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Chapter XIX

  • The restoration of Civil government in the Southern States
  • -- the course pursued in North Carolina -- an order from General Grant in regard to cotton and produce -- suggestions for the reorganization of Civil government -- a provisional Governor for North Carolina.

being in command in North Carolina at the close of the war, I was connected for a short period with the very earliest consideration of the vital question of the restoration of civil government in the Southern States, in which I acted a more important part at a later period. The moment the surrender of Johnston's army made it evident that the end was near, the question arose, and was much discussed among some of the prominent officers, as to the status of the negroes in the South. The position was promptly taken by me, as the responsible commander in North Carolina, that the question at that time was solely one of fact. The President's proclamation of emancipation was virtually a military order to the army to free all the slaves in the insurgent States as rapidly as military operations should bring them within its control. Whatever the legal effect of the proclamation upon the status of slaves not within the reach of the army when it was issued, there could be no question of its binding obligation, as an order to the army, to be executed and made practically effective as rapidly as it came within the power of the army to execute it. Accordingly, the following order was issued by me to give full practical effect to the proclamation, and

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