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which I real to the President and cabinet, was Bent for last evening, and may result in some letter, suggestion, or opinion.
In your letter you say that the subject of the Georgia University controversy will be submitted to the convention. I would advise that you submit nothing to it officially except the laws of Congress authorizing the convention and defining its duties. A convention is a sort of original body to enact laws, or rather to frame restrictions and to establish powers within which legislative bodies may act. Under such circumstances, it would seem out of place for any authority to submit questions to such conventions as are now being elected in the military districts. Yours, truly, U. S. Geant, General,
Bvt. Maj. Gen. John Pope,
Com. Third Mil. Dist.
26.—GENERAL GRANT TO GENERAL POPE.
Washington, December 23, 1867. Bvt. Maj. Gen. John Pope, Atlanta, Oa.
The constitutions adopted by the conventions Bow in session are not the law of the States until submitted to the people and ratified by them. I do not see, therefore, how you can enforce laws enacted by them until so ratified. U. S. Geant, General.
27. GENERAL GRANT TO GENERAL POPE.
Atlanta, Geoegia, December 27, 1867. General John Pope, commanding third district, relative to refusal of State treasurer, John Jones, of Georgia, to pay the members of convention in Georgia. —
Headq,'rs Op The Aemt United States,
Respectfully returned. The convention is authorized by act of Congress passed March 23, 1867, supplementary to an act entitled "An act to provide for the more efficient government of the rebel States," of March 2,1867, to levy upon and collect a sufficient amount of taxes on the property of the State as was necessary to pay the expenses of the same. The ordinance passed by the convention for the purpose, and the order of the military commander to the State treasurer endorsed thereon, is in conformity to the letter and spirit of said acts and the acts supplementary thereto, of July 19, 1867. The government, under the constitution of the State of Georgia, adopted in 1865, which said treasurer sets up as a bar to his compliance with said ordinance, is by the said acts of Congress specifically declared, with the governments of other States lately in rebellion, therein named, to be "not legal State governments; and that thereafter, said governments, if continued, were to be continued subject in all respects to the military commanders of the respective districts and the paramount authority of Congress."
Section 11 of said supplementary act of July 19, provides: "That all the provisions of this act and of the acts to which this is supplementary shall be construed liberally, to the end that all the interests thereof may be fully and perfectly carried out."
It is clear, from the correspondence between General Pope and the treasurer, that the proper
administration of the military reconstruction acts requires the removal of said treasurer, and the appointment of some person in his stead, under section 2 of said supplementary act of July 19, who will respect the authority of Congress, the orders of military commanders, and the ordinance of the convention under the same. Should the comptroller general of the State, as General Pope seems to fear he may, decline to execute the ordinance of the convention, then he, too, should be removed. U. S. Geant,
28. GENERAL MEADE TO GENERAL GRANT.
General U. S. Graht.
The passage of ordinances by the convention of Alabama and Georgia enacting stay-laws is producing great suffering in these States, by causing expedition to be made in making levies, in anticipation of these ordinances having the force of law.
Advantage is being taken of the interval of time before these ordinances are laws to hurry levies and executions, thus causing these ordinances, intended as measures of relief, to become in reality the means of increasing and greatly aggravating the burden of the people. I am, therefore, inclined to adopt these ordinances as the act of the military authority, and declare them to have force until the question is settled as to the adoption or rejection of the constitution enacting them. I refer to you, because your telegram of December 23 is adverse to enforcing any of the ordinances of the convention prior to the adoption of the constitution, and to obtain your approval of my proposed action.
Please answer immediately.
G. G. Meade, Major General.
29.—GENERAL GRANT TO GENERAL MEADE.
Washington, January 10, 1868. Major General G. G. Meade, Atlanta, Georgia. As district commander, I think you will'be perfectly justifiable in adopting as your own order the stay-laws proposed in the constitutions to be submitted to the people of Alabama and Georgia. This course is different from adopting as law the provisions of the constitutions in advance of their ratification.
U. S. Grant, General.
30.—GENERAL MEADE TO GENERAL GRANT.
General U. S. Grant.
I have had a conference with Governor Jenkins, and exerted all my influence to induce him to consider the appropriation by the convention as an appropriation made by law and not inconsistent with the provisions of the Georgia constitution, and urged him to sign the warrant required by the treasury. The governor declined, and there is no other alternative but the exercise of my power to obtain control of the State treasury. To avoid making any more changes than are required to effect the object, and also the difficulty of finding a suitable person, and the question of bonds, I propose to remove only the treasurer, and to assign to the duty Brevet Brigadier General Rnger, with instructions to continue payments as heretofore, in accordance with the existing laws of the State, and to make such payments to the convention aa I shall authorize, checking thus unnecessary expenditures. I see no other mode of supplying the wants of the convention, and the continuance in session is dependent upon its wants being immediately supplied. It is probable other steps may have to be taken before the money can be secured, as it is intimated that an issue will be made with the view of testing the invalidity of my power.
Your approval or disapproval is asked at once. Geo. G. Meade, Major General.
31.—GENERAL GRANT TO GENERAL MEADE.
Washington, January 10, 1868. Major General G. G. Meade, Atlanta, Ga.
Plan proposed in your despatch of last evening to remove State treasurer of Georgia is approved. U. S. Grant, General.
32.—GENERAL GRANT TO GENERAL MEADE.
Washington, January 13, 1868. Major General G. G. Meade, Atlanta, Ga.
I would not advise interference with elections ordered by the Alabama convention, unless very satisfactory reasons exist for doing so.
U. S, Grant, General.
33.—GENERAL GRANT TO GENERAL MEADE.
Washington, January 13, 1868. Major General G. G. Meade, Atlanta, Ga.
You will perceive by the reconstruction acts that "conventions are to frame constitutions and civil governments for their respective States," which clearly implies authority to order the election of officers thereunder, and in fixing the day of election Alabama has only followed a well-established precedent. The governments elected cannot assume authority, except under orders from the district commander or after action of Congress upon their constitution.
U. S. Grant, General.
34.—GENERAL GRANT TO GENERAL MEADE.
Washington, January 17,1868. Major General G. G. Meade, Atlanta, Ga.
Congress unquestionably can determine upon the questions presented by the governor of Florida, whatever may be the authority of district commanders over such cases. General Pope having practically settled the matter complained of by his action before you assumed command of the third district, it is deemed judicious not to interfere with the meeting of the convention at the time ordered by him, but leave the whole matter to Congress in its final action. U. S. Grant, General.
35.—GENERAL GRANT TO GENERAL MEADE.
Washington, January 25, 1868. Major General G. G. Meade, Atlanta, Ga.
Will it not be well to extend the number of days the polls are to be kept open at the Alabama election, in order to give full opportunity to all who register to vote? Two days will hardly give sufficient time. It would be better to amend General Pope's order now than after the election had commenced.
U. S. Grant, General.
36.—General Grant To General Meade. Headquarters Army Op The United States,
Washington, April 29, 1868. Major General G. G. Meade,
I have carefully read your letter of 16th of April and its enclosures. I see nothing in th«u to change my opinion as expressed to you in iny despatch of March 2, 1868. The officers eleetr-d under the new constitution of Georgia are nut officers of the provisional government referred to in the reconstruction acts, nor are they officers elected under any so-called State authority, and are not, therefore, required to take the oath prescribed in section 9, act of July 19, 1867. The eligibility to hold office must be determined by the new constitution and the amendment to the Constitution of the United States, designated aa article 14. U. S. Grant, General.
General Grant's Order Respecting the Restoration of Removed Civil Officers.
Headquarters Op The Army,
Special Orders, No. 420.
Commanders of the military districts created under the act of March 2, 1867, will make no appointments to civil office of persons who have been removed by themselves or their predecessors in command. By command of General Grant.
E. D. Townsbnd, Assistant Adjutant General.
Extract from General Grant's Report as Secretary of War ad interim, Referring to Reconstruction, November, 1867.
By act of Congress the ten southern States which have no representation in the national counoils are divided into five military districts, each commanded by an officer of the army of not less rank than brigadier general. The powers of these commanders are both civil and military. So far as their military duties are concerned, they are under the same subordination to the General of the army and Secretary of War that department commanders are. In their civil capacity they are entirely independent of both the General and Secretary, except in the matters of removals, appointment, and detail, where the General of the army has the same powers as have district commanders. It is but fair to the district commanders, however, to state that, while they have been thus independent in their civil duties, there has not been one of them who would not yield to a positively expressed wish, in regard to any matter of civil administration, from either of the officers placed over them by the Constitution or acts of Congress, so long as that wish was in the direction of a proper execution of the law for the execution of which they alone are responsible. I am pleased to say that the commanders of the five military districts have executed their difficult trust faithfully and without bias from any judgment of their own as to the merit or demerit of the law they were executing.
FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT
Comprises the State of Virginia, Brevet Major General J. M. Schofield commanding. In assuming command, the principle was announced by General Schofield that the military power conferred by act of Congress on the district commander would be used only so far as was necessary to accomplish the purposes for which the power was conferred. The civil government was interfered with only when necessary, and the wisdom,of the policy has been demonstrated by the result. The instances of complaint of the action of the civil courts became exceedingly rare. Still the evil which existed prior to the act of Congress of March 2, 1867, though mitigated by the increased efficiency of civil officers, was not removed. It was an evil in the jury Bystem, apparent at all times, and fully developed by the natural antagonism between loyalist and rebel, or the prejudice between white and black, existing throughout the South since the rebellion. The first idea was to admit blacks on juries and prescribe a test of loyalty. But as the requirement of a unanimous verdict must give very inadequate protection where strong prejudice of class or caste exists, and as a military change of jury system would be but temporary, it was determined to leave its change to the convention soon to meet, and be content with a system of military commissions. Such commissioners were appointed from officers of the army and Freedmen's Bureau in the different cities and counties of the State, with powers of justices of the peace, while the State was divided into sub-districts, under commanders whose powers were ultimately increased to those of circuit judges, taking jurisdiction only in cases where civil authorities failed to do justice. The system has given a large measure of protection to all classes of citizens, with slight interference with the civil courts.
Since the publication of the act of March 23, 1867, all elections have been suspended. Existing State, county, and municipal officers were continued in office. Vacancies have been filled by the district commander. The number of removals has been five, and of appointments to fill vacancies one hundred and five.
In executing the registration a board of officers was first appointed to select registering officers. The selections were made with great care, and the officers so selected have, with few exceptions, done their duty in the most satisfactory manner. Carefully prepared regulations for the boards of registration were issued, being made as specific as possible, so as to secure a uniform rule of disfranchisement throughout the State. In prescribing them, the district commander was controlled by the belief that the law made him responsible for its correct interpretation, as well as its faithful execution.
The results of the first session of the registering boards were all received on September 15. One hundred and fifteen thousand and sixtyeight whites, and one hundred and one thousand three hundred and eighty-two colored, registered; one thousand six hundred and twenty whites, and two hundred and thirty-two colored, being rejected. The tax list of 1866-'67 (not quite complete) returns about one hundred and
thirty-six thousand white male adults, and eighty-seven thousand colored male adults This indicates that the number of whites disfranchised, or who have failed to register, is about nineteen thousand, and that about fifteen thousand more colored mon have registered than were on the tax lists. Hence it may be inferred that nearly all male adults, white or colored, not disfranchised, have registered.
The principle upon which the apportionment was made was to give separate representations to the smallest practicable subdivisions of the State, and where fractions remained over to so combine counties in election districts as to justly represent those portions. This is believed to be the fairest mode of apportionment practicable under the law.
SECOND MILITARY DISTRICT
Comprises the States of North Carolina and South Carolina, Brevet Major General E. R. S. Canby, commanding. Major General Daniel E. Sickles, who was originally assigned to the command of this district, Was relieved, and General Canby assigned by the following order of the President:
(General Orders No. 80.—See Chap. Proclamations and Orders.)
"In order to secure a more efficient administration of j us. tice it was deemed necessary to place all sheriffs and other municipal officers under the immediate control of a military officer. Accordingly all such officers were directed to report to the Provost Marshal General, and to make monthly reports of • crimes committed' and *prisoners confined.' The reports of prisoners confined has aided materially in detecting illegal imprisonments or punishments, and has enahled the district commander to secure the release of many Union men and freedmen, against whom much gross injustice had been committed.
"A bureau of civil affairs was established, to take charge of all matters pertaining to registration; and its duties were afterwards extended to include all questions of protection to person or property arising under the laws of Congress. One hundred and seventy registration precincts were established in North Carolina, and one hundred and nine in South Carolina.
"In North Carolina there were registered 103,060 whites, and 71,657 blacks; apd in South Carolina,45,751 whites,and 79,585 blacks. Registration proceeded very slowly on aocount of slowness of communication with distant parts of the district.
"Of the appropriation made by Congress, $54,802 87 have been expended, and outstanding liabilities will exceed the balance on hand $194,802 87.
"The present condition of the district is so satisfactory at to warrant the belief that after elections the number of military posts in both States can be diminished."
THIRD MILITARY DISTRICT
Comprises the States of Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, Brevet Major General John Pope, commanding.
"On assuming command an order was issued" by General Pope " continuing in office State officials, but forbidding; their opposing the reconstruction nets, prohibiting elections except under those acts, and giving notice that all vacancies in civil offices would be filled by the district commander. Becomiug satisfied subsequently that State officials, while obeying the order personally, yet officially, by their patronage, encouraged papers opposingthe reconstruction act, an order was issued forbidding official patronage to such papers.
"In consequence of the riot at Mobile, an order was issued holding city and county officers responsible for the preservation of peace at all pnblio meetings, and requiring the United Sutes troops to assist them when called on. No disturbances have since occurred.
"Under the laws of tho State no colored person could be admitted to the Jury-box, and there was no surety of j ustice to Union men, to people from the North, (and especially ex-Union soldiers.) or to colored persons, from juries inflamed with hostility towards such clusses.
"There is a very large number of cases of wrong perpetrated by such juries in the district on file.
"Accordingly an order was issued directing all juries to be drawn indiscriminately from tbe list of voters registered by the boards of registration.
"Very few civil officers have been removed, and those, In almost every case, were removed for refusing to comply with orders. Appointments to fill vacancies have only been made where the daily business of the people demanded it.
"The State treasurers of Georgia, Alabama, and Florida have Leon ordered to make no payments after the appropriations of the present fiscal year have expired, save on warrants approved by the1 district commander, as it is believed that a new Legislature will not continue or approve many of the appropriations made.
"In executing the registration, it was deemed advisable that no officer nor soldier of the United Stutes should be employed, and accordingly each board of registration was appointed from among the citizens living in tho district, and to consist of two white men and one colored. A fixed sum was paid for registering each name, the average for the district being twenty-six cents per name.
"There were registered in Georgia 95,214 whites, and 93,457 colored; in Alabama 74,450 whites, and 90,350 colored, and in. Florid;. 11,180 whites, and 15,357 colored. The amount expended in registration, £c, has been$162,325.
"The apportionment of delegates was mode in Georgia for State senatorial districts, and in Alabama for Representative districts, fixed by ait order. Polls were ordered to be opened at each comity seat."
FOURTH MILITARY DISTRICT
Comprises the States of Mississippi and Arkansas, Brevet Major General E. 0. C. Ord, commanding.
"The reconstruction measures of Congress are unpopular with a majority of the white people, but their execution bus met with slight opposition, the ignorant and lawless, from whom alone trouble was to be apprehended, having been kept in order by the troops distributed through the States.
"The civil laws have not been interfered with when equally administered, except to remove from the civil courts cases of crime charged against persons who, being opposed to the rebellion, had reason to fear prejudice. Also freedmen's cases, where the courts were practically closed against them; and cases of horse-stealing, and violations of acts of Congress, for all of which military commissions have been organized.
"The officers of the provisional State government have continued in office, except where they have failed to perform their duties. It is difficult to find competent men who can qualify to fill vacancies in civil offices, some of which are consequently vacant.
"In consequence of the indisposition (as manifested of late) of the civil authorities in Arkansas to take action in offences of an aggravated nature against freedmen, orders have been issued for the trial of all such cases by military commission, and for prompt action to be taken for the punishment of civil officers who fail to issue writs against offenders committing assaults, &c,against freedmen, and prohibiting bail for the appearance of such criminals."
The extension of suffrage to freedmen has evidently aroused a sentiment of hostility to tho colored race, and to northern men in many parts of the district, which did not exist before; and General Ord is convinced that a larger force than is now stationed in those States to preserve order and organize conventions, will be required hereafter to protect them and secure the freedmen the use of the suffrage.
"In a majority of the conuties of this district there are very few men who can take the test-oath, and these are nou disposed to defy public opinion by accepting office, unless supportedIby a military force afterwards.
"The will of the colored people may be in favor of supporting loyal office-holders, but their intelligence is not now sufficient to enable them to combine for the execution of their will. All their combinations are now conducted by white men, under the protection of the military; if tbe protection is withdrawn, the white men now controlling would withdraw with it; and some of the southern people, now exasperated at what they deem the freed men's presumption, would not be very gentle towards them, so that the presence of a larger military force will be required for some time to maintain the freedmen in the right of suffrage."
FIFTH MILITARY DISTRICT
Comprises the States of Louisiana and Texas, Brevet Major General J. A. Mower, commanding.
No report has yet been received from General Mower, out it is expected in time for the meeting of Congress.
Major General P. H. Sheridan, who was originally assigned to the command of this district, was relieved, and General Hancock assigned, by the following orders of the President. On the decease of Brevet Major General Charles Griffin, designated as the officer next in rank to whom General Sheridan should turn over the command until General Hancock assumed it, General Mower succeeded to the command:
(General Orders 77 and 81.—For which see Proclamations and Orders.)
Generals Sheridan and Sickles having been relieved before the period for submitting their annual reports, none have been received from them. They have, however, been called on repen tly to submit reports, which may be expected 'before the meeting of Congress.
DIGEST OF ORDERS OF THE MILITARY COMMANDERS,
AND GENERAL ACTION UNDER THE RECONSTRUCTION ACTS*
First Military District—Virginia. 1867, March 15—General Schofield prohibited whipping or maiming of the person as a punishment for any crime, misdemeanor, or offence. An order was issued, same day, disbanding and prohibiting any further organization of the militia forces of the State.
* For previous Orders referring to Reconstruction, see pages J3-81 of the Manual of 1867, or pages 190-207 of the combined Manual.
April 2—Board of officers appointed to select boards of registration, one to be an officer of the army or Freedmen's Bureau if possible, and the othtrs either army officers or honorably discharged volunteer officers, or loyal citizens of the proper city or county, or any other loyal citizen. No registering officer to be a candidate
| for any elective office. All elections suspended till the completion of registration, vacancies to
J be filled by the commanding general. All offi
cers under the provisional government to take the test oath of March 23, 1867. la registering, whites and colored to be entered in separate columns.
May 28—Where civil authorities fail to give adequate protection to all persons in their rights of person and property, it was announced that military commissioners would be appointed; trials by the civil courts preferred in all cases where there is satisfactory reason to believe that justice will be done.
June 3—It was held, respecting the right to be registered, that persons who voluntarily joined the rebel army, or persons who in that army committed voluntarily any hostile act, were disqualified; but persons who were forced into it, but avoided, as far as possible, doing hostile acts, and escaped from it as soon as possible, were not disqualified. Persons who voted for the secession ordinances were disqualified. Giving individual soldiers food or clothing enough to relieve present suffering did not work disqualification.
June 26—It was decided that, as the laws of Congress declared there was no legal government in Virginia, the Alexandria constitution does not disfranchise any persons.
July 13—It was decided that the President's pardon does not restore political rights, but merely civil; and, July 15, that it does not remove disfranchisement which exists without it.
July 26—All persons hereafter appointed to take the test oath of July 2, 1862, in lieu of that of March 23, 1867. Sub-district commanders directed to report names of all State, county and municipal officers who are "disloyal to the United States, and use their official influence to prevent reconstruction under acts of Congress."
August 16—A fine imposed by court, April 27, 1867, of two thousand dollars in " Confederate currency," was ordered scaled at the then rate, and $88 80, in lawful currency of United States, directed to be accepted by the court, in payment.
September 12—Election ordered for October 22, on a convention; 105 delegates to be elected at the same time.
September 21—Persons subject to parole upon the surrender, who have avoided giving it, are directed to take the prescribed parole within thirty days.
September 24—Delegates to the State convention not required to take the oath prescribed for officers of the United States.
September 25—A person who held no office prior to the war, and who was elected and served as a member of the secession convention, and was afterwards engaged in rebellion, is not thereby disfranchised.
October 3—Armed secret societies forbidden.
October 31—The regular session of the Legislature elected in 1866 dispensed with.
November 2—Voteon convention announced: 169,229 votes cast, of which 107,342 were for, and 61,887 against, a convention. December 3d fixed as the time, and hall of House of Delegates, Richmond, as the place of meeting.
December 2—General 0. 0. Howard instructs General O. Brown, of Freedmen's Bureau, to allow no man to suffer for food, and to assist to
a home and employment those who he ascertains may have been, or may be, discharged for having voted as they pleased.
December 3—Convention met. Adjourned April 17, 1868, having adopted a constitution.
1868, March 12—Sales of property under deeds of trust suspended where such sales would result in a ruinous sacrifice or leave infirm persons without support.
April 4—The office of Governor of Virginia having become vacant by the expiration of Governor Pierpoint's term, and he being ineligible for the next term, Henry H. Wells was appointed.
June 2—General Stoneman assumed command.
No provision has thus far been made for submitting the constitution to a popular vote.
Second military District—North and South Carolina.
1867, April 18—General Sickles issued an order that, it having become apparent that justice to freedmen cannot be obtained in the civil Courts of Edgefield and Barnwell districts, a provost court De established, with jurisdiction of any case to which a person of color is a party, except murder, arson, and rape.
April 20—No sentence of such court, affecting the liberty of any person, to be executed till approved by the commanding general.
April 27—Local election in Newbern suspended; and officers appointed, and required to take the oath of March 23, 1867.
May 8—Registration announced to be begun on the third Monday in July ; registering officers to be appointed, and required to take the test oath of July 2, 1862.
May 15—Commanding officers of posts authorized, upon sufficient cause shown, to grant permission to public officers to carry arms when necessary in the discharge of their duties.
May 20—Distillation of spirits from grain prohibited; violation of this order to be considered a misdemeanor.
May 30—Any citizen, a qualified voter under the reconstruction laws, declared to be eligible to office in the provisional government of North and South Carolina. All citizens who have paid assessed taxes for the current year declared qualified as jurors; and juries to be hereafter drawn from such persons. All citizens are eligible to follow any licensed calling, employment or avocation, subject to impartial regulations prescribed by municipal or other competent authority, the bond required as security not to exceed $100, with one or more sureties worth double the amount of the bond. All contracts for the manufacture, sale, or transportation, storage, or insurance of intoxicating liquors to be treated as against public policy. In public conveyances, on railroads, highways, streets, or navigable waters, no discrimination because of color or caste shall be made, and the common rights of all citizens therein shall be recognized and respected; a violation of this regulation to be deemed a misdemeanor, and to render the offender liable to arrest and trial by a military tribunal, besides such damages as may be recovered in the civil courts. The remedy by distress for rent is abolished, where lands are leased or let