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 induced to care for all except a few extreme cases of poverty which could not be shown to belong to any particular locality. In view of the entire field, the outlook as touching justice to refugees and freedmen appeared to be brighter at the close of November, 1865, than for a long subsequent period. It has not been possible to speak of land, labor, and justice connected with the destitute refugees and freedmen without mentioning, more or less, the indigent, helpless, and pauper classes. It will be recalled that, in the outset, we found that over 144,000 people were receiving daily rations, medical supplies, and other help. Our first record of these facts was found at the War Department, May, 1865. By the end of the year, we had made a great reduction, but leaving still a destitute host of more than 70,000. This reduction, as before stated, was effected by finding places of work and giving transportation to them, and also by the voluntary efforts of refugees and freedmen, seeking and finding employment for themselves. Those obtaining daily rations included the sick and the orphan children, citizen employees of the Bureau, also officers on duty with us and citizens laboring voluntarily for the freedmen. All volunteer helpers received their rations by purchasing. For a few days after the Bureau was organized we were at a loss how to feed this unorganized mass. June 20th, Colonel Balloch and I visited General A. B. Eaton, the commissary general of the army, and pleaded before him our case. We showed him our army of over 140,000 dependents; that there was no appropriation; that the law had a clause: “That the ”
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