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[296] appeared in any part of the country. Cholera showed itself at several points, but its ravages were limited, and diminished far more than could have been anticipated; military quarantine of all seaports and Bureau surveillance of the blacks were prompt and constant. Our medical officers, civil and military, 231 in all, during the year were reduced to 128 at its close; they prided themselves on the cheering and successful results due to their zeal and energy. The percentage of mortality among the vast number of persons treated was for the refugees but three per cent., and for the freedmen four and six tenths per cent.; it was quite an advance on the aggregate average of the year previous of nine and thirteen per cent. for both classes. Thus we have a bird's-eye view of the situation in 1866, and rejoice at a good work done for humanity.

For political reasons, however, the President desired to put before the people a very different view of the Bureau. His plan of reconstruction of the Southern State governments had been discredited by Congress; senators and members of the House applying for seats under it were refused admittance. The plan had been broached of giving negroes a vote, the Bureau to be the means of preparing them for the suffrage and protecting them in it. It was during the time that the new Bureau bill was being'debated in Congress (May, 1866), that he inaugurated a remarkable inspection of the Bureau in the South by two officers in the interest of his policy. One of them, General Steedman, had been a brave soldier; but he was a rough character with no sympathy for negroes. The other had been my adjutant general in the field, and afterwards a long time in my Bureau. He was a kind,

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James B. Steedman (1)
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