PINE BLUFF, ARK., April 19, 1865.
Lieutenant Colonel JOHN LEVERING,
Are there any orders in existence relating to refugee colonies? If so, will you please furnish me with them? If anything is to be done in that way it must be at once, as the season for planting will won be over.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF ARKANSAS,
Little Rock, Ark., April 19, 1865.
GENERAL: In response to your telegram of this a. m. in relation to protection or dispersion of refugee families, the major-general commanding instruct that you will make such provision for them as may best suit your convenience so far as not inconsistent with the public interest. Their destitute condition demands that they be subsisted until they are able to raise crops. This you are authorized to do. Your attention is invited to paragraphs 6 and 7 of Special Orders, Numbers 69, current series, from these headquarters, which are herewith inclosed. The officer detailed in authorized to have and use public means of transportation for their benefit; is also charged with procuring seeds, plowing their grounds, constructing cabins, &c. It is suggested that an abandoned plantation in the vicinity of your post should be appropriated for their use, and all who are unable to provide for themselves be required to remove to it. This removes them from contact with the troops, and is for this reason a precaution against demoralization.
Very respectfully, &c.,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF ARKANSAS, Numbers 69 Little Rock, Ark., March 20, 1865.
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6. The property known as the James B. Johnston plantation, or estate, situated below Bayou Fourche, in this (Pulaski) county, having been abandoned by the legal owners, is hereby appropriated to the use of the Arkansas Relief Committee for use and occupancy by destitute refugee families as a home, farm, or colony.
7. Captain W. H. Warner, Company F, Fourth Arkansas Cavalry Volunteers, is assigned to the charge of the colony of destitute refugee families, and will receive instructions from Lieutenant Colonel S. C. Benham, chief commissary of the department. Captain Warner will proceed with his company, officered and equipped, to the property known as the James B. Johnston plantation, below Bayou Fourche, in this county, the location assigned for this colony.
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By command of Major General J. J. Reynolds: