War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0771 UNION AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

receive destitute women and children at Stevenson and Nashville and supply their necessities. Some rude provision was made at Stevenson by the post commandant. On January 26 last about a hundred infirm men and women and children were sent by rail from Stevenson to this place. They were dumped at the Chattanooga depot and left for hours between the tracks. I called at General Grant's headquarters and stated the fact. An order was issued directing the post commandant to provide for them. Captain Ralph Hurst, then in charge of the convalescent camp, was charged by General Granger with the execution of the order. While the location, & c., of a contraband camp were being discussed the Adjutant-General visited this place and issued Order Numbers 2, placing Captain Hurst in charge of the contrabands in the Department of the Cumberland. It was the intention to have the camp properly located somewhere near Gallatin, and to have here only a camp of reception and distribution, but Captain Hurst established the permanent camp here.

The management, & c., of this and other camps having been made the subject of investigation by the Honorable Messrs. Hood and Bostwick, special commissioners of the War Department, their report will show, I think, that the terms of General Thomas" order as to the erection of huts and the detail of inspecting lieutenants were never complied with. When Captain Hurst's term of service expired in June last Captain Barnard, Nineteenth U. S. Infantry, was appointed his successor and was also appointed colonel of the One hundred and first Infantry. I subjoin reports of his, showing the number of camps now under his charge, & c.* Legitimately and of detail I have never had anything to do with these camps. But as Colonel Barnard's regiment is not organized yet and still reports to me, I have had a quasi control of the matter, which I have endeavored to use to the best interest of the poor people.

The Treasury agents have in but one or two cases attempted to control or regulate contraband camps in this department. Military control seems the most appropriate for them.

I have endeavored to select for officers of the One hundred and first U. S. Colored Infantry, from whom chiefly came the superintendents of these camps, men who have had experience in their old regiments as quartermasters and commissary sergeants, as possessing a better knowledge of business than other applicants.

SCHOOLS.

Major Stearns" policy was wise and large. He deemed the question of colored troops to involve the question of the elevation and improvement of the race, and accordingly he endeavored to establish and foster a desire for education among the colored troops and among the colored people.

Acts were made to procure teachers for colored schools here; money was also raised through Major Stearns" exertions to establish on a permanent basis a school for colored girls in this city. The chaplains of the various regiments were also directed to make the instruction of the regiment a part and the principal part of their duty. Mr. W. F. Mitchels, a competent and hard- working gentleman, has been appointed by the Pennsylvania Freedman's Aid Association to superintend the establishment of schools in East and Middle Tennessee and in Northern Georgia and Alabama.. The association employs

---------------

* Omitted.

---------------