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[289]

The general, however, said in abatement: “We shall not do them (the whites) justice unless we remember that, with very few exceptions, they were fully persuaded that slavery was right and beneficial to the colored man, as it was profitable and pleasant to the ruling class. They felt injured by the emancipation; their profits and pride were assailed and destroyed. In the midst of the excitement, hurry, confusion, and active enmity of the times nine tenths of the white people could not be expected to attribute the change to anything but a spirit of revenge. ... It was to be expected that the ignorant, violent, and unprincipled portion of these people, being additionally demoralized by the war, should give vent to the evil within them by committing outrages. On the other side it can surprise no one that the freedmen should be somewhat unsettled, inclined to avoid labor to which all their lives had been devoted under stern compulsion, and that they should misapprehend their rights and duties.”

The deliberate murder April 30th of that year of a worthy officer, Lieutenant J. B. Blanding, Twenty-first Regiment Veteran Reserve Corps, while walking on the street at Grenada, Miss., and attempts upon the lives of other men who had been faithful and fearless in the discharge of their delicate and dangerous duties, gave rise to increased anxiety everywhere and seemed to necessitate an increase of military force.

General Clinton B. Fisk had good results in Tennessee in 1866. The State legislature took liberal action in matters of vagrancy, or apprenticing and contracts which affected the freedmen; they modified the old laws to conform to the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution and to the Civil-Rights-Law. Before

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