War of the Rebellion: Serial 104 Page 0728 KY., S. W. VA., TENN., N. & C. GA., MISS., ALA., & W. FLA.

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guard of 100 to 150 or 200 men, as you can best spare them, to take charge of the public property. Let them come by first train if possible, as I have but little means now at my disposal to protect the public property to be surrendered.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Post.


Selma, Ala., May 11, 1865.

Lieutenant Colonel C. T. CHRISTENSEN,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Mobile:

COLONEL: I have the honor to inclose a copy of some remarks of mine addressed to the freedmen. There was so much restlessness and disquiet among them that I felt obliged to issue something of the kind. The citizens think it will do good. This subject demands considerable attention. As a system, it will be impossible for the freed people to go off. There are too many of them. Neither do they wish to go if they can remain free where they are. I have found that where the masters have been candid, kind, and truthful men, the blacks continue on in their duties quietly as a general thing.

I have the honor to be, yours, truly,





Selma, Ala., May 9, 1865.

To the Freedmen of Selma and Vicinity:

You have already been advised by authority superior to mine to continue at work where you have employment, if the persons employing you recognize your rights as freedmen and will pay you a compensation. You have also been notified that such as have no employment are liable to be sent to the agent of the Treasury Department. Quite a number of freedmen have complained to me that they are offered only a support - their board, clothes, & c. - for their labor. Others, it appears, are offered a share of the crop which they make, and are contented to remain and work. Planters have represented to me that the loss they have suffered in stock and subsistence by the armies passing through the country and the depreciation of their currency have cramped their means to cultivate their plantations in an extensive and profitable manner for this season, so that they cannot safely promise you much compensation. This is true to a considerable extent. Your anxiety to be sure of your freedom, and the condition of affairs at this peculiar period, cause much uncertainty in your minds and in the minds of the white people as to what is best to be done. It is because so many of you are coming to town and appear misinformed of your real interests that I now offer you my advice. You are free. I expect and certainly hope you will never again be slaves. I do not believe you hazard your liberty by remaining where you are and working for such compensation as your employers are able to give. Those of you not employed can be sent off on transports from time to time; but if you go you will suffer hardships in camp and in traveling this hot weather, crowded as you will be, and you will of course have to labor for a living when you get to your journey's end.