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Edgar M Gregory--letter, 21 September 1865

[list of letters transcribed from the Texas Assistant Commissioner]
[source: National Archives, Record Group 105, microfilm publication M821, reel 1 (Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1869, Letters Sent, Volume 1), pages 109-113]


Headquarters
Bureau R F and A L
State of Texas
Galveston Sept 21st 1865

9.

Howard Major Genl O. O.
General.

I reached this city on the 5th Inst was detained ten days while awaiting transportation service [?] at New Orleans. While here have been making all possible efforts to obtain officers for duty from the army here but one reported. three others ordered to report and expected daily. have seen one Hundred or upwards, planters. mostly Eastern Texas men who generally express themselves willing to Cooperate with us and willing to hire the freedmen and pay a fair compensation for labor. many have contracted with the Freedmen to feed clothe and furnish Medical attendance and pay whatever wages we shall consider just and right. The general report of Planters and employers is that the freedmen are not doing as much as under the slave system and yet most of the present crops will be saved [?] to the country. I called upon the Agent of the Treasury for Lands Houses and Parts of Houses and Lands was answered he had none got the same reply from Maj Gen Wright Comdg the Dept I cannot learn that property of this kind has been taken possession by any of the Govt Officials in portions of the State heard from. I find the Collored [sic] Churches in this City well attended on the Sabbath. each a weekly prayer meeting. we organized a Sabbath School in one of them the first Sunday after I got here with about one Hundred in attendance last Sabbath. the house was crowded. shall organize in the others if I can find the right man to take charge. we have one day and one night school which I found started when I came here by a Wm Tambery [?] of the Freedman's Aid Society. he has Two Hundred or more Scholars in attendance. the school is doing well. [page 7] The churches of white people are but slenderly attended. no prayer meetings. the Methodists have appointed one this week. religion is but little talked of and very little felt. we hope for better days soon. We have about Two Hundred troops at this Post. and no Officers that can be spared for our work. I have sent to Houston and other places for Officers' names qualified for our peculiar duty. I have got Genl Wright to issue an order which directs District Commanders to indicate five Officers from each, making fifteen in all, selecting only such as can be depended upon for doing Justice and are Qualified for our work. He also directs District Commanders to investigate all cases of ill treatment of Collored [sic] people, arrest the parties if necessary and report them to him for instructions to trial untill [sic] we can get our Agents in the field.

Many applications from different Counties in this State are coming in to be appointed Agents recommended by prominent citizens of the state claiming to be loyal. some endorserd by Gov Hamilton. as our Business has no funds or income of course they cannot be hired except a plan be adapted to support them from work done in the field


I am Genl
Very Respectfully
Your Obedt Servt
E M Gregory
Brig Genl and Asst Comm

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revised 11 Jun 02
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