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[218] of the old army had long been distinguished as a friend of the negroes; Wager Swayne, son of Justice Swayne, was a promising young lawyer and a Christian. He had exhibited a remarkable decision of character in the army, was a colonel in the volunteers, and lost a leg while under my command. Osborn, my chief of artillery at Gettysburg, was a quiet, unobtrusive officer of quick decision and of pure life. Samuel Thomas, very properly commended by other officers, and of excellent character, had unusual executive ability. J. W. Sprague was distinguished in the Army of the Tennessee for decided ability as a general, and meritorious conduct which he showed at all times, and for his dignity of carriage and thought; and Gregory was well reputed for the stand he always took in the army in favor of clear-cut uprightness of conduct. He was so fearless of opposition or danger that I sent him to Texas, which seemed at the time of his appointment to be the post of greatest peril.

The supervision and management of all subjects relating to refugees and freedmen gave a broad scope for planning and multitudinous duties. When I stepped into my office and began to examine the almost endless communications heaped on my desk, I was at first appalled. At least thirty Northern benevolent societies had written letters, and now acknowledged me as their ally; their numerous willing workers at the front, they declared, regarded me as their friend and coadjutor. But accustomed from long military training to systematic thinking and acting, I quickly separated my central force into divisions, and gave to each a name, put an officer in charge, and set him to work. First came the Division of Records. This fell to the adjutant general of the Bureau. It had consigned

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Wager Swayne (2)
Samuel Thomas (1)
J. W. Sprague (1)
T. W. Osborn (1)
E. M. Gregory (1)
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