HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Macon, Ga., May 9, 1865.
JOSEPH E. BROWN,
SIR: In pursuance of instructions received this day from Honorable E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War, I have the honor to inform you that your telegram of the 7th instant, forwarded by my sanction, has been laid before the President of the United States, and the following is his reply and orders.*
First. That the collapse in the currency and the great destitution among the people of Georgia mentioned in your telegram have been caused by rebellion, treason, and insurrection against the laws of the United States, incited and carried on for the last four years by you and your confederate rebels and traitors, who alone are responsible for the waste, destitution, and want now existing in that State.
Second. That what you call the result which the fortunes of war have imposed upon the people of Georgia, and all the loss and woe they have suffered, are charged upon you and your confederate rebels, who have usurped the authority of the State and assumed to act as its Governor and Legislature, made acts treasonable to the United States, and by means of that usurped numbers to lay down their arms and accept the result which the fortunes of war have imposed upon the people of Georgia as the just penalty of the crimes of treason and rebellion.
Third. That the restoration of peace and order cannot be intrusted to rebels and traitors who destroyed the peace and trampled down the order which had existed more than half a century in Georgia, a great and prosperous State. The persons who incited the war and carried it on at so great a sacrifice to the people of Georgia, and to all the United States, will not be allowed to assemble at the call of their accomplice to act again as the Legislature of the State, and again usurp its authorities and franchises. Men whose crimes have spilled so much blood of their fellow-citizens, impressed so much woe upon the people, destroyed the finances, currency, and credit of the State, and reduced the poor to destitution, will not be allowed to usurp legislative power that might be intended to set on foot fresh acts of treason and rebellion. In calling them together without the permission of the President you have perpetrated a fresh crime that will be dealt with accordingly. I am further directed to inform you that the President of the United States will people of Georgia from destitution by delivering them from the bondage of rebel tyranny, which avowed rebels and traitors have imposed alike upon poor and sick.
The President hopes that by restoring peace and order, giving security to life, liberty, and property, by encouraging trade, arts, manufactures, and every species of industry to revive the financial credit of the State and to develop its great resources. The people will again soon be able to rejoice under the Constitution and laws of the United States and of their own State in the prosperity and happiness they once had. To all good people who return to their allegiance, liberality will be exercised.
If any person shall presume to answer or acknowledge the call mentioned in your telegram to the President, I am directed to cause his
*For version as sent by Secretary Stanton, see p. 646.