Jan. 1867 -- Agebt A. M. McIver (also at Dorchester)

Feb.–Apr. 1867 -- Agent A. M. McIver (also at Riceboro)

May 1867–Nov. 1868 -- Agent Charles Holcombe

IRVINTON

Aug.–Dec. 1868 -- Agent H. de P. Young

ISABELLA

Apr.–Aug. 1867 -- Agent William C. Carson

JACKSON

1865–67 -- Agent Wiley Goodman

JONESBORO

June 1867–Nov. 1868 -- Agent I. G. A. Waldrop

LAFAYETTE

May 1867–Mar. 1868 -- Agent D. J. Curtis

LAGARANGE

Oct. 1866–Apr. 1867 -- Agent B. C. Ferrell

May 1867–Jan. 1868 -- Agent W. E. Wiggins

Jan.–Apr. 1868 -- Agent Israel Towns

Apr.–Dec. 1868 -- Agent Harry L. Haskell

LEXINGTON

Aug. 1867–Jan. 1868 -- Agent T. J. Robinson

Nov. 1867–Oct. 1868 -- Agent Joseph McWhortor

MACON

Dec. 1865–Jan. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner Louis Lambert

Jan.–Apr. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner E. G. Locke

Apr.1866–Dec. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner N. Sellers Hill

Jan.–May 1869 -- Assist. Superintendent of Education John A. Rockwell

MCDONOUGH

Jan. 1867–Aug. 1868 -- Agent George M. Nolan

MARIETTA

Dec. 1866–Jan. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner O. B. Gray

Jan.–Dec. 1868 -- Agent W. J. Bryan (also at Cumming)

MARION

Jan. 1866–July 1868 -- Agent H. M. Layless

Aug. 1868 -- Agent H. de P. Young

MILLEDGEVILLE

Dec. 1865–May 1867 -- Agent Thomas White

June–Dec. 1867 -- Agent J. D. Rogers (also at Eatonton)

Jan.–Dec. 1868 -- Agent M. R. Bell

MONROE

Jan. 1866–Apr.1867 -- Agent John W. Arnold

NEWMAN

Jan. 1867–Sept. 1868 -- Agent William F. Martin

NEWTON

Apr. 1867–Aug. 1868 -- Agent Andrew B. Clark

PERRY

Sept. 1867–Jan. 1868 -- Agent Daniel Losey (also at Fort Valley)

Jan.–Sept. 1868 -- Agent Daniel Losey

Oct.–Dec. 1868 -- Agent Daniel Losey (Fort Valley)

QUITMAN

Apr. 1867–June 1868 -- Agent Alvin B. Clark

June–July 1868 -- Agent O. N. Lyon

RICEBORO

Feb.–Apr. 1867 -- Agent A. M. McIver

ST. MARYS

Aug. 1867–Dec. 1868 -- Agent William Royal

ST. SIMON'S ISLAND

1865 -- Agent William F. Eaton

SANDERSSVILLE

1867 -- Agent Thomas Harris

May–Nov. 1868 -- Agent James R. Smith

SAVANNAH

Oct. 1865–Feb. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner Col. H. F. Sickles

Feb.–Mar. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner J. Hall

Mar.–June 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner George Crabtree

June–Oct. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner J. Kearny Smith

Oct.–Dec. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner F. J. Foster

Feb. 1867–Dec. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner J. Murray Hoag

Jan. 1869–Oct. 1870 -- Subassistant Commissioner J. Murray Hoag (Claims Agent)

Oct. 1870–July 1872 -- Subassistant Commissioner J. W. Brinkerhoff (Claims Agent)

SMITHVILLE

Dec. 1867–Aug. 1868 -- Agent William Pierce

STOCKTON

June–Aug. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner and Agent H. F. Mills

Aug.–Dec. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner and Agent H. F. Mills (Agent)

THOMASVILLE

Nov. 1865–Mar. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner Capt. C. C. Richardson

Apr.–Dec. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner Capt. Joseph O'Neil

Feb. 1867–Dec. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner Capt. W. F. White

WARRENTON

Apr. 1867–June 1868 -- Agent Thomas Holden

July–Nov. 1868 -- Agent R. C. Authery

WATKINSVILLE

Dec. 1865–Mar. 1867 -- Agent Calvin Johnson

WAYNESBORO

Dec. 1865–May 1866 -- Agent A. A. Buck

June 1866–Dec. 1867 -- Agent William Martins

Jan.–Dec. 1868 -- Agent Max Marbach

WOODVILLE

Sept. 1867–Aug. 1868 -- Agent D. A. Newson
Related Materials:
See also Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection
Provenance:
Acquired from FamilySearch International in 2015.
Restrictions:
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commercial use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org.
Citation:
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.FB.M1903
See more items in:
Records of the Field Offices for the State of Georgia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/io33c09bd98-c1c1-41b8-9f8e-d048b6481594
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmaahc-fb-m1903
Online Media:

Records of the Field Offices for the State of South Carolina, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872

Extent:
106 Reels
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Reels
Date:
1865–1872
Summary:
The collection is comprised of digital surrogates previously available on the 106 rolls of microfilm described in the NARA publication M1910. These digital surrogates reproduced the records of the South Carolina field offices of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872, including previously unfilmed records of the Office of the Assistant Commissioner, and records of the offices of staff officers, subordinate officers, and subordinate field offices. These records consist of bound volumes and unbound records, including letters and endorsements sent and received, orders and circulars, monthly reports, and other records relating to freedmen's complaints and claims.
Records Description:
These records consist of volumes and unbound records. The volumes reproduced in this microfilm publication were originally arranged by the Freedmen's Bureau by type of record and thereunder by volume number. No numbers were assigned to series consisting of single volumes. Years later, all volumes were assigned numbers by the Adjutant General's Office (AGO) of the War Department after the records came into its custody. In this microfilm publication, AGO numbers are shown in parentheses to aid in identifying the volumes. The National Archives assigned the volume numbers that are not in parentheses. In some volumes, particularly in indexes and alphabetical headings of registers, there are blank numbered pages that have not been filmed.

The volumes consist of letters and endorsements sent and received, registers of letters received, unregistered letters received, general and special orders and circulars received, registers of claimants for bounties and pay arrearages, and registers of indentures of apprenticeship. The unbound documents consist of letters and orders received, unregistered letters received and narrative reports received, special orders and circulars issued, general and special orders and circulars received, and other series.

A few series were created in 1862–64, prior to the formation of the Bureau, by Union military commanders and U. S. Treasury agents, and included in the Bureau records. Some of the volumes contain more than one type of record, reflecting a common recording practice of clerks and staff officers in that period. On Roll 32, for example, the Register of Letters Received, Vol. 1 (95), also contains a register of complaints. Researchers should read carefully the records descriptions and arrangements in the table of contents to make full use of these records.
Historical Note:
[The following is reproduced from the original NARA descriptive pamphlet for M1910.]

HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, also known as the Freedmen's Bureau, was established in the War Department by an act of Congress on March 3, 1865 (13 Stat. 507). The life of the Bureau was extended twice by acts of July 16, 1866 (14 Stat. 173), and July 6, 1868 (15 Stat. 83). The Bureau was responsible for the supervision and management of all matters relating to refugees and freedmen, and of lands abandoned or seized during the Civil War. In May 1865, President Andrew Johnson appointed Maj. Gen. Oliver Otis Howard as Commissioner of the Bureau, and Howard served in that position until June 30, 1872, when activities of the Bureau were terminated in accordance with an act of June 10, 1872 (17 Stat. 366). While a major part of the Bureau's early activities involved the supervision of abandoned and confiscated property, its mission was to provide relief and help freedmen become self-sufficient. Bureau officials issued rations and clothing, operated hospitals and refugee camps, and supervised labor contracts. In addition, the Bureau managed apprenticeship disputes and complaints, assisted benevolent societies in the establishment of schools, helped freedmen in legalizing marriages entered into during slavery, and provided transportation to refugees and freedmen who were attempting to reunite with their family or relocate to other parts of the country. The Bureau also helped black soldiers, sailors, and their heirs collect bounty claims, pensions, and back pay.

The act of March 3, 1865, authorized the appointment of Assistant Commissioners to aid the Commissioner in supervising the work of the Bureau in the former Confederate states, the border states, and the District of Columbia. While the work performed by Assistant Commissioners in each state was similar, the organizational structure of staff officers varied from state to state. At various times, the staff could consist of a superintendent of education, an assistant adjutant general, an assistant inspector general, a disbursing officer, a chief medical officer, a chief quartermaster, and a commissary of subsistence. Subordinate to these officers were the assistant superintendents or subassistant commissioners as they later became known, who commanded the subdistricts.

The Assistant Commissioner corresponded extensively with both his superior in the Washington Bureau headquarters and his subordinate officers in the subdistricts. Based upon reports submitted to him by the subassistant commissioners and other subordinate staff officers, he prepared reports that he sent to the Commissioner concerning Bureau activities in areas under his jurisdiction. The Assistant Commissioner also received letters from freedmen, local white citizens, state officials, and other non–Bureau personnel. These letters varied in nature from complaints to applications for jobs in the Bureau. Because the assistant adjutant general handled much of the mail for the Assistant Commissioner's office, it was often addressed to him instead of to the Assistant Commissioner.

In a circular issued by Commissioner Howard in July 1865, the Assistant Commissioners were instructed to designate one officer in each state to serve as "General Superintendents of Schools." These officials were to "take cognizance of all that is being done to educate refugees and freedmen, secure proper protection to schools and teachers, promote method and efficiency, correspond with the benevolent agencies which are supplying his field, and aid the Assistant Commissioner in making his required reports." In October 1865, a degree of centralized control was established over Bureau educational activities in the states when Rev. John W. Alvord was appointed Inspector of Finances and Schools. In January 1867, Alvord was divested of his financial responsibilities, and he was appointed General Superintendent of Education.

An act of Congress approved July 25, 1868 (15 Stat. 193), ordered that the Commissioner of the Bureau "shall, on the first day of January next, cause the said bureau to be withdrawn from the several States within which said bureau has acted and its operation shall be discontinued." Consequently, in early 1869, with the exception of the superintendents of education and the claims agents, the Assistant Commissioners and their subordinate officers were withdrawn from the states.

For the next year and a half the Bureau continued to pursue its education work and to process claims. In the summer of 1870, the superintendents of education were withdrawn from the states, and the headquarters staff was greatly reduced. From that time until the Bureau was abolished by an act of Congress approved June 10, 1872 (17 Stat. 366), effective June 30, 1872, the Bureau's functions related almost exclusively to the disposition of claims. The Bureau's records and remaining functions were then transferred to the Freedmen's Branch in the office of the Adjutant General. The records of this branch are among the Bureau's files.

THE FREEDMEN'S BUREAU IN SOUTH CAROLINA

ORGANIZATION

Bvt. Maj. Gen. Rufus Saxton, who directed the "Port Royal Experiment," was appointed Assistant Commissioner for South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida on June 10, 1865. Shortly after Saxton assumed his new duties, Howard appointed Assistant Commissioners for Georgia and Florida. Thus, by September 1865 Saxton was, for all practical purposes, Assistant Commissioner solely for South Carolina. Generally, the records pertaining to Georgia and Florida among those of the Assistant Commissioner of South Carolina were created during this period.

The organization of the Bureau in South Carolina was similar to that of the Bureau headquarters in Washington, DC. Saxton's original staff included an assistant adjutant general, an inspector general, a superintendent of education, an assistant quartermaster, a chief commissary of subsistence, and an aide–de–camp.

Officers subordinate to Saxton were responsible for administering the policies of the Bureau in the subdistricts of South Carolina. These subdistricts, as they finally evolved in February 1867, were Anderson, Beaufort, Columbia, Charleston, Lynn, Darlington, Edisto, Greenville, Georgetown, Hilton Head, the South Carolina side of the Savannah River, Unionville, and Williamsburg. The subdistricts were administered by subassistant commissioners. Officers or civilians serving under the subassistant commissioner were called agents.

During the period of the Bureau's existence in South Carolina, there were three Assistant Commissioners operating from three different cities. Gen. Rufus Saxton established his headquarters in Beaufort, but in September 1865 he moved his headquarters to Charleston. Bvt. Maj. Gen. Robert K. Scott succeeded Saxton in January 1866 and carried out the duties of Assistant Commissioner until July 1868 when he resigned to become Governor of South Carolina. Just before Scott resigned, the headquarters was moved to Columbia. Bvt. Col. John R. Edie assumed the position of Assistant Commissioner for South Carolina in August 1868 and served until May 1869. Bvt. Maj. Horace Neide, superintendent of education for South Carolina, acted as Assistant Commissioner until May 31, 1869, when the office was abolished in South Carolina.

Neide and his successor, Bvt. Maj. Edward L. Deane, served as superintendent of education until June 1870 when that office was discontinued. Many of the series of records begun by Assistant Commissioners that were continued by superintendents of education will be found with those of Assistant Commissioners. The Bureau functioned in South Carolina until June 1872, but its activities after June 1870 were mainly in the area of military claims.

ACTIVITIES

The major activities of the Freedmen's Bureau in South Carolina generally resembled those conducted in other states. The Bureau issued rations and provided medical relief to both freedmen and white refugees, supervised labor contracts between planters and freedmen, administered justice, and worked with benevolent societies in the establishment of schools.

When Rufus Saxton assumed office as the Assistant Commissioner for South Carolina, he found tens of thousands of freedmen and white refugees in dire need of relief. By mid–summer 1865, with help from the offices of the Commissary General of the Army, the Quartermaster General, and the Surgeon General, Saxton provided more than 300,000 rations, clothing, and medical supplies to nearly 9,000 destitute persons. In 1866, in an effort to encourage self–sufficiency and adhere to Commissioner Howard's policy of supplying relief only to the needy, Saxton's successor, Gen. Robert K. Scott, drastically reduced the number of rations issued and limited them to blacks and whites in hospitals and orphan asylums. Despite Scott's efforts, however, persistent crop storages and crop failures in 1866–67 required the agency to provide aid and other forms of relief to ward off large–scale starvation and destitution. In 1868, the Bureau adopted a crop–lien system in which planters (both black and white) were given rations to distribute to laborers, and a lien was placed against their crops as collateral for repayment for the value of the rations. While the crop lien plan was well–conceived and helpful for both the employers and their employees, many planters were unable, and in some cases unwilling, to repay their loans. By 1870, when the Bureau's relief program ended in South Carolina, most of the monies associated with the loans remained outstanding.1

To further aid and provide medical relief to the "Sick and Suffering," the Freedmen's Bureau in South Carolina established a medical department during the summer and fall of 1865. Under the guidance of the surgeon–in–chief, W. R. De Witt, the Bureau established several camps, dispensaries, and hospitals with a staff of 16 contract physicians and 29 attendants. In spite of limited funding resources, the agency treated more than 8,000 freedmen and white refugees, and by the end of 1866, it provided care for close to 5,000 whites and more than 40,000 blacks. In the latter part of 1868, Bureau hospitals were either closed or turned over to local officials, and dispensaries were discontinued. From its beginning in the summer of 1865 to 1868, the Bureau's medical department in South Carolina provided medical assistance to about 150,000 blacks and 20,000 whites.2

The regulation of written labor agreements between planters and freedmen was a major concern of the Freedmen's Bureau in South Carolina. In orders issued on August 28, 1865 (General Orders Number 11), Assistant Commissioner Saxton charged his subordinates with seeing that "Fair and Liberal" contracts were made between planters and freedmen. Officers were told that agreements that called for a share of the crop were best suited for both landlords and laborers. Many freedmen who believed that the Federal Government planned to divide their former owners' land among them, were reluctant to sign contracts. This was especially true among freedmen on the Sea Islands who had been issued possessory titles under Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's Special Field Orders Number 15, which set aside for the settlement of blacks "Islands from Charleston south, the abandoned rice–fields along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea, and the country bordering the Saint John's River, Fla." Nonetheless, with the Bureau's insistence and the threat of being forcibly removed from land they occupied, some 8,000 contracts were signed, and nearly 130,000 freedmen worked under labor agreements between the years 1865 and 1866. On January 1, 1867, Saxton's successor, Gen. R. K. Scott, issued a circular (Circular Number 1) publishing model contracts for a share of the crop and wages. Under the terms of the contracts blacks were entitled to housing, rations, medical attention, fuel, and at least half of the crop. Freedmen who worked for wages were generally paid between $8 and $12 per month and were responsible for supplying their own rations. By the end of 1868, the Bureau closed its operations in South Carolina and thus brought an end to its free labor system.3

Safeguarding rights and securing justice for freedmen was also a priority of the Bureau. Following the Civil War, several Southern states, including South Carolina, enacted a series of laws commonly known as "Black Codes" that restricted the rights and legal status of freedmen. Freedmen were often given harsh sentences for petty crimes and in some instances were unable to get their cases heard in state courts. In a circular issued by Commissioner Oliver Otis Howard on May 30, 1865 (Circular Number 5), Assistant Commissioners were authorized, in places where civil law had been interrupted and blacks' rights to justice were being denied, to adjudicate cases between blacks themselves and between blacks and whites.4

However, before the Freedmen's Bureau's involvement in South Carolina, provost courts and special military commissions served as the primary institutions for administering justice. Established by the Department of the South in the summer of 1865, under General Orders Number 102, provost courts could impose fines up to $100 and sentences of two months (later increased to $500 and six months, respectively). These courts, although subject to change, consisted of one military officer and two civilians who handled cases generally involving larceny and assault and battery. Military commissions were responsible for overseeing more serious cases involving burglary and murder, and functioned under rules similar to those for military courts–martial. In an agreement reached in September 1865 with South Carolina's provisional governor Benjamin F. Perry, military courts were given responsibility over all cases involving blacks, and state courts were to handle cases involving whites. The Freedmen's Bureau courts, which began to assume a greater role in these issues after the passage of the second Freedmen's Bureau law (July 1866), were thus limited in their efforts to protect the rights of freedmen. After the South Carolina Legislature adopted a measure in October 1866 recognizing freedmen's rights and making black testimony admissible in state courts, all cases involving freedmen were turned over to state courts.5

When Reuben Tomlinson became superintendent of the education division of the Freedmen's Bureau in South Carolina in early summer 1865, he found more than nine schools with about 9,000 students already in operation along the coastal region. Tomlinson sought to expand the number of schools throughout the state and increase enrollment. In the summer of 1866, he reported that freedmen schools had increased to 54 with 130 teachers providing instruction for a daily average of more than 5,000 pupils. By June 1867, an additional 19 schools had been added to the system, along with 10 new teachers. During the 1866–67 school year, the Bureau provided nearly $25,000 (primarily for rent and school repairs) of the $107,000 spent on freedmen schools. However, by the end of the 1868 school term, the Bureau's educational efforts were on the decline. Limited funds, waning support from Northern benevolent societies, and a steady decrease in freedmen contributions reversed some of the early progress made in the establishment of the freedmen school system. The number of schools in operation during the 1868 and 1869 school terms dropped from 73 to 49. By the summer of 1870, with all funds exhausted, the Bureau's educational program in South Carolina came to a close, and its buildings were turned over to benevolent societies.6

ENDNOTES

1 Martin Abbott, The Freedmen's Bureau in South Carolina, 1865–1872 (North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press, 1967), esp. pp. 37 – 48; see also Senate Ex. Doc. 6, 39th Cong., 2nd Sess., Serial Vol. 1276, pp. 112 – 113.

2 Abbott, The Freedmen's Bureau in South Carolina, pp. 10 – 50.

3 Howard C. Westwood, "Sherman Marched—and Proclaimed Land for the Landless," South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 85 (1984): pp. 33 – 50; For a discussion of the "Free Labor" system in South Carolina, see Abbott, The Freedmen's Bureau in South Carolina, pp. 66 – 81; Senate Ex. Doc. 6, 39th Cong., 2nd Sess., Serial Vol. 1276, pp. 113 – 115.

4 House Ex. Doc. 11, 39th Cong., 1st Sess. Serial Vol. 1255, p. 45.

5 Abbott, The Freedmen's Bureau in South Carolina, pp. 99 – 105; Thomas D. Morris, "Equality, 'Extraordinary Law,' and The South Carolina Experience, 1865–1866," South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 83 (1982), pp. 15 – 33.

6 Abbott, The Freedmen's Bureau in South Carolina, pp. 85 – 98; Senate Ex. Doc. 6, 39th Cong., 2nd Sess., Serial Vol. 1276, p. 115.
Freedmen's Bureau Personnel in South Carolina:
This list provides the names and dates of service of known Freedmen's Bureau personnel at selected subordinate field offices for South Carolina. Additional information regarding persons assigned to various field offices might be found among the Bureau's Washington headquarters station books and rosters of military officers and civilians on duty in the states and other appointment–related records.

CLAIMS DIVISION

Dec. 1866 -- Office for Colored Applicants for Bounties and Bounty Pensions A. McL. Crawford

Dec. 1866–Oct. 1867 -- Officer in Charge A. McL. Crawford

Jan. 1868 -- Agent in Charge John B. Dennis

Jan.–July 1868 -- Agent in Charge John B. Dennis

Aug. 1868–Jan. 1869 -- Subassistant Commissioner (6th Subdistrict, Charleston) W. H. Danilson

Jan.–May 1869 -- Clerk in Charge William F. De Knight

Sept. 1869–Feb. 1870 -- Claims Officer Capt. F. C. Von Schirach

Mar.–Oct. 1870 -- Agent Charles Garretson

ABBEVILLE COURT HOUSE

Mar. 1866–Oct. 1867 -- Acting Subassistant Commissioner C. R. Becker

Oct.–Dec. 1867 -- Agent Charles S. Allen

Dec. 1867–Feb. 1868 -- Agent C. C. Perry

Feb.–Apr. 1868 -- Agent O. H. Hart

May–Aug. 1868 -- Agent W. F. De Knight

Aug.–Nov. 1868 -- Clerk W. F. De Knight

AIKEN (Bureau District of Anderson)

Aug.–Oct. 1866 -- Acting Assistant Commissioner Benjamin P. Runkle

Oct. 1866 -- Acting Assistant Commissioner E. R. Chase

Oct. 1866–Feb. 1867 -- Acting Assistant Commissioner S. Walker

Feb.–Mar. 1867 -- Acting Assistant Commissioner S. Walker

Mar. 1867–Aug. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner (Subdistrict at Aiken) S. Walker

AIKEN (Edgefield District)

Feb.–Aug. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner J. Devereux (at Hamburg)

Aug.–Sept. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner George P. McDougall (at Aiken)

Sept.–Nov. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner William Stone

Nov. 1866–Feb. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner William Stone (Edgefield and Barnwell Districts)

Feb.–Dec. 1867 -- Assistant Subassistant Commissioner William Stone

Jan.–Aug. 1868 -- Assistant Subassistant Commissioner William Stone (Edgefield District)

Aug.–Dec. 1868 -- Assistant Subassistant Commissioner William Stone (2nd Subdistrict at Aiken)

ANDERSON COURT HOUSE (Anderson District)

Mar.–Sept. 1866 -- Acting Subassistant Commissioner William Stone

Sept. 1866–Mar. 1867 -- Acting Subassistant Commissioner G. P. McDougall

Mar.–Apr. 1867 -- Agent G. P. McDougall

Apr.–Sept. 1867 -- Acting Subassistant Commissioner G. P. McDougall

BARNWELL (Barnwell District)

Mar.–May 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner E. R. Chase (at Barnwell)

June–Nov. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner E. R. Chase (at Aiken)

Mar. 1867–Apr. 1868 -- Agent William A. Nerland (at Barnwell)

BEAUFORT

Sept. 1865–Jan. 1866 -- Agent H. G. Judd

Feb.–Nov. 1867 -- Agent George W. Gile

Mar.–Aug. 1868 -- Acting Subassistant Commissioner George W. Gile

Oct. 1868–April 1871 -- Collecting Agent C. H. Wright

BEAUFORT (Hospital)

Oct. 1865–Dec. 1868 -- Surgeon A. J. Wakefield

BEAUFORT (Contraband Department)

Apr.–June 1862 -- Superintendent of Contrabands, Department of the South Sam B. Broad

June–Oct. 1862 -- Superintendent of Contrabands, Department of the South James D. Strong

Oct. 1862–May 1863 -- Superintendent of Contrabands, Department of the South John E. Webster

May 1863–Jan. 1864 -- Clerk Robert M. Taitt

CHESTER

Feb.–June 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner D. D. Lind

July–Dec. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner M. J. De Forest

Jan.–July 1868 -- Agent M. J. De Forest

COLUMBIA (District of Columbia)

Jan.–Apr. 1866 -- Acting Subassistant Commissioner William H. H. Holton (1st Subdistrict, District of West South Carolina)

Apr.–June 1866 -- Acting Subassistant Commissioner William H. H. Holton (District of West South Carolina)

June–July 1866 -- Acting Assistant Commissioner William H. H. Holton (District of Columbia)

July 1866 -- Acting Assistant Commissioner Benjamin P. Runkle

July 1866–Jan. 1867 -- Acting Assistant Commissioner William J. Harkisheimer

Jan.–Feb. 1867 -- Acting Assistant Commissioner J. Durell Greene

Feb.–May 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner J. Durell Greene (District of Columbia)

June–Oct. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner William J. Harkisheimer (District of Columbia)

Oct.–Dec. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner William J. Harkisheimer (at Columbia)

Jan.–Dec. 1868 -- Agent William J. Harkisheimer (at Columbia)

DARLINGTON

Apr.–Dec 1866 -- Acting Assistant Commissioner George W. Gile

Jan.–Feb. 1867 -- Acting Assistant Commissioner George Pingree

Feb.–Dec. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner George Pingree

Dec. 1867 -- Assistant Subassistant Commissioner George Pingree

Mar.–Apr. 1867 -- Agent M. J. De Forest

Jan.–Aug. 1868 -- Agent George Pingree

June 1866–Apr. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner M. J. De Forest

Aug–Dec. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner George Pingree

GEORGETOWN

Nov.–Dec. 1865 -- Acting Subassistant Commissioner A. J. Willard

Dec. 1865–Aug. 1866 -- Acting Subassistant Commissioner B. F. Smith

Jan.–Oct. 1867 -- Acting Subassistant Commissioner John Chance

Oct.–Dec. 1867 -- Aid–de–Camp E. W. Everson

Dec. 1867–July 1868 -- Agent W. Markwood

Aug. 1868–Jan. 1869 -- Clerk W. Markwood

GREENVILLE

Apr.–Oct. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner A. E. Niles

Oct. 1866–May 1867 -- Acting Assistant Commissioner J. W. De Forest

June–Dec. 1867 -- Acting Assistant Commissioner J. W. De Forest

Jan.–Feb. 1868 -- Agent W. R. Hoyt

Feb.–May 1868 -- Agent W. F. De Knight

May–July 1868 -- Agent Carroll Neide

Aug. 1868 -- Clerk Carroll Neide

HOPKINS TURN OUT

July–Aug. 1867 -- Acting Assistant Surgeon Samuel L. Orr

Sept. 1867 -- Acting Assistant Surgeon Samuel L. Orr (at St. Helena Island)

Oct. 1867 -- Acting Assistant Surgeon Samuel L. Orr (at Ladies Island)

JOHNS ISLAND

Oct. 1865–Mar. 1866 -- Acting Assistant Surgeon B. Burgh Smith (at St. Pauls Parish)

May–Sept. 1866 -- Acting Assistant Surgeon B. Burgh Smith (at Johns Island)

Dec. 1866–Sept. 1867 -- Acting Assistant Surgeon I. L. Beckett

Oct. 1867–May 1868 -- Acting Assistant Surgeon S. B. Thompson

Jan.–Apr. 1868 -- Special Agent S. B. Thompson

KINGSTREE

Jan.–Mar. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner A. E. Niles

Apr.–June 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner M. J. De Forest

June–Dec. 1867 -- Agent A. Swails

Jan.–Dec. 1868 -- Agent Garrett Nagle

LAURENSVILLE

Dec. 1867–Mar. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner John R. Edie

Apr.–Aug. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner Alfred Smith

Aug.–Dec. 1868 -- Clerk Nathaniel Freeman

MARION

June 1866–Jan. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner George E. Pingree

June 1867–Mar. 1868 -- Agent J. E. Lewis

July–Aug. 1868 -- Agent William H. Lockwood

MONCKS CORNER

Jan.–Apr. 1866 -- Acting Subassistant Commissioner F. W. Liedtke

Apr. 1866–Jan. 1867 -- Acting Subassistant Commissioner F. W. Liedtke

May 1867–Mar. 1868 -- Acting Subassistant Commissioner F. W. Liedtke

MOUNT PLEASANT

Feb.–June 1866 -- Acting Subassistant Commissioner D. T. Corgbin

July 1866–Mar. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner Edward F. O'Brien

Apr.–Oct. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner E. W. Everson

Oct. 1867–Aug. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner W. H. Dailson

ORANGEBURG

Aug. 1865–Mar. 1866 -- Acting Subassistant Commissioner E. A. Koylay

Mar.–July 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner L. C. Skinner

July 1867–Jan. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner William H. H. Holton

Jan.–June 1868 -- Agent William H. H. Holton

June–July 1868 -- Agent Edmund S. Woog

Aug.–Nov. 1868 -- Clerk Joseph A. Greene

Nov.–Dec. 1868 -- Agent Robert Ahern

ROCKVILLE

Feb. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner E. W. Everson

Mar.–June 1866 -- Acting Subassistant Commissioner J. E. Cornelius

June–Dec. 1866 -- Acting Subassistant Commissioner J. E. Cornelius

Jan.–June 1867 -- Acting Subassistant Commissioner E. W. Everson

June–Dec. 1867 -- Acting Subassistant Commissioner Henry McHenry

SUMMERVILLE

Sept.–Oct. 1865 -- Subassistant Commissioner James C. Beecher

Nov. 1865–Jan. 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner Daniel F. Towles

Apr.–May 1866 -- Subassistant Commissioner James C. Beecher

June 1866–Feb. 1867 -- Subassistant Commissioner Garrett Nagle

Feb.–Apr. 1867 -- Agent Garrett Nagle

Apr.–Dec. 1867 -- Acting Subassistant Commissioner Garrett Nagle

UNIONVILLE

June 1866–Mar. 1868 -- Subassistant Commissioner A. P. Caraher
Related Materials:
See also Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection
Provenance:
Acquired from FamilySearch International in 2015.
Restrictions:
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commercial use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org.
Topic:
American South  Search this
Freedmen's Bureau  Search this
Reconstruction, U.S. history, 1865-1877  Search this
Slaves -- Emancipation  Search this
Citation:
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.FB.M1910
See more items in:
Records of the Field Offices for the State of South Carolina, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/io3d456b3d6-f1c8-4326-a71d-13d3d71c2343
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmaahc-fb-m1910
Online Media:

Unregistered Letters Received

Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1867–69 and Undated
Collection Restrictions:
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commercial use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org.
Collection Citation:
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.FB.M821, File 4.2.2
See more items in:
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869 / Series 4: Letters Received / 4.2: Unregistered Letters Received
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/io34566c34b-1688-408d-9239-e933c62dd93e
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmaahc-fb-m821-ref32
10 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Unregistered Letters Received digital asset number 1
  • View Unregistered Letters Received digital asset number 2
  • View Unregistered Letters Received digital asset number 3
  • View Unregistered Letters Received digital asset number 4
  • View Unregistered Letters Received digital asset number 5
  • View Unregistered Letters Received digital asset number 6
  • View Unregistered Letters Received digital asset number 7
  • View Unregistered Letters Received digital asset number 8
  • View Unregistered Letters Received digital asset number 9
  • View Unregistered Letters Received digital asset number 10
Online Media:

Reports of Operations and Conditions

Type:
Archival materials
Date:
Dec. 1866–May 1867
Collection Restrictions:
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commercial use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org.
Collection Citation:
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.FB.M821, Item 7.1.1.1
See more items in:
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869 / Series 7: Reports / 7.1: Registered Reports of Operations and Conditions / 7.1.1: Entered in Register 1
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/io3eae0275d-2698-4745-921c-7a102e58c255
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmaahc-fb-m821-ref37
Online Media:

Reports of Operations and Conditions

Type:
Archival materials
Date:
June–Aug. 1867
Collection Restrictions:
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commercial use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org.
Collection Citation:
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.FB.M821, Item 7.1.1.2
See more items in:
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869 / Series 7: Reports / 7.1: Registered Reports of Operations and Conditions / 7.1.1: Entered in Register 1
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/io38170291e-404d-47de-9b9d-71694fea6251
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmaahc-fb-m821-ref38
Online Media:

T – Z

Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1866–67
Collection Restrictions:
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commercial use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org.
Collection Citation:
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.FB.M821, Item 4.1.1.6
See more items in:
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869 / Series 4: Letters Received / 4.1: Registered Letters Received / 4.1.1: Entered in Register 1
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/io392c5cb6d-6b7f-43db-ab7b-f80a1d5a0026
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmaahc-fb-m821-ref44
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View T – Z digital asset number 1
Online Media:

N – R

Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1867–69
Collection Restrictions:
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commercial use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org.
Collection Citation:
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.FB.M821, Item 4.1.2.5
See more items in:
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869 / Series 4: Letters Received / 4.1: Registered Letters Received / 4.1.2: Entered in Register 2
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/io36cf812b4-8992-4c69-8f03-7be3d2430a2f
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmaahc-fb-m821-ref50
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View N – R digital asset number 1
Online Media:

T – Y

Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1867–69
Collection Restrictions:
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commercial use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org.
Collection Citation:
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.FB.M821, Item 4.1.2.7
See more items in:
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869 / Series 4: Letters Received / 4.1: Registered Letters Received / 4.1.2: Entered in Register 2
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/io3d6237dc5-b4c8-4567-9ce9-c30f26e4a8da
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmaahc-fb-m821-ref64
Online Media:

Reports of Operations and Conditions

Type:
Archival materials
Date:
Sept.–Oct. 1867
Collection Restrictions:
Freedmen's Bureau Digital Collection, 1865–1872, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Copyright for digital images is retained by the donor, FamilySearch International; permission for commercial use of the digital images may be requested from FamilySearch International, Intellectual Property Office, at: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org.
Collection Citation:
Courtesy of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration, FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.FB.M821, Item 7.1.2.1
See more items in:
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869
Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1869 / Series 7: Reports / 7.1: Registered Reports of Operations and Conditions / 7.1.2: Entered in Register 2
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/io3cc72a800-5e4a-4dee-810c-ccba4f157529
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmaahc-fb-m821-ref67
Online Media:

Modify Your Search







or


Narrow By