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[308] or any other candid mind that I have fulfilled with care, conscientiousness, and faithfulness the trust you committed to me; I have obeyed your orders and instructions, making no other objections than those I have made directly to yourself and the Secretary of War; my system has been a thorough one, and as complete and uniform as was possible in an institution intended to be temporary and to meet a transient necessity. Could the Freedmen's Bureau be now administered with your full and hearty sanction, and with the cooperation of other branches of the Government, it would fulfill the objects of its creation in a short time, and be made, while it existed, to conduce for all classes of the people to industry, enlightenment, and justice. The work committed to it may doubtless be done by the army, without a bureau, but not with much less expense. Yet, if the Government would keep good faith with its new-made citizens, some sort of a United States agency must be maintained in the Southern States until society shall have become more settled than it now is.

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