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[291] carry out his Bureau instructions without the troops. Murders of freedmen and other crimes against them were on the increase. Civil authorities utterly failed to arrest and punish offenders. The clouds were growing thicker and thicker. There were many thefts, robberies, assaults, and murders; some of them of the most brutal and unprovoked character, where not a finger had been raised by citizens or law officers to bring the guilty parties to justice.

And yet the good General gave us a gleam of light when he reported that the freedmen were working well and abiding by their contracts in good faith. The Bureau officers still held control of the registration of laborers and supervised the contracts, so that the results in that quarter were promising.

The assistant commissioner in Virginia found some improvement in the feelings of the whites toward the freedmen, but alleged weakness and neglect on the part of State officials touching heinous crimes. Murders and robberies were committed and nobody was arrested and brought to trial except through the agency of United States officers, most of them of our Bureau.

In three counties it had been necessary to reestablish the Bureau courts to prevent insurrection among the freedmen, who threatened retaliation for the wrongs which they suffered from local civil courts.

General J. B. Kiddoo, the Texas commander, found little respect for any law in the northeast counties. The legislature had delayed the necessary legislation; freedmen could not yet testify in spite of the advent of the Civil-Rights-Law; great distinctions were constantly made in all dealings with them. His chief troubles consisted in his efforts to protect them from violence; he entreated for more troops for those remoter

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